Finding graduate opportunities

Finding graduate opportunities

Student searching for jobs on a laptopBefore you start looking for vacancies it is important that you first set some criteria to help focus your search. Having a clear idea of what you want will make it easier to focus your search. If you are undecided about the type of jobs that interest you, visit the Explore Your Options section of our website for advice on generating career ideas.

For advice on creating a search criteria, take our mini career course on Finding Graduate Vacancies.

Where to find graduate vacancies


Organisations submit vacancies to the Careers and Employability Service on a daily basis via our CareerConnect system. University of Aberdeen students are automatically registered on CareerConnect. Graduates can continue to use the system for as long as they wish (registration required). You can create a profile that will allow you to receive regular email alerts of new opportunities tailored to your preferences. Watch the video below to find out how to do this.

Live graduate job opportunities on CareerConnect
Graduate job websites

There are several good websites that contain details of current graduate job opportunities in a wide range of sectors. They will all allow you to register for email alerts of new opportunities. Websites that we particularly recommend are:

Sector-specific job websites

The Prospects and TARGETjobs websites provide useful overviews of job sectors, as well as employer profiles, job descriptions and latest vacancies. Professional associations often list vacancies on their websites. You can find links to resources for finding sector-specific vacancies here

Recruitment agencies

Recruitment agencies can be good sources of initial employment particularly for more vocationally orientated subjects. To find a list of agencies who specialise in your sector, see the Recruitment and Employment Federation website.

Networking and social media

Networking is simply the process of meeting people and using those contacts for your mutual benefit. Networking often starts out as a simple conversation with someone you meet at a social or career event but that initial conversation can lead to advice, information or opportunities you were not expecting.

Social media is also a great way of connecting with people who may be able to help you find a graduate job. Employers are increasingly engaging with students and graduates via social media. Ensuring you have a professional online presence which recruiters can access easily can help you find and secure work experience and employment opportunities.

Use the tabs below to learn about building your online presence, finding vacancies and utilising commonly used social media sites.

Building your online presence

Online presence is the term used for describing how you appear to all web users. Aim to ensure that freely available content linked to you and your name is professional and that any other content is filtered appropriately for access by particular groups such as family, friends or work colleagues.

Top tips:
  • Type your name into a search engine to ensure you are happy with the content listed. You can use online tools to assess your online visibility.
  • Consider who can see your profile on each of the social media sites you use and make sure you set your privacy settings, including pictures, appropriately.
  • Be in control of your digital footprint. Check what others can post about you and ensure that you have control of any posts and pictures in which you are tagged.
  • Evaluate different social media sites to decide which are right for you, and establish your personal purpose for each. For example: LinkedIn for work and professional purposes, Facebook for friends and family, Twitter to share specific interest areas.
  • Consider diverse types of sites in which to build your profile, targeted to the types of career you are pursuing. For example, create blogs/vlogs, picture and video content to build an online portfolio for more creative career areas.
  • Establish an efficient way to manage your social media accounts, especially if you have 3 or more. Online tools can help with this.

Further resources


Finding vacancies

You can find a rich source of information about job and work experience opportunities via social media. This ranges from featured job advertisements, to gaining an insight into companies and employers through the information they share.

Top tips:
  • Decide which sites could be useful to you for finding work experience or job opportunities. Consider those you are already using and possible sites to join.
  • Find company/organisation profiles, pages and groups for the areas in which you are interested. Posts of interest could include job adverts and closing dates, application tips and opportunities to communicate with recent recruits.
  • Identify any recruitment specific areas of the sites to which you belong and review these areas regularly.
  • Raise your profile, and chances of connecting with people (and their opportunities), by contributing with considered and relevant status updates, researched questions, evidenced opinions or answers which add something of value to discussions.
  • Be proactive with the insights you gain from social media sites. For example, news about an office expansion could provide an opportunity for you to get in contact to find out more.


Managing Your Profile
  • Be concise, use professional and accurate language, and target it to your chosen areas of employment so that it appears in relevant searches.
  • Consider who you are connected to on LinkedIn (individually and via groups) as this will influence who will find you in a LinkedIn search.
  • When you request to connect with new contacts always customise your message to say why you want to connect and why this could be relevant to them.
  • Get feedback on your profile. We are happy to give you feedback about the content and relevance of your LinkedIn profile.

Finding Opportunities
  • Consider the connections you make – it is as much (if not more) about quality as it is about quantity.
  • Start off by joining relevant groups to open up your network of contacts. Professional bodies (such as Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors or Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) will usually have a group although some will be restricted to members.
  • Be considerate of your connections – asking for advice about finding opportunities of interest is better than asking for a job in the first instance and more likely to result in a positive response.
  • 'Follow' companies/organisations of interest and search for points you have in common with employees, eg search for employees who have previously studied at the University of Aberdeen by refining your search by 'school'.
  • Search for current opportunities on LinkedIn Jobs.
  • Follow the Careers and Employability Service: abdnunicareers

Further Resources
Managing Your Profile
  • Review your privacy settings to check you are happy with what the world (and therefore recruiters) can see. Watch out for pictures, particularly those in which you have been tagged.
  • Consider the 'apps' you have signed up for and the access they have to your profile. Also consider the privacy settings when ‘liking’ a friends photo or post as this may be set to ‘public’ or ‘friends of friends’.
  • If you 'friend' a company or their representative remember that this will allow them a higher level of access to the content on your profile.

Finding Opportunities
  • 'Like' company and organisation pages in your areas of interest.
  • Join relevant groups – for example, some companies will have groups set up for their successful applicants to get to know each other prior to starting their employment.
  • Look out for live Q&A sessions and do not be afraid to contribute with well researched questions (ie do not ask a question which you can answer from information on their website).
  • Share the types of opportunities you are looking for via status updates to see if any of your connections can help. You can also ask your connections to share your update to their profile to widen the network.
  • 'Like' the Careers and Employability Service Facebook page: AbdnUniCareers

Further Resources
Managing Your Profile
  • Consider what you want to achieve with Twitter. At its best, you can use it to interact with others who share specific interest areas (it is not uncommon to have a range of Twitter accounts for different purposes) – eg the professional you, the sportsperson you, and the personal interest you.
  • When using Twitter, volume, quality and relevance of content are of equal importance. There is a fine balance to achieve between not tweeting enough and lacking visibility, and tweeting too much resulting in being ‘unfollowed’.
  • Be aware that you can also be judged by content from others with which you visibly interact by retweeting.
  • To keep your account within your own control, make sure you have to approve who follows you.
  • Be aware of any 'apps' which use your Twitter profile and what type of access they have to your content and photographs.

Finding Opportunities
  • Follow company profiles and any employees of interest, media and organisations of relevance (such as orchestras, festivals and radio stations for those seeking opportunities in music).
  • Follow career-relevant profiles linked to the industry you are interested in, the job types you are seeking or the level of opportunity you are seeking (eg work experience, graduate jobs).

Further Resources

Additional information 

For specific information and resources on visas for working in the UK, working abroad or taking a gap year, follow the links below.