Graduating in 2022
Employers and recruitment

For some of you, the last couple of years may have been difficult, with your degree taking an unforeseen path. Recruitment methods have altered at a dramatic pace, and many of you will be grappling with these changes now. The resilience you have gained and skills you have developed will give you a good starting point to tackle anything that comes your way. Reassuringly, we are now hearing positive messages from graduate recruiters. The Institute of Student Employers is now reporting that graduate vacancies are up 20% on pre-pandemic levels. Take advantage of our full range of services to help you secure the opportunity you want after you graduate.

10 things to prepare for your next move

1. Use our CV Builder to ensure your skills and achievements do you justice or get feedback on one you’ve written before by using CV 360. Or, why not work on creating an eye-catching personal statement to stand out from the crowd here on the Prospects website.

2. Launch your career using LinkedIn. Update your LinkedIn profile with our interactive LinkedIn training platform. Or alternatively update your skills and experience with LinkedIn Learning a free resource whilst you still have a University of Plymouth email address.

3. Prepare for a phone interview, a video interview or improve your performance with our online aptitude tests.

4. Book yourself into one of our skills webinars. The following titles will become a regular feature throughout the coming months: graduate recruitment in a time of crisis, job search techniques in a turbulent market, LinkedIn masterclass, phone and video interviews, remaining positive and developing resilience, finding part-time work and considering postgraduate study.

5. Completely unsure of your next move? Explore What can I do with my degree? and hundreds of career pathways video profiles offering first-hand accounts from employees in different sectors. Also visit TargetJobs for sector and industry insights.

6. In addition to the MyCareer digital careers resources we also recommend Prospects and TargetJobs as excellent employability information websites. You may also like to look at Gradsouthwest and Unlocking Potential for further graduate opportunities in Devon, Cornwall, Somerset and Avon. We have created a helpful guide to the SW graduate labour market and also a link to a directory of larger firms with graduate recruitment schemes in the SW.

7. You are very welcome to book an appointment with us by calling +44 1752 587456 or online at MyCareer. We can explore your options or help you with your decision-making.

8. Consider a seemingly unrelated job area in order to gain relevant skills and experience for your CV, for example working in the care sector, volunteering for a charity or even assisting farms with this year’s harvest. Small steps may lead to long-term goals. Have a look at our jobs board for the latest vacancies. You can find local and national volunteering opportunities at doit.org.

9. Consider postgraduate study as an opportunity to gain further qualifications. Did you know that Plymouth is offering a 20% alumni discount to finalists for many courses? Find out more about considering further study or get in touch with us to make an appointment.

10. Consider starting your own business by exploring our self-employment resources. For students and graduates in university, entrepreneurship may seem more daunting than ever, yet ideas are hard to kill and if you have a strong one, now may be as good a time as ever to bring it to market. There may currently be opportunities that you could take advantage of. The Cube offers advice, funding and support to businesses, freelancers and the self-employed, with services open to students from all schools at all levels of study, as well as graduates.

Wider support available from Student Services

  • If you feel you need immediate support in relation to your mental health, please contact the Student Hub. Please call +44 1752 587676 or email studentservices@plymouth.ac.uk.  
  • Appointments can be made with counsellors and mental health workers using Zoom or via telephone. To make an appointment you will need to complete an online referral form or call the number above.
  • Togetherall is an anonymous community where members can support each other with the oversight of trained professional to keep the community safe, available 24/7.
  • SHINE offers a range of videos on YouTube about reducing stress and anxiety.
  • If you are in financial difficulty the university has a range of bursaries and awards you may be able to access.

Frequently asked questions

Q. Does the Careers Service have resources that I can access online?

A. Yes, there is a wide range of employability resources that are freely accessible via our website. Visit MyCareer and search for resources on industry information, career insight films, ‘What can I do with my degree?’ as well as very specific information about CVs, applications and assessment centres. We also recommend Prospects and TargetJobs as excellent careers information websites.

Q. How can I make an appointment with a careers adviser?

A. Appointments can either be booked online via MyCareer or by calling +44 1752 587456. If you have any issues with the booking system or have queries about appointments, then please email careers@plymouth.ac.uk.

Q. I have a quick question relating to careers advice or a job application, how can I speak to someone if the Careers Hub is not open?
  

A. The careers team are all currently working remotely but still able to offer a very similar level of service. Please book an advice appointment via MyCareer or call us on +44 1752 587456 (9am-5pm) then we can set this up via Skype, phone or Zoom.

Q. Can I still get feedback on my CV or application during this time?

A. Yes, we still review CVs, covering letters, application forms and personal statements. You can submit your CV for checking via our CV360 automated checking system. Alternatively, you can speak to a member of the team by booking an appointment on MyCareer. We also have many resources on making applications and writing CVs across our website (and under online tools) which may be useful to you. You may want to have a look at this content before submitting your CV or other application for review.

Q. My interview will now take place via Skype. What advice can you give me in order to prepare for this?

A. We are finding that due to the nature of the crisis lots of employers are shifting conventional recruitment to online systems. There are some very useful resources on MyCareer Digital Resources that cover online recruitment including video, Skype and phone interview. Prospects also has some excellent guidance in these areas. But remember, you need to prepare for an online interview just as much as you would for a face to face one.
 
Q. The company I have applied to is asking me to sit an online assessment centre. What advice can you give me to prepare for this?

A. We are finding that lots of companies are shifting their recruitment online and this includes assessment centres and psychometric testing. In MyCareer Digital Resources there are a number of very useful articles including an assessment centre tool and examples of practice tests. These will help you to prepare in advance so that when you a faced with the real thing it’s much more familiar.

Q. I am looking for work in the South West. What job websites do you suggest I should look at for vacancies?
  

A. Begin your search using the vacancy section on MyCareer but you may also like to look at Gradsouthwest and Unlocking Potential for further opportunities in Devon, Cornwall, Somerset and Avon. In addition, both Indeed Jobs and Monster Jobs have location specific features.

Q. What can I do from home to develop my skills if I'm not in a job soon after graduating?

A. Have a look at the resources on LinkedIn Learning. There are masses of courses you could benefit from including management, leadership, software, IT and even public speaking. Also, explore our online career tools to develop career management skills such as planning you career, job hunting skills and interview training.

Q. What can I do with my degree?

A. This is a common question we get asked a lot. Here on the Prospects website are some very helpful guides on 'What I can do with my degree?' It suggests jobs and careers directly related to you subject and others that are partially related.

Q. I don’t want to do anything related to my degree, what can I do?

A. This is a very common question that we get asked, where someone has studied a subject for three years and has decided as a result that they want to do something completely different. To begin with you could explore job profiles on Prospects or you could have a look at the career insight videos on MyCareer Digital Resources. If you are still stuck please book an appointment with us.

Considering further study

Undertaking postgraduate study could give you the competitive edge in a turbulent job market, along with providing you with the opportunity to specialise in your chosen field.

Discover different types of postgraduate study and factors to consider in order for you to decide if postgraduate study is right for you. Also as a finalist from the University of Plymouth, you may be entitled to our alumni 20% discount.

Find out more about further study

<p>Jennifer, MRes Marine Biology</p>

Graduate Outcomes

The Graduate Outcomes survey is the biggest annual social survey in the UK. The survey is important because your opinions will help current and future students gain an insight into career destinations and development and the University to shape our programmes for students who are following in your footsteps. The survey also contacts postgraduates:

  • 15 months after graduation,
  • by email or phone,
  • to learn about your activities and views.

Please keep your details up to date and respond if HESA contacts you to complete the survey.

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<p>Careers Service</p>