Times are tough and if you are a job-seeker you need to get yourself noticed. Almost everywhere you look now there is a graduate with high hopes and quite unrealistic expectations of finding that ideal well paid job when they are fresh out of university in what is a tough economic climate. Although the current market place for jobs for graduates is tough, it is not impossible to succeed in securing that first role, below are some of my tips on how to stand out from the crowd.
·         Use your time at university and long summers wisely. Try and get work placements, most university have bureaus and can help advise you on local businesses that use work experience students. Think about what you are going to put on your CV, get involved in groups/clubs and try to volunteer for a charity.
·         If you are offered the chance you do a year in industry, jump at it. This will gain you experience and give you the upper hand of someone who has no experience. Sometimes this also leads to a job waiting for you when your degree is complete.
·         Try and work while at University, experience counts apply for roles that are going to help develop skills such as retail, customer service and office based roles.
·         Take full advantage of the career services in your university, they will help you do your CV and give you advice.
·         Graduate schemes are very competitive, be organised and apply early. Personalise your applications for each company remember that the person reading your application is going to be going through 100’s of applications. They won’t want to hear your life story but try and get your personality across in your personal profile and cover letter.
·         Networking is important attend any career fairs, exhibitions or industry events try and gain some contacts in the industry you want to go into.  Use social media, sign up to LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook many companies do advertise for entry roles on all of these.
·         Sign up for job boards and ONLY apply for relevant roles that match your skill set. Following up on applications, it shows your interest and creates a good impression.
·         Be prepared to work your way up or do an internship. Be realistic and be prepared to start at the bottom and be realistic of starting salaries. Once you are in a company no matter what role you are in give it 110% and go the extra mile because this will get you noticed.
·         Once you have a role, remember that you are a commodity and you should invest in yourself with continuous personal development. If offered training or the chance to attend courses do. You should always be developing your skills. 

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