As a student, you’ve got an incredible amount of time available during the holidays… make the most of it! There’s room during your break for relaxing, exploring, and travelling the globe but you can also invest some time in thinking about life after university.
ScotGrad works in collaboration with the Association for Careers Advisory Services (AGCAS) and we can highly recommend booking an appointment with your Careers Service to start to think about the sectors and careers that interest you. Careers Advisers are experts in their field and will support you to explore your skills and interests and advise you about opportunities including placements.
You already know by now that ScotGrad offers hundreds of placements for students and graduates with small and medium-sized businesses in a wide variety of industries across Scotland every year and we’re keen to let you know why a placement will do wonders for your CV. Not only does a placement show you are proactive and eager, traits that every employer values, it also offers you valuable commercial understanding of how a business works behind the scenes. You can test whether you enjoy the role or sector and find out whether your personality and skillset are valued. A placement will help you to take steps towards identifying the right career path for you.
Your placement will demonstrate to a future employer that you have already proven you are work-ready and that you have skills which can’t be learned by reading a textbook or attending a lecture, including how to interact with customers, work flexibly, and think on your feet to solve problems.
The more work experience you have, the more real life working situations you’ll encounter, which will help you to build up an arsenal of transferable skills that every employer looks for when examining CVs and job applications.
The most important part is to articulate your experience in your CV. Your Careers Adviser can help you to do this but remember standing out from the crowd is about you, your individual approach and your outcomes… although others may have had a similar experience, they haven’t had the same one:
- Use facts and figures and be specific – use the job description to tailor your application
- Demonstrate the impact your contribution made by explaining your outcomes
- Avoid listing the tasks you completed and focus on your achievements and areas of excellence
Remember to remember your contacts. A role isn’t only about the things that you have done but the people you have met along the way. Working hard and making a strong impression will help you to grow your network which is an invaluable asset. In small to medium-sized organisations you experience more day to day interaction with members of the Senior Management Team than you would at a large firm which is a perfect opportunity to make your mark and get noticed by the people who make strategic decisions in a company.
The more experience you have under your belt, the clearer you can be about your next steps after university and this can help you to stay calm and focused on meeting deadlines and juggling course work, essays and assignments throughout your time at university.
Graduate placements with ScotGrad are available throughout the year. If you’re interested in ScotGrad check out our current placements on offer and register for updates.