What do Graduates do? Using Labour Market Info to kick start your search for the perfect career

By Anjlee Gupta, Employability Adviser

It is that time where after much procrastination and trying to avoid the endless barrage of questions from friends, and family asking ‘What are you going to do after graduation?’, that you finally decide to join in the search for your graduate career.

To answer the question above for some people is a piece of cake. These people are the go-getters who know what they are good at and what they want to do and let’s face it they will probably ace their first interview.

But what if you are in the ‘I have no idea what I want to do’ category? Where do you start? Well firstly let me put you straight, there are no magic answers. You have got to put in the work.

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You can start by looking up graduate labour market information. This research will come in handy when you are preparing for interviews, networking and during your employment.

Take a look at some key facts taken from The Graduate Market in 2017;

  • Did you know that over 800 graduate roles were unfilled in 2016?
  • A growing number of vacancies in 2017 are expected to come from public sector organisations and online retailers.
  • Opportunities for internships, work shadowing and taster or open days are increasing with at least three quarters of employers offering students to have an opportunity to build their work experience.

So how can facts and information like this help? To help you kick start your journey, I have put together a few tips;

  1. Firstly find out your likes, dislikes, strengths and weaknesses, preferences – use the prospects career planner – a quick and simple quiz to get you thinking.
  2. Research the opportunities available with your degree. Prospects has a great list of jobs by sector to give an idea of what you can do with your degree. Keep your options open and don’t be afraid to look at roles outside of your degree subject. Questions to find answers to include; what roles are out there, what jobs have other graduates done, which industries are growing and what roles are there demands for.
  3. Use LinkedIn to search for and make connections with alumni and industry professionals. Join the SHU Alumni Connect Group and use the LinkedIn alumni connections tool. For information on using LinkedIn come along to one of our workshops.
  4. Do a placement, internship, work shadowing or volunteering – trying different types of roles and gaining a variety of experiences will help you build key skills and shine on your CV whilst also helping you to make decisions about potential career paths. Use Unihub to start your search.
  5. Start applying! – start making applications, attend interviews and get the ball rolling! The key is to be persistent and to try. Even if it’s not your ‘forever’ job, it will shape your development both personally and professionally which will continue as you progress in your career.