The number of jobs available for graduates is predicted to rise by 10.2%, according to a survey by the Association of Graduate Recruiters. Good news for students – but when you come to apply for your first job after university, are you sure you''ll have the relevant skills for the post?
Leaving it until you''re sitting in front of a blank computer screen trying to write your CV for a graduate job may well be too late to assess the qualities you''ve got to offer.
"From day one students should see the start of university as the start of their working life," says Dan Hawes, co-founder of the Graduate Recruitment Bureau. "Think of the skills you need to have when you finish university in three or four years time and then work backwards, so you''re hoarding skills each year."
Gemma Pirnie, founder of Your New Crew, says: "When I left university I was completely unprepared for what the grad market would throw at me. I thought having a 2:1 from a good university and having a bit of (irrelevant) work experience would see me land a job no problem – not the case."
Obviously the skills you need will depend on the job you apply for, but there are some things that graduate recruiters are looking for that you can start thinking about now.
Business sense 商业理念
"Candidates who start their own societies, organise their university ball or start their own T-shirt-making business while at uni tend to have a good grasp of how a business makes money," says Cary Curtis, managing director of Give-a-grad-a-go.“
An understanding of business is one of the main skills that students underestimate, according to a 2013 Guardian survey. Less than 10% of students thought it was a vital skill, compared to nearly 50% of employers.
"You don''t need to be the next Mark Zuckerberg," says Curtis, "but having a good idea of how a business runs and the challenges involved are really useful skills to take into a company."
Get global 全球化理念
"More and more employers are wanting graduates to have a ''global mindset'', which means understanding different cultures and how industries work across borders," says Stephen Isherwood, chief executive of the Association of Graduate Recruiters.
Isherwood recommends that students make the most of time at uni to meet people from around the world, consider study abroad schemes like Erasmus, and says that speaking another language shows that a grad has a "better cultural understanding".
伊舍伍德建议学生们多花时间和来自世界各地的人交流，考虑伊拉斯莫国外交流学习项目，会从中受益很多。伊舍伍德也讲道，会讲一门外语(课程)也体现出毕业生有“更好的文化理解能力”。（小编注：“Erasmus Mundus” 项目是欧洲在高等教育领域的一个合作性学生交流项目。）
A language 会讲一门外语
"If you speak another language then make sure it''s clearly displayed on your CV," says Curtis. "We really like bilingual candidates as they usually interview really well. But quite often their CV doesn''t do them justice. ''Business fluent French'' looks much better than just ''French A-level at grade A'' as it offers a company more."
Be careful though. "If you haven''t had much practice with your languages make sure you scrub up before sending out a CV that implies you can hold your own.
A squeaky clean digital footprint 完美的个人网络档案
"Start building a digital footprint of relevance to what you want to do," says Smith. "Employers, just like everyone else, will look on the internet as a first port of call."
That might mean setting up a LinkedIn profile, starting your own blog or website, joining Twitter, and generally making sure you''re careful about what goes online connected to you.
Chris Smith, chief executive of Opinio Group recruiters, says: "If the only thing employers can find is you with traffic cones on your head on Facebook then you''re in trouble."
Office etiquette 办公室礼仪
Knowing how to fit into an office will come in handy for many graduate jobs, so it''s a good idea to look for opportunities to spend time in one while you''re still a student.
Hawes says: "What some graduates might not have is the office know-how, maybe they''ve never worked in an office before so everything''s new, whether it''s answering the phone or the way you dress or address people, the things like that – office etiquette."
How to make a good cuppa 怎样泡杯好茶
Sam Espensen, managing director of Conversation Creation, says: "One of the skills that has stood me in great stead is making great tea and coffee. I once had a grad refuse to make my team drinks because it ''suggested he was below the rest of us'' – needless to say he didn''t last long.