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Making applications

Getting a graduate job can be a complex process involving several different stages, each stage requires preparation and to be successful you need to demonstrate to an employer that you have the skills, knowledge and experience they require.

Use the links below to explore more about how to make an effective application and get that job.

What do employers look for?

Different jobs will require specific competencies or skills, but there are some skills which are required by almost all jobs.

Explore the different skills employers value and take a moment to reflect on your confidence in these skills. Most students will already have developed these skills before coming to University, but taking part in work experience or placements, part-time jobs, student societies, sports teams or volunteering is an excellent way of practising them and gaining the real examples that employers are looking for.

Using the skills below, reflect on your strengths. If you need to create a CV, you can use these skill areas to help structure your skills profile. You might also want to reflect on how to identify your skills and abilities in order to create a strong application.

Employers tell us they value experience very highly. Make sure your CV and application stands out from the crowd by containing as much relevant experience as you can fit in. Tailor your application to address the criteria in the job advert and person specification the employer has written. Explore more top tips to help you write a successful job application.

  1. Commercial awareness. Being able to understand the business environment of a particular employer or industry.
  2. Communication and negotiation. Ability to communicate effectively verbally or in writing, and to discuss and agree on something with other people.
  3. Leadership and teamwork. Being able to take the lead to motivate and encourage others or to contribute practically to the success of the team.
  4. Problem solving and decision-making. Ability to think things through in a logical way to reach a solution and to then decide on the best course of action.
  5. Adaptivity and flexibility. Ability to handle change and adapt to new situations.
  6. Innovation and creativity. Being able to work on your own initiative, and to see new opportunities or alternatives.
  7. Self awareness. Knowing your strengths and skills and being able to put these across to employers.
  8. Motivation and enthusiasm. Having energy, commitment and enthusiasm in pursuing and completing projects.

Identifying your skills

Before you start to write an application, or create a CV, you need to have some idea of what skills you have. Explore how to identify your skills and abilities using our dedicated resource.

You might also find it useful to complete an activity to help you reflect on your skills Once you have completed this activity, book an appointment to discuss the outcome with a Careers Adviser.

We also recommend exploring other areas such as volunteering, part time work or online tools to help you develop your skills and experience.

Identifying your skills and abilities resource

How to apply for a job

Find a vacancy that’s right for you

Looking for a part-time job, placement, or a volunteering opportunity? Use our careers vacancy portal to search for opportunities.

Advice and tools

Workshops and events

Throughout the academic year, the Careers team organise a variety of workshops and events which are open to both current students and our recent graduates. These include careers fairs, CV workshops, graduate masterclasses, information sessions, employer presentations and much more.

Have a look at our events pages to find out what is coming up and book your place.

Upcoming careers events

For sessions that aren’t delivered using MS Teams, you can access live captions during sessions by installing Caption.Ed on your device. To request your free Caption.Ed account, email inclusiont[email protected]. If you have other learning requirements which may not be met solely by captioning, please do get in touch with the Inclusion Team.

Other events

Here is a selection of external events and careers fairs that are now being held virtually and which you can sign up to attend.

Virtual and in person careers fairs and events

Drop-in sessions

An adviser from Careers is available for drop-in sessions in the Careers Corner Catalyst from 11am – 3pm on weekdays. No appointment in advance is necessary, simply turn up.
Find out more information about contacting Careers