Preparing for life after university…

So the end of university beckons. The last few pieces of work have been marked and you are waiting to hear what degree you have got. You’ve left your flatmates behind and headed home. What now?

Finishing university can be a shock to the system – back at home with the family. Suddenly there are domestic rules to follow; other people to consider; no more student loans or grants. The world is your oyster. Opportunity knocks!

It is so easy to get home, take a deep breath and then promise yourself that you will have a break before embarking on the next stage in your life – and yet preparations put in now could prove invaluable when you put yourself into the jobs market for real.

The vast majority of students have little or no idea what they want to do when they leave university unless they have been on professional or specific vocational courses. So the jobs market is competitive. Temp work goes quickly. Permanent jobs are also increasingly like gold dust with far too many applying for them. But what can you do to advance your chances?


Think about all the people you know or have met. They could be people you met at university, friends back home, family members, old school friends, your buddies from the local sports club or gym, or family friends. Let them know you are looking for work. You could be pleasantly surprised at the opportunities that come back your way. Lots of jobs are never advertised. They are filled because someone knows someone.

Recruitment agency

And most importantly too, ensure that you register with a recruitment agency – preferably one that advises you on preparing your cv to project you in the best possible light.


Get online and surf the web for sectors or industries that appeal to you. Understand what is happening in them. Get a feel for which companies are growing, expanding and therefore potentially hiring. It’s that old adage, that the more you look, the more you see.


If you are not able to walk into paid work – look at the benefits volunteering could offer. You do something really worthwhile, and you meet another set of contacts who could potentially know people who are looking for new staff. But you also add an invaluable tick to your cv – doing something positive and worthwhile rather than sitting at home, waiting for the phone to ring with someone offering you a job. Life isn’t like that unfortunately.

Work experience/internship

Any experience is better than doing nothing. Offering your services for nothing to a company where you would ultimately like to work could end up in a full-time job. You have put yourself in front of potential employers and if they like what they see, when they do have a vacancy they will not be looking anywhere else. Suddenly, you have got a job.

About the Author

Anne Corder

Anne Corder


Whilst still actively handling recruitment assignments, Anne specialises in Human Resources with many years of experience in that sector. She blogs on wider recruitment issues affecting both candidates and clients, commenting and offering tips and advice to help achieve the right outcomes.