How to not graduate into unemployment (kind of)

I don’t think it’s unfair to say that the pressure on university students is greater than ever. People who now choose to attend university not only have to fight it out for every job going, but they are also crippled with tuition fees of £9,000 a year. Now, I can’t alleviate the debt of every university student because I do not have the bank balance of Bill Gates. However, I can offer people at university, some advice to help them get a job upon graduation (or at least ensure their application form is not made into a paper aeroplane):

1)Get Involved.
Yes, you are living away from home for the first time, and yes the freedom to be able roll home at 6:00 am without your Mum waiting at the top of the stairs in her dressing gown is fantastic. However, do not make the mistake of falling into a routine of just studying during the day and partying through the night. Make the effort to join some societies, a sports team or do some charity work, and if you get a chance to run for a committee then grab it with both hands! Getting a good grade is important, but if all you have on your C.V after three years at university is a 2.1 and a lot of empty space then employers aren’t going to be blown away. Also, if you get a lower grade than expected, extra-curricular activities can help compensate for that.

2)Network , Network, Network
It is a tough world out there, but you can make it less tough by simply getting to know as many people as possible. Making sure you know a variety of people from who you live with to your course improves your chances of getting a job or some work experience. I got some information PR work experience simply by interacting with a graduate from my university on Twitter! However, if you are using social media, be very careful and make sure you don’t cross the line from interacting to harassment and become the not so proud order of a restraining order.

3)Visit your careers centre
For many of us, the university careers centre is a bit like Mordor; you have heard of it but you have never really seen it for yourself. Luckily, you don’t have to travel across mountains or engage in the war of Middle Earth to get to your university’s career centre as it is usually situated on or near campus; it offers a wide range of services from C.V. checking to giving you mock interviews, none of which are things you should not pass up.

4)Try and get work experience.
University holidays are ridiculously long, but as stressful as the uni workload can get, it is not like we need a month (or three months in Summer) to get over the trauma of it. Try and arrange some work experience during your holidays, even if it is just a couple of days, because work experience is a real C.V. booster and is what can separate you out from the crowd.

5)Do not think it is impossible.

There is no denying the current economic climate is tough, but tough does not mean impossible. If early man had crawled out of the cave, seen the dinosaurs and crawled back into his cave instead of reinventing the wheel then where would we be? My point is that you should rise to the dinosaur that is life and start making that wheel.

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