Making the most of your course for your career

Nowadays it is not just a case of leaving university with a degree and that piece of paper 'earning' you a graduate job. Employers are wanting to see how you have used your time at university to develop your employability skills, to be as 'job ready' as possible. These employability skills are often viewed as the same that make students successful, for instance excellent communication skills, time management, organisational skills, problem solving, 'people' skills etc.

Employers will usually want you to demonstrate how you have these skills, rather than just saying you have them. To do this well, there are a variety of things you can do whilst at university to build the evidence of having these skills, so

  • Work experience/paid relevant work
  • Activities done outside of your studies - e.g. sport, student union involvement, voluntary work
  • Fund raising
  • Developing a good 'network' of people in the industry you are targeting
  • LinkedIn profile/'clean' social media presence
  • Anything else that shows interest/passion/skills, even if not related!

How individual students demonstrate all this will vary between each student, the important issue is that you make the most of the opportunities whilst at university to increase your employability skills. One of the most important areas here though is gaining appropriate work experience, and using the summer months when not here to develop this. This is important as it will show some of the 'softer' skills needs to fit in well in a work environment, and if in a relevant area, will demonstrate you know what it is like to work in the industry.