As the title suggests, in this post I will highlight some ways to help you gain that extra edge and stand out from the graduate crowd. The graduate job market is constantly evolving and is very fragile at the moment. Due to its dynamic, skill sets and academic qualifications are no longer solely job-specific. Today’s graduates need to have much more than just a degree to get a graduate job. Here are some ways guaranteed to make you stand out from the graduate masses.
- Quality work experience – still the number one on the employer hotlist and quickly becoming a must-have to get any graduate job. Previous work experience in the field you are applying for really makes you stand out from the crowd. Internships, year-in-industry placements, or even a part-time job in the same industry, are highly valued by recruiters. Since you are here, why not try and look for some work experience by exploring the vacancies on Give A Grad A Go?
- Be entrepreneurial – one of the fastest rising skills that recruiters and employers are looking for is the ability to be opportunity-driven. Who would not like to have a person on board who has tried doing something on his/her own? You don’t have to be a hot-shot business starter, but try and do something you like. If you like writing, like me, start a blog relating to your chosen field or revolving around your interests. This is becoming increasingly important, especially in the field of journalism, marketing and management to name but a few.
- Attend conferences – I was lucky enough to be sponsored to write and publish a technical paper at a world conference for IMechE, learning quite a lot in the process. It was at that point that I realised how useful and advantageous attending conferences really is. You come away with vast amounts of information, and not to forget, some valuable business cards through networking with the attendees! Try and find some free or affordable conferences in your area and make an effort to go to them. When you then speak to other graduates interested in entering the same sector, you will realise how much extra experience and insider know-how you hold, thanks to having attended a conference.
Remember, these points would only help you stand out from the crowd at the top end of the recruitment table. To get to that stage and compete against some of the best graduates, you still need to keep getting the basics right. Get your CV reviewed, start early on graduate job applications and read about interview tips to help you get ahead.
Before you follow any of the aforementioned ways to make yourself stand out from the graduate crowd, remember not to take your mind and effort off from applying for jobs.
This guest blog post was by Faizan Patankar, founder of Career Geek, a resource for students and graduates aiming to bring articles, advice, views and interview posts about the graduate job market.