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Six New Year′s Resolutions every international student should make

Every January, the internet becomes saturated with self-help advice and suggested New Year’s resolutions. Now, any excuse for self-reflection and reaffirmed direction is all good in our books. However, rather than focusing on losing three pounds or hitting the gym every week, why not use the New Year’s momentum to invest in your future?

To help you on your way, we’ve compiled a list of six resolutions that are sure to kick your new year off to a terrific start. But if, like many of us, you slip up, don’t worry – it is Chinese New Year in two weeks after all…

Make solid contacts in your industry (network, network, network)

Now, networking may sound like a vacuous or self-seeking activity, but regardless of your chosen industry, collaborating and building relationships with likeminded individuals can lead to otherwise unknowable ideas and projects. As you each progress within your careers, your eclectic group of contacts from faraway places will continue to open you up to new concepts, customs and job opportunities.

Don’t neglect your lecturers either. You may feel awkward or nervous, but if you felt a particular synergy or respect for a professor, ask them for a reference. Also, they don't only need to be academic, so make sure you ask around. Ask your employers, society leaders or people you have collaborated with. If you haven’t got anyone in mind, make it your aim for 2017.

Secure work experience

As David Ellis notes in an article for the Telegraph: “It’s up to each student to use their degree to its full advantage” because “sadly, there is no longer an irrefutable corollary between qualification and employment.” He urges students to find work where they can because each and every job will provide useful experience in one way or another.

So work as much as your visa (and time) allows. You can find advice on securing UK work experience here.

Keep your CV updated

Make the most of the careers advice available on campus. Take your time, capitalise on your unique background and UK education, and tailor your CV to every role for which you apply. Another good tip is keeping note of what new skills, projects and experiences you have. This way when it comes to rewriting your CV, you will not have to wrack your brain to see what you were doing in your internship last year. Your CV is the first impression employers have of you, so it’s worth making sure it is a good one.

Keep an eye on the jobs market back home

Even if you are not due to finish university for months or even years, paying attention to employment trends, wages and whether industries are growing or shrinking will give you an advantage when it comes to application time. Diligence results in an awareness of what jobs are out there, what employers are looking for and what you need to do between now and then to build experience.

Review your online personal brand

Another common resolution comes in the form of cleaning up social media pages. Review your various profiles and consider what impression you are giving. Still unsure? Luckily we have further advice on making your social media look professional here.

Register with GradLink

With hundreds of opportunities available for international graduates, GradLink can help you find your first role or take your next step. Submit your CV with our great tool Go-CV today and see where it can take you!

 

By David Gee Published: January 23, 2017

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