In an increasingly competitive economy, how do you make yourself stand out from the crowd and secure that dream job after graduation? These days, apparently having a Bachelor’s and even a Master’s degree from a top university isn’t always enough to secure you a decent job. The competition is fierce and the expectations are high, but, whatever role you’re going for, here are some great ways to boost your resume during your time at university as well as enriching your experience and earning you some extra cash!
One of the best ways into a job can be through interning. This gives you real-world experience, skills and the opportunity to see how a business in your field works, and it gives future employers the chance to see that you have the practical skills needed for the role. The best time to do an internship is in the summer; they’re often paid and give you very valuable training. Opportunities can usually be found via your university careers and employability service.
Being involved in a society is not only great fun and a way to make lifelong friends, but hobbies are also something a lot of employers actually ask you about in both applications and interviews. By joining a society, so talking about the society you were in can give employers more of a sense of who you are as a person and enrich your CV. Furthermore, having a role within a society like treasurer or social sec can demonstrate your financial or leadership skills while not taking up too much of your time!
Part-time work / summer jobs
For some people, having a part-time job during university isn’t as much of a choice as a financial necessity, but showing that you’re able to balance work and university while improving your professional development is both highly beneficial for preparing you for the world of work as well as desired by employers.
Become a brand ambassador
This is similar to having a part-time job but with more variety and flexibility. Depending on the seriousness of the role the hours will be different but usually wouldn’t be more than a few hours a week which is why it is such a popular choice for students. You can expect to be paid in cash, rewards or other perks and whatever the role it can be great experience and a chance to network. You can apply to be a Kortext Student Ambassador here!
If you’ve not heard of Enactus, they’re a non-profit organisation that work alongside universities to help support and develop entrepreneurial and enterprising skills. This is a great society to join if you’re interested in business, social issues and sustainability as Enactus aims to transform lives in a sustainable way using student solutions and ideas. Enactus is widely recognised globally and gives students invaluable skills, mentoring and experience.
Start a side hustle
The term ‘side hustle’ has been increasingly popularised by social media influencers, but what does it actually mean? A side hustle is actually just anything you do alongside full-time education or employment for financial gain, experience and networking. It’s a popular choice for students because you can fit it around your schedule and choose something you’re genuinely interested in. Putting a business you set up and ran on your CV is guaranteed to make you stand out from the crowd and if your side hustle is successful enough, could even become a full-time business post-uni! The tab has written an article on some successful university student side hustles and how they got started.
Complete online courses
If you’re wanting to up-skill in a particular niche not offered on your university course there are an incredible amount of online courses available now. Many of them are free! Why not put aside an hour a day to learn a new skill and get a certificate to stand out to employers?
Networking is a more general note of advice which is often missed out, however, networking is an extremely successful way to land yourself a job. As the saying goes, it’s not what you know but who you know! Ask friends, family and your wider network who may be in the line of work you’re interested in if they know of anything, message alumni from your university on LinkedIn who work at a company you’re interested in or find time to find the hiring manager and email them directly. You would be surprised by how far knowing people and asking them
Lastly, it’s important to present yourself as a professional. So, keep your socials private if there’s anything on there you don’t want future employers to see, get your LinkedIn filled out with a suitable photo and start building your connections and refine your CV. When it comes to your CV keep it simple and brief, highlight your experience and skills by explaining what you brought to the role and any measurable targets you helped achieve and avoid talking about your university modules and dissertation topics unless it is relevant to the role you’re applying for.
Hopefully some of these tips were useful and inspiring, as you can see the variety of opportunities available to enrich your time at university and eventually land you your dream grad job! There are plenty of other things you can get involved in not mentioned on this list as well, so have a look around and choose something you think you’ll enjoy and excel in. Your time at university should be equally about growth and enjoyment as it is about getting your degree so make the most out of your time and any opportunities you are given.