University certainly affects your employability, but maybe not in the way you might think. Whilst the teaching is clearly important – even those lectures at 9am on a Monday morning! – other aspects of uni can be vital in finding you a job after you graduate. A recent survey found that 36% of the UK’s most recent graduates kick-start their careers as soon as they get to university. The survey, of over 1000 graduates, found that students spend an average of four hours per week, alongside their degree courses, working on boosting their employability. One in twelve students spend 10+ hours a week!
But how are they doing it?
- Attending networking events to build some contacts and get tips from successful careerspeople at conferences and other events
- Setting up their own business alongside studying
- Using their online presence and digital savvy to promote themselves on the web and emphasise their key skills and accomplishments – either through a personal website or their LinkedIn profile
- Learning new skills from extra-curricular courses, such as languages or coding
- Gaining experience by taking up positions in societies
- Developing their soft skills in areas like teamwork, communication and time management
Why are today’s students going the extra mile?
The study found that economic pressures from increased tuition fees is spurring students on to take their employability seriously whilst studying. 52% said they felt the need to stand out because of a job market that is becoming increasingly competitive. CEO of Nominet, Russell Haworth commented on this trend:
The student experience has changed. Not only is university more expensive, but the job market is highly competitive. It’s not enough to tell a future employer why you should get the job – you’ve got to show them.
Today’s students are taking control of their online identity by setting up websites to set them apart from the competition and creatively showcase to prospective employers their different skills and passions – from amateur photography, to club promotion, through to tutoring. Young people naturally share their experiences on social media sites like Instagram and Snapchat, now they’re applying that practice to the world of work.
So if you are heading back to university in the coming weeks, give some of these suggestions a go to boost your employability.
Students and graduates use their Gradintelligence profile to be discovered for opportunities for employment or further study. Sign up or log in today at www.gradintel.com and be sure to add any extra-curricular skills and employability-boosting experiences to your profile!