Graduate support and Advice – Make yourself a competitive candidate through placements, work & Volunteering

Students graduating in 2022 have faced several challenges including budgeting, returning to in person study, the fragile status of the world and the ongoing impact of Covid-19 on the learning experience.  Now graduates are facing a fresh set of challenges in the search for new career opportunities in a competitive market.

Whilst 2022 has seen a significant increase in graduate job listings, competition for good graduate jobs remains high.  There are however many more employers wanting to hire graduates this year and it’s really important that you are doing all the right things to ensure you are top of their list.

Get some experience!

To get into your desired field or dream job, you’ll probably need to gain some experience. This could be entry level or even unpaid: many companies provide internships or graduate work experience opportunities.

  • Placements/Internships

A placement enables you to gain first-hand exposure of working in the real world. It also allows you to harness the skill, knowledge, and theoretical practice you have learnt in university. You’re also able to network and establish relationships with working professionals in your field. You may have already done one as part of your course or in a summer break either way this looks great to a potential employer so make sure you shout about it on your CV.  If you haven’t already done a placement write a CV and a cover letter template and set up some online alerts so that if any become available you are ready to apply.

  • Part-time work

If you’re not able to get a placement paid work is a great alternative.  Ideally you’d want to get some work in your industry, even if it’s not necessarily in your chosen career path, but any job is a great demonstration of your ability to work in a professional environment and demonstrate key skills such as organisation, time management, communication etc.  Whether you’ve worked in a bar or café, you and your CV will only look stronger for it. This also gives you more experience for interview questions where you are asked to demonstrate skills.

  • Volunteering

Volunteering is another excellent addition to a CV and a good way of demonstrating the key skills employers are on the lookout for.  Many managers say they’d like to see volunteering on a CV, it shows a level of commitment particularly if it’s something you have done frequently or for a long period of time.  Placements, paid work and volunteering are not mutually exclusive and if you have more than one of these with a well-articulated explanation of how these activities have given you some great skills then it will give you a competitive edge in the job market.

If you’d like to apply for one of our roles or need some extra support please get in touch with one of our consultants who are happy to help.

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