At graduate-jobs.com we love Careers Services and, before you leave university, so will you!
If you haven't been to see those lovely people at your uni's Careers Service, now's the time. They can help you with absolutely everything and love to see you land your graduate job nearly as much as we do. Many students do not take advantage of the wealth of knowledge and expert help available to them before they leave—and most graduates don't realise they can still call upon their Careers Service as alumni.
Let's give those Careers Services the love they deserve — here's five ways you can get the most out of your Careers Service.
1. CV and Covering Letter Clinics
The first place to start your job hunt is with your CV. As any graduate job hunter will tell you, it's impossible to nail it the first time. Lucky for you, there is one office on campus that can transform your patchy CV into a work of art.
Careers Services often run CV clinics, usually one-on-one, to help you with this most essential document for employment. They will help you write and re-write your CV, pointing out any gaps you need to fill or places you can streamline. Don't be afraid or embarrassed about your current effort—they'll be gentle, we promise.
After your CV, your Covering Letter is the next most important piece of paper to help you land a job, and the lovely folks at your Careers Service are there to help you make sure it has the right tone and content.
2. Best (Career) Friend
University Careers Services are experts when it comes to graduate job hunting. They know the ropes—and know more about certain industries and sectors than many professionals.
Most of the larger Careers Services have designated experts for specific industries. Make an appointment to see the relevant specialist and learn how to impress recruiters.
Even if you don't know what you want to do with your career, go in for a chat. They will be able to talk you through your options or suggest industries and careers you might not have considered.
3. Fairs and functions
We've already said your Careers Service is the hottest gig in town. They throw the best soirees on campus—i.e. the events that will get you a job. Whether it's a Careers Fair, an industry lecture or the more unusual events like Career Speed Dating, you need to be aware of what's going on.
Careers Services have the contacts and sway to bring employers to campus. Graduate employers love coming out and meeting new talent in person, so be there to greet them—you never know where it might lead.
4. Fountain of Knowledge
We here are graduate-jobs.com try to give you as much information as we can to help your job hunt, such as job descriptions, CV advice and interview reviews, but your Careers Service may just have us beat. They have a direct line to employers and receive physical literature from companies about graduate opportunities and materials about possible career paths.
Grab your tote bag, head down there and fill your boots. Much of the material available online covers similar topics and is titled towards specific companies or services. However, in your Careers Services you can find extensive reading on industries or employers.
5. Alumni Network
Graduates nearly always have access to Careers Advisors and resources after they leave university, sometimes for a few years. This is part of your university's alumni network, the purpose of which is to connect you with industry professionals who also attended your university.
Make use of this network and connect with people who were in your position in years gone by. They will have a lot of know-how and experience to share. Even if you have a niggling small question about your chosen career ("do I need this?", "should I have done the other?"), an alumni contact can help you.
Careers Services are an undervalued resource and have a great deal to offer students beginning the path to graduate employment—or to alumni a few steps down the road. Whether you know what you want to do, or if you don't have a clue, your Careers Service is there to help—so make the most of it while you can.