Essential actions: June and beyond

With the end of your degree, a whole new phase of your life opens up, but we're still here to help you:

  • Plan your next step
  • Search for jobs and courses
  • Add to your skills and experience
  • Build your support network

Plan your next step

Looking for whatever comes next becomes more achievable if you come up with a plan.

  • Break it down into smaller steps - you only need to know how to do whatever comes next. Sort out something to apply to first - we can help you cope with interviews later.
  • Include some targets and timescales - for example: apply for 5 jobs each week; attend a careers fair before the end of July; create a LinkedIn profile by the end of June.
  • Share your plan with someone - you're more likely to take some action if you tell someone else about it.

Apply early - and have the summer off?

The peak time for new graduate job vacancies is May/June, but you don't always have to start work straight away.

Employers may be happy for you to start in September - you could get the summer off, with a job offer in your pocket.

If you have a break and don't start looking until August, the cream of the new graduate jobs will have been filled. Jobs will still be advertised all year round, but in smaller numbers and with more competition.

Search for jobs or courses

Graduate jobs

Although many large employers will already have filled their "graduate scheme" vacancies starting in autumn this year, some do recruit all year round and smaller recruiters advertise at any time of year.

  • CareerConnect advertises hundreds of vacancies for University of Manchester graduates. Register as a graduate when your student access expires, you have access for two years after the end of your degree.
  • Graduate JobSearch Try our mobile-friendly site - over 200 job searches and vacancy sites suitable for graduates, targeted by different types of jobs
  • How to find a graduate level job Confused by "graduate schemes" vs "internships" vs "graduate jobs"? Want to know where else to look for jobs? We can help.
  • Manchester Graduate Talent Graduate internships and graduate jobs in Manchester. Summer is a peak time for vacancies to be advertised.

Are you too late to get a job with a large recruiter?

Not necessarily. Check if they are still accepting applications. Sometimes even top employers struggle to fill roles which are unfamiliar to students. Investigate job titles which you don't recognise - you could uncover a whole new career you didn't realise existed.

Broaden your search

Look out for jobs with employers you've never heard of, whether large or small. After the autumn rush, the majority of jobs for graduates are for smaller or less well-known employers.

Note: "Smaller employer" does not mean "smaller job". Just imagine getting in on the early days of a company who could be the next "Google" or "Red Bull".

Summer recruitment fairs

If you've started looking for a job in early June be prepared to apply for jobs straight away.

Most summer graduate recruitment events happen in late spring - summer. If at all possible, don't wait or have a break before looking, or you will have missed out on lots of good jobs.

Should you go to the Autumn recruitment fairs?

Yes - if you're still looking, although most employers at these fairs are recruiting for the following autumn. However:

  • If you find a good graduate job for the following year, you could find a temporary job in the meantime - or go travelling.
  • Some employers might have jobs available for an earlier start.

Postgraduate programmes

Many postgraduate programmes, particularly Masters, still have places available, although funding is very limited.

  • Look out for adverts over the summer - this means they are keen to fill places for an autumn start, although it would be unusual to find funding at this late stage.
  • Further study Our guide to Masters, PhDs, professional training and funding

Add to your skills and experience

Learning doesn't stop when you leave university. If you struggled to find time during your degree to add all those extra skills and experience which impress employers, now's the time to do it.

Which skills or experience do you need to add right now?

Take a good look at yourself and review the skills you already have and the ones you could improve on.

Not sure what they are? Get some feedback from people who know you well. You may be surprised at what they notice about you - good and bad.

Add skills through volunteering

Even if you have to work full-time, you can still volunteer for charities and community organisations. Most other volunteers will be working as well so they'll be used to having to fit round working hours.

Some student volunteering opportunities will no longer be available to you but many other local opportunities will, including many of those advertised through CareerConnect.

Add work experience

If you lack work experience, you may need to take a lower level entry role to boost your experience. Bite the bullet and get that experience now and you may be in a good position to apply for a competitive graduate scheme this autumn or next.

Do you need to do an unpaid internship to get a good job?

However, for many careers, such as charities, teaching, the media, social work and politics, most applicants will have gained some sort of voluntary experience (often while they were students) before they apply for a job. You could look for opportunities through volunteer organisations, even if you have to fit this round other paid work.

Build your support network

This is when your links to people you know really matter, to keep you motivated and to look out for career opportunities for you.

  • Have you thought about creating a LinkedIn profile? As a start, you could connect with all your former classmates. They may hear of jobs in their own workplace which might suit you. In addition, it's a real investment for your future career. Think about the jobs you'll all have in 5-10 years time - and what sort of a network you'll have then.
  • Can you find ways to keep friends and family updated on your career plans and job search, so they know what to look out for? Whether you keep in touch through Facebook, Twitter, family weddings or by letter, you only need one person to spot your perfect job and let you know about it.
  • If you're not currently working, is there a group of people you could meet up with regularly to share advice, support and celebrate your successes?

In addition to this, the Careers Service is still there for you, for up to 2 years after you complete your course, you're not alone.