What can I do to make myself more employable?
As a Careers Consultant this is one of the questions I am asked the most at the moment (both from recent graduates and current students).
This is my advice…
1. Get some experience – this could be internships, work shadowing, summer jobs, part time work, volunteering, a year in industry, work placements – anything and everything! These experiences demonstrate your skills such as teamwork, organisation and communication skills. It will also give you commercial awareness (business understanding), which is what most recruiters really want from you and will help you stand out from the crowd. Often the more you have, the better your chances of getting a job.
2. Start job hunting early – Don’t leave it to the last minute to start looking. Many vacancies open early in the autumn term. So look now for jobs and internships starting in July.
3. PROPERLY tailor your application – Don’t just copy and paste answers into application forms and don’t send the same CV to all companies – making an effort with your applications really pays off. It’s better to make a few good applications than knock out loads of almost identical ones which aren’t really targeted to the job.
4. Research the Company – When writing a cover letter or answering the question “Why do you want to work for this company?” never just look at their website for two minutes. Make sure you do lots of research into the company – what they do, who their clients and competitors are etc. It will really show how motivated you are to work there.
5. Talk to people – Ask lots of questions and don’t be afraid of speaking to people in the real world. Ask questions about them, their job, and what they do day-to-day. You can also ask for advice about what you can do to get an advantage when applying for jobs, where to look for vacancies and who else you can speak to for information and advice.