There are many notable challenges that students face when balancing the responsibilities of university life. From managing the assignments and work for classes to balancing a variety of budgetary requirements, there is little room for error. Students find themselves at this critical juncture needing to prepare for a professional career that awaits them after graduation.
Many students are required to work while at university in order to pay bills and keep their day-to-day lives on track. Ultimately, finding the right employment opportunities during and after university – whether it be an internship, part-time job, summer job or work from home opportunity – is contingent upon professional behaviour, demeanour and appearance.
So, how can students improve their professional appeal in preparation for these challenges? Keep reading to find out.
Watch What You Post
In an age of digital presences, everything you say and do can leave a proverbial paper trail.
Social media is an excellent platform through which personal interactions can occur (and professional opportunities can be cultivated). However, many students give little thought into how their comments, posts and multimedia may ultimately impact their job prospects.
Approximately 80 percent of employers report screening prospective employees’ social media accounts during the pre-employment process. While GDPR does insulate students to some degree, it is by no means a guarantee.
Even outside of direct employee screening scenarios, there are many situations in which your social media behaviour can improve or harm your professional image. As such, watch what you post, keep things clean, and avoid behaviour that you wouldn’t consider to be acceptable in face-to-face situations.
Maintain Good Hygiene
As students, we must all learn to become comfortable in our own skin and accept ourselves for who we are. Plenty of features and characteristics that make us unique are immutable, with no need to change or worry about them. However, the issue of good hygiene and its importance to professionalism must be considered.
Maintaining a strict hygiene regimen is ideal when wishing to convey a professional image consistently. This means following proper grooming habits such as bathing, using deodorant, and proper grooming of hair and nails.
Maintaining proper oral health is also important. Regular brushing and flossing are essential, but so is ensuring your teeth are fundamentally healthy.
This is why options such as teeth braces are worthwhile considerations. Many people may be asking, “how do braces work?” and are worried about the cost. The truth is that teeth braces serve a variety of health-related purposes, including making it easier to floss and clean teeth, reducing the chances of various gum-related diseases, and minimising long-term grinding.
Specialists such as Straight My Teeth make improving oral health through teeth braces easy. Their at-home teeth-straightening solution utilises clear braces, minimising the impact that braces might otherwise have on your professional image. If you’ve been wondering how do braces work, be sure to check out Straight My Teeth’s informative website, where they also outline the cost of braces in the UK.
Focus on Networking
While some may think networking as a task relegated to those in the upper echelons of prestigious career fields, students seeking to maximise their opportunities should be engaging with the practice now.
Networking as a student gives you time to practice the skill, but it also can make the transition from university to employment much easier. Some recommendations on who to network with professionally include professors, alumni, relatives of acquaintances, various volunteer organisations, and fellow professionals via social media.
In terms of specific places where student networking is possible, your local university is a great place with plenty of professional opportunities. However, branching out to industry events (related to your field of study), internships, and career service offices can further cultivate opportunities through which professional connections can be made.
The more you network as a student, the more connections you’ll have when it matters. Having the right connections can automatically give you a heightened appearance of professionalism in various social and occupational situations.
Keep Your Commitments
There is a common misconception among many that young people are not reliable. As a student seeking to cultivate a professional reputation, the last thing you want to do is be perceived as flaky, non-committal or a perpetual disappointment in meeting your obligations.
As such, it is vital to follow through with any promises, commitments or assistance you have accepted or offered. A key component of maintaining a professional image is delivering upon your promises and being perceived as a reliable individual.
To do otherwise is to ask for a shoddy reputation. Ultimately, students who brand themselves as steady, consistent and reliable individuals will find it much easier to build professional relationships and leverage those connections in the future.
While many do not consider the implications of personal image until they enter the workforce, students with an understanding of this importance can begin building benefits sooner. By following these fundamental tips, you can create a professional image that delivers tangible results for your career prospects by the time graduation day arrives.
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