Career Planning: 5 Pointers to Prepare You for the Tough Job Market

Posted September 17, 2014 by
Human hand writing career planning on whiteboard

Human hand writing career planning on whiteboard. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

The job market is more competitive than ever, so how can you prepare yourself better and increase your chances of getting a job after you leave a university? Here are a few ideas to consider.

1. Get the Best Grades You Can

A top grade could really make the difference when you apply for a job, especially in the most competitive markets. For the biggest graduate recruiters, a 2:1 is often the absolute minimum, but many are now looking at applicants with first-class degrees only because this is a simple way for them to filter out applications.

Do everything you can to get the best grades possible while at a university. Use all the tools available to you, such as professional essay writing for research purposes as following all the best study tips to boost your chances.

2. Do Something Different

The creative industries are less likely to choose candidates on grades alone, and are more likely to be concerned with things like extracurricular activities, experiences you have had and skills you have developed. It could be a good idea to do some voluntary work, learn new skills at a university, or go on a gap year working on an interesting project to help stand out from the other applicants.

3. Create a High-Quality Letter & CV

If a graduate employer receives thousands of applications for a few positions, they will do everything they can to cut down the numbers quickly, and mistakes in the query letter and CV are one way to do this. They can be nothing worse than a spelling mistake, but they can mean the difference between an interview and nothing. Quite simply, your letter and CV should be flawless.

In addition, tailor your CV to each job. Don’t send the same one to each position you apply to, but go through it and make edits that will make it more likely to stand out to each different employer.

4. Network

Networking is always a good way to help yourself stand out from the other applicants. Visit industry events, talk to important people, introduce yourself and be brave. Hand out your CV, let people know you are looking for a job, and they will respect your efforts. Most importantly, they will remember who you are, giving you an immediate advantage over the competition.

5. Get Creative

The more creative you are when applying for jobs, the more you will stand out and get noticed. It’s not a guarantee of a job, but it can certainly help you get your foot in the door. Alec Brownstein’s case became famous when he created PPC ads for top creative directors, which they then saw when they searched for their own names. He ended up getting interviews with four of the five directors he targeted.

Think of a creative way that you can do something different, perhaps using the internet to help you. If you can come up with a new idea that has not been done before, it could make the difference and help you to get noticed.

Boost Your Chances of Getting Your Dream Job

These are some of the things that you can do to increase your chances of getting noticed and getting your dream job. Finding the job you want when you leave university can be tough, but by putting in the effort and getting creative, you can boost your chances of getting past the application stage and getting noticed by an employer.

Jenny Wescott loves being a university career advisor. Working with students and professionals on a regular basis, she greatly enjoys blogging about her tips and tricks for educational opportunities and career advancement.  For more tips and help on writing and researching your dissertation visit

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