As we settle back into work, university, and the other commitments we have, it’s important you focus on maximising your employability. It’s time to upgrade your professional image!

macbook with gmail open on web browser

Vacationing and interning

In the world of work experience, you’re either a vacationer or an intern (or both). Removing the curtain, here’s the difference between them.

A vacationer is someone who interns at their chosen organisation full-time over the summer months. These positions and experiences are on offer by big-name companies and firms within their respective industries. Considered the holy grail of work experience programs, they are often paid, and boost your resume significantly. Even better, vacation roles are designed to be a streamlined pathway to permanent employment within an organisation. However, applications for these programs are often missed by a lot of people. Application openings usually start in February through to May, so keep an eye out.

If you miss your chance, never fear, as there always exist your regular internship opportunities!

Just like a vacationer program, you will carry out work that your supervisors set out for you, extending over a few weeks to even a few months. The benefit of an internship is that you can pick one up at any time of the year. They also have the advantage of being flexible, so if you value your work-life balance then internships are a suitable option for you. While an internship grants you all the same benefits of a vacation program, most positions are unpaid. That doesn’t mean all of them are, use your sleuthing skills and find those hidden gems.

But remember, while there are paid and unpaid positions, gaining practical experience is always valuable for gaining industry insight and maximising your employability. For more ways to find an internship, read our previous blog post!

Compile your portfolio

A portfolio is a collection of all your work, ranging from visual pieces to written copy. It is a testament of your lived work experience that documents the evolution of your skills and achievements.

Compiling your work allows you to better present yourself and build your own personal brand. It gives viewers (even potential recruiters) a narrative perspective of your work and showcases the arc of your professional journey.

Not only does a portfolio provide you with credibility, but it allows others to visualise how you fit within their professional vision, supplementing what verbal discussion can’t do within an interview or onboarding process.

Clean your online presence – ‘digital damage control’

Often, we are told that sharing content to the internet is permanent and irreversible… which is correct to an extent. Believe it or not, your digital footprint tells a story about you and your professional image. Therefore, it’s important to understand what type of online material can potentially influence your online presence. This is a process known as ‘digital damage control’.

Essentially, you clean-up your digital footprint. This means deleting old accounts that you no longer use which can include social media, subscriptions and even email accounts. Within your active accounts, this includes purging old posts, photos, and videos. Even better, update your privacy settings and restrict who can view your accounts.

This is all to make sure that your efforts in maximising your employability are not compromised!

LinkedIn Learning

One great way to learn some hard skills is to take advantage of LinkedIn Learning. With access usually granted through your university or even your workplace, you can learn a variety of skills such as excel basics or even Canva, so to make that next presentation that extra bit eye-catching.

When you complete a course, you can attach your certificate to your LinkedIn profile. Better yet, with your newfound skill(s), you can complete a LinkedIn skills test and earn a badge for your profile. This signals to others that you’re experienced and adept at certain programs and applications.

Practice reflection

Finally, you need to be able to reflect on your new working experiences, otherwise where’s the value in maximising your employability? It is important to do this so you can articulate your work experience and the narrative of your professional journey. Not only that, you also need to be able to quantify your experience within your resume, cover letters, and LinkedIn profile.

By doing any of the above, you set yourself up for success as it provides you with the insight that will steer the direction of your career, aiding you for whenever that next interview or job opportunity presents itself.