How to boost your employability in a post-covid world.
Hi, I’m Rebecca Wood. In September, I’ll be going into my final year at Northumbria University studying Interaction Design. I’m currently interning at globalbridge as an Interaction Designer before going back to university in September.
When I was asked if I wanted to be involved in the new project with globalbridge, I jumped at the chance to gain more experience in the design sector following my placement year as an Interaction Designer at HMRC. Prior to working at globalbridge, I had never heard of the platform or used it. When I started using the platform, I loved how it was catered towards students and allowed me to showcase soft skills and hobbies as well as my academic results. It seemed to be more catered towards students and graduates than traditional sites such as Linkedin. It’s good to know that I can use both when looking for work after finishing my degree.
It was a strange time to take on a new role, meet new team members and start working on something new remotely - although I had adapted to working from home during my final few months at HMRC, so felt prepared for it. It can be quite daunting looking for jobs and opportunities in the ‘new normal’, but there are a few ways you can boost your employability, and harness the skills that will be most in demand.
1. Get tech-savvy
As businesses in the wake of the Covid lockdown are relying more on technology, one way to boost employability is to get tech savvy. If you can use video conferencing tools and programs such as Excel, Word and Powerpoint, as well as programs related specifically to your current work, you will be far appealing to prospective employers, especially if businesses decide to incorporate more remote working as Covid restrictions change.
2. Follow companies you're interested in, on social media and job sites.
By following companies you’re interested in, it helps you to keep up to date with the job market, see when they’re recruiting and any exciting projects they have going on. You also shouldn’t be scared to get in touch with companies if you want to work there and gain some experience. They could gain from having you bring new skills and fresh eyes to the table just as you could benefit from gaining some experience, so you can’t lose by getting in touch with them - the worst they could say is no.
3. Build your network on Linkedin and other social medias.
A part of finding opportunities, is knowing as many people in your field as possible. On Linkedin, I often send connection requests to people I don’t know, but whose work I admire, so I reach out to them for advice on my portfolio and work. More often than not they are really keen to help out, so don’t be scared to connect with someone just because you don’t know them. You never know where a connection could take you in terms of job opportunities.
4. Get more experience (online courses, internships, volunteering).
In terms of what skills will be important post Covid, I think there’s definitely a top three.
First is adaptability. Especially in such turbulent times, businesses are changing and adapting to suit the new working environment, and they’re going to need employees who are flexible workers to suit ever-changing business needs.
Second is innovation and creativity. As businesses are changing due to the pandemic and it’s after effects, they’re going to need people who can inspire change and come up with creative ideas to help bring about change more easily.
Finally, I think good communication and leadership qualities are super important especially as we continue to work remotely. The ability to create good working relationships, work well with others and lead a team in a normal or remote setting is a really invaluable skill to have.
I hope going forward that businesses will offer new internships and more opportunities to help students grow and gain confidence, and that this advice will be useful to you in getting a new role.
Guest article written by Rebecca Wood, globalbridge intern.