Final Year of Study: Time for Action!
One minute you’ve just started, next minute you’re in your Final Year of study with finals/graduation ahead…
However, the important thing is not to panic.
However, some Deadlines DO come Early!
Although you still have some time left to start planning, it is important that you realise that there are some professions/opportunities where you need to take immediate action as soon as you return to start your 3rd Year/Final Year of study. For career paths such as teaching, the NHS graduate recruitment schemes, conversion to law or the Civil Service, closing dates occur very quickly at the start of the final autumn term.
Whether your plans are nearly finalised or you’re still pretty clueless about what to do next, Careers and Employability can help you make the most of the rest of your time at University.
How Can Careers and Employability Help?
- What do Employers Want?
- Prepare Your CV
- Come to a Careers and Employability Workshop/Careers Fair
- Vacancies for Final Year Students
- Further Study
- Time Out Travelling
- Setting up in Business
- Further Help
Obviously, you need to concentrate on your studies so you can get that good degree BUT at the end of your studies, you will find that employers now expect candidates to offer more than a good academic record and degree. They also look for work experience (relevant if possible) and evidence of “employability skills” such as communication skills, team work and planning/organisational skills.
Employers are looking for “rounded individuals” – they want evidence that you have been involved in the world outside University. For example, if you have a part-time job, it’s a great way to earn money to keep you going whilst you study, but will also help you to increase your employability skills and will impress employers. Work such as stacking shelves, pulling pints, or working in a shop can show that you have time management skills, customer care experience and/ or organisational abilities. More information on some of these key employability skills is available on our website.
Your CV (résumé) is your marketing tool. It summarises your qualifications, experience and skills. If you start preparing your CV now, this will help you if you are currently looking for part-time work, and can also act as a template that you can develop as you progress through University. It will save you a lot of time when making graduate applications if you have all your information collected in one place. Careers and Employability has a range of resources to help you to write a CV and/or covering letter, as well as information on filling in application forms. These can be picked up in person from Careers and Employability or found online.
To get your CV reviewed you can book a CV review appointment. For help with application forms
Throughout the year, Careers and Employability runs a programme of events to help you prepare for applying for graduate-level jobs. These events aim to help you think about and plan for what you want to do when you finish your studies. Events aimed specially at Final Year students take place all over the UK. Careers fairs are a great chance to meet with and impress potential employers, and specific employer presentations let you find out what graduate training and vacancies are on offer from different companies. New events are added to the programme all the time - make sure you keep checking Careers and Employability events page for information on new events.
Many employers run graduate recruitment schemes, hiring new graduates onto specialised paid training programmes which lead to a graduate position. You need to apply early for some of these schemes- don’t wait until you have graduated!
To find details of these specialist schemes, make sure you pick up a copy of the free Prospects & TargetJobs Directories from Careers and Employability. These are full of opportunities with leading companies and can be a great way of thinking about the sort of opportunities that may be available and the sort of qualifications, experience, skills and personal qualities you may need. These directories can be picked up from Careers and Employability.
Remember: don’t wait until you have finished your course, apply now! Some schemes that start in summer 2017 may have application closing dates in December 2016 or January 2017.
- Other Resources
There are a range of other specialist employer directories and websites aimed at Final Year students. Either come to Careers and Employability in person to pick up all the available publications or use the online versions. Full details are on the Vacancies pages.
Many Final Year students consider staying on at University to undertake postgraduate study. Before you start applying for a postgraduate course, it’s vital to think about your reasons for undertaking further study at post-degree level, particularly if you are uncertain how you will be funding your study. You may also want to think about whether to start further study straight away or whether to take some time out first to gain work experience. Check out Careers and Employability What Postgraduate Course webpage that gives you some key pointers of things to consider. Postgraduate study abroad information is also available.
Taking time out to travel the world may seem like a very tempting idea after spending 3 or so years working for your degree. If you get organised and put some thought into it, your time out could be a very positive option. For example, you may find it useful to keep a reflective journal in case an employer asks about your experiences or what you learnt from the trip. Visit our Working Abroad webpage
You may have decided/be thinking about setting up your own business and becoming your own boss. Visit Enterprise for more details.
Haven't a Clue?
If you are stuck with how to start, don't panic! There are plenty of resources to kick-start your thinking. for example, take a look at the pages on career planning for an overview of the resources available to help you:
- To kick-start your ideas, look at the Careers and Employability Virtual Library
- You can also look at Options with your Subject leaflets to find out what you can do with your degree; these are available in the Careers information Room and also available online.
- Prospects Planner is an online career planning tool that can help you to think about how your interests, values and motivations relate to jobs and careers. It can provide you with a very useful starting point for exploring options. You need to register with My Prospects to use this tool, but this is free of charge.
- Help with Interviews
As well as helping with information on preparing CVs, filling in application forms, or writing covering letters, Careers and Employability has a range of useful information on attending assessment centres, interviews or undertaking psychometric tests.
Careers and Employability also offers a mock interview service so you can practise. Careers and Employability also offers a mock interview service so you can practise- ring Careers and Employability for details.
- Help on Film
Why not watch our series of films giving an insight into graduate job interviews? The films show real students and graduates being interviewed by actual recruiters. There are extracts from each interview and the selectors give their verdicts and the candidates reflect on their own performances. These films may be viewed on our website from any on-campus PC or are available to watch on DVD at Careers and Employability.
- Talk to a Careers Adviser
You can speak to a Careers Adviser on a one-to-one basis about your career plans by booking a 30-minute confidential appointment. A Careers Adviser will listen to your ideas, help you identify your strengths, weaknesses and skills and assist you in relating all of these things to the world of work. To make an appointment, either call into Careers and Employability in person or ring 0161 295 0023. Alternatively visit our Careers Appointments webpages for a full list of details of careers advice sessions available. There is a variety of bookable appointments, including telephone and SKYPE appointments.
Page Updated: 28th March 2017(HB)