If you don't have any ideas, or are not sure, about what you want to do, don't panic; there's still plenty of time to decide, and there's no absolutely right or wrong time to get started. The Careers Service will be happy to help you at any time - and you certainly won't be the first to come in saying, "I don't know what I want to do". When you're ready to start thinking about it:
- Come and speak with a careers consultant.
- Look at our work experience section for ideas about what you could do. Many employers run work experience schemes which will not only help you to explore different career options but also stand you in excellent stead when you apply for graduate jobs later on.
Perhaps you have a few career ideas, but how do you take the next step and start developing them? Consider what you can offer: What are your skills? What are your main interests? Start researching different occupations.
Timetable for Action
As soon as you have all the facts at your fingertips, you can draw up a timetable for action.
- Refine your choices and decide exactly what you are going to apply for and when.
- Browse advertised jobs and postgraduate courses
- Consider work experience
- Book a place on our career events
- Be selective. Think about your priorities and choose those occupations, organisations or courses that really appeal to you and concentrate on them.
- A small number of excellent applications will usually get you further than a large number of poor ones.
- Decide whether applying to a recruitment agency is appropriate in your field and find the right one. The recruitment and Employment Confederation - specialist sectors.
- You may choose to make some speculative applications, though don't rely on this alone.
- Making good applications is very time consuming. Allow for this and manage your time.
- Remember your back up plan.
Make your Applications
- It is essential to do your research before you write your application. Make sure that you read brochures and prospectuses and that you go on to relevant websites and find out all you can about the organisation and the job or the course.
- Use Nexis to search newspapers and other publications for recent news and developments in specific organisations.
- Match yourself to the employer's requirements in your CV and Covering Letter or Application form. You must be able to match the essential criteria.
Use your Careers Service
- Speak to one of our Careers Consultants in a Drop-in session or guidance interview
- Get your application checked by a careers consultant
- Masses of information on our website and free material to take away
- One to one interviews, drop in sessions, workshops, employer talks, work experience and jobs.
- Attend employability lectures and workshops, delivered within your department, throughout your degree.
- Register with Prospects at www.prospects.ac.uk/links/joinmyprosp - this is THE site for just about everything to do with graduate career development and employability. You can get jobs emailed or sent to your mobile.
- If you're considering postgraduate study, have a look at Postgraduate funding options
- As a Careers Service we also subscribe to The Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding, a useful resource for a range of Postgraduate funding options.