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Entering the job market for the first time and getting stuck into the ‘real world’ can be rather intimidating for current students or recent graduates – especially if your CV is looking bare. The job market for graduates is highly competitive and achieving a good degree from a top university isn’t always enough to get your foot in the door for your dream role. Never fear, we’ve got 5 key ways to juice up your CV and enhance your future employment prospects!

1.      Volunteering

Volunteering is not only a rewarding experience personally, but it’s something worth highlighting on your CV. Volunteering for a cause shows that you’ve sacrificed your own personal time and that you’re committed and dedicated to other passions outside of your course. Whether you volunteer at open days, career fairs, or outside of university at charities and community services, it demonstrates personality attributes that will give you a significant edge over others. Even becoming a tutor is another form of volunteering and is a great way to cement your own knowledge by teaching someone else! 

2.      Study Abroad

Living and studying in a different culture and education system will give you a unique perspective and clarity that you would have never gained if you didn’t go overseas. Taking the plunge to study abroad emphasises excellent communication skills, vital to any employer considering the globalised workforce of today. Self-reflecting on your international exchange experience and thinking about what skills you’ve gained from learning in a foreign country full of unfamiliarity tests your own ability; but also provides a benchmark for comparison on an international level. Fill your CV with as much international experience as possible and it will shine over other candidates.  

3.      Student Societies & Clubs

Fully immersing yourself in student life and becoming an active member on campus through a student union, club, or society can make a significant impact on your CV. Even better, take on a leadership position! There are student clubs and unions today that cater for a variety of hobbies and interests and they’re fantastic for networking and making a real difference to university life. More importantly, they give potential employers a glimpse into your entrepreneurial spirit and leadership qualities which will make any hiring manager weak at the knees!      

4.      Sports

Participating in a university sports team offers numerous transferrable skills to your resume and shows off your athletic prowess! Being a part of a sports team exhibits commitment, hunger, and a competitive nature and drive that would be a strong asset to any team – especially if you were captain. Most of all, it highlights that you work well within a team environment to achieve a common goal, crucial to any successful business. 

5.      News & Current Affairs

Employers want switched on graduates who are aware of issues and news surrounding their industry. Getting a grasp on hot topics and current affairs will hold you in good stead for any interview. Reading newspapers and publications on a daily basis will expand your knowledge and is a useful habit to get into! Newspapers such as The Financial Times and publications like The Economist are good starting points for keeping up to date with business and current affairs.

Lastly, really draw attention to any of the above elements in a professional development section of your CV, mention key achievements and a strong desire for continual learning and self-improvement.