What comes to mind when you hear the word research? Do you cringe a little, or do your eyes light up knowing you could discover something you didn’t know?
You may also be wondering what on earth research has to do with getting a job? After all, isn’t studying toward a degree enough?
I used to feel the same. But what I didn’t know was that if I’d done some research on employers and roles, it would have helped me at least work out what jobs and companies I could possibly pursue. You don’t know what you don’t know.
What’s going on outside your classes? When was the last time you looked up to see what’s happening around you? Do you know about all the events which could help you with your career? Do guest lecturers come and talk to you in class? Do you find what they do interesting? Is your faculty holding a networking event where you could meet potential contacts? Did someone post something on Blackboard about an event off-campus?
Be a detective. Have a look at the AUT social media groups and pages related to your degree. Are you part of them? Are there alumni in the group who post job opportunities or work for companies which interest you? What official AUT social do you follow? Have you checked out the many AUT profiles and interviews about the techniques they used to get a job?
Do you know the Employability and Careers team hold regular employer events designed for students to meet and network with company representatives? These companies are generally looking to hire people and are on-campus to present their opportunities to interested students. They share application and recruitment tips, outline the skills and attributes they look for and give insights about their company culture. You also get to ask questions and connect with people who are usually involved in the hiring process.
Research, prepare, then repeat. Before you even meet an employer in person or reach out to them on social media, do your homework. It can be intimidating and a bit scary to meet someone who you may want to work for but when you arm yourself with knowledge about the company, it can help ease the nerves.
In today’s technological age, most companies provide a wealth of information on their website and social media platforms. Jump on their website to start learning more about what a company does, their values, and research the range of positions available.
Take the time to look at their recent press releases to see what projects they are working on and what future plans they have. Learn and read as much as you possibly can. Go to their annual report and see their highlights over the past year. Mine the site like a detective on the hunt for a suspect. Find out whether they have a blog because this can provide insights about what they’re doing and who they’re looking for.
Check their career pages to see what’s on offer right now and make a note of the skills and qualities they require. Even if they don’t have any jobs that suit right now, other opportunities may come up throughout the year for you apply for. It’s important to stay connected with what is going on out there!
Check whether the company holds networking events. This can be a great place to meet people who work for the company and introduce yourself. The old cliché is true – it can be about who you know. If you become real to a person and not just another name on a CV, you can really make an impact if that person remembers you when an opportunity comes up.
Check out employers' social media platforms. Social media can give you remarkable insights into what a company is doing and not just the jobs they are advertising. They give you a glimpse into their world. Trawl their Facebook page, follow their Instagram and LinkedIn accounts and notice what they share on Twitter. We live in a social media world which means you can reach out and get an instant connection. You can gain invaluable information by digging into the world of a company.
Do you know who the admin person is for your faculty? If you don’t, then go and introduce yourself because that person will know everything that’s going on int he faculty. They are the ones the lecturers go to talk to. They are the beholder of ALL knowledge.
What about your lecturer or tutor? Have you introduced yourself? Your lecturers have a wealth of experience in their particular industry. Talk to them about the opportunities you are looking for. See if they can recommend people in the industry that you can contact. Ask your lecturers if they hire students into teaching assistants, research or ambassador roles. Be proactive in your approach.
Take it a step further. Look at the research centres within AUT. Are they undertaking research you would love to participate in? Reach out to see how you could be involved. Volunteer your time. Be proactive in your approach to research.
I’ll be honest. When I went to uni, I didn’t know what a careers service was so I didn’t take advantage of their services. I tried to muddle my way through and find something I wanted to do when I could have gone to the career services and got clarification about all the possibilities out there.
Did you know we are here to help you from your very 1st day of uni and beyond graduation? You can use Elabonline to book a one-on-one appointment, upload your CV or LinkedIn profile for a check-up without leaving home, come to as many workshops as you want or meet employers.
It all starts with signing into ➡ Elabonline - easy!