Preparing to Get a Graduate Job

There's a range of things you can do to give yourself the best opportunity at obtaining a graduate-level job once you have graduated.

‘Brand You’

‘Branding’, or showcasing yourself demonstrates to potential employers who you are and what you can offer. Before starting your graduate job search, consider your talents, skills, abilities and experience, that combined create a package that sets you apart from others.

Skills and strengths that your degree will have given you

You have your degree certificate (or will do very soon!). Regardless of subject, there are some generic skills and strengths that you may have gained from any degree programme you have undertaken. These are often referred to as transferrable skills, or employability skills.

You will probably have developed good written communication skills, through essays, research papers or reports. As well as producing a significant amount of written work throughout your course, you will have written for a specific audience- to your lecturer, to an examiner, or if it’s a presentation, to your peers. Getting your ideas and views across accurately in writing is a valuable skill.

You will also have gained a certain amount of emotional intelligence. You will have socialised with, worked with and perhaps lived with people from very different backgrounds in an unfamiliar environment. So over the years you will have developed a certain degree of tact and empathy. In employability terms this makes you good at communicating and a capable team player.

You will have also developed presentation skills and learnt how to structure and articulate a persuasive argument. From your seminars and smaller group work you will have shared your opinionslead discussions and even presented to other students. If this is the case then you should know how to present information orally and visually, as well as how to debate a topic. It should also be a good indication of how you perform under pressure.

Other transferrable skills and attributes you may have developed throughout your course include: time management, identifying priorities, researching, planning, working independently and critical thinking.

For support on how to identify your personal brand through your skills and strengths, book a careers advice appointment via the CORE.

Christ Church’s Graduate Attributes

The University has a set of ‘Graduate Attributes’, that if you have made use of opportunities through your time at the University, you will have been able to develop. To explore these Graduate Attributes and how you have developed them, please see the Graduate Attributes webpage (www.canterbury.ac.uk/graduateattributes)

Making the most of your experience

As well as your skills, think about the experience you have gained, before and whilst at the University. Have you had part-time jobs where you have learned new skills? Or have you undertaken relevant work experience in the career or sector you wish to move into? What about volunteering experience and the skills and strengths you have developed from that?

Consider all of the experience and what that experience has given you. This is all useful for graduate applications, but both the skills and experience that you identify you have will need to be tailored and highlighted for each application, depending on the requirements.

For more support on showcasing your skills and experience for your graduate CV or the graduate application process, please come to one of The CORE Drop-in areas (hyperlink)

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Last edited: 02/03/2017 12:08:00