What makes a good graduate?

What does a good graduate look like?

Here at Employability in your Students’ Union we want to do all that we can to make you more employable and ‘work-ready’. It’s more important than ever to be able to demonstrate experience and skills beyond your course to potential employers. When you’re looking to stand out against other graduates, perhaps with a similar or the same degree as you, employability and life skills could be the difference between getting the job and being unsuccessful. Whatever career you’re pursuing, employers in all fields value these skills and want to see evidence of them. Even if you don’t have a definite plan for when you graduate, there are a range of skills that all employers are seeking in future graduates, and these are skills you can develop through your extra-curricular activities. Developing these skills puts you in a good position, whatever field you end up choosing.


Make the most out of your SU

There are plenty of different opportunities and roles within your SU to get involved in. From academic opportunities with Student Voice to paid roles to getting involved with Campaigning. Explore the links in the Employability section of the website and look out for which of our Employability Skills each opportunity can help you develop. Start as early as possible to make the most out of these opportunities! Equally, if you’re in your final year it’s never too late to get stuck in.


Applicant Tracking System

More and more employers are using ATI (Applicant Tracking System) to electronically scan applicants’ CV’s for relevant skills sought after in the job description for the role. It’s a recruitment process which sorts through thousands of CV’s to determine which ones are the best fit for the role, by searching for keywords. If your CV contains the keywords the employer is looking for, then it ranks higher on the database where applications are stored. This means that recruiters may often make a split-second decision as to whether to process your application any further. The process isn’t entirely different from a recruiter scanning your CV with their own eyes, it’s still important to ensure your skills are there in black and white. According to a study by TheLadders, recruiters spend an average of 6 seconds reviewing an individual CV.


How do I translate the roles and skills from my Skills Log to my CV?

See our example CV, demonstrating what a good graduate looks like…

This is an example of a skillset CV, where focus is placed more on skills and relevant examples, rather than focusing too much on specific roles. Try out our CV Writing and Identifying Your Skillset e-learning to learn more and earn a Learning and Adaptability star! Make sure you utilise your Skills Log, which will be sent to you twice a year but is also available for download at any time. Where are the gaps in your skills? Get in touch with us about how we can help you fill those gaps: [email protected]


Top tips

  • Keep on top of ensuring your Skills Log is up to date with everything extra-curricular that you’ve been involved in. It’s much easier to update it as you go than to try and remember everything once you have finished your course.
  • Whatever field you end up choosing to work in, employability and life skills are invaluable.
  • To ensure your extra-curricular activities don’t affect your studies, spread opportunities out over different semesters or terms. However, don’t wait too long to make a start.
  • Explore your Students’ Union website and ensure you’re aware of all the opportunities we can offer.


Assessment Centres 

The Careers & Employability team at the University are offering a fantastic opportunity for you to gain experience in talking to real companies and develop your application and interview skills.

Watch this space for further information and dates!