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How to find a graduate job

Leaving uni and stepping into the world of graduate employment? It can feel daunting to start your job hunt, but we’ve pulled together a handy guide on how to find a graduate job – from the tools you have to help you to tips on making yourself more employable.

Not sure what you want to do? Explore the information on our careers website and book a 20 minute ‘Getting started’ appointment where you can learn how to search for graduate jobs on our vacancy portal. You will also be given the opportunity to discuss your options with a graduate careers advisor and get support with making applications and preparing for interviews.

If you already completed your course please see our Graduate pages to see how you can continue to access our services by registering on our dedicated graduate platform.

View current graduate job vacancies Book an appointment

10 top tips for finding graduate jobs

Having a plan is the key to an effective job search. Watch this short three minute video to hear our top tips or read through them below.

1. Have a job search strategy

Without planning and organisation, graduate job searches can feel overwhelming. So take some time to find out what you want to do, research potential employers, what they look for in applicants and where they advertise their opportunities. 

If you’re not sure, come down to Careers Corner in Catalyst and we can help you with where to get started.

A student talks to a Careers advisor in Careers Corner

2. Target your job search

Different job sectors and professions advertise vacancies and recruit graduates in different ways. So take some time to find out about recruitment methods in the job sector that interests you.

You can find out more about where to find jobs relating to specific subjects in our subject information pages.

The Prospects and Target Jobs websites are also good sources of information about where to find vacancies in specific job sectors:

3. Be open minded

Look at the large organisations that you’ve heard about and who you might see on campus, but also consider the medium and small size employers too. Graduate programmes can be a great option, but also look into immediate start jobs and other levels within an organisation that you want to join. It may be that these can offer you a stepping stone into the organisation or profession you’re interested in.

4. Research job websites and register

Research job websites and register with the ones most likely to have opportunities of interest to you. Be aware of registering with too many; they will all give you notifications and your inbox will be overflowing.

5. Consider location

Some regions or cities will be better than others in terms of the job role that you’re looking for. You might find it easier to find your ideal job in a city, rather than a small town, for example.

Find out where the job is located, be open minded about where you’re based and find out where regional jobs are advertised. 

If you are looking for a job in a specific region, there may be regional websites you can use to search for vacancies.

Finding a graduate job in the North West Finding a graduate job in other regions of the UK

6. Find out about recruitment agencies

Recruitment agencies can be really useful if you’re searching for jobs in specific sectors or regions, and they often have information about vacancies that aren’t advertised anywhere else. 

You can search with agencies online and if you’re not sure where to start, come along to careers and we’ll give you some starting points.

7. Make the most of social media

Many graduate employees will use social media to advertise their vacancies or to tell applicants about upcoming events. So follow employers, recruiters and professional bodies on X, Instagram, Facebook and Linked In and any other social media that you tend to use.

Student in halls on laptop

8. Build your network

It’s estimated that over 60% of vacancies are never advertised so making connections, building your network and approaching employers to find out about opportunities will be an important part of your job searching strategy.

There are all kinds of ways of networking. To find out more, visit the careers website or go along to some of our networking events.

9. Submit excellent applications

In a competitive job market, it’s never been more important to submit applications that are targeted, focused and well written. Remember Careers can help you with your applications so get in touch if you need to.

10. Don’t give up

Receiving rejections or not hearing back from employers can be very disheartening. It’s important not to give up and to be reflective. Consider what might have gone wrong and seek feedback wherever possible. Get in touch with Careers if you’re struggling.

Remember that Careers can help you with your graduate job search. We are here to help you as student and for three years after graduation. We can help you with career planning, job search, applications and the selection process. So get in touch!

National graduate job websites

A good starting point for your vacancy search is our Careers Vacancy Portal, but we also recommend exploring some of these useful job boards and remember to set up job alerts so that you’re notified by email of any new opportunities that meet your criteria.

Consider a graduate scheme

Graduate schemes can be a great leg up into a successful career, or allow you to get a taste of a career while bulking out your CV with real-life experience.

There are a huge range of graduate schemes available depending on what type of job you would like.

Common questions when job hunting

Is it difficult to find a job as a graduate?
How do graduates find work?
Where is best to look for graduate jobs?
How to get a graduate job with no experience?

Further resources

Get in touch with Careers for support with your graduate job search.