You still have full access to Careers Network and their services for two years after graduation.
They can help you with:
- Talking through your options
- Practising for interviews
- Careers advice
- CV and applications advice
- Offering access to an online vacancy database
- Inviting you to 'meet employer' events
- Online advice and resources
You will also receive Beyond Brum, your monthly graduate careers e-newsletter.
Our alumni are also a great resource for careers advice. Below they share some of their tips.
Olivia Sleet (BA Theology, 2013) Recruitment Executive, Stopgap "No matter what job I was applying for or however competitive, the advisors at the Careers Network gave me fantastic advise on the best way to get there, and how to tailor my CV to really standout from the crowd. With their help I secured a great graduate job in London "
Did you know?
The University's careers connect database can help in your job search. Visit www.birmingham.ac.uk/jobsearch for access to graduate job vacancies and work experience opportunities.
Callum Smith (BSc International Business, 2012) Government Development Scheme, The Home Office "Since graduating, I found and successfully applied for a graduate internship at Deutsche Bank through the Careers Network's online job board. I am now using the skills and knowledge I gained there in my next role."
Many people graduate without being certain of their next steps. Don't despair - it's never too late to figure it out. Focus on the range of careers that suit your interests, skills and values and look at how you can make the most of everything you learned at Birmingham, not just your degree.
Ben Shepherd (BA Drama and Theatre Arts, 1997) Television presenter "I kind of fell into presenting. I worked a a runner for the Weather Network in Hockley, and every now and again they'd let me practise presenting the travel and weather when we weren't on air and I really enjoyed it. Once I'd decided that was what I wanted to do, I worked hard to get as much experience and meet as many people as I could. There isn't one set route into television so the most important thing is building up contacts and getting to know the industry." www.birmingham.ac.uk/graduatecareers
Application forms are your chance to show employers that you match their criteria.
Damien Deighan (BA History, Sport and Recreation Sciences, 1999) Senior International Headhunter, Eisaa Health Ltd, shares his top tips for filling out application forms:
- Write in short sentences and paragraphs.
- Use active verbs when describing skils and experience such as organised, delivered, achieved, developed and designed.
- Make sure the information you put in your application matches the job advert and specification asked for.
- Ask someone else to proofread your application form. Any mistakes will lead to your application being rejected.
- Phone the company and make sure they have received your form once you have applied.
Interview success is all about making a positive impact.
Matthew Cameron (BA Medieval and Modern History, 2009) Executive Recruiter, The Ocean Partnership "The single most important piece of advice for interviews is to research. This covers more than one area and translates into:
- Research the company - know who they are, what they do, why they are successful, what you can add to their business and why this company is the best company for you.
- Research the role - know the role inside out, find videos, forums, articles; anything that will help you gain a better understanding of the role and what will be expected of you. This knowledge will set you apart from other candidates and allow you to provide better examples.
- Research the interview questions - anticipate the questions you are likely to be asked and practise your answers with a friend, family member or in front of the mirror.
- Remember to stay calm, positive and always be professional.
Think creatively about networking to build your contacts.
Did you know?
You can network with more than 20,000 alumni online by joining our social media networks:
The University of Birmingham Alumni and Friends LinkedIn group
Ayaan Mohamud (BA Media, Culture and Society, 2009; MSc Marketing, 2010) Marketing Assistant, comScore, Inc "Business is about networking and relationships so being part of such a huge alumni community gives you the opprotunity to communicate with a large group of poeple spread all over the world. I personally like to attend networking events to meet online connections in real life."
Work experience isn't just for students. More and more people are finding that graduate work experience and internships can pave the way into a career.
Alana Tomlin (BA Creative Writing, 2013) Development Assistant, Birmingham Repertory Theatre "I had never considered a graduate internship, especially not in the arts. I assumed I would have to gain more work experience producing my own work, then move to London and try and get employed through writing blogs and networking. However, during the final year of my degree I discovered graduate internship opportunities in the arts provided and funded by the University of Birmingham. With eight months of challenging work experience behind me, I have launched my career at The Birmingham Repertory Theatre in fundraising."
Did you know?
The University's graduate trainee scheme in professional services is open to graduates who gained a 2.1 or higher in the past three years. Visit www.birmingham.ac.uk/gts for more information.
Teresa Hunt (BA International Relations, 2012) Marketing Officer and former graduate trainee, University of Birmingham "The experiences I gained on the University's graduate trainee scheme have been so varied; from pulling together annual accounts, to supporting student societies, organising high-profile lectures and going out to schools. These have all given me a brilliant understanding of the University and higher education, and equipped me with the skills to secure a permanent position in the University's central marketing team."
Did you know?
More than 1,000 staff members at the University are alumni.
Bryoney Johnson (BA American Studies with English, 2001) Alumni Communications Officer, University of Birmingham "After graduation I worked for a number of great companies, but I was delighted to have the opportunity to come back to campus as a member of staff. There is still that unique University of Birmingham atmosphere that instantly makes you feel at home and nothing beats the feeling that in some small way I'm giving back to the University that gave me so much."
Making an impression on your first day.
Okiemute Sankey (MEng Chemical Engineering, 2008) Graduate Engineer, BOC "Ask questions, actively listen, offer your services if you can be of assistance and enjoy your experience. You will make mistakes, but be proactive in showing that you can learn from that experience."
Richard Cassell (BSc Computer Science, 2007) Software Product Developer, International Risk Partnership "It's a naive assumption made by most of us after graduating that we can now take on the world and that we know everything. You don't. You walk into a room full of people brimming with countless times more experience than you have. The trick is to never stop asking questions and continue to learn. Their experience will help you pave your way."
Rebecca Emms (BA Ancient and Medieval History, 2010) Graduate Archaeologist, AECOM "Don't assume you know everything. Always ask questions, work hard and be humble."
Jade Bressington (BA Geography, 2003) Deputy Head of Alumni Relations, University of Birmingham "You have a lot to learn but also a lot to offer - make the most of having a 'fresh pair of eyes', enthusiasm and latent potential. Be patient with yourself and others, listen actively and intently, seek appropriate opportunities and capitalise on them when they arise."
When entering the professional world there are many ways to ensure continued development such as:
- Finding a mentor
- Attending conferences and seminars in your chosen sector
- Using opportunities to be on project teams
- Volunteering to work in focus groups
It is a good idea to record all of these activities in a Personal Development Portfolio as a record of your personal growth, successes, achievements and objectives - all of which will be useful for future application forms and interviews.
Julia Herdman (BCom Business Studies, 1985) Managing Director, Precedent Surveyors Ltd "Learn something from everyone you work with. The good you can apply when the opportunity comes around and the bad you can avoid."
Not everyone goes into degree-related careers after graduation.
Tasmina Perry (LLB Law, 1990) "Don't be afraid to make false starts. Did I make a false start studying Law? Perhaps, but it's important to try lots of things and find out what you're good at and passionate about. Sometimes you need to take a leap of faith, but always have a back-up plan."
Dr Marco-Daniel Egawhary (MBChB Medicine, 2012) Trainee Roman Catholic Priest "I had thought of training to become a priest for many years, even before starting my medical training at Birmingham. I thoroughly enjoyed the degree in Medicine, but deep down the sense of vocation remained. I was blessed to find at Birmingham a vibrant Catholic chaplaincy and supportive mentors at the Medical School, and both helped me to make the right decision. Although not practising medicine, Birmingham prepared me well."
Did you know?
The top roles for our 2013 graduates were:
What will you be?
We want to know where your adventure takes you. Six months after you graduate a Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education questionnaire will be sent to you. To keep us informed on your adventures after Birmingham, update your contact details now via firstname.lastname@example.org