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How to Make the Most out of Your University Careers Service

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Tara Sallis

The careers service at your university can be an essential tool to help you find and secure internships and graduate jobs. We highly recommend making the most out of it whilst it is available to maximise your opportunities in the graduate job market.

Look at their website

Visit the website of your university careers service, this is often a good place to start. They may list information, events, vacancies and if you want to book an appointment with them this is often done online too. Keeping up to date with any careers blogs or updates that your university is running can be a great way to know that you are doing everything you need to at each stage of your degree. Most have an active Twitter account, so worth giving them a follow too! Sign up for an account with your careers service if this is available, so if you want to apply to jobs or events through your university you are able to do this in the future.

Ask if they have internships or jobs available

Many universities list jobs and internships that students might be interested in through their careers service. Some of these opportunities might be exclusive to your university so make sure you don’t miss out on the chance to apply to a less competitive opportunity this way. Your university may also be able to connect you up with alumni or linked organisations that may be able to provide you with experience or a job.

Have your CV checked

Most university careers services provide CV help, and will let you book a feedback session to discuss CVs, cover letters and other parts of your job application. Try and book a face-to-face session if you can, and email to ask if you can have one if your university doesn’t run them as standard. Having someone look over your CV or cover letter personally means you can get tailored feedback that online advice cannot give you, and using your careers service like this will give you an advantage in a competitive job market.

Ask them for advice

When you start putting in applications for a graduate job, or you are looking for an internship in a particular industry, you can ask for help from your careers advisor. For example, if you want to tailor your CV to the role you are applying to, or you are not sure where to look for internships in a particular sector, contact the careers service and ask!

Attend the careers events

A lot of careers services run events throughout the year. These may include networking events, talks by professionals, or advice drop in sessions. Be sure to make time to attend the relevant events because you never know when the advice or contacts you make at university will be useful. Meeting professionals, or even just other students interested in the same career path as you, will give you a head start when you look for a graduate job. Networking is always valuable!

Get help with test preparation

Some job applications will include a test, for example psychometric testing or aptitude tests. Your careers service will probably have guided many students through these tests and may have resources or practice sessions already available. If you do have to sit a test as part of your job application, it is always worth asking if there is any preparation that your university can provide.