When it’s time to get a job after you have finished uni you want to be as prepared as you can be for what is coming ahead of you. Your preparation for finding a great job doesn’t start when your degree is over – in fact it starts from the very first year of university. You want to be enhancing your business skills and working on your soft skills so that you are a premium hire! We have pulled together some of our top tips for how you can improve your business skills so that when you’re hunting down your final semester books at the textbook store you’re already head and shoulders above your peers in terms of job readiness.
Think body language
While it’s great to think that your killer CV and your awesome list of extracurricular activities are going to get you a job at your dream workplace, think again. Your CV is the thing that gets you through the door, sure – but it’s your body language and how you come across as a living breathing person that will get you the job. If you had two identical candidates interviewing for a job and one was uptight, stiff and hard to read versus another who was relaxed, comfortable and confident you’d give the job to the second person. The way you come across depends on a lot on your body language and while it comes naturally for many people, others have to work on it. Practice interviewing yourself in front of a mirror and watch videos on how to convey confidence.
Use a script
If you have a big interview/negotiation/meeting coming up, don’t wing it. Whatever you do. Make sure you are prepared with a script and with some information about what you are going to say. By being prepared you’ll find that you’re far more relaxed and confident with your meeting and you’ll be less flustered. A big part of business is actually how personable you are – so make sure you’re giving yourself the best opportunity to be yourself, by not being stressed out.
People are generally pretty easy to predict. You’ll find that most people just want an opportunity to talk about themselves and to be heard. The sooner you figure this out, the sooner you’ll find success in business. Ask plenty of questions, listen to the answers and actually work towards making a name for yourself as someone who is respectful and courteous. That way when it’s time for a promotion people will think of you first.
This should go without saying, but still. Professionalism is a huge part of your success in the workplace, so make sure that you are being professional in every way – from your dress to your behaviour to how much time you spend in the tea room. Don’t abuse the trust of your employers, and remember that they probably have access to your workplace emails, so be careful what you send.
Again, another no brainer, but the old adage ‘the harder you work the luckier you get’ applies in business. Make sure you’re working hard – but don’t let your workplace take advantage of you. If a year has passed and you haven’t had a review and a raise – ask for one. Your boss will most likely respect your willingness to take action.
Diversify your skills
It’s important to have a range of skills at your disposal, so take classes, take courses and get more skills in your chosen field. You will find that this kind of diversification is hugely helpful when you are looking for a raise or a change in career.