31 March 2016

Life after studying

Congratulations, you are graduate! You find yourself now at a crossroad: will you start to work or will you start a new degree? Whatever is your choice, there are a few things to keep in mind.

A job or a new degree?

Have you finished the first phase of your studies? If you continue your studies, ask yourself the right questions in order to choose the path that suits you. Which fields do you feel comfortable in? What opportunities are there? Which universities offer them? Do you want to stay in student accommodation or at home? Do you have a university degree? Before signing up for postgraduate studies, analyse the cost and what you would gain from it. Why not strengthen your resumé by studying abroad? Is there a job you have dreamed of doing since you were a child that would make you say no to studying? Go for it. Nothing is more motivating than doing a job you are passionate about.

Strategies to find a job

First of all, think about the administrative aspects: register with Forem (Wallonia), Actiris (Brussels) or VDAB (Flanders). Then transform your resumé into a charm offensive: short, to the point, well presented, and all without inventing a superhero backstory. Create a LinkedIn profile too. A professional virtual identity is a must.

You got an interview with a recruiter

First impressions are often the best. Be on time, smile and be prepared to answer certain questions such as:

  • "Are you not too young for this kind of responsibility?"
  • "What are your strengths and weaknesses?"
  • "Why do you want to work for us?"
  • "Give me an example of when you have overcome an obstacle."
  • "Why should I choose you?"
Social Networks: friend or foe?

Before pressing "send" to submit your application, check the state of your digital reputation. By entering your name into Google, you will find out what the web says about you. Even if your LinkedIn profile is perfect, do not forget that employers also have access to social media. That photo of you wearing rabbit ears that a friend posted might get you the stick rather than the carrot. So change your privacy settings.

Have you landed your first job? We have different advice for you.