How university students can stand out in the job market

May 15 2017, 0 Comments

Student job hunt

Whether you are at the end of your university studies or have just started them, this one question has crossed your mind at least once: what am I going to do with my life?. Of course, I am talking about finding a job. Today’s labour market has become highly competitive, and it’s getting even harder to stand out. Below are some tips and tricks that will help you get noticed and score that job you’ve been dreaming about for years.

 

Gain some work experience

Here comes the classic spiral. Companies won’t hire you because you don’t have any previous experience, and you have a hard time gaining previous experience because people won’t hire you. Don’t despair just yet. There is always a solution.

Even though it might be harder for you to start out with a job, being accepted for an internship is easier. They help you gain experience and also meet people in the field. Some internships even come with the possibility of getting hired afterwards, so they’re worth giving a try.

If you want to stand out from other candidates, experience is key. The more experience you have, the more likely you are to get employed. It’s time to start looking for internships, preferably in the field that you want to work in. They will help you both to score a job and gain the necessary skills to help you forward on.

 

Rehearse for the interview

I should make myself clear on this one: you shouldn’t really learn your lines by heart. However, what you do need to do is to look up the most common interview questions for a specific job. This way you’ll be prepared.

It’s important to think of possible questions that the interviewer might ask you and try to find proper answers for them beforehand, rather than not knowing what to answer during the interview. In addition, knowing what you want to say before the interview will give you a boost in confidence and help you relax a bit, which might just be the thing that lands you the job.

But be careful! Don’t make it obvious that you’ve rehearsed the interview beforehand. You should make it sound natural and add some pauses to make it seem like you’re pondering your answer. After all, you want to sound human and not like a robot.

 

Networking is key

Social psychologist Stanley Milgram created the Lost Letter Experiment, where people had to send a letter to a certain person. If they didn’t know that person, they had to send it to someone they thought might know them. He found out that it took an average of six people to get the letter to the right person in the USA. Just imagine in smaller countries; the number gets even smaller. Basically, you need to know the right people in order to reach who you want to meet.

The theory seems simple, but how do you do it? Try going to conferences and business events. Before and after, you might get the chance to meet incredible people and, who knows, maybe even score a job.

Another thing that you should keep in mind is to try and get yourself some business cards. Even though they might seem a bit old-fashioned, they’re something people hold on to and rely on when technology fails. Try to make them unique and representative. Add as many contact details as you find necessary. People need to be able to reach you.

 

These three tips will help you distance yourself from your competition and also work for any field you intend to work in. Start looking for jobs, or maybe just internships, because very soon the job market will become even harder to get in to. It’s better to be prepared than to regret it in the end!

 

This article was written by Andre Franco of Uniplaces, a student accommodation provider which aims to become the global brand for students. Uniplaces offers student accommodation in 32 cities in 5 countries all over Europe and makes it super easy to book accommodation when you go studying abroad.