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Make The Most of Your University's Careers Service

Elle's Declassified Grad Scheme Application Survival Guide Part II

Oct 12, 2020 Person holding folders in their arms wearing a backpack. Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

I'm back with another grad job post for students! This time I wanted to focus on giving some tips and advice for getting the most out of your university's careers service. From my experience, utilising the careers service helped me not only improve my employability, but also find work experience opportunities and figure out what I wanted to do after graduating.

Know What You Need

My first piece of advice would be to work out what you want. Before you book an appointment to see a careers advisor, think about what it is you are looking to get out of the meeting. Do you need help with your CV? Have you made a CV yet? Do you need employability advice? Have an interview coming up and don't know how to prep? The careers service is there to help you with all of these problems.

When I made appointments with the careers service, I would always write a little note in my phone with some bullet points on what I wanted to ask or what I needed help with.

Use Available Resources

Secondly, use their resources! Your careers department might have access to job boards (The University of Hull, for instance, has a Jobteaser job portal - which also has rescources for practicing psychometrics and other resources) or people they could put you into contact with to help you with your employability. They might host mock interviews (which are perfect if you have a grad job assessment centre coming up), or even offer mentoring opportunities or other employability schemes. If you have the opportunity to get involved with any of these, do it! I took part in an e-mentoring program at my uni and got the opportunity to get CV and job application advice from local industry leaders. Creating strong links to the careers service at your uni will help you progress with your employability journey.

Job Fairs

From time to time, the careers department will hold industry specific careers fairs... GO TO THEM! Representatives from companies looking to hire upcoming grads just like you. At these events, you will have the chance to chat to recruiters and other graduates working for big name companies who can let you know about any opportunities they have available, and maybe give you some advice on the application process for their careers. I attended a few in my second and third year and was able to network with local businesses as well as meet graduate recruiters from big companies like Sky and the BBC!

Other Kinds Of Support

As I mentioned in the first instalment of this guide https://www.elletownsend.co.uk/blog/posts/applying-for-grad-jobs/, the job hunting process can take a real toll, with work piling on top of applications and rejections. At it's heart the careers service knows this all too well and while they offer support in aiding your job hunt, they can also guide you towards places and services at your uni that can offer you extra support.

Life-Long Career Advice

Finally, your relationship with the careers service doesn't end when you graduate! Keep in touch and let them know how your job hunt is going. Your careers department may offer life-long career advice and support, so at any point after your graduation you find yourself needing some CV or job application advice - reach out to your old uni and ask! I'm sure they'd be more than happy to welcome you back.

I hope this post helps you forge or improve your relationship with the careers service and your university and you are now in the position to get the most out of the careers department!