Once you have started to explore your interests and options and have a few ideas, you can take action to develop your understanding further and plan your next steps.
Attend careers events and network with alumni and other people in your chosen industry to deepen your understanding of the skills and attributes you need to be successful. Do some work experience or take up an internship to get hands-on experience. Investigate the many ways there are to find a graduate job.
Now is also a good time to book an appointment with a careers consultant to discuss your plans.
The real skill in planning is to stay open-minded and flexible, and to give yourself the time and permission to explore, try things out and change your mind. Say ‘yes’ to opportunities – you never know who you might meet and what you might learn!
Current students can access support online and in person to help make and carry out an action plan, and to create opportunities to get exactly where you want to be.
Book an appointment or email us.
Work experience and internships
Gaining professional work experience during your time at university is one of the most valuable things you can do to increase your employability as a graduate. You will:
develop professional skills
increase your knowledge of the realities of a role, working environment and sector
meet lots of people with valuable insights to share.
All this will help you make informed choices as a graduate.
This could be insight weeks in Year 1, summer internships, research studentships, or placements as part of your course. Volunteering in relevant organisations, can also be valuable, particularly in healthcare settings.
Current students can access lots of events, workshops, vacancies and information online to support successfully gaining relevant and high-quality work experience.
Make the most of social media, careers events and other networking meetings to approach employers directly and find out about their area of work and suitable opportunities.
Join and use LinkedIn to connect with employers of interest, and explore career paths of people you find interesting and inspiring. Current students and graduates can join our alumni community on LinkedIn.
Practise making your ‘elevator pitch’ beforehand so that you are not lost for words whenever you start a professional conversation. This is a thirty-second introduction of you, your professional background, and what you’re looking for professionally.
Remember to look on your early attempts at networking as the beginning of a learning curve. Employers do recognise that you are human — you don’t have to be perfect first time!
Current students can access workshops and information online, as well as book face-to-face discussions to prepare and make the most of networking opportunities.
Taking advantage when employers visit your university
Having a plan of your next steps at the beginning of your final year is important and allows you to make the most of opportunities. Graduate opportunities start to be advertised a year in advance. Will you be ready?
Work experience and networking during your earlier years at university will have helped you understand your next steps. Attending career events and workshops will help you further.
There are many ways to find a job. Use job boards and online sites not only for ‘live’ vacancies, but also to discover new roles or potential employers you could investigate. Looking at job descriptions will give you a feel for the sorts of skills employers are looking for.
A large number of jobs are never advertised. You could contact an employer directly using a well-targeted speculative CV.
Current students can access one-to-one career guidance appointments to discuss next steps – whether you know what you want or if you have no idea. You will create relevant and tangible actions plans to help you move forwards, wherever you are in your thinking.
5 alternative ways to find a job