Jobs after graduation
Before you start your job search, you need to have a clear idea about what you are looking for. If you're not at this stage, use the Career Planning and related suggested resources section first. Job hunting for when you graduate can be extremely daunting, so start as early as possible.
Types of organisation
Different organisations and sectors use different recruitment tools so it's important to discover where you are most likely to find out about opportunities in your chosen field or organsiation.
The timescales will be different too. If you're interested in the large scale graduate recruitment schemes,be prepared to apply very early on in your final year at university. If you're interested in a smaller company in a particular location, you are more likely to find networking and speculative applications are the norm.
Where to find vacancies
The Latest Jobs section of our website regularly advertises over 400 vacancies for graduates. Register for jobs and set up a search for email updates from the beginning of term so that you don't miss out on some of the early closing dates.
Other websites specialising in graduate recruitment (such as Prospects) will contain information about larger organisations recruiting graduates.
Company websites if they are large enough will have their own dedicated graduate recruitment pages so make sure you check these first. Use our company database in the jobs section to find web addresses and see what and when they have advertised vacancies in the past (you'll need to be registered and logged in for this facility)
Newspapers. The Press & Journal and The Scotsman advertise local and national vacancies in their jobs supplements every Friday. A Careers Adviser scans these supplements every week and a summary of vacancies appropiate for graduates is posted on the homepage of the Careers Service website. In addition, The Guardian publishes its Work supplement on a Saturday which has a Graduate Careers feature, as well as job adverts. Of course, you can also browse newspaper job vacancies from their websites.
Recruitment Agencies Registering with some agencies can be a good idea, particularly if you already have some work experience relevant to the area of work you are trying to target or if your degree is vocational, for example in Engineering or Accountancy. Some agencies also have a graduate focus and, of course, they can be very useful in finding you stop-gap temping jobs. You can search for suitable agencies on the Recruitment & Employment Confederation website. However, we would not recommend that you rely completely on agencies in your job search. Many graduate employers prefer to recruit graduates directly rather than through an agency and you don't want to miss out on these opportunities!
If you've identified the company you're interested in and the type of job you think you'd be suited to, then don't wait for an advert to appear in the paper, take the initiative and get in touch with them.
Steps for making contact
Do your research – what the company does, who is the best person to contact, how do they prefer to be contacted and when is the most appropriate time. Use people you already know, the company website, any other information available online and ultimately a telephone call to their office to answer these questions.
Draft a covering letter and CV detailing clearly what you know about the company, why you are writing to them and mention any prior contact you've had.
Follow up your letter after about 2 weeks to ensure it's been received and to ask if they need any further information. Thank them for their time.
Developing contacts with people working in a job sector that interests you can be a valuable part of the job-seeking process. Find out more
Our virtual library contains searchable resources available online and at the Careers Service.