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Applying for a graduate job? 6 ways your university career service can help

Olivier Guiberteau
Last Updated: 17 July 2021 • 3 min read

Applying for a graduate job can be stressful.

Don’t worry - you’re not alone. 

University career services are there to help you prepare for your future. But how does college help with job opportunities?

Whether it’s helping with a CV, advising you on various career options, or working on your interview skills the importance of career services shouldn’t be underestimated.

Here are six ways that your university career services can help you apply for graduate jobs. 

  1. Interview practice
  2. Mentorship programmes
  3. CV advice
  4. Work experience and volunteering programmes
  5. Networking
  6. Career guidance

1. Interview practice 

Job interviews can be challenging. 

You’re much more likely to succeed if you’ve prepared well. 

Your university career services can help with this. They can give you mock interviews, whether it’s face to face or online using an interview simulator. These simulators record your answers to interview questions, then give you feedback from trained individuals. 

With this kind of preparation you can be confident and ready for your interview

2.  Mentorship programmes

Many universities run mentoring programs. 

Students are paired with an individual currently working in a field you are interested in. 

The benefit of having access to somebody who has already travelled along the road is enormous. Not only can they act as a wealth of knowledge in exactly the right area, but their experiences and advice can help guide you through the complex and sometimes scary path between university and a graduate job

3.  CV advice

You must stand out from the crowd. 

Your CV is one of the most important ways to do this. 

When you’re applying for a graduate job, it’s important to have a professional-looking CV that’s well crafted that gives all of the relevant information. CVs always need to be updated but also adapted to the kind of job that you are applying for. 

Your university career services will often be a treasure trove in this aspect. 

Whether it’s with CV workshops, online CV builder tools or simply a one-to-one conversation with a professional, they can make sure your CV is looking fantastic.

4. Work experience and volunteering programmes

Work experience or volunteering programs are a wonderful way for you to dip your toes into the world of work.

Universities are great at teaching you knowledge, but you can’t replace valuable work experience. 

Employers love it. 

Most universities will have links with business or organisations in industries that are taught at the school. 

Don’t always expect a salary, although some might offer a small reimbursement.

You probably won’t be starting with the most important work, either. You’ll most likely be asked to start with simple jobs and go from there. 

But if you do well, it could well mean a real job at the end of it

5. Networking 

Today’s business work world is all about networking. 

It’s about building a set of contacts that you can use if and when it’s needed. But how do you get started?

A lot of university career services offer help in this field with many even hosting networking fairs or even smaller events. There you can mingle and speak to people within the industries that you’re interested in. 

It’s a great way to be introduced to the kind of people you need to know if you are going to succeed. It can also be a huge benefit when it comes to your graduate job applications. Making a great first impression with somebody won’t guarantee that you’ll be given a job interview, but it can’t hurt.

Another incredibly important aspect of networking is using Linkedin correctly and effectively.

6. Career guidance

Shouldn’t you know what you want to do by the time you’re at uni? 

In a perfect world, yes. But many get to the end of their degree without knowing what comes next. And there’s nothing wrong with that. 

However, your university career service can be a huge help. Through self-assessments, career quizzes and often simply a good chat about what you like and don’t like, career services can often nudge you into a path that you might not have seen on your own. 

As your time in higher education draws to a close, your university career services should be one of the first places you turn to. The jump between university and a graduate job can be a daunting one - but one you needn’t do alone. 

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Olivier Guiberteau
Written By
Olivier Guiberteau

Oli lives in London and is a writer and photographer.

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