One of the most important things to consider when you’re choosing where to study at university is how much they will help you in starting your career. It’s not just about the figures – you want to see the real ways an institution can help you get your dream graduate job.
To help you make a decision about the best university to choose, we’ve put together 10 things your university should do to help you kick-start your career.
Offer interview practice
In the graduate job world, you need to be prepared for a range of interview styles. While there are some great managers out there who know how to ask questions that allow you to stand out, there are some interviewers that will be much more ruthless. Make sure that you choose a university that will help you practise for interviews and be prepared for any questions that are thrown at you.
Give feedback on your CV
Your CV needs to be in tip-top condition if you want to impress employers. Make sure your university careers service will critique your CV and give you constructive feedback on how to make it shine in front of recruiters.
Advise you on your LinkedIn profile
These days, your LinkedIn profile needs to be as perfect as your CV. Recruiters use LinkedIn as a search tool to find candidates with their desired skills or experience, so you could even be approached for an interview without having to apply. See if your university offers LinkedIn surgeries.
Offer appointments with a careers advisor
Check that there are careers advisors available at your chosen uni. Whether you know what career path you want to take or not, seeing an advisor to help you take the right steps can make all the difference.
Give you work experience opportunities
Work experience is vital to you securing a great graduate job. Some courses offer sandwich years, whereas other universities may be able to secure you a week or two’s experience. Check what is available to you at the universities you are considering.
Help you find places to volunteer for
Volunteering is a great way to build up your CV and gain valuable experience. It also shows employers that you’re a well-rounded person that cares about the community. See if there are societies at your chosen uni that offer volunteering opportunities.
Show you the opportunities available abroad
Universities with good careers services should be able to show you what’s available outside the UK. Often they have ties to organisations in other countries and should be able to advise you on the pros and cons of working abroad.
Put on recruitment fairs
Recruitment fairs are a great way to talk to people about their experiences working in industries that you’re interested in. Make sure your university runs recruitment fairs so you can visit stands to help you make up your mind about what career to take.
Help you prepare for assessment centers
Assessment centers can be daunting places, so it’s great if your uni can help you know what to expect when you visit one for the first time. You’ll be expected to complete tasks like tests, interviews and group work, so see if your university will help you prepare.
Help you practise psychometric tests
Some organisations offering graduate schemes require you to do psychometric tests as part of the application process. These tests will try to measure the qualities and characteristics of a candidate. Check if your university offers you the opportunity to take practice psychometric tests.
Most of these things should be covered by the university careers service, so make sure you check out the office when you go for an open day or course interview at the universities you are considering. Other things may be a part of your course, so arm yourself with lots of questions so you can make sure the university you choose can offer you the best careers advice for you.