Making the most out of your degree

For many graduates, finding a job without extra curricular experiences can be a struggle. Suzannah Sax has given her advice on using the skills and experiences gained from your degree, to help you become more employable.

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It is that time of the year again where many graduates will be embarking on the job hunt.

With thousands of students graduating across a wide range of degree routes, what’s the best way to sell your skills and degree, to make you stand out from the increasingly competitive graduate market?

When applying for roles you will often be asked for a list of skills and experience. For many graduates, this will be very minimal as education has been your main focus with some work experience and summer roles along the way.

Here are a few tips on selling your degree and making the most out of your time at university:

List your skills

To begin with, make a list of all the skills you have gained at university that would make you employable.

Don’t just consider what you have learnt from modules; think about general skills as well, for example:

  • Working independently
  • Prioritising your time
  • Teamwork
  • Meeting deadlines
  • Communicating effectively with a range of people (lecturers, course mates, potential employers).

The list is endless; you will have gained so many transferable skills throughout your time at university – don’t forget to use them!

Be commercially aware

You will have the most up to date information on the market you’re looking to enter into – use this to your advantage!

The resources you have available to you through university portals, libraries and lecturers are extremely useful as you’ll be surrounded by market knowledge. You can reflect this in your hobbies and interests section.

For example, reading the Financial Times shows you have a keen interest in the route you are looking to take, and can also help break the ice in interviews.

Degree route

Your degree route does not necessarily need to be your career path. Most degrees offer a range of transferrable skills. For example in the financial sector, many of our clients value history, law and geography degrees.

This is down to their analytical approach to their work which is highly valued in the financial services and many other industries. You can also go into post graduate studies, which again do not have to be related to your undergraduate degree.

We come across many graduates that have study law and then have moved on to study ACCA and vice versa.

Work experience and summer jobs

Always put work experience and summer jobs on your CV. To you they may not seem relevant, however if you are a new graduate it shows potential employers that you have experience in a working environment.

If you are looking to go into finance and have spent a week working in a call centre as experience, put it down! This will show you have experience dealing with customers, communicating with professionals and general office tasks. All of these skills can be used in a role within financial services.

I hope this helps the graduates of 2014 (and future graduates); if you would like to discuss this further or chat about the graduate roles we offer at Grovelands, please give us a call on 01273 651 500.

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