Your Masters – Making it Count – Essential tip #1

Written by Sue Moseley, GCU London’s Careers Consultant

Your Masters will be an intense, challenging and rewarding year (or more if you study on an extended programme). It will go fast. Before you know it, you’ll be putting the finishing touches to your dissertation and planning who to invite to your graduation ceremony. Over the next six weeks, we’ll share three valuable tips to act on right NOW! These tips will ensure that you get the most from your Masters and really make it count towards your future career success. So let’s get started:

Essential tip #1: Think like your future employer

Every week, put some time aside to view your Masters progress from an employer’s perspective. Why does this matter? It matters because it’s a vital step that will translate your academic endeavour into skills and knowledge employers will pay you for. The more regularly you do it, the better you’ll get at it.

Say your week has consisted of reading several research papers, submitting a 1,500 essay and attending lots of lectures; what will an employer make of this? Don’t take it for granted that all employers will work out the relevance of Masters study by themselves. Many are too busy to ‘read between the lines’ of what’s on your CV or LinkedIn profile. For most employers (certainly those outside academia) they’ll love it if you can help them understand how your essay writing, for example, is relevant to what they need.

What employers need often includes excellent written communication skills, the ability to influence others, strengths in analysing information, attention to detail and good presentation of work. Hang on, that’s just what you need to write a great essay isn’t it? So, think like an employer and spot your skills every week as you use and develop them. It will really pay off.

Not sure how future employers might think? Take a look at some example job ads for roles you may want (look on www.Indeed.co.uk even if it’s too soon for you to be applying). Copy and paste several job ads into http://www.wordle.net and in an instant you’ll have a wordcloud of skills and terms that come up often. Hey presto! That’s what employers are thinking about – now you can think just like them.

Keep following Sue’s blog for two more essential tips by the end of May.

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