Graduate Blog

Starting Before You Finish


Before you finish your final year, preparing yourself could save you a lot of stress later when it comes to trying to get a job. Almost all students know that to make a good impression when getting a job, you need those things on your CV to make you stand out. Things like work experience, volunteer work, activities, and all that other stuff that makes you look interesting on paper. But it’s sometimes hard to fit these things in as well as your study, especially if you’re on a creative course involving building a portfolio like I was. The best way is to plan before it’s too late to come out the other end with more than just your degree.

Get that CV ready

Before you finish that final year, take a look at your CV and compare it to what you need to get into what you’ve just spent years studying. Do you need to prove you’re a team player? Need to brush up on any skills? It’s never too late to start up a hobby to show employers that you’re passionate about the subject. How your CV looks is just as important as what is on it, and sometimes what is on it isn’t always necessary. That’s why it can be a good idea to have multiple CVs; one for your degree subject related work, and others for separate kinds of work such as general part time work.

Portfolio Preparation

Not all courses finish with a portfolio of work, but if you’re in any kind of arts, design or media then a portfolio is a must have. Again, start as early as possible, plan what work to include and keep working after university to constantly improve your work. Having a portfolio ready early means you can jump straight in to job hunting as soon as you’re finished and get a head start on other people after the same job as you. Send out samples of your work, ask for feedback and work with any criticism!

Get Online

What else can be done to make yourself look like you’re ready for the world of employment? One thing that a lot of people overlook is creating a website and writing blogs. Blogging can often be thought of as something teenagers do to vent emotions and the difficulties of their lives. In fact, having a blog on a personal website can help employers find out more about you and your interests. Blogging is a great way to learn and express yourself and what you care about, make yourself look interested in things, and also something that shows you don’t sit around doing nothing in your spare time.

Looking professional

Finally, clean up your social media. Looking up an applicant and finding some awkward photos and comments isn’t the best first impression. There’s no need to hide your life away, but there’s also no need to flaunt what makes you look bad. Being up to date on social media these days is actually beneficial, showing you’re in the know of what’s popular right now.

It’s never too late to be ready for when the end of university sneaks up on you, and it also doesn’t take much to prepare. More importantly, there’s nothing to panic about!

About the Author

Victoria Thompson Victoria Thompson

I went to the University of Lincoln studying Creative Advertising. I focused mainly on copy-writing, and I'm currently developing my work to eventually go into either advertising or writing full time.

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