4 ways to upskill yourself whilst you've got the extra time

Lara Billington
Content Marketing Executive

There's no better time to work on yourself, and your career, than when you can't leave the house. 

Pretty much everyone in the country is unsure what the future holds right now, but if you're a soon-to-be-graduate who hasn't made plans for after university yet, the uncertainty of what's to come can even more worrying. 

Whilst a lot of this situation is out of our control, there are some things you can be doing to progress your graduate job hunt and upskill yourself in preparation for when we can all go back to normal. 




1. Build your LinkedIn network 

The Internet, social media and, most importantly, LinkedIn, will be vital tools to you during this period of self-isolation - if you can't attend networking or careers events at university, the next best thing is to make your presence known online. 

Make the most of your time inside by creating a LinkedIn profile and optimise it by filling out a personal profile and offering some extra detail about your work experience. LinkedIn is a great way to build a network of connections, reach out to employers about potential opportunities (try to target HR or hiring managers) and learn more about a company or industry. 


2. Brush up on your phone and video interview skills 

If you hadn't experienced a phone or video interview before, chances are you almost certainly will over the next few months. Plenty of graduate employers are still recruiting and simply moving their application process from being face-to-face to virtual. Now's the perfect time to get to grips with how phone and video interviews differ to traditional ones. 

With phone interviews, you have the luxury of having notes or your CV nearby to refer back to. That doesn't mean you shouldn't be thoroughly prepared though; make sure you've researched the company and you know what relevant skills and experience of your own you intend on mentioning. Also, given that the interviewer can't see you, you can't rely on body language to show that you're engaged and listening to them. Instead, try to sound enthusiastic when you speak and say 'yes' every so often. For more phone interview advice, click here

For video interviews, the preparation is just as important as the interview. Double check your technology is working properly (no muffled microphones or laptops dying part way through), find the right set up where the interviewer can see you clearly, wear the right clothing and remove distractions. You can find plenty more tips right here. 

3. Take an online course 

There's an online course for literally everything you could possibly want to learn. Pick up a skill that might be useful to you in your career, whether that's learning a new language or how to use Photoshop, and it'll make writing your CV that bit easier. You can even find courses that offer qualifications at the end.

Not only do technical skills and additional qualifications make you more appealing to an employer, but they also provide you with something to fill those long, lonely days of self-isolation. 

4. Expand your industry knowledge

When you come to apply for jobs, having a broad range of industry knowledge will put you one step ahead. And what better time to learn about the industries you're interested in than when you have nothing else to do? 

LinkedIn and a simple Google search are great places to start; you can gain insight from experts via LinkedIn and bookmark relevant industry blogs or websites online to keep up to date with. You could also subscribe to an industry magazine to help broaden your knowledge, watch webinars or TED Talks and listen to podcasts on topics relating to your industry. There's tons of easy and interesting ways to learn more, and the more you know, the better of a idea you'll get about what areas might interest you.


...and stay in the loop!  

A lot of companies are still hiring, and once the pandemic is over there will be an influx of employers looking to fill vacancies at their organisations. If you're on the hunt for a graduate job, make sure you're staying up to date with the latest opportunities - sign up to GradTouch and you'll receive personalised updates as and when jobs you might be interested in become live.