Gone are the days where just completing your higher education guaranteed you a secure and successful career. To stand out from the crowd in today’s society, your curriculum vitae needs to show off more than mere qualifications. Here is some additional advice to give you an edge over the competition and boost your chances of securing a successful scholarship application, paving the way to your dream job.
1. Read, Read, And Read Some More
Reading has several benefits. Apart from giving you mental stimulation, it helps to reduce stress, improve memory, foster stronger analytical thinking skills, and aids in focus and concentration. Reading fiction is a great way to exercise your imagination, while non-fiction books help to expand your worldview, and are often a good way of picking up different perspectives on pertinent issues. Try mixing up your reading list with a combination of non-fiction and fiction books; being wellread across different genres will bolster your resume and give you plenty to talk about during an interview and at networking sessions.
2. Serve The Community
Most employers are on the lookout for someone who’s more than just good grades. Showing empathy and a willingness to give back to the community will leave a better impression than someone who only has their report card to boast about. Community service will also help you develop more holistically, adding strength of character on top of your academic achievements. In addition, volunteering increases your self-confidence and helps to counteract the effects of stress, anxiety, and anger. Now that’s what we call a win-win.
3. Be An Intern
Internships are a great way to get a feel of a company and they present opportunities to assess if a particular job is the right fit for you. You’ll gain valuable real-world experience in your industry of choice, enjoy the opportunity to apply what you’ve learned in the classroom, and get to experience the working culture in an organisation for yourself. An internship at a reputable firm is also a great booster to your resume. Try to apply for internships in an organisation that you’d like to pursue a scholarship with. You may get to network with professionals in the same field, and this also tells the organisation that you’re truly passionate about joining them.
4. Build Business Connections
Meeting new people both within and outside of your industry is always a great idea. While it might not be something to be added directly to your CV, networking can introduce you to ideas, concepts, and knowledge that can boost your performance at an interview. Check in with like-minded people at conferences or other industry related-events and you’ll find you have better takeaways. Make sure you have something to bring to the table too. Who knows, you might impress an industry expert who is willing to mentor you.
5. Upgrade Your Skills
Add some relevant skills to your list of qualifications and boost your chances of landing that scholarship. Try branching out into skills that are less common amongst your peers that might be useful to your desired field of work, making sure first of all, that you’ve got the basics covered. For example, being adept at using Photoshop as a designer may be a pre-requisite, but adding digital typography to that will truly make you shine.
6. Always Do Your Research
Whether you’re applying for a scholarship or job, it’s always a good idea to do ample research before your interview. This will reduce the chances that the interviewer will catch you off-guard with an unsuspecting question; read up on things related to your industry, and don’t forget to learn all you can about the company. Nothing screams insincerity like revealing that you don’t know clearly, the areas of business the organisation is involved in.
7. Write A Stellar Resume
You’ve got all the qualifications and knowledge. But none of that means anything if you can’t sell yourself. As the first window to show your potential employer your qualifications, it’s imperative that you do a good job. Highlight your strengths in an easyto- read manner. Remember that the organisation’s human resource department goes through dozens of applications, so fancy language that’s difficult to scan through isn’t going to win any brownie points. Try doing something special with the design that will make your future employers want to take a second look, but don’t lose sight of the most important goal: your employability should be obvious at a glance.
8. Stop Procrastinating
Nothing can be achieved if you don’t take any action. There’s no better time than now to up your desirability by picking up new skills and learning new things. Instead of scrolling through social media aimlessly on the bus, bring a book and read it, or watch an informational video. Don’t get us wrong, it’s certainly okay to leave room for play in your schedule, but there are enough opportunities to engage in activities that are more fulfilling and get you real benefits. A great resume isn’t made in a day, so get out there and start working on the tips on this list.