Great, you have a degree…Now what?
Firstly, congratulations! It’s no easy task to get yourself through a degree. It takes a huge amount of time, effort and dedication. Now it’s time to enter the exciting world of work, but we’re afraid it’s not that easy…
The reality is that each year, around 800,000 people graduate in the UK (Graduate Coach), and those graduates join an existing pool of previous graduates who are still searching for the perfect job.
The job market is tough, confusing, and competitive, so what can you do to set yourself apart from the abundance of other graduates?
NEVER STOP LEARNING!!!
While you hunt for the perfect job, you can hold the upper-hand over other candidates by continuing to upskill yourself. Developing your skill-set can expand your professional competency, boost your employability and ensure future job security. Additionally, the more skills you develop, the more opportunities become available to you.
HubSpot Academy and Google Skillshop have got excellent, free short courses that you can utilise to upskill yourself. HubSpot Academy offers free online training and guides in the form of Marketing and Sales courses where you can gain online certifications to showcase to future employers. Google Skillshop also offers e-learning courses which are specifically designed by Google product experts to master the tools you would use in the work-place.
Utilising these online sources can help you to not only build your CV but make connections and improve the quality of your work. According to Indeed.com, one of the things employers look for in a resume is the presence of industry keywords. Therefore, taking short courses to educate yourself on SEO or SMM to add those to your skills section for example, can really benefit you when applying for jobs.
However, one of the most valuable selling points to a recruiter is if you have got relevant work experience. Nowadays, if you do not have work experience, you may find it difficult to convince employers that you’re workplace ready.
A recent survey by UCAS showed that two-thirds of employers look for graduates with relevant work experience because it helps them prepare for the workplace and develops general business awareness. Taking part in work experiences shows you have motivation and commitment.
“Two-fifths of the country’s top graduate employers warn that graduates without any previous work experience at all, are unlikely to be successful during the selection process and have little or no chance of receiving a job offer, irrespective of their academic achievements or the university they attended.”
– Highfliers, The Graduate Market
Recruiters are seeking to hire the most workplace-ready candidates who can demonstrate that they have the essential skills and competencies to do the job.
“It’s not enough just to have a good degree. Graduates need to have business skills. Employers want them to be able to hit the ground running.”
– Martin Birchall, Highfliers Research
WHAT CAN LEARN FROM WORK EXPERIENCE THAT I CANT LEARN AT UNI?
Work experience offers you the opportunity to test the water. You can find out what sort of working environment you enjoy and which kind of industry sector that you are most suited to.
Having experience within a workplace can help to build your soft skills, whilst boosting your communication and ability to work within diverse team. Companies will be able to leave tasks in your reliable hands, showing you are willing to learn and are a trustworthy member of the team. The work environment is more fast paced and unpredictable so working withing an organisation builds your capability to solve problems and ability to adapt and ‘bounce back’ when things don’t always go to plan.
As well a developing your skills, an internship is a great way to expand your network. You will meet useful professional contacts who can provide career advice and can act as references for future job applications. (So don’t be scared to ask questions).
If you are still at university, you are in a great opportunity to build your experience around your studies, putting you in the best position possible to get employment once you graduate. Taking part in work experience during university can help with your academic studies; practical experience can help you grasp and further understand the theoretical concepts you are studying and provide real-life examples to illustrate your academic work. There is also the benefit of being able to earn money while you learn.
There is also potential for work experience to lead to a permanent role within the company. However, this isn’t always guaranteed. Even if it does not land you a full-time job, it will equip you with industry knowledge and build valuable transferable skills that you can bring to the next organisation.
Now I know what you’re thinking, for those who for currently applying for jobs it can feel like an an endless, vicious cycle of “I can’t get a job without experience and I can’t get experience without a job”.
THIS IS WHERE UDRAFTER CAN HELP.
Udrafter is a great way to be hired by companies for short projects to put into practice what you have learnt from University. You can gain experience working with various companies and get paid for the work you do; it’s a win-win.
It allows you to work remotely on exciting projects, gaining real-world experience with big companies, which is the perfect addition to your CV… plus its free and every project is paid.
Are you interested in earning while you learn? Sign up to Udrafter today and check out the projects we have available to build your CV and gain valuable work experience.