You’ve heard the story: A student has graduated university with a kick-ass thesis and is now ready to conquer adult life. But wait – all job listings expect work experience within the field. But how do you get relevant work experience whilst studying? Well, we have got some tips so that you won’t end up in this sticky situation!
It can be quite overwhelming to decipher where to start searching for a relevant student job. The first thing we recommend doing, is to create a LinkedIn profile, if you don’t already have one. A LinkedIn profile will help establish yourself as a professional. Furthermore, a potential employer can get to see your previous jobs, the school you graduated from and get a taste of your personality from your bio. LinkedIn can help you kick-start your networking skills so try to be active on the platform and like and comment to get yourself noticed. Psst, a little tip; LinkedIn has a feature that lets you create job alerts so that you can be one of the first to apply!
Use your student network
If you’re a university student in Denmark you’re probably familiar with the tons of Facebook groups which entail everything from student housing to student clubs and much more. However, these Facebook groups are also great for job listings. The Facebook groups tend to be easy to find; try searching for the name of your course or the name of your campus/institute. Many students may list job posts from companies they work for which can help you get a foot in the door. They are most likely relevant for your studies which means that you are a good candidate for the job. Otherwise don’t hesitate to share a post where you suggest that you are looking for a student job – someone might see your post and contact you. Also, some companies will hang up posters with job listings around the school, so keep your eyes and ears open!
Wanting a job that challenges your skills
You have probably also tried looking for jobs on the generic job sites but ended up with irrelevant listings that don’t challenge your abilities. Try using The Hub! The Hub is a job site for start-up companies who are looking for employees. Many start-ups look to hire students to be a part of their team – especially if you’re studying something within their field. This is a great way of learning new skills as well as looking good on you CV!
How August landed his dream job after graduating
But all of the above is probably easier said than done. Therefore, we had a chat with August Lytzen who is a CBS student studying his third semester in European business. He landed his relevant student job roughly 10 months ago at the Confederation of Danish Industry (DI).
What does DI do and what role do you play?
August could tell me that DI basically works to help employers get the various help they need; like trade unions do for workers. Beyond securing the rights of employers, DI also help convey issues, employers are standing in front of, to the government. For instance: What do we do when we’re missing 40,000 employees in the workforce? August’s title is student assistant. You may be thinking; what does that cover?
“I counsel and help like-minded people come together and network and share work experiences together. For example, we might have a network for HR managers who seek a network of similar people whom they can discuss and learn from. DI facilitate those networking events.”
August told me that his job also entails reaching out to potential employees of DI’s member companies who could be interested in joining as well as managing the networking meetings.
Which aspects of your job do you appreciate?
“There is always projects to do. And even though we’re student assistants we have a voice and get to share our ideas. The responsibilities also get bigger and bigger the more you prove yourself. You could say that you have ‘freedom with responsibility’. And DI also has the world’s best canteen.” Beyond that, August tells me how using his theoretical learning from university in practice is a great learning experience. Since August is a part of facilitating the meetings he must stay on top of relevant news and keep himself updated on business trends.
“I also get to meet some inspiring colleagues who share their life experience and it’s a great way to network as well.”
How was the process of getting this job?
“I probably applied to 15 different jobs.” August tells me with a smile. He had both searched on Google, various jobsites, LinkedIn – you name it. But his spirit was high throughout because “everything is a learning experience” he says. August had been at a job interview which didn’t result in the job – but that is a part of the process, and you can learn from that, he told me. He went to talk about how he believed that being a little critical – but only a little – would help land a cool job and from there on you get to network more and more and thereby get better work experience before you have to land your ‘adult job’.
I asked if he had any advice for people searching for relevant study jobs: “Search, search, search. And don’t take rejection personally, it has been a learning experience.”