This is a guest post written by Graduate Coach, a company that can turn your degree into a career. You can find out more about them by visiting their website.
Whether you are nearing the end of your time at college or university or even if you are just starting out, you know that when the time comes to graduate, the market for graduate jobs will be extremely competitive.
This is why you need to ensure that you will be noticed by graduate employers. This can only be achieved if you take the relevant action during your academic years.
In this post, we will detail the actions that you, as students, can take during your time at college or university in order to ensure that graduate employers sit up and take notice of you.
Keep Your CV and LinkedIn Up To Date
As simple as it may sound, this is an extremely important action that many students fail to carry out. This could be due to students viewing the task of updating their CV and LinkedIn profile as something to do post-college/university. However, this is not the case and we will explain why.
Many graduate employers start their application processes before graduation. This means that students will need to apply whilst they are still studying.
This is exactly why your CV needs to be kept up to date as you will need to include information such as your predicted grade and what you have done during your time at college or university, rather than waiting until you have graduated to write this section of your CV.
In terms of your LinkedIn profile, firstly it is of the utmost importance that you have a profile as some graduate employers encourage you to apply directly from LinkedIn.
In addition to this, your LinkedIn profile is always available online for graduate employers to see. So if you have not included relevant pieces of information on there such as qualifications or work experience then it will seriously hinder your chances of the graduate employer noticing you.
Gain Skills Whilst at College/University
You develop a lot when you are away from home studying and one particular area that you should focus on developing is your transferable skills.
Transferable skills are skills that can easily be applied to the workplace such as communication, organizational, and presentation skills.
Many of these skills can be gained during your time in higher education. There are several different ways that these skills can be acquired but one of the most effective ways to gain a number of these skills is to join a society.
The reason why joining a society is a great route to gain an abundance of transferable skills is because societies put you in all different types of situations. One minute you could be communicating with a peer on how to best organize an event, the next you could be presenting your case to the student union for additional funding.
Experiencing the variety of situations that societies offer will allow you to quickly develop your transferable skills. You can then showcase these skills on your applications to graduate employers in order to make sure that you stand out.
If you would like tips on joining a society, there is a great post about it from AllAboutCareers which we will link below:
Differentiate Yourself from Other Applicants
This is probably the hardest action to take in order to stand out to graduate employers but it is definitely the most effective. You may feel that there is nothing about you that is particularly noticeable when applying for graduate roles but this is something that can easily be changed.
One way to immediately grab a graduate employer’s attention is to have relevant work experience. If you are applying for a graduate role and you have already acquired some of the main skills that you need to succeed in that role through previous work experience, then you will instantly rocket to the upper echelons of the graduate employer’s shortlist.
This type of relevant work experience can be gained through internships. Whilst it is likely to be unpaid, it will provide you with the necessary skills to differentiate yourself from other candidates when applying for graduate jobs in the future.
However, some graduate roles are extremely difficult to gain relevant experience. But even if you can gain work experience in retail, restaurants, etc then it shows that you can work well in customer-facing roles. This will still help you to stand out to graduate employers because not every applicant will have this.
Another method to differentiate yourself from other applicants is to have relevant qualifications in addition to your degree. This will instantly make you stand out to the graduate employer as it will show that you have a real interest in the role.
For example, if you are interested in pursuing a career in digital marketing then there are online courses such as Google Digital Garage’s Fundamentals of Digital Marketing.
Taking courses such as these will showcase to graduate employers that you will take it upon yourself to increase your skillset and that work ethic will definitely make them take notice of you.
These are some of the main ways that you can get noticed by graduate employers. However, it is important to note that getting noticed is only half the battle.
Once the graduate employers have noticed you, there are still many stages of the application process that you will need to negotiate before you are offered the job.
So while it is extremely important to ensure that you get noticed by graduate employers, do not get complacent. Make sure that if you need to attend an interview or complete an online assessment then you prepare for it thoroughly and complete it to the best of your ability. This will give you the best chance of landing your dream graduate job.