Graduating in 2023

Careers support in your final year

Your final year of study is often a balance between keeping up with course requirements, and progressing your plans towards your end goal – whatever that may be.
The Careers Service is available to support you with this process.  We have a wide range of support for students in their final year of study to advise you on your options, help you make decisions, and produce strong applications.
Careers are rarely a straightforward linear plan, there are often some bumps along the way.  Preparing yourself and developing skills to cope with these changes is often just as valuable as having one fixed mind-set (often more).

Launch your graduate career

A fortnight of dedicated workshops for final year students and new graduates 

From 17-28 October, we are running Launch Your Graduate Career, an intensive 2-week programme of career workshops to support students in their final year of study.  This programme will help prepare you with any decisions or applications you will make over this coming year.  
 
If you would like support with planning your next steps after university join us for:
  • a wide variety of sessions,
  • a copy of the recording (if you can’t attend live) once registered.
Sign up through myCareer via the links below. Please remember to set your preferences.

<p>Man sitting at a laptop</p>
Monday 17 October
10.00-10.30  - Introduction to LYGC -  Book your place
14.00-15.00 - Grad schemes - where to start - Book your place
Tuesday 18 October
10.00-11.00 - Finding hidden vacancies - Book your place
13.00-14.00 - Clueless about your career?  What to do when you don't know what to do - Book your place
Wednesday 19 October
11.00-12.00 - LinkedIn Masterclass - Book your place
15.00-16.00 - Job search strategies - Book your place
Thursday 20 October
10.00-11.30 - Assessment Centres and psychometric tests - Book your place
14.00-15.00 - How can I develop experience in my final year of study? - Book your place
Friday 21 October
11.00-12.30 - Working in the UK as an international student  (with ISA) - Book your place
14.00-15.00 - Considering Post Graduate Study - Book your place
Monday 24 October
10.00-11.00 - CVs, Cover letters and Applications - Book your place
14.00-15.00 - Selling your skills - Book your place
Tuesday 25 October
10.00-11.00 - Dealing with anxieties when applying for jobs  - Book your place
14.00-15.00 - Interview skills - Book your place
Wednesday 26 October
140.00-15.00 -  Disclosing disabilities and personal information to recruiters - Book your place
Thursday 27 October
10.00-11.00 - Handy hints when starting a new job - Book your place
14.00-15.00 - Self employment - Book your place
Friday 28 October
10.00-11.00 - Progressing your professional development - Book your place
13.00-16.00 - Individual appointments - Bookable on myCareer

Where are you now?

We’ve developed resources tailored to supporting you, regardless of where you are with your decision making process. 
Here are some hints and tips for different stages of your decision making and working your way through these stages should help you feel confident with your choices.    

<p>Careers Service</p>

Explore

This is often the toughest stage and one many final year students struggle with. Before you start to make any decisions, it is important to have a clear understanding of who you are, what your skills are and what is it you want. We have some excellent resources to help you identify your skills (being clear on these is a vital skill allowing you to articulate these clearly to an employer). If you remain unsure take advantage of our 121 career appointments to help you explore your options.

Plan

When you know what you want to do, it is then important to develop a plan to help you achieve these goals. Top tip for your final year is, if you can, plan early. It allows you time to identify things you are missing, which could be additional skills, work experience or knowledge. If you identify gaps our plan section is full of tips including mentoring, micro-internships (2 weeks work experience), volunteering advice and resources where you can research your options.

Compete

Once you know what you want, and what you need to do to get there, you are ready to ‘compete’. This section includes a wide range of practical support to help you develop a CV/cover letter/write an application form. It also includes advice for those of you looking at postgraduate courses or self-employment.   Take advantage of CV360 which will review your CV for you or practise your interview technique with interview 360.

What happens when?

One of the big worries final year students have is that they have left it too late to apply – don’t worry.  Graduate recruitment is complex with different companies advertising at different times.  The best advice is, although there is no ‘right time’ researching and applying as soon as possible will help ensure you don’t miss out on deadlines.  
Many of the big graduate employers start their recruitment process a year in advance, so you will start to see positions being advertised as early as September for a start date the following September.  If you like the idea of working for a big company, make sure you are monitoring opportunities throughout your final year.  For many of these vacancies the period between September and January is key.
Although many of the graduate schemes are seasonal there is a growing trend to have a rolling recruitment process so vacancies are available throughout the year.  To make sure you are not missing out on the industry of your choice you need to do your research – sign up for the main graduate recruitment websites and directly with employers. Our Looking for graduate jobs page is a good overview of where to look and how to apply.  
<p>Careers service</p>

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How can we help?

We have a wide range of services available to you to support you in your final year.  
These are some of the different ways in which we can support you:
Digital support

Our  pages have a wide range of resources and advice. One of the most popular for final year students is our ‘Where can your degree subject take you’ section.

As a University of Plymouth student, you have access to myCareer. This is a platform where you can set your preferences to make it work for you. As a final year student it is the go-to place for all queries. You can:

  • Search for vacancies and sign up to receive tailored vacancy alerts
  • Book to attend events
  • Get support with applications: CV builder and CV360 (which will check your CV and offer feedback) and Interview 360 (an automated service to safely practice your interviews)
  • Practise psychometric tests
  • Prepare for assessment centres
  • The digital support tab has a wide range of resources around labour market for particular industries, career quizzes, publications etc.
Our key advice would be to update your preferences on myCareer at the start of your final year to ensure you are accessing the right support and receiving the right messages for you.

Accelerate Workshops

Through the year we have a rolling programme of workshops which are skills based and help you build skills to help with your career planning. Sessions include:

  • CVs and applications
  • Assessment centres
  • Considering postgraduate study
  • Interview skills,
  • Master LinkedIn

1-2-1 appointments

We offer 2 types of appointments:

  • Information and advice - 20 minute appointments to help you with job search/CVs/applications etc. Bookable via myCareer.
  • Guidance - 30 minutes with a qualified guidance professional to help you explore your options. Please contact us via email/phone to request this.

Individual appointments will focus on you. We’re not here to make your decisions for you but we can help you explore your options and move your plans forward.

Career Development Coaching

If you are in your final year, have additional barriers and feel that ongoing support throughout the year would be of benefit for you, you can request this through our Career Development Coaching. Typical barriers include – mental health, physical health, being from a minority ethnic group, being from a postcode area where few go to university – more details are available on our equality, social mobility and diversity page. Please email graduate@plymouth.ac.uk if you would like to find out more.  

Events

We offer some amazing events throughout the year to help you explore your options. Alongside a variety of different themed careers fairs where you can meet employers, there are Employer Insight Panels. Again themed, we invite a variety of employers to share their wisdom and advice on their industry. These are a great way to explore the realities of potential areas of work. All are advertised on myCareer where you can sign up to secure your place.

Gain experience

If you are starting your final year and you feel a lack of experience may hold you back, take advantage of the opportunities to secure some work experience. 

We offer mentoring opportunities (you will be paired with a mentor matched to you career interest) and micro-internships (up to 2 weeks of work experience), sign up to be a Student Ambassador or explore other options including volunteering, part-time jobs or placements.

Final year checklist  

1. Update your preferences on myCareer – by doing this we can notify you of vacancies and contact you to inform you of relevant events and opportunities.  You can amend these preferences at any time.  
2. Get started with LinkedIn – it can be a great way to get involved with professional groups or bodies, follow employers and make yourself visible to recruiters.  We have a dedicated LinkedIn support webpage and we run regular Master LinkedIn Accelerate workshops which you can take advantage of.  
3. Explore the digital resources available to you – there is so much information and support available, if you don’t know it’s there you are at a disadvantage.  
4. Book an appointment – if you need some help – please use us. Our duty team offers appointments throughout the year where we can help you tackle a wide range of needs.  This can be especially useful if you are feeling overwhelmed or not sure how to achieve your goals. 
5. Attend a careers event – we put on a broad range of events across all faculties.  Please take advantage of these, be brave and ask questions.  If you can glean valuable information on an employer or industry this can pay dividends when you start making applications.  
6. Take one step at a time – if you are not sure what you want, take little steps towards making yourself more aware.  This could be making a list of what you are good at, researching what you want or exploring different career options.  Sometimes finding out what you don’t want can be just as valuable. 
7. Get job ready – if you know you are looking for a job at the end of the year – get prepared.  The final year usually flies by and you will be applying for jobs or further study alongside juggling multiple course requirements.  Having an up-to-date CV and cover letter that can be adapted to each vacancy can ease the stress of making applications. 
8. Know your industry – be aware of the industry you are applying to, who recruits when, are there particular factors affecting them?  Following organisations, professional bodies, leading individuals on social media can help you be ‘clued up’ for applications. Our sector pages are full of useful information. 
9. Consider further study – it may be that your degree has left you with a desire for more focused further study.  Look around at your options, attend open days and ask lots of questions about the course and where it can lead. 
10. Don’t panic – probably the most important message of all.  As much as leaving higher education can feel daunting with a wide range of options open to you, it is also an exciting time where you get to put all your newly developed skills and knowledge into practice. 

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>
<p>Careers Service</p>

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