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Finding the right career after university can be a daunting prospect. Amongst the pressures of university life, particularly the hard study of year 3, focusing on graduate jobs can drop down the pecking order.

But it doesn’t have to be so stressful. There are plenty of small commitments you can integrate into your university life to prepare yourself for the big wide world.

What’s important is that you know how to put yourself in the most favourable light.

Get a part time job

It may be that you have pressing financial concerns for starting the job search early rather than focussing on your ideal career. While you may feel like a coffee shop job or spending weekends pulling pints isn’t embellishing your CV at all, it can actually be a huge boost provided you know how to spin it.

Companies looking to hire a graduate love talking about communication skills: they expect entry level candidates to have the ability to communicate with colleagues and clients with professional ease. The experience of dealing with customers every day will prepare you for this. You will also prove you can effectively manage your time between work, social life and study, as well as the development of problem-solving and teamwork skills.

Don’t just get involved, lead!

Of course, getting involved in a society, student newspaper or sports team can boost your CV. But what will really impress employers is if you’ve managed to handle a leadership role alongside your studies.

Think about taking on an editorial role at the newspaper, or a leadership role within your society. Even if you only feel like you can commit to a mid-level role, employers will know you’ve gained valuable leadership experience and professional organisational skills. If you’ve achieved charity or sponsorship deals for your society, you’ve also developed key B2B skills.

More importantly, it’ll give you examples to use in an interview situation to answer questions like ‘Tell me of a time you dealt with a conflict…’ as opposed to the latest argument with your housemate over the dishes.

Sell, Sell, Sell

Graduate jobs in Sales are in high demand now, and while it might seem incidental, selling tickets or distributing flyers on the streets is a great boost to your CV. If you’re looking for a Sales role, chances are your grad job won’t be as hard as trying to convince a passing student to take your unwanted flyer. It’ll give you good examples of when you had to get innovative and will teach you tricks of the trade way before you have to start.

Even if you don’t think a Sales career is for you, all sorts of job applications will benefit from a Sales background. Any client facing a role will need an element of persuasion to it, and if you want to become a freelancer or start your own business, you’ll be selling yourself every day.

Make connections with your tutors

Don’t be afraid to connect with your tutors. They will have plenty of contacts, and advice on how to get started. If you get on with them, they’re much more likely to open up their address book for you.

Work with a career advisor!

Students can tend to view careers advice services as daunting or outdated, but they often have amazing resources you will wish you’d used. Once you’re out in the real world, you’ll realise the number of professionals willing to give you free CV reviews and mock interviews drops to zero very quickly.

If you’re interested in starting a fledgling business at university, they can often help you with that too. The reality is that many careers advice services are under-used and resource rich, so no matter what your requirements are, it’s always worth asking.

Talk to your older friends

If you have any friends who’ve recently started a graduate career, they are an invaluable resource. If they’ve secured a job, they’ll be able to chart how they got there and give you some strong guidelines on how to succeed.

Start Blogging

This is particularly relevant if you’re looking to go into PR, communications, marketing or journalism. In an ideal world it would be good to start blogging about the career you want to get into, but if you’re unsure, just start writing. Think about building a following and you’ll show you’re able to address your audience.

If you want to take it a step up, download Google Analytics. You will learn how to use an incredibly important tool and hopefully have some successful figures to show to potential employers when you start looking for a job.

Volunteering your way to a job

Volunteering isn’t just a feel-good way to spend your time at university. It can be a really important boost to your career prospects. Whether you want to work abroad or closer to home, many charities will be more than happy to accept your help in an area you want to move into. It’s a great way to cut your teeth in marketing, admin, PR, Sales and all sorts of other sectors.

Lots of charities will offer free training schemes too. Which can lead to accredited awards that will look really impressive on your CV. And give you something really fulfilling to talk about in an interview.

Discover 8 powerful strategies to boost your CV while studying at university. Boost your career prospects with these actionable tips.


One thing has become abundantly clear as we’ve explored university life and career preparation. It’s all about making small, impactful changes that highlight your unique skills and experiences.

So, why not take the first step today? Dive into that society you’ve been eyeing up. Reach out for that part-time job. Or look into internships that match your interests. Every opportunity you seize is another chance to strengthen your CV. And boost your confidence for life beyond the lecture halls! Remember, it’s not about being perfect, but about being prepared.