At university it's easy to get absorbed into the uni bubble. We have looked at 6 things that you can do at university to give you the best chance of getting a graduate job.
- Work on a side project
- Take an Excel course
- Work on your own or a friends business
- Take a key role in a society
- Take an internship
- Get a 2:1
Work on a side project at university
Long story short, employers love it when you're passionate about something. Working on a side project can be anything from helping a local charity to building a robot with your friends. So many students spend all of their time at university within the realms of university life. When somebody does something outside of this employers sit up and take note.
Learn Excel before you graduate
Are you one of those people that adds up each cell one by one? Or do you know your pivot table from your vlookup?
Being excel literate is pretty much a requirement in most graduate jobs nowadays. Some of your work is almost guaranteed to be excel based, so if you already have a grasp of the tool it's another reason for them to hire you.
There are also a lot more benefits to taking an excel course: If your role is excel based then having a thorough understanding will save you time and allow you to work on other projects within work. These extra projects will be the ones that mean you get the promotions, so being able to save time by making full use of your most used tool is a must have.
Work on your own business (or a friends)
Internships are great, we have tons listed on sute. They often limit what you can do though. Many are limited to operational roles. Being immersed in a small company gives you the chance to make a real difference and do roles such as sales or business development. Something you rarely get exposure to as an intern.
Take a key role in a society and look great to graduate emplpyers
Did you know companies such as ALDI actively seek out people who have taken up roles within societies? They show an employer that you want to take on responsibility and are happy to be accountable for the success or failure of something that you work on.
When talking about them in your CV it is important to phrase it right though. For instance instead of saying: "I co-ordinated a cricket session for my University development squad. This shows good organisational skills and an ability to manage large groups". You will have a more impactful statement by saying: "During my position as session co-ordinator for my University cricket development squad I managed to increase participation by 15% week on week by the use of social media advertising. Further to this, I began to organise friendly matches with neighbouring Universities. This gave participants who were looking for a more competitive experience an incentive to continue to develop their skills by coming to sessions, in turn leading to much higher retention rates compared to the previous year.".
Get a 2:1 - a 2:2 just wont help you get that grad job
This is simple. Many employers won't even look at you if you don't have a 2:1. This doesn't mean that if you get a 2:2 you are destined to be unemployed forever. If you have a large range of extracurricular activities in your CV, pointing to reasons you weren't able make the 2:1 grade, this will be looked upon far more favourably than a gap in your CV for 3 years of partying.
Employers are looking for people who are going to complete their work to a high standard, that is why First's and 2:1's are looked on a lot more favourably. Anyway, I don't need to stress the point more but unless you have a reason not to, get a 2:1 and make the most of that student debt.
Take an internship - They turn into graduate job offers!
Internships are a great opportunity to show an employer what you can do. On average 60% of internships lead to graduate job offers so they are a must do to stand out in the job market. We have a really great (we're a modest bunch at sute) guide on turning your internship into a job offer so if you decide to take one it is definitely worth a read.
Universities aren't always set up in the best way to secure a job after university. Hopefully now you now have a better understanding of how to go about making the most of your time and securing a grad job for when you leave.