Develop industry knowledge, contacts and networks
Once you have gained self-awareness, explored and researched opportunities and decided what you would like to do it is a good idea to develop your industry knowledge and grow your network.
To make yourself more employable, reviewing the needs of the labour market you hope to enter can be very beneficial, especially when writing application forms and preparing for interviews and assessment centres.
Digital career resources has a range of industry reports, which will give you valuable information including industry trends, areas of growth and opportunities along with useful resources.
You also want to grow your network of relevant contacts. Doing this can be beneficial because you can raise your profile to potential recruiting managers, gain advice and support from people in your sector and highlights career options which you might not have considered.
There are various networking opportunities throughout the year to discover companies in a specific sector, find people who work (or have worked) at specific companies and identify people in certain roles.
Join Plymouth Connect
As a University of Plymouth student, you have access to a thriving alumni community where you can find a graduate to offer you an insight into a role or industry and advice on how you can start developing your experience.
Get the competitive edge when applying
Once you have gained self-awareness, explored your options and decided what you would like to do it is time to understand how to find and secure opportunities.
Recruitment and selection methods can vary depending on what you do however typically you will need to complete an online application form. If shortlisted you will then be invited to an interview or asked to attend an assessment centre. Many graduate schemes will ask you to take an aptitude or psychometric test as part of their selection process.
Our Digital career resources also have a range of aptitude and psychometric tests that will give you the opportunity to practise numerical, verbal and logical reasoning tests. On completion of the tests, you will receive a report with your score and details of where you went wrong and how to answer correctly in the future.
If you are applying for a graduate scheme, nearly all companies include aptitude and psychometric tests as part of their application process – some use them to filter candidates in the first instance and to identify candidates to invite to the next stage of the process. We therefore advise that you start practising these tests early so you can improve your chances of performing well in the real thing.
In order to help you secure the graduate job of your choice it is a good idea to practise and hone your interview technique so you can maximise your performance.
Our Digital career resources have an interview simulator where you can choose to take an auto-generated interview or browse questions to create your own. Practising your interview technique against the clock, you can record your answers (audio or video – it’s your choice) and then compare your responses against the video advice from employers. This explains why they ask these questions and how high-scoring answers differ from low-scoring answers. Undertaking this can help you to feel confident and ready to answer any question thrown at you.
Practise and prepare for tests and interviews
Relevant events and programmes
Consider undertaking a placement or sandwich year
Simply put, it’s a year spent working after you have finished your second year of study. Once completed, you will return for the final year of your course. A placement year is a great opportunity to gain real-world experience and to help you discover whether an industry sector or job role is right for you. Our Placement and Employer Liaison team is here to give you support and help you every step of the way.
Accelerate your future skills workshops and events
Skills workshop: boost your professional CV, covering letter and application form technique
Sign up for our professional mentoring programme
This will match you with an experienced professional. It will give you the opportunity to gain insight into their specific sector and help to enhance your professional network.
Enter our Creative CV competition
If you are interested in developing a career within the creative industries, raise your profile and take part in our annual Creative CV Competition. For more information please log in to myCareer.
The Careers Service offers a daily drop-in, which is ideal for quick queries and there is no need to book. Opening times and where we are
The Careers Service offers guidance appointments for queries that are more complex, or if you feel stuck and are unsure how you can progress in your career planning. These are bookable by referral only.
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.
Deciding to be self-employed, working as a freelancing and/or running your own business
Being self-employed can give you more flexibility and allow you the opportunity to think creatively, use your initiative and shape your own future. Find our more including the specific support and funding available at the University depending on your stage of thinking.
"I’m in my final year of my Chemistry degree and I know what I’d like to start a career in when I graduate. I have used the Careers Service for support to help me with every stage of the application process for graduate roles – from CVs and cover letters to psychometric tests, all the way to interview techniques. I would recommend starting with their digital resources and webinars to help build a personal brand and draft applications, and then going in for an application appointment to really help tailor your application and ensure it is as strong as possible. Also, take advantage of all the networking opportunities – you never know who you may meet!"
– Eleanor, BSc (Hons) Chemistry