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GRADUATES - WHY IS YOUR DEGREE RELEVANT

Tuesday 21st July 2015

According to The Guardian graduates need to make sure they spell out to employers why the skills they gained at university are commercially relevant.

“Don’t assume that an employer will immediately understand how your degree is useful, especially if there is no obvious link between what you studied and the job you’re applying for.”

Having a degree, whilst important, no longer makes you stand out against other candidates as the graduate market continues to saturate. It’s the experience in your chosen field that gives candidates the competitive edge. Are you lacking relevant experience to put on your CV? If yes, then it is really important to sell the relevance of your qualification and the transferable skills it provides to your potential employer.

HIGHLIGHT YOUR SKILLS

Beyond time management and ability to work efficiently under pressure, critical and independent thinking are becoming an increasingly important element recruiters like to see on your CV.A good way to demonstrate this is by emphasising dissertation or coursework research. When you do, include words such as investigated, evaluated, and assessed to illustrate the depth or extent of your research.You may have developed other strengths which give you an edge. The Guardian states that Social media or technology skills are increasingly in demand. Suzanne Kavanagh, publishing sector manager for Skill-set, says: "If you know how to use social media and have examples of how you have built awareness, conversation and followers online with successful calls to action (make a donation, advocacy or peer-to-peer promotion of a particular issue) they will be of interest."

Here at Amsource Technology, we are passionate about technology, and are active on social media. When recruiting for new members of the team we like to see candidates that also share our passion for technology and who also have an active presence on social media. As do many other companies. Therefore don’t be shy, include links to your social media accounts – if they are rich with content and updated regularly, or especially if your account is geared towards your interests in your preferred career path.

EMPHASISE ON THOSE EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES

If you don’t have direct experience in chosen profession, but you have taken part in various extracurricular activities. Include these on your CV.If you were part of any social groups at university. Maybe you organised some events whilst at university, or took part in some sports teams / societies on the side of your studies. What skills did you learn from these that would be valuable to your potential employers and their companies?

“Employers like to see initiative, leadership, and commercial savvy. If you set up or ran a society, managed an event, or demonstrated problem-solving ability, then you'll have gained valuable skills, regardless of the results of your efforts. Highlight activities that demonstrate teamwork or communication skills, or which prove your ability to see through a project to completion"

ACADEMIC HIGHLIGHTS

Don’t feel compelled to include your degree grade if you feel it undersells you. Include the university and the course title you studied but also list relevant modules and assessments that you feel provided you with more qualities / skills.It’s important to make the most of the education section of your CV if your experience section is lacking depth. Think about the highlights of your academic life. Any awards, scholarships, special projects or notable extra-curricular activities. As with everything on your CV, choose strategically: include something only if it helps build a favourable image of you, or is relevant to the employer.

Good luck in your graduate job search! For more hints and tips and useful careers advice visit our blog.Follow us on Twitter @amsourcetech.

 

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