Proper career planning can determine the future employability for students who are graduating from college or university.
Tom Jackson, Sheffield Hallam University (SHU) career advisor, shares his top tips for a career action plan.
Developing a career path requires students to understand the environment in which they live and work, articulate their personal skills and then develop a future plan that is realistic for them.
“Students need to be aware of where they want to be in their career, their goals and figure out how to achieve it, because this will underpin their future,” said Tom.
By completing a self assessment, students can identify their individual skills, knowledge and experiences that can help create their career vision.
“For example, if you want to be an accountant, you need to know which type of exams to take and personal skills you need, and try to get information on the specific occupation you’re interested in,” he said.
Here are the 5 crucial tips for the career planning cycle or career action plan:
- Where am I now?
- Where do I want to be?
- How do I get there?
- What support or help do I need?
- How can I keep on improving?
To increase your employability, you need to know what employers are looking for and understand the particular requirements needed for your future job.
“A well-written curriculum vitae (CV) will show the employer that your qualification, skills and experience makes you suitable for the job,” he said.
Students can market themselves by articulating key skills, developing working experience and knowing what they can offer to their future employer.
Importance of Language
“For international students who want to find a job in UK, they can increase their employability by improving their English speaking and writing skills,” Tom suggested.
The University English Scheme (UES) provides English lessons through conversation which helps students improve their language for job seeking.
Students need be clear of their needs and goals, so that they can enter into their chosen career and navigate the career market to increase their employability. Therefore, it’s important to be organised and take control of their career planning.
SHU international student Jovian Chan said: “I found that the University’s career planning resources helps me a lot especially how to shape my CV to capture the attention of future employers.”
“I also realised that my level of English can affect the employability as it is seen as a global language,” said Jovian, who is currently pursuing a MSc in Advanced Mechanical Engineering.
Accounting student Vikneswari Rengasamy added that career planning is essential especially for students who are planning to enter the job market.
“The information and knowledge provided by the university helps me map out my future career path,” she said.
Helpful websites for career development:
– Story and Photo by Josephine Chua