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 A Student Guide to Grad Applications

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We’ve finally made it to the end of semester 1 and if you’re in your final year, great news, you’ve only got one semester left. It might be daunting to think about what’s going to come next after final exams in June, but if you’re thinking of going into the workplace, here’s a guide to help you with your job search from someone in the exact same position as you!

  • Search Wide: It might be tempting to only look for jobs on a student/job website like Gradcracker or Indeed  which have loads of listings in one place, but if you do, you might be missing out on a world of opportunities out there. If you’re interested in a particular company go on their website for listings or email HR asking for any opportunities. You can also sign up to the Careers Service’s vacancies newsletter by logging into your Careers Connect here. The newsletter allows you to choose areas you’re interested in and allows you to set the frequency of when you receive vacancy e-mails. LinkedIn is also a great tool to find jobs and connect with UoM alumni who work in the industry you’re interested in.
  • Make a Spreadsheet: If you’re searching on a variety of websites, it can be hard to keep track of application dates, interviews and links to the listing. A spreadsheet will help you organize all your information in one place and you can also keep track of places you’ve applied or heard back from easier. Here’s a great example template from Excel Templates
Image of excel spreadsheet job application record.
  • Use CV/Cover Letter Checker: The career services have a range of resources however I’ve found the CareerSet CV and cover letter check the most useful. It works by scoring your documents and giving a breakdown of ways it can be improved by section (see an example below), and allows you to re-upload as many times as you want till you get a score you’re happy with. The cover letter check does the same thing and even compares your cover letter with the company’s job description to check that you didn’t miss out on any of the main points. You can find the tool here.
Image of CareerSet webpage.
  • Book an Appointment : If you’re unsure about anything – where to begin, what industry to go into, how to ace an interview – the career service staff are more than happy to help. There are different types of appointments ranging from general career service appointments to more subject/ faculty specific appointments. You can book an appointment through careers connect here. Alternatively if the concept of an appointment seems daunting, you could attend a drop in session. Find out when the next session is on the events page.
  • Take Breaks: The job application process can be very time consuming and exhausting so it’s important to take breaks. While job postings are a running process, there are peak times that new listings are posted for grads – usually around September-October, then again in January, then again in June. It could be helpful to target those periods to get in the most applications and rest during other months.
  • Stay Positive: You’re at one of the top universities in the UK and have access to a lot of help and resources from the Careers Service so there’s no need to stress or worry. Though the job application process is stressful and hard it’s important to have the right mindset. You’ve got this!
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