Home > Careers, Employment > Final year students, it’s not too late to find a graduate job!

Final year students, it’s not too late to find a graduate job!

How to overcome three barriers to graduate employment

If you’re a finalist and you don’t have a graduate job lined up yet, you’re not alone. However there’s no need to worry that you’ve missed the boat as there is still a lot you can do. Read on for advice on beating three common concerns that final year students have at this stage.

I don’t know what I want to do

Around 50% of graduate jobs are open to people with a degree in any discipline. It can be comforting to know this but it can also make decision-making more difficult. However it’s important to work out what you want to do as it will make your life much easier; you will be able to tailor your CV appropriately and target relevant job websites and agencies. If you want to generate some career ideas then tools such as Prospects Planner and the Target Jobs Careers Report may be helpful and you are welcome to book an appointment with a Careers Adviser to discuss your options in more depth.

Haven’t I left it too late to apply for graduate jobs?

It’s true that many graduate schemes will have closed for 2014/15 (although occasionally schemes will re-open if recruitment targets haven’t been met). However there are still plenty of opportunities available both with larger organisations and small/medium sized employers (SMEs). Many smaller companies recruit at any time of year on an “as needs” basis and can offer great opportunities for new graduates to gain experience and develop a career. If you do decide that you really want a graduate scheme with a major company then it’s still possible to apply during next year’s recruitment round – for example in 2012 only 24% of new recruits to the NHS Graduate Management Training scheme came straight from university.

I’m too busy with my assignments – I don’t have time to look for work

Final year involves a lot of hard work and, of course, it’s important to get the best degree classification you possibly can. But if you’re worried about what to do after you leave it’s tempting to use your focus on coursework as an excuse for not doing anything career-related now. However, job-hunting at this stage doesn’t have to be all-consuming. Many job sites will send email alerts if you set up a profile and, in some sectors, companies will promote jobs via social media sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter or even Facebook which can also save time. Once you’ve worked out which websites and social media channels to use, a quick half-an-hour two or three times a week should be all you need to spot suitable job opportunities. Applying for jobs will take longer but it’s all about balance – you might have to pass a few jobs by, but you should be able to schedule in a few hours to apply for an opportunity that’s too good to miss. Your last few months at university will be demanding but, by planning in some time to focus on the future, you can reduce your stress levels and you might even land yourself a job.

Suzanne Ball is a Careers Adviser at the university’s Careers, Employment & Enterprise Service. She regularly tweets on careers in the creative industries at http://www.twitter.com/careerview

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