Have you started looking at graduate jobs and begun to feel a bit daunted about how to bolster your CV to give yourself the best chance of success? Don’t fear, there’s plenty of things you can do outside of the classroom during your time at university that will help you secure the dream grad job.
Volunteering abroad is a great experience and looks great on your CV – and so does volunteering locally. Approach your university, local charities and not-for-profit organisations to gain relevant industry experience. For other industries, network professionally and set up a week’s work shadowing during reading week, or two days a week at a local agency.
Get part-time work
A part-time job gives you the facts and figures to back up your well-written graduate CV, and you never know what connections you’ll make through your work.
Make the most of media
Contribute to university media outlets. There are multiple opportunities ready for the taking on campus. Try writing for the university newspaper, hosting or producing a university radio/TV show or getting involved in the annual fashion show.
Take on a Responsible Role
Consider holding a position of responsibility within a society or at the student’s union. This will tick the voluntary and the work experience box on your CV and enhance your people and communication skills, both of which are hugely important to potential employers.
Play a sport
Represent your university at national and international competitions, or just play for fun. Playing a sport tells employers looking to hire a graduate that you’re proactive, a team player and passionate about something other than work or education.
A lot of graduates avoid doing sales, but it is some of the best experience you can get. Sell tickets for university events and develop your negotiation and relationship building skills. A lot of careers involve working with people, so being able to communicate effectively is often essential.
Create a strong profile on LinkedIn and check your privacy settings on Facebook and Twitter. If you’re looking for a job in the creative industries, get involved with Pinterest, Instagram, follow what’s going on in the industry, and contribute.
This is particularly relevant if you’re thinking about a career in PR, marketing, editorial or otherwise. Improve and promote your writing skills and show an employer you’re willing to invest time in a project. Go one step further and use Google Analytics to track your blog’s progress and quote these stats in an interview if get good hits on your site. Sites like wordpress are free and easy to use.
Start your own business
This may sound like a huge undertaking, but it can be part-time. Tutor other students, sell things on eBay, get involved in competitions seeking entrepreneurs and put your ideas forward to gain feedback, visibility in the industry, media and potentially funding. The commercial understanding you’ll gain will be really impressive to potential employers.
Guest post by Matt from Inspiring Interns