It seems hard to believe that we’re already nearly halfway through the academic year. Despite lockdowns, COVID-19 restrictions and the monotony of daily life it still might be surprising to think that for many Master’s students you’re almost half way through your degree, and might be starting to think about what comes next.
While many graduate recruiters and research programmes do open early in the academic year and will have already started the recruitment process there is still plenty of time to take action. In fact, the highest number of full-time vacancies advertised is normally May / June time – so there is still plenty of time to get Career ready this semester.
Here are the five top things you should be doing in semester two to boost your CV and pave the way for life after university.
1. See what’s out there
Whether you know what sector you want to work in after graduation, or you don’t have a clue , it’s important to regularly check vacancies and stay updated about the types of graduate jobs out there. Especially at the moment with COVID-19. Check out CareerConnect the University’s new vacancy platform, where hundreds of recruiters from all industries across the globe advertise their vacancies and events to target Manchester students and graduates.
You can also sign up for alerts for Graduate Job Search, which features over 200 job searches and vacancy sites. If you want to work in Manchester after uni, have a look at Manchester Graduate Talent, which offers a number of internships and graduate jobs in and around Greater Manchester.
Alternatively if you’re thinking about continuing postgraduate study and going onto to research programme there’s also still plenty of time to think about that.
2. Dust off your CV
While some recruiters only accept online application forms, many require a CV and Cover Letter, or a CV alongside your online application. It’s great to have an up-to-date CV, not only to remind yourself of all the skills and experience you’ve built up, but also so you can quickly tailor it for any one-off jobs you spot. Check out our CV guide for handy hints and templates, and update your LinkedIn profile while you’re at it. You can also learn more online about structuring and tailoring your CV, or pop into the Careers Service for one-to-one applications and CV advice.
Volunteering is a great way to develop essential skills that employers are looking for (from project management to team work and communication), as well as enabling you to do good and meet new people. And more importantly people are still able to volunteer at the moment. You can dedicate an hour per week for the rest of the semester, or just give a day of your time via a one-off volunteering opportunity. From education to environment, sports to oversees opportunities, there’s something for everyone.
4. Talk to people
Networking doesn’t have to be scary. It can be as simple as asking an alumnus how their degree helped them land their current job, or reaching out to an employee of your dream company on LinkedIn. There are loads of opportunities to connect with employers and alumni as the Careers Service has moved all their events online. See what events are coming up in Semester 2, or if you missed any sessions from last semester you can catch up online.
5. Reach out
The Careers Service is full of people who want to help you figure out your next steps, support you through application and interviews, and provide sector-specific advice. And specialist careers staff with extensive experience of working with postgraduates. You can ask quick questions online, or book a one-to-one Careers appointment.
Find out more about the support available to Postgraduate Taught students – including online careers planning resources.