Candidates should highlight one or two key unique selling points to differentiate themselves. Are they actively contributing to the organisation's profession? Have they increased profitability for their employer? Mention your unique selling points in your résumé and interview.
However, candidates don't necessarily have to have a university qualification for top employers, particularly at the entry level. They want new hires who will fit in with co-workers and into the workplace.
If you do get an interview, don't forget to prepare - research the company and make sure you are up-to-date with industry trends.
Also, candidates should be realistic about their expected salary. Avoid pricing yourself out of contention. Instead, focus on finding a role with a top employer to add to your skills.
Work experience adds value. Most employers prefer graduates with work experience, be it voluntary or an internship. Graduates who take this path have an edge over their peers.
Tips to landing a job with a top employer include finding out what opportunities are available or upcoming by speaking with your recruiter, looking good on paper, making sure your résumé is relevant for the position for which you are applying, and highlighting your value to the organisation.
Don't give up. If you don't succeed on your first try, build yourself up for the next interview.
Emma Charnock, regional director, Hays (Hong Kong and China)