Six actionable strategies to improve your graduate employability
Landing that sought after graduate position takes commitment, persistence and a little creativity. Here are six actionable strategies you can employ to make yourself more attractive to prospective graduate employers.
1. Learn how to present effectively
Being able to present to an audience effectively is a highly useful skill in many graduate occupations, as well as during interview and selection processes. Gaining confidence in public speaking can be challenging but with practice you are certain to improve.
One excellent way to hone your presentation skills is by joining your local Toastmasters club. This is an international organization that is dedicated to helping people learn to present in front of audiences effectively. You will practice presentations in front of a group of individuals who are also looking to improve their skills and will benefit from the experience and feedback you gain.
2. Learn a second language
In an increasingly globalized economy, learning a language such as Spanish or Portuguese can be very attractive to graduate employers and it’s a lot easier than many expect! With just a half-hour’s investment of home study per day, you can expect to have a reasonable command of a second language within six months.
Check out home study courses, such as those of Michelle Thomas, Rosetta Stone and Pearson. Also, have a look for classes in your area for practical experience.
3. Start an internet business
Through the internet it is possible for anyone to quickly and effectively start a business. Think of an idea or topic you are passionate about, buy a domain for around $20 and install Wordpress onto it. Next, populate the site with some content written by yourself.
To monetize the website consider adding Google adsense adverts or links to an affiliate scheme, such as Amazon’s very accessible set-up.
No matter how small the revenues, the commercial acumen this demonstrates will be extremely desirable to prospective graduate employers.
4. Improve your interview technique
Without question, the success of your interview with a potential employer will heavily influence the outcome of your application.
Dale Carnegie’s 1930s classic, How to Win Friends and Influence People is full of simple but effective tips on how to improve your interpersonal skills that will be invaluable when attending job interviews.
Spend some time reading and practicing his tips on more effective human relations and you will likely see the benefits when meeting with potential graduate employers.
5. Become a manager of something… Anything!
A large portion of graduate positions have the aim, whether short or long term, of providing the employer with its future managerial talent. However, many new graduates have little, if any, experience in management.
You do not need to only look to the workplace to gain managerial experience. Through a sports team, club, society or group, you can also gain management experience that will help demonstrate you have the leadership skills that a prospective employer is looking for.
6. Get some experience first!
You are probably sick of hearing this one, but it cannot be emphasized enough. If you can get some experience – any – in the position or industry you are aiming to get into, you will be infinitely more likely to land a graduate position in it.
You may have already tried to get some work experience but had difficulties in securing an opportunity. Try a new approach. Consider unpaid work, cast the net further and make contact directly with the decision makers at the organization. This can be done effectively through facebook, Linked In, email or telephone. Check the company website to find the appropriate person’s details.
It is more worthwhile to spend time improving your cv/resume and properly research potential jobs than it is to simply fire-out endless applications. Put in the effort, be creative and it will bear fruit in the end.
About the author: Emma Wilson is a freelance proofreader and editor. Click here to visit her website. Emma enjoys writing about student issues in her spare time.