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Published: 28 May 2020

University of Sunderland in London student at the Santander event

Alice McDougall, Careers, Employability and Enterprise Manager at the University of Sunderland in London wants to share her thoughts on how you can improve your employability whilst we’re on lockdown. Read on for information on volunteering, social media and developing your skills. 

Lockdown has been a mix of both difficult and wonderful things for a lot of people. If you’re coming to the end of your course and feel like your plans are on hold, here are a few ideas for things you can do to increase your chances of finding employment.

1) Online internships and volunteering

You might be wondering how you can get useful experience while you’re in lockdown. The good news is, some companies are looking for online interns and volunteers. The links below might help but you can also try to find your own by looking at the careers pages of companies you’re interested in, contacting companies and organisations directly, or using your own networks.

2) LinkedIn and social media

Have you got a LinkedIn profile? If not, now is a great time to set one up. If you already have one, maybe think about how to improve it. Take a look at your profile – does it explain your skills, strengths and experience in an effective and simple way? Is your photo professional? Is your education and training up to date? Does your summary show off your key attributes, your motivations and what you are looking for? Read this article for advice from LinkedIn on creating a great profile. Employers look at their candidate’s social media accounts. Think about whether you’d be happy if they looked at yours? Take some time to clean up your accounts and make sure there aren’t any tweets or comments you are not proud of. People often talk about your digital footprint – the trail you leave behind with your online posts and comments. But don’t forget, you can also leave a very positive footprint which could help you in your career search. For example, you could follow people and organisations in the industry you’re interested, comment and share relevant articles or you even write your own articles.

3) Developing skills and knowledge 

This is a perfect time to develop your skills – for example, language learning, computer skills, coding, accounts, or how to run a start-up. Or why not start a new hobby – exploring our passions is often the things that lead to our careers.

If you would like to talk about improving your career prospects, or anything else related to your future after the University of Sunderland in London, you can set up a one-to-one chat with the Careers and Employability team by emailing them at careers-london@sunderland.ac.uk. Visit their website to find out more.

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