It’s a strange world we’re living in right now, isn’t it? What with everything going on, we totally understand searching for a placement or graduate job might be the last thing on your mind. If you do want to keep up the search though, you’ll be pleased to know there are lots of things you can do to help boost your chances of being successful in applications*, all from the comfort of your own home (changing out of your PJs is optional).
*Despite the unfolding situation with COVID-19, we recommend you still continue with your job search, but please be mindful that some opportunities may be subject to change.
Listen to podcasts
There are oodles of podcasts out there, from comedy shows to true crime thrillers, but did you know there are ones that focus on various aspects of the job search? Have a listen to these:
- The Future You podcast series by Prospects is a great example. This gives inspiring advice and in-depth insights from employers, careers advisers, students and graduates, with the episodes covering topics such as becoming an entrepreneur, the secrets of a great job interview, getting the skills employers want and navigating life after university.
- The Graduate Job Podcast aims to inspire graduates and students in their search for the job of their dreams. Each episode features guests from the world of graduate recruitment – such as career coaches, authors, entrepreneurs and recruiters themselves – and look at topics such as passing psychometric tests, succeeding in assessment centres and how to impress at job fairs. They also have an episode about COVID-19 and your graduate job search.
- Hays also create a monthly podcast which gives expert advice on things like perfecting your CV to creating a strong personal brand.
Subscribe to YouTube channels
Now, we know YouTube is a treasure trove of cat videos, influencers’ vlogs and Animal Crossing Let’s Plays (although we 10/10 recommend giving all of the above a watch if you need a break from the world right now). However there are also heaps of super useful careers-focused channels on there. Here are just a few we think you should subscribe to:
- TARGETjobs have some really handy videos that give advice in bite-sized chunks. We particularly recommend you watch the Tricky Interview Questions and #1MinuteTips playlists.
- Indeed’s channel shares useful tips and personal stories to help you take the next step in your job search.
- Linda Raynier shares practical advice to help you find the right career for you, with her videos covering topics like how to dress for an interview, communicating effectively and overcoming rejection.
- Margaret Buj, London-based Interview Coach, has videos about getting noticed by recruiters on LinkedIn, preparing for phone interviews and more (she’s also recently uploaded a video about searching for jobs during the COVID-19 crisis).
Use our online resources
Psychometric testing and assessment centres often feature in applications and due to the ongoing situation with COVID-19, more and more employers are adopting virtual methods of assessing candidates for roles. Luckily for you, we’ve got some online resources to help you prepare for whatever employers throw at you:
- Launchpad is a video assessment platform which you can access through our resource library to practise your interview technique. And if you want feedback, you can either use the self-assessment guide or send a link to your interview recording to one of our careers consultants who can offer tips and advice.
- Graduates First is an online portal that hosts a range of industry-standard aptitude tests that you’re likely to come across during placement or graduate role recruitment processes. Aston students can use the Graduates First assessment tools for free as part of the university subscription. These include numerical, verbal, and logical reasoning tests, situational judgement tests, personality tests as well as games-based assessments. Graduates First also offer valuable advice on assessment centres and insights on the recruitment processes of some of the UK’s biggest graduate employers.
- Profiling for Success offers another range of numerical and verbal reasoning tests that are free to practice as an Aston student. The portal also hosts a lot of other resources such as a career interest inventory which can help you understand more about how your interests align to a particular career – great for anyone who is unsure about what they might want to do after finishing their degree.
We’ve got loads more handy tools on our website to help with all aspects of the job/placement search, so do take a look at everything else we have on there.
Upskill through online courses
If you’re finding you’ve got more free time on your hands at the moment, why not use it to explore your interests, identify your skill gaps and pursue opportunities for growth? E-learning opportunities are on the rise, so take a look to see if there are any you would benefit from. Here are a couple to get you started:
- REED offer thousands of online courses to help with your personal development. While some them incur a cost, they also advertise a range of heavily discounted and even free courses.
- Future Learn have hundreds of short online courses available from top universities and specialist organisations.
- Save The Student have also pulled together a list of free online courses that cover areas such as learning code, starting a business and learning social media strategy.
With physical events on hold now for the foreseeable future, there has been a recent surge in the number of webinars taking place. These are great ways to continue accessing support and advice from a distance.
Our very own Careers+Placements team is adding more and more webinars to Aston Futures as we speak, so make sure to keep checking back and registering onto any that take your fancy.
It’s also a good idea to take a look at individual companies you are interested in, as they may be hosting virtual insight days or Q&A events.
Written by Jodie Carpenter, Careers+Placements