Improving your job prospects after graduating
For some people graduation is approaching ever so fast, the final lap of the race over in about 3 months time. This becomes even more scarier as the air of certainty which carried through the duration of the degree will disappear once the ‘real world’ is entered. Life after graduation is not easy or simple to predict. With the current economic outlook, a top class degree may not be enough to secure a grad job. However there are things that can be done to prepare yourself for the job market and obtain a competitive edge in a world where obtaining a degree seems to have lost its premium seen in previous generations.
Uni societies – The importance of extracurricular activities could not be stressed enough. Getting involved in an activity, whether it be a sports club or the university ACS, will help serve you well on your job hunt. Holding the post in the society will only benefit you in the long run. To a prospective employer it shows that as a potential employee you have good people management skills and you would be able to maintain a work life balance due to managing your time effectively between the fun and the work.
Work – with uni becoming more and more expensive each year finding a job to help you financially is always a viable option to consider. The work doesn’t have to be related to what you want to go into post university, but the skills obtained would be transferable. That being said, it doesn’t harm to have a look around first for any work relevant rather than just choosing the first job that appears on your radar. Freelance opportunities are always a good alternative due to the flexibility, as you can work around your studies. Student freelancers are actively being recruited as they are seen as a cost effective option – so that could be looked at. Internships are seen as the most effective way of grabbing a graduate job after uni – a successful internship completed in your penultimate year means by the start of your third year you have a job waiting for you.
Volunteering – this is beneficial when you’re still at the bottom of the employment chain – due to the lack of grad jobs the emphasis is now on finding an experienced candidate as job roles are now competed for by individuals who have done similar roles for a few years. Volunteering is beneficial if you feel you are benefiting from the experience. When looking for such opportunities make sure you understand what exactly you will be doing and who you will be working with.
Networking – I always mention this in my posts so I really don’t need to say too much. Just remember its not always what you know but who you know and apply that strategy when looking for people to connect with. Make sure the connections will benefit your career or your general development. Focus on quality rather than quantity.