I was recently contacted by the alumni folk at my old university asking if they could create a profile for me on the website, and part of it was based on tips for your time at uni. In this questionnaire and in the post in June I mentioned making yourself stand out. Simply having a degree isn't enough any more, unfortunately. When your CV is in a pile, you need to ensure that yours makes enough of an impact to, at the very least, get you to an interview. If you have no work experience then try to find a job, any job. Alternatively, keep reading below!
In both posts, I put emphasis on joining societies whilst at university. You don't have to, nor is this obligatory, but I really think it helps. Whilst I was at university I was a member of the United Nations Association Youth Branch. I made these (not so fancy) UN Peacekeeper Gingerbread Men for a fundraiser, and I'm still asked by one of the UNA-UK team members to make them now. Haven't remembered to so far, but soon!
I know of other people from my time at university who have followed similar routes with other organisations, so it's definitely worth while investing that time and energy.
Not only do you get this support and membership, there are so many opportunities with university societies to attend conferences, or social events and network. It may not seem that relevant whilst at university (believe me, I know) but now I can go to any event, walk up to someone and start talking and all without having a breakdown about it!
Long story short, make the most of your time at university and make as many helpful connections as you can!
What if I've already left university?
Alternatively, do something that makes you stand out. By this, I don't mean go and feed elephants in Thailand or head off to work in a bar and surf in Australia. Everyone does this, sure it's great fun, but it's not original and I know from talking to people from other organisations that some employers see it as a jolly and an excuse to not get a job.