Posts Tagged "graduate jobs"

Ten skills you need to get a graduate job


Even before you start at university, you will be thinking about what kind of job you will get once you graduate. Whether you plan to stay in the UK or to go back home, your time at university will give you the opportunity to gain a number of important skills which will be valued by employers around the world.

In the UK, job vacancies for graduates are predicted to increase by 10% this year. Employers value the fresh ideas and the motivation graduates bring to a company, but you need to bring a certain amount of knowledge and skills too. The Guardian spoke to a number of professionals in the graduate recruitment industry and identified 10 essential skills you should aim to perfect while you are studying. Of course, this will depend on the industry you will apply to, but these are a good starting point to think about:

  1. Gain an understanding of how a business is run. You can do this by starting your own Student Society or organise an event at your university.
  2. Understand how different cultures can affect businesses. Being an international student, you will already have an advantage here but you can still broaden your knowledge by making friends from across the world.
  3. Speaking another language is another great skill, and one many international students already have. When it comes to writing your job application, make sure you show how your language skills will be a benefit to your future employer.
  4. Present yourself professionally online. Set up a LinkedIn and Twitter account or write a blog to express your personal and professional interests. Always keep your potential audience – your future employer – in mind when posting something online.
  5. Knowing how to act in an office is an important skill too. Try to get some work experience in an office to gain confidence in answering the phone and speaking to colleagues.
  6. Believe it or not but making a good cup of tea can also be a skill! Don’t be upset when someone asks you to make tea, it is not a sign of status in the company. Also, offer other people tea and coffee when you get up to make your own. It shows you are sociable.
  7. Being computer literate is expected of all graduates. This involves having a good understanding of the standard Microsoft packages and also the digital world e.g. social media, content management systems and online databases. Find out if your university offers any relevant training courses to brush up on these skills.
  8. Team work skills are important to many employers. As a graduate employee, you will normally work with various teams across the company. Join student societies and sports clubs while you are studying to show that you have experience of working with people.
  9. Gain confidence in talking to people by attending networking events, exhibitions and conventions. This will help you at interviews and also at events you will attend on behalf of your employer.
  10. Employers are not only looking for candidates who already have relevant experience and skills. They are also looking for a positive attitude. Employers want to see highly motivated students who are willing to learn new skills and take on new challenges.

Of course university is about having fun as well as gaining knowledge and skills. But keep in mind that the fun things can often also help you build up your skill-set.

For more information on working during and after your studies, read our advice on working in the UK.

Graduate starting salaries are set to rise in 2013

Graduate starting salaries are set to rise by 4% in 2013, according to research by the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR). The predicted rise – from £26,000 to £26,500 – will follow a period of stagnation in pay when salaries remained at £25,000 from 2009 to 2011. “The predicted increase to graduate salaries is significant […]

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