Having a degree gives you an enormous advantage in today’s world. Whatever your area of study or subject you have graduated in just having a degree says something about you. It gives potential employers confidence that you are able to achieve at a higher level.
Some degrees are directly linked to specific professions, Education, Medicine and Veterinary sciences for example. If you graduate in one of these then you will obviously be looking at specific professional journals. Often an internship can lead to a permanent position.
For most other graduates a rich source of opportunity comes via Graduate Career Fairs. These are an important resource for graduate appointments. Companies, Businesses and other organisations will provide a range of employment opportunities. Even if you don’t get a placement as a direct result of a graduate fair you are still taking important steps towards your chosen career. These fairs give you a chance to meet a potential employer face to face and they acquaint you with the demands of the job. You will be able to develop your interview skills and it is a great way for you to learn about the industry/profession in which you are interested. They can give you information, possible contacts and of course can be a great experience.
Another possible route to finding a job is through the internet. Graduate Job Search for example enables you to look at specific jobs in your chosen sector and offers a regional perspective showing the opportunities in the part of the country or possibly abroad, depending on where you would like to work.
When you come to apply for a job, you will not be the only applicant so it is essential to make yourself stand out from the crowd. To do that you need a good CV. At this stage of your life, unless you are a mature student, your CV will generally be quite short. That is not necessarily a bad thing but you really need to make every word count. If you really want to produce an outstanding CV then it is probably best to get some advice from the professionals. These could be the Careers people at university but if you look around, more and more recruitment agencies and other companies offer a CV writing service.
If you do produce your own CV, make sure that it is clear and concise. Here is an example of a good student CV:
Address: 123 Hillside Avenue, Lower Portland, Hull, HU12 ENA
Telephone: 01272 823567
Email: [email protected]
I am keen to launch a career within the performing arts sphere to further develop and utilise my knowledge and experience of the theatre environment. I am a highly motivated individual who is confident in leading and working with a team. I enjoy the energy and intensity that is associated with the performing arts environment, and so I am seeking employment with an organisation that will provide me with an energetic environment in which my abilities and skills will be challenged.
2007 BA English and Australian Literature, University of South Field
2004 4 A Levels attained (grades A-C), Hunnyford Performing Arts College
2002 10 GCSEs attained (grades A-C), Hunnyford School
2004 – 2007 – University of South Field’s Student Theatre – Stage Assistant
o Assist team leaders with set up for productions
o Help get costumers ready for dress rehearsals and shows
o Sometimes act as a prompt for actors as and when required
o Work with other team members to identify lighting, background and stage prop requirements
o Clean the stage prior to performances and place props in correct places
o Assist with lighting as and when required
o Serve drinks and ice-creams to customers during performance intervals
I enjoy participating in all aspects of University Life. I particularly enjoy socialising with my friends. I also enjoy listening to music, reading and shopping. I am a member of the Raise and Give Society at University and I play the Clarinet in the University’s Jazz Band.
Mr John Almond (Manager, University Theatre) – 01272 345090
Mr Michael O’Neil (University Course Tutor) – 01272 561289
You can see that it begins with your name and contact details and then follows up with your career aspirations. Obviously, a potential employer will want to know what education you have received and will also be interested to see any jobs that you may have had already. It is also essential to give some information about your interests and details of two or three people who are willing to act as references. Make sure that you state their relationship to you e.g. former employer, tutor etc. And above all, NEVER LIE on your CV, at some point it will be discovered. I know people do but no one particularly wants to employ a liar, it is all a matter of trust, so it may not stop you getting a job but it also will hasten the time when you have to find another!
There is a tendency when writing a CV to put down almost everything you can about yourself including much which is irrelevant or of little or no consequence.
The first thing to remember is to be relevant. Your CV should be something that engages an employer’s attention and helps you to stand out from other applicants. All CV’s should include details of your educational and employment history. Your CV should also include information on your knowledge, skills and abilities; it is in this area that you should demonstrate your strengths and your suitability for the post for which you have applied.
It is important to give a good impression by outlining your qualities as an individual, the knowledge you have acquired through previous experience and the ways in which you think these make you suitable for the post. This does not need to be to long but it should be focussed. If you include information that is of marginal importance you run the risk of becoming tedious.
Many people have a standard template for there CV which will include the basic information about yourself that we have mentioned above and it will often have a general inclusion in the knowledge, skills and abilities area. Rather than having just a standard CV it is advisable to adapt what you say about yourself according to the nature of the job and the conditions in which you will be working.
A few points to remember then keep your CV short, relevant and focussed.