Work is not just a way to earn money for us. It is important to find a job that inspires and interests you. You will spend the most part of your day at the workplace, so why not do work that you love? It is up to you what your career will look like and which direction it will take.
Careers involve many challenges and opportunities. You can make career plans with different short- and long-term alternatives. A career today consists of more than one employment during your working life. There are usually no quick solutions, however, hard work and some courage will take you forward towards your goals.
Portfolio and CV
Your portfolio should include all school and work certificates and possible other certificates, of positions of responsibility, for example. In addition, a portfolio includes work performed during studies or in previous jobs, so-called work samples or demonstrations. A portfolio is a good way to convince the employer of your competence already at the time when you don’t have work experience. It allows you to present your competence and skills more freely.
A portfolio can be an online portfolio, a traditional folder or a video. If possible, a portfolio should be compiled digitally, so it is visible online to all potential employers. Another alternative is to create a website where you can present your competence with texts, images and videos. If creating a website feels cumbersome, a suitable alternative may be Instagram, where you can present your competence in form of pictures and short videos. Don’t forget to mention the electrical portfolio in your application and CV.
A curriculum vitae, i.e. CV, i.e. resume is a list of your education and earlier jobs. A CV is usually shorter than a portfolio. A portfolio can contain more creativity to illustrate your skills with the help of images, publications etc. A CV lists your performances such as degrees, projects, language skills etc. A CV should convey to a potential employer what the applicant’s career looks like so far and what direction it is possibly going.
Develop your competence
Competence development is a part of working life and you must be ready to learn new things all the time. There is nothing as certain in working life as change. Remember to follow closely the development of your field and to look actively for ways to renew your work and methods. A good channel for this is e.g. LinkedIn, meant for professional networking.
If your job or the field you work in does not feel right, you can always study something new. Changing jobs does not necessarily require new qualifications. Sometimes it is enough that you complement your studies by taking specialising studies or courses. However, there are fields that require special qualifications, so you should be prepared for several years of full-time studies or studying while working. In future, careers will require multiple skills, so it pays off to develop your competence all the time.
Professional identity defines who you are and where you are going on your career. It will help you to verbalize your competence and facilitate coping with job-seeking situations. Professional identity is about knowing what makes you a good employee and what your strengths are.
It is important to work for your career development. Jobs and duties change and you must maintain your competence. In addition, you must know how to “sell” your competence, since you may have to compete for jobs in your workplace, too. Flexibility is important, as you must be able to bring your professional identity forward from different perspectives depending on the job you are applying for.
Part of the professional identity is your personal brand, i.e. the impression of your type conveyed to the employer. Employers wish to recruit employees with the right kind of attitude. A new employee must fit into the work team and the workplace culture.
Build up and maintain your LinkedIn profile so that a potential employer will get a holistic view of everything you have done during your studies and career. It is a good idea to carefully prepare a LinkedIn profile already before you start looking for a job. Choose a quality profile picture and that suit your professional identity. A LinkedIn profile includes a number of sections of work experience, education and competence. Fill them all up with care and ask current and former colleagues and employers for references.
Remember to update the profile frequently and to insert links to work samples such as blogs. You can also use LinkedIn to publish writings on working life or occupation, share updates and like other people’s updates. A comprehensive and frequently updated profile will raise employers’ interest.
You can build up your network in LinkedIn and join groups in your professional field. Groups are a good way to get to know other people working in the same sector, to discuss with them and get information on topical matters in one’s field. Extensive networks can provide job offers and help you get information of vacancies that have not been advertised (so-called hidden jobs).