How to make yourself more employable in today's tough economy
Recent figures have revealed finding employment as a graduate is tougher than getting a job as a school leaver. In 2011, 20% of 18 years who left school with A-levels were unemployed compared to 25% of 21 year olds you finished university with a degree. However, more experienced graduates and those who left university a couple of years ago were fairly likely to be in work, with just 5% of 24 year olds out of work.
So how do you, as a recent graduate, make yourself as employable as these more established and more experienced graduates? And how can you make yourself stand out from your fellow recent graduates? Here are our top three tips.
Look good on paper
Your Resume and covering letter are your first points of contact with potential employers. They need to show why you are the perfect candidate for the position in question. Don’t just list your previous roles and state what functions you performed. Say what you brought to the role, what you achieved and what you learned from it. But remember to keep it brief and punchy.
An infographic Resume may be suitable if you’re looking at jobs in creative sectors and blogs and websites help with media roles. You also need to tailor your Resume to every job, so you may need to write several versions and obviously each covering letter will be unique. Only include what is relevant.
Help employers to find you
Searching and applying for jobs takes ages. So why not share some of the workload. Register your details, upload your Resume and state the kind of positions you’re looking for on employment sites listing graduate job opportunities such as reed.co.uk. The site was recently listed as the UK’s number one job site so you can get in touch with hundreds of employers at the click of a mouse.
Beef up your experience
Graduates are often caught in catch 22 situations. They need more experience, but to get experience you need a job. So what do you do? Voluntary work, both at home and abroad during a gap year or over the summer holidays is an easy, fun and rewarding way to learn new skills and pick up contacts.
Additionally, get involved with things that interest you at university and don’t be afraid to take on management rolls within sports clubs and societies. Apply for work experience placements and internships whenever possible and go to as many networking events as you can. If you want to get into creative positions, such as advertising, journalism, art and photography start working on your own blog or website to showcase your work.