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10 Resolutions Every Recent Graduate Should Be Making This Year

Now, we all know that most of us spent a significant proportion of 2014 on the hunt for a graduate job – or any job, for that matter. At times it seemed like something more dependent on luck than on anything you could do, but there are actually a number of things that you can do to increase your chances and make the job hunt that little more bearable.

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1. Update your skills and fill in any gaps. I’m not talking about ditching your degree and retraining completely, but taking a hard look at yourself and working out where you could improve. Take a look at the way the job market in your discipline is going, and really think about the skills you would need to get you into your dream career. This could perhaps be updating your digital skills, learning to code or getting to grips with a particular program. Futureproof yourself.

2. Learn something new. This is on most people’s resolutions list – and with good reason. Why not revisit that language you haven’t touched since GCSE, or do something completely different like a First Aid course. This will stop your brain from stagnating while you’re in the midst of job hunting misery, give you extra skills and demonstrate to employers that you’re continually looking to improve.

3. Be a culture vulture. Go to museums. Be curious about the area you live. Read those books everyone’s always talking about. Do things that make you a more interesting and employable person.

4. Don’t feel guilty about going to the cinema or having a mini Netflix binge. No matter if it’s indie films or the latest Hollywood blockbuster, if you enjoy it, go for it. All work and no play and all that. Make most of the freedom you have, just don’t spend all day staring at the screen.

5. Take care of your health. Don’t overdo the junk food, make time to exercise and take a break if you’re getting stressed and anxious about it all. The last thing you need is to be doing is making things harder for yourself.

6. Find a hobby. If you don’t already have one, experiment. Not only will a hobby give you something else to focus on if the job search is getting you down, it can also be a social activity. We all want a job, but we also need a life.

7. Figure out why you are the best. Work out what your strengths and natural abilities are and identify what skills you have learned from your degree. Have you been involved in any societies or sports clubs? What hobbies and interests do you have? Nobody else will have the same education/skills/experiences as you – you are unique, and it’s your task to sell that to potential employers.

8. Update your CV or LinkedIn profile. If you havn’t done it for a while, new year is a good time to freshen it up and make sure it shows you off in the best light.

9. Put together a great interview outfit. Particularly one that makes you feel confident. We know you’re comfortable in that onesie, but if you can work yourself up to putting together a good outfit now, you will reap the dividends later. A good quality suit, though expensive, will get you through any upcoming interview and is an investment that will serve you well for years to come.

10. Prepare some killer answers to those typical interview questions. You know the ones; ‘Can you tell me a time when you’ve demonstrated good teamwork?’ and ‘Where do you see yourself in 5 years?’ If you’ve no idea where to start try the STAR method. Tell the interviewer the Situation, the Task, the Action you took and the Result. Practicing will make you feel more confident and less nervous on the day. This is your time to shine.

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2015 can be your year.

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