Careers Advice

Standing out in the crowded jobs market

In recent years, the graduate job market has started to pick-up after the recession, but it’s still tough out there. With lots of competition for every role, it’s important to differentiate yourself. Stepanka Jurenova, Graduate Engagement Manager for the Highlands and Islands shares her top tips to stand out in the crowd.

Published: 15/02/2017

Boost your CV

It’s likely that the first impression an employer will get of any candidate is through their CV, so it’s important that it’s a positive one. Making your CV relevant to the role you’re applying for and avoiding simple grammar and spelling mistakes will demonstrate your attention to detail. For advice on making your CV shine, check out our advice blog.

Do something new

Whether it’s taking up German lessons, learning rock-climbing, or getting a qualification in digital marketing, developing new skills and hobbies will set you apart from the competition. Volunteering is also a great way to learn something new and ramp up your CV. Some skills will help with your day-to-day work, while others might endear employers who see you showcasing your work ethic in different areas. By demonstrating a willingness to try new things and stretch yourself, employers will see that you are eager to learn and driven to succeed.

Be confident

Once you’ve made it past the application stage and get invited to interview, it’s important to keep-up momentum and leave the interviewer with a positive impression of you. The key to a confident interview is being prepared. We’ve carefully compiled a list of our best interview tips, as well as the steps you can take to get on top of your interview nerves.

Show an interest and be engaging

You want to show your potential employer how much you want the role. Before you apply, you should do some research on the organisation, the type of job advertised, and the wider industry.  You can then tailor your interview preparation to show the employer that you know what you’re applying for, you’ve taken the initiative to read up on it beforehand and can engage your interviewer in sector-related conversation.

Get experience

While many positions require applicants to have “X years’ experience”, ScotGrad placements are designed to help candidates secure their first piece of paid work experience through delivering a specific project for the host organisation

Finding a ScotGrad placement in the industry or role that you want to pursue a career in will help you get a foot on the ladder, and invaluable experience under your belt. We placed more than 220 student and graduates in placements in 2016 and some of them have shared their success stories here.

Check out the current placement opportunities available here.