Careers Advice

New Year, New You

Making the most of your resolutions

Published: 06/02/2017

For many of us, our grand New Year’s resolutions of daily gym sessions and salads will be a distant memory by now, but all is not lost. ScotGrad programme manager, Kelly Barbour, has some achievable New Year’s resolutions to improve your employability.

One of the main reasons people tend to fail to achieve their new year’s resolutions is because we often set ourselves unachievable or unmeasurable goals. The best way to overcome this is by setting SMART goals.

Here are some simple, practical changes you can make to improve your employability in 2017. 

Keep your ear to the ground

Stay up-to-date with all of the latest available ScotGrad placements by signing up for alerts. This is a New Year’s resolution that you can tick off the list in a matter of minutes and will mean that you won’t miss an ideal placement opportunity.

Be proactive

The Scottish graduate jobs market is highly competitive. Jobs aren’t going to come to you - you have to be proactive. Universities and exhibition centres across the country host careers fairs where you can talk face-to-face with employers about what they’re looking for and find out what positions are available. If you have friends or family members who work in similar industries/roles to the ones you’re applying for, talk to them to find out more about what you can expect and to get an insight into whether it would be the right fit for you.

Take advantage of training/online resources

There are plenty of free training resources online to take advantage of. One of the best platforms is Futurelearn, but there are many more to choose from… just get Googling! Advice is also available on the ScotGrad News Hub to help you maximise the possibility of securing the placement you want to apply for. Whether you want to improve your CV, brush up on your interview technique, or even understand placement jargon, the ScotGrad Careers Advice and News pages have a wealth of information to help you get onto the careers ladder in your perfect placement. Your careers service at university will also have a range of information on their website or online portal – make sure you’re connected with them and signed up for mailing lists.

Professionalise your social media

As you move from university to the world of work, you want to show potential employers that you are a perfect candidate and would be a sterling addition to their team. Your CV is polished and you’ve nailed your interview technique, but now that over 60% of employers reportedly check candidates’ social media feeds, it’s time to professionalise yours. Re-read posts you’ve written and check pictures you’ve uploaded to make sure they’re employer-friendly. A general rule of thumb is that if you wouldn’t say it in an interview, don’t post it online. 

It is also time to set up a professional online presence if you don’t already have one. You should consider creating a LinkedIn profile where you can showcase your professional skills and experience. Check out our blog for advice on using LinkedIn effectively.

Bag the placement

By following the advice above, you’ll be in a better position to secure a ScotGrad placement. Regardless of the sector you want to work in, a ScotGrad placement will help you kick-start your career with invaluable, paid work experience in some of Scotland’s fastest growing organisations. To hear how placements have boosted the careers of other graduates, check out our success stories.