Five things you can do to build your employability skills during the global pandemic

COVID-19 Update

One of our Careers Consultants has written this article on the 24th March 2020. As the situation with COVID-19 is changing rapidly, please always refer to guidance from government and local councils as things unfold. 

During such uncertain times, you may feel some helplessness especially with current government recommendations of self-isolation, however you can make a difference all while boosting your employability skills.

In this article discover ways you can improve your career prospects, but first, lets meet the author:

Jessica Shilton

Careers Consultant

Hi! I'm Jess, I'm the Careers Consultant for the School of Music, Humanities and Media as well as the School of Human and Health Sciences.

Tip 1- My first tip for you right now is to Volunteer!

If you are not in an at risk group and you have no symptoms of the virus then you may want to consider volunteering to support others during this crisis.

Locally, councils and community organisations are working hard to coordinate action. Discover below how you can help in your local area!

Tip Number 2 - eLearning!

If you don’t already have enough virtual learning to keep you occupied coming from the University then there are plenty more ways to build your skills online whilst social distancing or self-isolating. A simple place to start is LinkedIn Learning which you have free access to as a student. They have courses on everything from business and technology to unleashing your creative skills. The IT Training team have orivded some information on how you can access these courses.

You could also have a look at Open Learn, which is a collection of free courses offered by the Open University. The courses come in a range of levels to suit different needs and have everything through science, humanities, digital skills and more. 

Tip 3 - Working from Home

Looking to earn a wage without leaving the house? There are opportunities to work from home. Often, there are opportunities to do things like tutoring, website testing and researcher roles virtually. You can find out more and have a look at opportunities on the Employment for Students website as well as searching our JobShop.

Tip Number 4 - Work on your portfolio!

This one is for all of the students out there who really need a portfolio for their future career.

Is building your portfolio one of those things you’ve been putting off for a while? Now might be the perfect time to tick this one off your list.

It might be a case of photographing physical work so that you can present it online or just getting all of your projects onto one place. 

Big news in the creative field- Adobe has announced it will be providing free access to its Creative Cloud apps for students so they can still work and study at home

Skillcrush have some handy hints for all kinds of career portfolios as well as some specific advice for those in the tech industries.

Website Builder Expert have also taken the time to compare 9 different portfolio site designers and highlight their pros and cons. Many of the sites listed have free plan options, so take a look!

Tip Number 5 - Build your commercial awareness and online network

Whenever employers are surveyed on the skills they want in graduates, commercial awareness comes up time and again.

Commercial awareness means having a strong understanding of the sector that you are working in (or want to work in), so for example, a nurse would be commercially aware if they had a good understanding of key issues in the healthcare sector. You can build your commercial awareness using our online resources to learn about the sector(s) that you are interested in.

Beyond this, a great place to learn more about industry is through LinkedIn. You can build an online profile, read employer news by following them and build your network by contacting people of interest. To learn more about making the most of LinkedIn you can watch our How To video in MyCareerPlus.


Remember you can still talk to us

Your careers service is still available whilst social distancing measures are in place. You can get in touch with us using 'Submit a query' on MyCareer with any career queries and we would be more than happy to help you!