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Improving employability

With graduate jobs more scarce than ever, it's important for your professional development if you have some skills and experience outside of your academic qualifications that can be used in employment. Our panellists give their best tips to improving your employability.

Your university careers service will host several events to help you improve your chances at getting a graduate job. Many of these events are hosted by employers themselves, such as workshops on how to write an effective application form. It is never too early to start attending these sorts of events. Subscribe to your careers service newsletter, or whatever medium they use to send you information about these events, and look into attending a couple per term, perhaps more as you progress through your degree.
Kishan Rana, University of Exeter

Get a job, an internship, anything. And make sure to always make a good impression, even if you don't think you'll meet your colleagues ever again. Get a reputation as hard-working, serious, yet easy going and fun.
Alice Hallman, Stockholm School of Economics

Join soceities, clubs and do anything that intersts you. But make sure you enjoy it otherwise you will never really excel and thats not really something employers look for. Also get a job in the summer even if it has very limitied aplication to your final career it shows a hugh variety of transferable skills and helps you clear your student bar tab.
Sam Tilley, Anglia Ruskin University

Volunteer in the sector you want to go into or do a 12 month placement year. Do not be afraid to message companies with your CV as there is nothing wrong with trying.
Bejal Patel, De Montfort University

Voluntary work, part time work, summer placements and industrial placements are all great ways to increase employment.
Hana Hanif, University of Hull

University contact time is short, fill your time with activities and volunteering. Learning a language in second year as an option is a good idea.
James Ray, Oxford Brookes University

A few extracurricular things on the CV are good, but nothing beats a good internship.
Hans Schoemaker, University of Leicester

Get involved with the Sports and Societies, actively participate in student democracy, volunteer, travel, get a part-time job, have fun! Everything you do will shape you as person and make you more competitive in the employment industry.
Dora Vrkic, University of Bradford

I am fortunate enough to go to a university with a specific employability team so I have been able to tap into that advice and knowledge from the start. Ensure you are aware of your transferable skills and take up other opportunities e.g. sport, societies etc to build these. Focus on both strengths and weaknesses to build your overall profile up.
Dean Bamforth, Nottingham Trent University