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The Time Is Now

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It’s around now, when exams and revision are on your mind and the weather is just starting to perk up, that we start asking the question, “Have you thought about what you’re going to do when you finish?

As one student said when I spoke to them “Ugh.” Seemed to say it all. You don’t want to be thinking about career choices, you’re too busy with finishing off your course and finally having some freedom, right? True; focus on your degree and enjoy the final days of Uni life. But I’m afraid you also have to squeeze in some time to think about your career and I’m going to give you a few reasons why.

For new graduates getting a job straight after graduation is a race but a race where no one has to line up for the start. The starting pistol has already been fired, it just depends who notices and who doesn’t. Getting a head start, by not only focussing on your exams but also thinking about you career, can give you the distance on others racing who might be faster than you in the long run.

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So what are your first steps when thinking about a job after Uni? Well, first put some time into your CV. Starting on this now is one less thing to worry about later. Usually Careers Services are quieter during the exam period so you will have more luck getting an appointment to go over it at a time that suits you. Make sure you don’t just get it ‘checked’; find out the reasons for changes so when you come to edit it next time you’ll not make the same mistakes.

Secondly, start your research into the job you want. Now this can seem more of a task than it is, especially with the internet and company websites; there’s a wealth of information out there just waiting for you to harvest it. A quick search of a job title or a company will easily bring up a good starting point and allow you to delve into the job you’re interested in. Find out about the sector, the day-to-day workings of the job, and the companies who employ (this last one is particularly important when going for interviews).

Thirdly, start looking for jobs. With your research you’ve probably turned up a variety of websites where people are hiring but remember, not all jobs are advertised. Start thinking about your network; who you know and who they know. Develop your on-line presence through your LinkedIn profile, Twitter handle, and blog (if you have one).

Remember there is always help from the Careers and Placements Service if you’re having difficulty. We are running bootcamps for your career throughout the summer and on 22nd May we are holding our Jobs and Careers Fair too. Take a look at the employers visiting and see if there are any that spark your interest. Remember though, both large and small companies might need people from all sorts of different courses, regardless of the industry their company is in. (Remember to book on CareerHub and pick up your voucher from our offices for the free BBQ!)

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It’s never too late to get on the road to your new job. Start on these steps to make sure you’re not left behind!

Jerome Price Photograph

Jerome Price is an Employment and Placements Adviser in the Careers and Placements Service at the University of Hertfordshire

photo credit: rachel_titiriga

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