(Thanks to our friends at Inspiring Interns for this guest post).

Doing extracurricular activities while at university is essential for even being considered for a graduate job today. Many graduates wish they had made more of a meaningful contribution while at university. Here are 9 ways of boosting your graduate job chances when you leave. Don’t wait until your final year!


Volunteering abroad and volunteering locally are wonderful experiences and add value to your CV when you pull out the difference you made. Approach your university, local charities and not-for-profit organisations to gain relevant industry experience. For other industries, network professionally and set up a week’s work shadowing during reading week.

Get part-time work

A part-time job gives you the facts and figures to back up your well-written graduate CV, as well as that all-important extra cash. You never know what connections you’ll make through your work. Remember to get a testimonial or a reference when you leave.

Do internships

Come in we're hiringAt Inspiring Interns, the majority of our interns go on to secure permanent employment. Use the holiday periods for 6-8 week internships across your degree period. It’s a chance for you and the employer to ‘try before you buy’. Make sure your time is meaningful, you get mentored and you get paid.

Take on a Responsible Role

Hold a position of responsibility within a society or at the student’s union. It’s what you do and how you do it that counts, so stress the transferrable skills in your CV.

Play a sport

Represent your university competitively or just play for fun. Playing a sport shows future employers that you’re proactive, a team player and interested in something other than work or studying.


A lot of graduates avoid doing sales, but it can be one of the best experiences. Sell tickets for university events and develop your negotiation and relationship building skills. Fundraise for causes that matter to you. We all have to build relationships at work if we want to get things done. You can improve your communication skills, show your work ethic and develop your resilience by selling to the public in retail and hospitality holiday jobs.

Social media

Create a strong profile on LinkedIn and check your privacy settings on Facebook. If you’re looking for a job in a particular industry, get involved with the relevant platform (for example, Pinterest and Instagram for creatives), follow news, trends and industry leaders, and contribute regularly.

Blog or Vlog

Improve your writing skills, promote your ideas and show an employer you’re willing to invest time in a project. Use Google Analytics to track your blog’s progress and quote these stats in an interview if you get a large number of views. Sites like Wordpress are free and easy to use. Do it on video if you prefer – create a YouTube channel and post your Vlog there.

Start your own business

Tutor other students, sell things on eBay, get involved in competitions seeking entrepreneurs and put your ideas forward to gain feedback, visibility in the industry, media and potentially funding. Show your entrepreneurial skills and mindset!

Which of these ideas will you commit to doing in 2016?