Getting Ready to Graduate: What to do when you haven’t done anything

Pope Benedict XVI, Sir Alex Ferguson, the members of JLS and David Beckham – what do these highly esteemed individuals all have in common with the majority of you reading this? No, it’s not that they all probably have/are on the way to getting a degree (even though most of them have probably been given honorary qualifications in their time!). The individuals mentioned above have all reached the next stage of their career and have many decisions to make as to what to do next.

Countless questions are probably filling your mind right now. Where did the time go? Am I still going to keep in contact with everyone? Have I finally seen the last of those awful course mates that never turned up to group presentations? Will the landlord realise that I broke the bed?!

But the biggest question of them all is – what next? You have probably noticed by now that half of your friends are planning to travel to countries you have barely even heard of (usually somewhere near Thailand!), whilst others will already have a job sorted. Do neither of these situations apply to you? Are you still unsure about what to do next? Don’t worry! You still have time to plan your next steps. Here is a list of simple actions that you can take to move towards graduate employment.

What you can do for you (tongue twister!)

  • Prepare – get ready for when you need to apply: sourcing References, creating a base CV and cover letter, buying Interview appropriate clothing etc.
  • Research – Do you have an idea as to what job you would like? You can spend your time researching the sector you will be entering and what employers are looking for within your role. Do you have no idea? Use websites such as Prospects to find out what options are available to you.
  • Get experience – just because you haven’t managed to bag a graduate job does not mean that you won’t be able to gain experience and learn new skills. Have a think about options to volunteer, go on placement or even to do a bit of travelling.
  • Get the low down on Graduate schemes – find out when the schemes you want to apply for go live. You can either do this by visiting each company website or by checking out websites such as www.graddiary.com, where you can view a calendar detailing the deadlines of a wide range of grad schemes. One thing to make clear, if you have missed your chance to apply for a graduate scheme this year doesn’t worry. Unless stated, the vast majority of grad schemes allow recent graduates to apply. So you can always have a go next time round!
  • Further education – Have you considered further study? Did you know that the Careers Service offers a Postgraduate Certificate in Leadership and Career Development? This course is aimed at making you more employable, covering topics such as: Project Management, Leadership and Career Development (More information on this course can be found here). But there are many more courses available for you to pick from!

Here are a few resources that may be helpful to you:

  • One of my colleagues (Lucy Wilson-Whitford) has produced a really useful information sheet that coincides with the main themes of this blog (‘deciding on a career path’). To have a look, click here
  • Also, if you are interested in finding work experience then you may find the ‘Useful Website’ sheets we have available on the Coventry University Student Portal particularly helpful: (please note, unfortunately the portal can only be accessed by current Coventry university students – hard copies are available from the Careers & Add+vantage on the first floor of the Hub building).

Students in A&D faculty – click here

Students in BES faculty – click here

Students in E&C faculty – click here

Students in HLS faculty – click here

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One last thing to say; let us help you. After all – that is what we are here for! We are open for appointments throughout the summer, and we are a free service, so make use of us! To book an appointment, call 02477 652011. Our qualified advisors can help you with any of the following:

  • CV/Cover Letter/Application form help
  • Job/Career options
  • Further study
  • Developing action plans
  • Interview Techniques
  • Assessment Centres
  • Changing Course

Sean 🙂

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Posted on June 13, 2013, in Graduates, Job hunting, Professional development. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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