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The University of Southampton
Careers and Employability ServiceStudents

Take Action!

Students on computers in the careers centre

 Now that you have decided on your career path and gained experience to make you a desirable candidate your next task is to make sure that you achieve the goal you have set yourself. Whether this involves setting up a CV or application form or nailing your interview we have a range of resources and advice available to help you reach your target. Please note that the advice on this page is tailored toward the UK job market, information on international opportunities can be found on our Working Abroad page.

Working Abroad

People can find networking quite a daunting task, especially if they are not naturally outgoing or confident, but it doesn’t have to be!

Networking is all about building relationships with people to help your professional development/career. You can start off with the people you know and make a list of all the connections you already have. Then consider if any could help you make connections in your chosen area.

Our Careers Fairs are also a great opportunity to network with employers. Follow our Top Tips to get the most out of them:

  • Aim to look ‘presentable’. While you do not need to wear a full suit and tie it is advisable to look neat and tidy
  • Be prepared to approach employers and have a conversation, it’s what they are there for! Introduce yourself and ask questions
  • Do some research beforehand so you know something about the companies you are interested in
  • If you are shy or introverted then take regular breaks to give yourself some space and consider going with a friend
  • You may find our ‘Prepare for the Fair’ workshops helpful. These are advertised on MyCareer close to the fair
social media apps

Networking via social media

See our Using Social Media page for hints and tips on how to use Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and more for networking

Social Media

Only send high quality applications that make a good impression on the employer. This requires you to put considerable time and effort into creating a CV and application that is tailored to each company you apply to.

There are a number of ways that we can help you in your preparation:

  • You can use our job application resources for advice and tips on your application or CV and for information on how to prepare for psychometric tests, assessment centres and interviews
  • Book a place on one of our workshops to learn how to create an effective CV/Application form
  • Prepare for psychometric tests as these may be the first stage in shortlisting, sometimes even before you submit an application or CV. You are likely to be asked to do these within a tight deadline, which can be challenging if you have no previous experience and a course deadline

You can also send speculative applications for jobs that are not advertised. TARGETjobs has some useful information on making speculative applications for graduate jobs. You can find information on writing a speculative covering letter on our covering letter advice page.

 

Once you have been selected for interview then you should start thinking about how you can make a good impression on the employer and sell your skills.

  • Take a look at our resources for interview support
  • Have a look at our Events Calendar to book onto one of our interview skills workshops or mock assessment centres to help you prepare.

If you prepare well you will stand a greater chance of success but if things don’t work out it is important to be able to bounce back and look at other opportunities.

  • Look for further opportunities in the spring and summer term. Smaller organisations will only recruit when they have a vacancy so they can be available all year round
  • Recruitment agencies and jobs boards for students or graduates can be another useful source of graduate and entry level vacancies
  • Many employers are happy for you to apply again, but usually not until the following year. Check what their rules are via their websites and discuss how you can improve your chances. Consider how you can use the additional time to develop your skills; a year's worth of work experience can be an invaluable asset and could put you ahead when you re-apply
  • Travel or further study are valid choices, but will benefit from considered planning
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