Once you have completed your degree your mind naturally turns to your career. Unless you are one of the few students who have had a clear idea of your career direction for a long time, you will probably need a bit of help. That is where the University careers service comes in. University careers are trained professionals who can help you in every stage of your career choice and development from initial choice to career development.
Your assigned careers advisor can take you through a wide variety of different career choices which your degree can provide access. Ultimately, it is down to you to decide in which direction you want to take your future career. Your careers advisor is almost certain to open your mind to career opportunities of which you might not have been aware; including graduate placements, further education, fairs and overseas job opportunities. Through your university careers service, you will also have access to an extensive range of resources that will help you find and benefit from opportunities as they arise such as CV workshops, free internet access, interview skills coaching and completion of job application forms.
Undergrads with a need for career advice should contact the careers department sooner rather than later, it is also possible that graduates who have already finished their degree will be welcomed. If you find yourself in a career quandary after graduation, contact your former university – the worst that can happen is that they say no! You can check if this is likely to be the case for your particular university as each university in Great Britain is required to list the levels of help that graduates can expect. Check with the Graduate Services section.
Whilst at University another opportunity which is not to be missed are the graduate recruitment and careers fairs. Whether you are seeking career inspiration or you’re out to target specific employers, you will need to prepare. In the competitive graduate job market careers fairs are busy. As a result you may have less time to spend with recruiters on stands, so make sure you plan your visit well and in order to be focused and ready to impress in seconds. Here is a list of tips to help with your careers fair preparation:
– Make sure you know what the fair is about, when it is and how to get there.
– Try to find out in advance which employers or course providers will be attending as this will help you focus your preparation and save you valuable time on the day.
– Some events run advice seminars. Find out the programme in advance so that you can fit these in around visiting employers’ stands.
– If you are targeting specific employers, find out some basic information about them before you go. It will help you to make a much better initial impression.
– Prepare questions you want to ask and write them down as this helps if your mind goes blank when talking to recruiters.
– Not all recruiters accept CVs at fairs, but take a few up-to-date copies with you just in case.