Reaching Into the Career Market

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Reaching into the career market can be an exciting and challenging prospect. By working through this resource, you will develop your knowledge and skills so that you can confidently reach out into the career market.

You will want to look at how you currently present yourself professionally and how you can enhance your professional communication. This skill section will take you through what you need to know to enter the career you really want, from writing a covering letter and CV, to delivering excellent interview presentations, to communicating directly with employers and clients.

The first step is to assess your current professional profile. To do this, you will want to gauge your existing professional image, and you will need to enlist the help of those around you: existing or previous managers, your fellow students, current or previous colleagues, tutors or mentors, family, friends, and professionals within your network.

  • Go online and type in your name (and all variations of it) – what comes up? Is it something you would be happy for potential employers to see? If not, you will need to make that content private. You can do this by changing the privacy settings on your existing account, altering your username to just a first name or a nickname, or deleting the account altogether whilst you are job hunting.

It is the easiest thing in the world to check out people online, and employers might do this to see if you will be a good fit for the job and the company.

  • 2. The internet is a super place for you to project a professional image, and this could include blogs, vlogs, photographs of you at professional or academic events, such as conferences, public lectures, and so on. Whilst you are altering your public image, you could add in pictures, blogs, vlogs, and other material that represents you as a professional in your field. Do not be worried if you are not yet an experienced professional: you will develop that persona over time and having a neutral image is better than an unprofessional one.

Power Up Your Professional Profile

By taking the time now to create online content for your professional profile, you will find that you get a clearer sense of the professional you want to be. This material will also be valuable when you are networking as you can signpost people to it, which is particularly useful if you are considering a freelance career. Be sure to keep it up to date by scheduling reminders to check it every month.

Your next step is to ask for feedback, and this could be from previous or current managers and colleagues, a tutor, mentor, a family member, or a friend. You may already have this feedback from any workplace reviews you have undertaken and so can reflect on that. Feedback that is all positive is not necessarily constructive because it leaves little scope for change. Try asking the following three questions to get a well-rounded review on how you come across professionally:

  • What three words would you use to describe me professionally?
  • What two aspects of my professional image should I enhance?
  • What one piece of advice would you give me for success in the career market?

Once you have a clear idea about what your professional image is online and to those around you, you can begin to enhance it, and that is what this resource is designed to help you do.

Suggested Readings
Bernard, A. (2021). LADDER: Supporting students towards successful futures and confident career choices. Independent Thinking PR.
Neugebauer, J., & Evans-Brain, J. (2016). Employability: Making the most of your career development. Sage.
The careers handbook: The ultimate guide to planning your future. (2019). Dorling Kindersley Ltd.
Becker, F. (2021). Boost your employability. Sage.
Rook, S. (2013). The graduate career guidebook: Advice for students and graduates on careers options, jobs, volunteering, applications, interviews, and self-employment. Red Globe Press.
Becker, L. & Becker, F. (2016). Seven steps to a successful career. Sage.
Becker, L. (2020). Write a brilliant CV. Sage.