If you’re studying in Perth and are keen to build your career here, a great place to start is with fellow students, teachers and alumni. Perth has a friendly, welcoming community of professionals to reach out to, as well as plenty of work experience and internship opportunities on offer.
To help you start networking, and to prepare you for your future career, we’ve put together five helpful tips to help you grow your professional network in Perth.
Boost your confidence
If English is your second language, it’s a good idea to improve your fluency and boost your confidence when speaking and writing in both social and formal situations. UWA’s Centre of English Teaching offers General English, English for Academic Purposes and helpful Study Tours throughout the year to help you improve your skills in a friendly and supportive environment.
It’s also worth getting more comfortable in other areas, like interviewing, presenting, and working with others, as these are all skills that employers are looking for. You will gain many of these skills during the course of your degree but our on-campus Careers Centre is also available to help you with your employability skill development and to practice your interview skills for when you next need them.
Connect with others
There are plenty of helpful websites and social spaces to meet with other like-minded students. Social media groups can be a great way to connect and arrange events and activities, otherwise platforms like Meetup and LinkedIn are ideal for meeting up with like-minded people.
UWA often runs some great networking events for students and recent graduates. These events bring together people from varied roles and diverse industries so you’re likely to make valuable connections that’ll help you kick off your chosen career.
When studying at UWA, you will also have the opportunity to join over 160 clubs and societies that can help you meet new people. With clubs created for specific interests, degrees, faculties and professions, there is always plenty of opportunities to network, meet industry leaders, attend social and educational events and even learn new skills.
Up your social profile
We all know that social media is an increasingly important part of daily life, and your professional life is no different. Setting up professional profiles on sites such as LinkedIn is a great way to help future employers find you and see your qualifications, the networking events you attend, and who they might know in your circle.
If you’re a creative, you might even consider having an Instagram or Soundcloud profile, or a website or blog, for your artwork, writing or music.
Put your best foot forward
Often, the people and places you’re reaching out to for work will see your CV before they ever meet you in person. These people are also likely to be very busy and be dealing with a high volume of applicants, so making sure your CV is on-point is crucial. Rather than sending out the same CV to every person, do a little bit of research to find out what skills the position you’re applying for needs, what problems you might be able to solve for the organisation, and how you might best contribute. This information should be first so that the person reading feels as though you’ve understood what the business needs.
A CV is designed to give a brief overview, so keep it short and sweet. Don’t leave things out, but definitely consider what’s most relevant and make sure you’ve kept it concise.
My UniHub is a great place to start if you are looking for new career opportunities, career events and useful resources. UniHub can also be used to book career advice appointments and you’re your resume or LinkedIn profile reviewed.
Find a mentor
A mentor is a person who can give you support, knowledge and encouragement to help you achieve the career of your dreams. It’s important to network with people you admire, as this can provide useful professional insight, help you shortcut the learning process and fast-track your career. Your mentor should be someone who has more life experience than you; someone you look up to or who shares your morals and values. If you can find the right mentor, you will find yourself receiving an invaluable informal education.
Have a look at your alumni network first and see if you can connect with someone that way. LinkedIn is also a great way to find and meet a potential mentor, as it’s focused on professional rather than social connections. UWA also offers a Career Mentor Link service that matched professionals with students to gain useful industry knowledge.