Graduates up and down the country are being let loose in the job market and competition is tougher than ever. Hundreds are applying for each single vacancy.

On top of competing with other graduates, they’re now jostling with experienced
candidates — who have been ousted from their jobs due to the recession.

The Linc asked how three of Lincoln’s outgoing students are getting on — here’s what they said.

Alice Taylor

I’m currently deputy site manager at Scarborough Open Air Theatre which is the largest open air theatre in Europe. It wasn’t what I planned to do after I graduated at all, but I love it.

I have always been interested in the world of events after studying public relations at university. I went to the interview for a managerial position on whim, and I was lucky enough to receive the deputy site manager position. 

We have all sorts of acts here, such as Newton Faulkner, The Doves, Tiffany Page, Boy George and lots of famous opera singers, and we have Paulo Nutini and Jack Johnson closely confirmed for next summer.

In October I’m going to be working on further events in London which I’m very excited about.

I really miss the typical student lifestyle. The laid-back, easy days were something I will really miss now I’m working an average of 60 hours a week. However, I do enjoy having some structure in my life and facing the new challenges my job throws at me everyday.

My main piece of advice to all students is, yes, your degree matters, but it’s work experience that employers want. Cram as much relevant and interesting work experience into your university life, as it’s this sort of dedication and passion employers are looking for.

Laura Thornton

I finished my degree in media production in May and since then I’ve been undertaking work experience and looking for jobs in the industry.

 I’ve been working on a show at BBC Radio Sheffield where I’ve been since October, which has given me all the skills that I would need to work as a broadcast assistant in radio.

I always knew it would be difficult to walk straight into a job so over the last three years I’ve completed unpaid work on a number of professional products in a variety of roles.

I’ve worked as an editor, camera operator, sound, PA, runner and produced some radio shows. I’ve also worked as a runner on a film production and I’m currently interviewing to be a PA on an upcoming  production.

I’m confident I will get a job as I graduated with a first, ran a sports team, completed work experience, and have also volunteered and worked abroad – which all look interesting on a CV.

I don’t miss being a student as such, but I miss living in Lincoln with all my friends nearby, as now we’re all scattered across the UK. I’ve lived the past three years to the full and am now ready to start my career and hopefully that will happen soon.

It’s really important that students look at where they want to be when they leave university and seek advice about anything they can do to make themselves stand out.

There will not only be everyone on their course with that degree to compete with, but people all across the country, so making yourself look exceptional by doing extra things while you have time will really make you stand out.

Alex Colman

I am now working for the university as a graduate intern. My job is to provide support for students and recent graduates who are interested in entrepreneurship and possibly the idea of setting up their own business.

After studying journalism at university this isn’t what I’d planned to do. With few opportunities within the industry at the minute and not feeling like a masters was beneficial for me, I thought a year long internship would boost my credentials. I heard about the job through a friend and decided that some of the skills I would learn could benefit me, and the experience and contacts I would acquire would also be invaluable.

The biggest thing I miss about being a student is the amount of spare time I used to have. Having a full-time job stops me from fitting in some of the things I used to enjoy doing when I was a student. It is nice to have a job as after three years of studying the novelty of the student lifestyle was beginning to wear off and I was glad to finish and join the real world. I have now realised how lazy I was becoming!

 My advice to students who want a job after university would be to try and do something different to stand out. This doesn’t mean turning up to a job interview with a tattoo on your face, but rather than just being a member of a society perhaps become the treasurer.

Lots of people graduate with decent degrees and get to the interview stage, but then have nothing to talk about, so try and make an effort to take up some of the opportunities that are available at university outside of your studies.

Another thing is to be open-minded when applying for jobs. I still have a burning ambition to be a journalist, but I have realised with so much  competition I need to take a different route. Some jobs may not seem directly related to your degree but the skills you’ve learnt could mean you’re right for it and it could also your foot on the ladder.

 If you would like any advice on entrepreneurship or just preparing yourself for the business world get in touch. The aim of the Deviate society is to show employers that you have made an extra effort to make yourself more employable.