What now? Your next career steps after completing your course

So you’ve finished your studies but haven’t finalised your career plans? Don’t panic! From polishing your LinkedIn profile to volunteering to recruitment fairs, there’s plenty of action you can take to land a great job.

Get help from your university

Your university careers service offers extensive resources to help you with your job search. These are likely to include training and advice sessions for finalists and alumni, as well as online job preparation tools.

Such services will usually support graduates for a couple of years post-study too, giving you time to get on that all-important first rung of the ladder – or even to switch careers.

Network like crazy

Whether it’s through LinkedIn, Facebook groups or university events, you need to get out there and make connections! Start with your fellow students and tutors, who can be an invaluable support throughout your career.

Roshan, a UWE graduate from India who is now a software engineer, says: “Networking is key! LinkedIn is a very good tool for building a good network in our sector. I would say be shameless!

“Research as much as you can, and then reach out to anyone who may be able to help you. I approached a lot of people when looking for this job, and it was a contact that told me the company were looking for a position like this. You need to be patient, and you need to be active.”

Check out graduate schemes

It’s always wise to apply for graduate schemes as early as possible – but don’t despair if you missed out last autumn.

Many programmes, especially those run by smaller employers, accept applications all year round. And some larger schemes may re-open places that haven’t been filled.

Broaden your job search

May and June are the peak times for graduate recruitment, and with all the skills you’ve acquired at a UK university, you may feel ready to jump into a meaty role!

But if you’re struggling to snap up the job of your dreams, then cast your net wider and consider posts with smaller employers, in related fields, or at lower levels.

Kush from India, who graduated from Loughborough University, now works as a senior executive in financial advisory for Deloitte. He says: “Don’t be too worried about which job you land first. I started off as a billing analyst before my current role. The key for me was to learn as many skills as possible and then leverage those skills to progress to a better role. Companies really value work experience.”

And UK graduate Darren, from Malaysia, who is now Head of Asia Shared Financial Services at PPG Industries, says: “It is important to remember that every role that you take on the way to a senior position should be a learning experience and enhance your personal skill set. Finally, given a choice, always take better experience over a higher salary; the salary will come to you in the longer run.”

Attend recruitment fairs

Your course may have finished, but your university is still busy! Recruitment fairs take place during the late spring and early summer, giving you another opportunity to meet potential employers.

If you’re still looking for a job after the summer, you can attend the autumn recruitment fairs too. These are likely to be recruiting for the following autumn, but a Graduate visa gives you the right to stay in the UK during that time.

Acquire new skills

Being a UK graduate is something to be proud of. But learning never stops!

Whether it’s through volunteering, skills-specific short courses, temporary work, internships or even further study (remember to check visa requirements), there are many ways to boost the skills you can offer potential employers.

Mohammadi from India, who graduated from Brunel University, is doing a PR internship. She says: “If you think you are not suitable for an entry-level job right away, do internships and work experience and add weight to your résumé. There is no shame in that. It is being smart and practical.”

Register with Gradlink

Finally, Gradlink offers a free jobs board for UK and worldwide employment, along with industry specific advice, a CV Builder, and other resources. Register with Gradlink today!

By Q Content Published: May 30,2024

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