University Tips Blog
Image of admission text on a keyboard, with a graduation hat
A headshot image of the author, Izzy Kelly

by Izzy Kelly

Aimhigher Project Officer at Aimhigher West Midlands

posted on 14 Feb '23

A parent guide to how students can make their university application stand out

Whether your child is going to university, applying for an apprenticeship or looking for a job, there’s a variety of things that they can do to help them stand out from the crowd. I will provide a few suggestions in this blog.

Work experience

Work experience looks great on personal statements, job applications and CVs, but your child must be able to reflect upon what they have learnt from it and how it is relevant to their future.

By taking the time with your child to consider what they have gained from the experience, they will be able to use this knowledge to effectively demonstrate their skills and discuss what they enjoyed, what they found challenging and how they overcame challenges.

Some university courses (e.g. Medicine, Social Work and Teaching) require a minimum number of hours work experience, so be sure to check this if your child does apply to higher education.

Part-time work

A young person can demonstrate potential to universities and employers by taking on an evening or weekend job. By working for just a few hours per week, your child can gain employability skills such as problem solving, money handling, communication and many more. These are useful to draw upon in applications and interviews. However, it is important to ensure that any part-time work doesn’t impede on school or college commitments.

Image of a student working on a university application


Doing voluntary work shows that a young person is driven and focused by giving up their time to support a charity or other organisation. This is another great opportunity for your child to build skills, including dedication and commitment, which are essential for their future.

Clubs and hobbies

Talking about interests or hobbies adds personality to an application and can set a candidate apart from their peers. This is why it’s important for students to have other skills outside of academia. Having hobbies can also provide a healthy outlet which may help young people to manage stress as they take on more responsibilities as a young adult.

Other opportunities

Taking up opportunities that link to the career or course your child wants to pursue can really support an application. This could include attending a taster lecture at a university, trips, extracurricular clubs like STEM (out-oftimetable sessions that enrich and broaden the curriculum, giving young people the chance to explore subjects like science, technology, engineering and maths), performing arts clubs or completing free online courses from places like Future Learn and others.

Get email alerts when new blogs are posted

This free newsletter will include information on university events added to UniTasterDays, as well as details about new webinars and blog releases for you and your students.

Recommended blogs

Cookie Policy    X