10 THINGS TO DO AT UNIVERSITY TO GET A GRADUATE JOB
Along with pressing deadlines, lectures and exams, students must consider life beyond university and specifically, securing a graduate role. But what can you do to ensure you have the right skills to obtain a graduate job while at university?
We’ve carefully listed ten activities which we recommend all students should undertake in order to secure a graduate position successfully.
1. Speak to existing contacts
The adage “It’s who you know, not what you know” isn’t entirely true, but it certainly carries some weight. Speak to your friends, family and broader network to find out if anyone can help you begin your first steps on the graduate career ladder. Catch up for a coffee and get some inside advice on your preferred career path - you never know where it might get you.
2. Get a part-time job
Experience is everything in your graduate job search and while your part-time job might not be in your ideal industry, the attributes and skills you will develop will be unrivalled. It can also lead to some great working references, which could make all the difference when entering the final stages of the graduate recruitment process. Also, graduate recruiters are always on the lookout for hardworking and trustworthy individuals. Holding a part-time role that requires different levels of responsibility will help you to stand out.
3. Apply for work experience
For something more in line with your desired career, seek out work experience opportunities. You will have to be proactive to secure these work placements, as often they will not be advertised on a company’s website. It’s great practise to research suitable companies and reach out to them, not only asking for the experience but to let them know what you could bring the company during the work placement.
4. Utilise social media
When looking to secure a graduate role at university, social media can play a key role in supporting your job search. Platforms such as LinkedIn are a hotbed for graduate recruiters who regularly post helpful advice and tips on how to be successful during the recruitment process. It’s about connecting with the right people and following their content to develop your skills and learn more about a variety of graduate employers. Twitter is another useful tool when searching for job opportunities. Regularly checking the hashtags #GraduateJobs and #Graduate can uncover a number of roles, which you may have missed on a company’s careers page.
5. Attend university graduate career fairs
Take some time away from your studies to attend your university’s graduate careers fair. This is a great way to meet current graduates and senior employees from many large organisations. Start to build a rapport with potential employers, and find out exactly what skills are required to succeed when aiming to secure a position on their organisation’s graduate scheme.
6. Apply for graduate insight days
Not only do some of the largest organisations in the world offer graduate schemes, but you can also find a whole host of graduate insight days. These form the perfect opportunity to understand which career direction you want to take, and give your CV a big boost, as attendance on these days will not go unnoticed by graduate recruiters.
7. Look for volunteering opportunities
Universities will continue to encourage their students to carry out volunteering activities, and rightly so. It can significantly improve your graduate job prospects, and quite often you will be able to provide something positive for the community. Volunteering is looked at favourably on candidates’ applications as it shows a commitment to the wider community and the ability to work on projects outside of personal gains.
8. Start blogging
Sharpen your writing skills and develop your personal brand when creating your blog. You can blog about anything but make sure you write about topics you’d be happy for a potential employer to read. Developing a blog can show entrepreneurial flair and lend itself to many graduate roles, especially in the marketing and media industries.
9. Join a sports team
Whether it’s competitive or recreational, it’s great to showcase yourself as a team player from an early stage. You can hone in on these skills at university by joining a variety of sports teams. You never know, the sport you love might be your future bosses as well!
10. Take advantage of your careers service
One of the best ways to secure a job post-graduation is to utilise your university’s careers service. On hand will be a team of trusty careers staff with bags of experience in helping students get graduate-ready. You’ll be given helpful tips and knowledgeable advice which will do wonders for you during the recruitment process.
Have you tried any of these activities to improve your chances of securing your dream graduate role? Follow us on social media for all the latest GetAGraduateJob news on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!