FAQs

Information and advice to help you with common queries and concerns about job seeking as a graduate.

I don’t think I made the most of my time at University, what can I do now?

Three or four years at University can fly by before you realise you have not given enough thought to preparing for your career after you have left don’t panic. Our staff in The Career Development Service are available to:

  • Talk to you
  • Help you think through your current situation
  • Reflect on what you have to offer an employer
  • Identify areas for development
  • Work out an action plan to help you move yourself forward

Now that you have graduated and are a member of the Alumni community, make the most of forums such as LinkedIn for networks with other graduates and professionals. We have introduced a LinkedIn appointment designed to help you review the effectiveness of your professional online presence. Join the University of Leicester’s Alumni Association LinkedIn page.

You could also look at the voluntary, apprenticeship and internship opportunities advertised on MyCareers. Engaging with additional work experience is a really valuable addition to your CV as it helps demonstrate your commitment and interests to an employer, it also gives you a great opportunity to highlight a variety of the transferable skills you may have developed through your participation in these experiences.

I still don’t know what sort of job I'm looking for, where do I start?

It is certainly not uncommon to get stuck or overwhelmed when it comes to thinking about what type of role you are looking for. Our Career Development staff are trained to help you develop your skills in managing your own career and to understand the process behind making well-informed career related decisions so that you can progress from your current situation.

Start by thinking about your strengths! Identify what you are good at, what you enjoy doing and the types of skills you want to use in your work?

Use Prospects to get an understanding of the activities and skills involved in working in a particular role or sector, read case studies of people in these positions and look at current job vacancies to analyse yourself against the skills they are asking for in the job descriptions and person specifications.

I thought I knew what career path I wanted to go down but I’m not so sure now that I’m working in the right sector, how can I change direction now?

You may have been so relieved to have been offered a job for after graduation that you jumped at the chance before really considering whether this opportunity was what you wanted or was right for you. Focus on the fact that an employer was so impressed with your application and interview skills that you were offered the job - now, on top of that, you have additional work experience to add to your CV.

You may feel like you need to discuss your options with a trained Careers Adviser, you can do this in a Career Guidance Appointment. Booking an appointment will give you the opportunity to discuss your options, explore your next steps and develop an action plan to help you progress from where you are. You are able to book Career Guidance appointments to be conducted via the telephone or Skype.

Before your Career Guidance appointment you may be asked to complete the ‘Know Yourself’ Toolkit which can be completed via the TARGETjobs website. Your personal Careers Report that is produced after completing the self-assessment toolkit will help you understand yourself and your capabilities and ‘match’ occupations to these. It’s a great way to consider some of these aspects of yourself now that you are contemplating a change.

Applications

I have applied for so many jobs and I’m not getting anywhere, what’s the matter with my applications?

Writing applications takes up a lot of time and energy and it is really frustrating when you are unable to get feedback on them.

There may be several reasons your written applications are not having the desired impact on employers, anything from a spelling mistake to not having researched the employer sufficiently to make an employer think you are the person they need to fill a gap in their workforce.

You can find general advice on preparing, structuring and writing your application documents so take a look at the guidance we have provided on our website as a starting point for reviewing your applications .

You can then book in for a one-to-one Application and Selection Coaching Appointment with an adviser who can help you:

  • Prepare for job applications
  • Articulate the extra value you bring to the employer
  • Evaluate your documents and use our unique preparation documents to plan a way to ensure your application has impact

All of our appointments are available over the telephone or via Skype.

Interviews

I have been invited to countless interviews but I can’t seem to seal the deal.

The fact that you are getting interviews is fantastic news! You now know that you are successfully communicating how your knowledge, skills and experiences meet the needs of the organisation in your written application and employers are impressed with the strength of your initial application.

If you have been unsuccessful in a recent interview, do take the opportunity to access any feedback-even if it’s the last thing you want to do. Reflecting on the interview will help assess where you feel your strengths and weaknesses were and support your development for the next time. Remember that the reasons you were not chosen are often complex and it may not have come down to anything you did ‘wrong’, for example, it may have been more strongly to do with ‘organisational fit’.

Some of the common interview pitfalls that we can help you overcome are:

  • Lack of preparation
  • Not articulating or evidencing your skills effectively
  • Only giving surface level answers to motivation questions
  • Not demonstrating how the research done around the company personally aligns with you
  • Lack of commercial awareness to allow you demonstrate genuine insight and understanding

We can support your interview preparation:

Interview skills workshops: Get an overview of the types of interviews and questions you may face, how to approach these questions and a chance to practice. Search for the next Interview Skills Workshop taking place via your MyCareers ‘events’ tab.

Interview Preparation Appointments: If you know you have an interview coming up and would like a more personalised appointment to explore how to approach researching a company and/or sector or how to answering particular questions. Book an Interview Preparation Appointment.

Mock Interviews: If you would like to practise your interview skills in a safe environment before the real thing book a Mock Interview with an adviser. You will also receive feedback, the opportunity to reflect upon the interview and discuss how you will develop moving forward.

All of our appointments are available over the telephone or Skype.

Your most popular resources

Exploring Employers:

Applying for Graduate Roles:

Once you feel ready to apply for graduate level roles there are many websites that are available to search for the vacancies:

Other useful resources:

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