Whether you're entering your first or your final year, it is important you can strike the balance between your studies and your job hunt.

University is a busy and exciting time, however, after three years of studious academia you will need to find employment. The issue is many graduate employers want applicants early and often before you've finished all your exams - so you need to get in there early. The juggling act to keep your grades high and job prospects in good shape can be difficult and if you get it right, it will make your life much easier.

Here's 5 ways to help you balance your studies and job hunt!

1. Find a Routine

University life can be extremely frantic with deadlines, society events and traditional social engagements so you need to find a way to devote time to your job hunt. Your weekly schedule will differ to everyone else, but you should build in job hunting to your routine.

For first and second year students, you may only need to devote a few hours a week to researching different career paths or sending some speculative internship applications. If you are further down the line of your degree, you might need to factor in a few more hours each week to completing long application forms for graduate schemes and graduate jobs.

2. Goals

We all like to be rewarded and able to give ourselves a good pat on the back. Set yourself targets to complete tasks during your allotted time each week. In job hunting, it is quality over quantity so you shouldn't focus on sending off a high volume of applications, but a few fantastic ones each week.

If you can even incentivise yourself to concentrate on your job hunt this will help. We're not suggesting 1 quality application = 1 pint, but treat yourself for being so proactive!

3. Mix it up

There's so much more to job hunting that firing off applications. Your allotted time shouldn't be just firing off random applications, but to help you become job-ready. The time devoted to your job hunt could be spent on sprucing up your CV, finding out how to write a killer covering letter or exploring other career options.

4. Keep track

One of the main problems with switching between job hunting and studying is losing track of where you are (inevitably, your job hunt will lose out). Set up a spreadsheet and register each application you sent off, when you sent it and its current status – in review, interview, rejected etc.

This is a technique that should also be applied to job hunting after you've graduated, but it will help you keep track. It is also an excellent way of checking on certain techniques and how application documents have performed. If you can see which CVs have been successful and which approaches have got you to the next stage it will help you improve your whole application technique.

5. Don't drop the ball

The most important part of balancing your job hunting and university commitments is making sure you keep both up. All things considered, you have deadlines with your degree work and it is important you achieve the best grade you can, but don't let job hunting be an afterthought because, unfortunately, university doesn't last forever.

It is a fine balancing act with study and job hunting. It can be difficult to get right, but the earlier you start and the stricter you are with your routine, will make job hunting a breeze. So remember – don't leave it too late!

Image credit: Jon Flobrant