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Taking your next step after graduation

Graduating is an exciting and important milestone, but it can be daunting to know where to start when it comes to embarking on a career. 

Here are our top tips on starting your career journey!

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1. Figure out what skills you have

A great place to start is identifying the skills you have developed so far.  Taking a skills assessment is a helpful way to find out about careers that might be right for you.  It will help you understand more about yourself and what careers you would enjoy, as well as how you can apply the skills you have built up through education, volunteering or work to different careers.  Take the National Careers Service Skills Assessment.   

2. Get networking

Networking can be an effective way to find out about jobs and get ahead in your career.  Networks can include anyone from friends and family to people you know on social media and can help you learn more about careers or even get recommended for a job. 

The trick is to make sure you connect with the right people and be clear what you want from them.  Learn more about finding a job through networking.

3. Do some voluntary work

Volunteering can help you make career choices as well as gain experience in an area that interests you. 

It will also allow you to develop your soft skills and demonstrate to future employers that you have done your research and want to put your skills to good use.  Get advice on volunteering.

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4. Create a LinkedIn profile

LinkedIn offers the ideal platform to build your network of contacts and raise your profile with employers.  It will allow you to showcase your skills, experience and educational achievements and demonstrate to employers what you have to offer.  Check out our guide to creating a standout profile

5. Consider graduate schemes

A graduate scheme is an ideal way to develop your talent as a future leader.   You will gain hands-on experience of different areas of a company and the chance to follow a structured training programme. Find out more about finding graduate schemes

What now?

There is lots of support and advice available to help you in your next step.  If you are a recent graduate of perhaps in your final year, you can check out the Graduate Skills and Employability guide for lots of advice and tips about identifying and developing your skills, gaining experience and applying for jobs, as well as how to look after yourself and your wellbeing.  Don’t forget you can also keep in touch with the careers department at your university for advice on employment opportunities.

The National Careers Service website contains a wealth of information to help you make decisions for your future.  If you’d like to speak to a trained careers adviser, you can call 0800 100 900 or use our webchat service.

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