How to land a job after you graduate


It‘s peak job-hunting time at the Careers Service – drop-in has been as busy as the doctor’s walk-in centre and everyone’s feeling the pressure. So what else can you do to land a job?

Don’t panic

It’s easy to feel like you’re the only person in the world who doesn’t know what they’re doing – spoiler alert, nobody does! There’s literally no rush to decide your forever career as you step out of uni, so don’t let all of the grad schemes and deadlines pressure you.

Even if you are interested in big grad schemes and miss out this year – most of these are open to graduates to apply to too, not just finalists. And nationally, only about 15% of graduates go into roles with the big corporate grad schemes – so your next step might well be something totally different.

Other jobs won’t have such an advance time scale – and are more likely to advertise as and when they need somebody new. So you can keep your eye out for jobs whenever you’re ready.

Ask an expert

Worried you’ve not got a plan together? Check out our career planning first steps and try and book in with a Careers consultant. They’re experts in helping out students in your specific subject area so will be able to tailor your appointment to your interests.

New appointments are released on MyCareer every day – so if you struggle to book one, keep trying!

Take advantage of on-campus events

We have employers on campus all the time – hosting events from networking opportunities to CV workshops, interview guidance and more.

They’re completely free to attend and offer tons of advice – plus they’re a good way to meet employers. You never know – you could meet your future boss!

Have an explore of the events on MyCareer and get signed up to whatever looks useful – make the most of the practical stuff, like workshops, while you can.

Find opportunities

Whether it’s graduate jobs, internships or placements – there’s a few different approaches you can take in your search. As well as searching for advertised opportunities, try speculative approaches to organisations you’re interested in.

Don’t forget to sign up to vacancy alerts on MyCareer – you can tailor alerts to your specific interests, so you won’t get spammed with job alerts for stuff that you’d never apply for.

And for exclusive internship opportunities, register with the Leeds Internship Programme. That means the internships are specifically for University of Leeds students only – so your pool of competition is much smaller than your average internship, plus you’ll get our support throughout your application.

Get support with your applications

Before spending hours on a CV, find out if the organisations you’re interested in require one – many do not. We can check application questions, or CVs & covering letters that you’ve tailored to a specific opportunity or made for a specific speculative approach.  There’s loads of advice on CVs & cover letters and applications on our website

We also provide you with free access to practise psychometric tests and mock interviews – and advice on assessment centres.

It’s not a race!

Don’t worry if your best mate has an internship lined up, or everyone’s applying for graduate jobs. Go at your own pace, finding a job you’ll enjoy won’t happen overnight!

It may take time and you will experience rejection – try not to take it personally, you never know who you’re up against or whether it was truly the right job for you.

Read about how to bounce back from a let-down, and keep on applying.

Go easy on yourself and remember – the Careers Service is here to help, so just get in touch if there’s anything you’re not sure about.

Find us on social media @leedsunicareers
Call our front desk on 0113 343 0426 (9am – 4.30pm Monday-Friday)

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