The graduate job market is competitive right now! Hopefully this doesn’t come as a surprise or scared you off from reading on, as it doesn’t tell the whole story and I would like to elaborate on this a little further.
The graduate job market is competitive, but on both sides of the table. Yes, there are a lot of graduates in the market place at the moment and for many graduate positions you could potentially be one of many going for a single vacancy, but likewise there is a lot of competition between all of the big graduate employers trying to attract the best talent to apply for their positions. So, with this in mind, how can you make sure you are deemed ‘one of the best’ as opposed to ‘one of the many’?
One of the answers to this could be how you choose to spend your summer breaks during your time at university.
You have a lot of options open to you when you finally put down that pen at the end of the final exam of the year during May or June, so which is the best to pick:
Relax, take the summer off, generally kick back, recharge the batteries and catch up with friends and family whilst taking an extended vacation.
Find a part-time, entry level job or temp role to do for a few months to bring the pennies in.
Go back to, or stay in, your current part-time or holiday work role and look to pick up some extra hours along the way.
Complete a summer internship with a recognised graduate employer and begin to build the sorts of skills and contacts that will help you secure the sort of role that you want when you come to graduate.
Now I am not saying that there is anything wrong with doing any of the first three – they all have their merits and one way or another will add to your skill set and to you as an individual – but the fourth option will certainly make you stand out from the pack when it comes to applying to graduate positions one or two years down the line.
Imagine coming to the end of your studies, knowing that you are in demand not just because of your academic achievements, but also the work experience and skills that you have developed during your time at university. As graduate employers, we all speak about ‘employability’, ‘transferable’ or ‘soft’ skills and the need to have more than just a degree. Well, by doing a summer internship you can develop all of these and even potentially have an offer of a graduate job on the table ready for when you graduate with the company where you completed it.
So when I come to read your CV or application form, and I am looking for all of the skills that matter to all employers, not just us here at Enterprise Rent-A-Car, will I find what I’m looking for and will I be able to say: I know what you did last summer!