On this page

1. How to ensure that your applications are successful
2. What career might suit you best?
2.1. Your options at a glance
2.2. What can you do with a degree in….?
2.3. Using a career matching program
3. CES Career Planning Guide
4. Free online course (University of London MOOC)
5. Still undecided?
directionJob hunting can be a vicious circle. You know that you are expected to make targeted applications, but you are not sure what your target is. To make your applications targeted, it is essential that you become informed about the industry and the job role. This will not only ensure that you come across as a well-informed candidate, but also helps you formulate an effective answer to the standard interview question such as ‘Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?’ 

1. How to ensure that your applications are successful

Most graduate jobs in business, management and finance tend to be advertised to graduates with any degree subject.

To make a successful application, you will need to tick all three of the following boxes:

  • knowledge – comes comes from your degree/postgraduate course itself and from gaining up-to-date insights from business news. Not giving information about your modules and projects is a classic example of underselling.
  • relevant skills – these can be shown by using specific examples from work, volunteering, extra-curricular activities, but also from study, e.g. research, presentations, project management, communication, organisation, etc. Targeted applications include skills that match the job role.
  • motivation – demonstrated by linking your application to your future career aspirations and by showing some enthusiasm or passion for the field you’re applying for. For example, if you apply for a technology company (e.g. Microsoft, Google, IBM) then interest in technology will be essential, whether you wish to work in finance, marketing, HR or any other role.

Spend a little time to research your options, know how to articulate your knowledge, skills and motivation and you may find it easier to make decisions about starting a career that will be fulfilling, satisfying and simply right for you.

student on floor

2. What career might suit you best?

You can research career options in two ways, by looking up different careers and learning about what’s involved and what skills you would use the most or by working through a career program that will help you identify potential options.

2.1 Some ideas?

career-options-all

You might have some ideas already about the area you might like to work in. Click on the image above for a list of most management and business related careers giving you a snapshot at a glance. These are a summary adapted from Graduate Prospects, and you can research each career in depth (click here) and on the Business Insights tab in this blog, using the A-Z.

Guardian Article (August 2017): How to work out what you’re good at. Click here to read.

2.2.What can you do with a degree in….?

The Careers and Employability Service (CES) at the University has a specific section to help you think about your options. Click on the title below to access. Please note that whilst these offer a selection only, they provide a good starting point for your exploration.

  1. What can I do with my degree in Accounting and Finance? (includes Accounting and Management)
  2. What can I do with my degree in Business? (includes Business Administration, International Business, Business and Management)
  3. What can I do with my MBA? (currently being updated)

There are also Career Planning Guides available to download (just click on the relevant image), but you can also pick up a free booklet from the CES (between Keynes and bus stop) and on the CES website a section called Choosing a Career –  which includes a graduate career map.

2.3. Using a career matching program

Straightforward, interactive questionnaires that assess your career strengths, abilities and personality. This takes approx. 12 minutes in total and consists of 4 sections.

You then get a list of jobs that match you to a database with over 400 graduate careers. The report is free of charge, but you need to sign up.

prospects planner


Click here to access the Graduate Prospects Planner

 

TargetJobs – https://targetjobs.co.uk/careers-advice/career-planning is a useful site to explore your career options as well.

 

Career Planning Guides (Careers and Employability Service)

Career planning guide for undergraduates… for UndergraduatesCareer planning guide new graduates … for New Graduates

Career planning guide taught pgs… for Taught PostgraduatesCareer planning guide for researchers  … for Researchers

4. Free Online Course – Enhance your Career and Employability Skills (University of London MOOC)

A free course in 6 parts. Learn how to make effective decisions about your future career and how to take control of your professional development by honing your critical thinking and employability skills. Suitable for anyone undertaking some form of study, regardless of academic discipline, interests or employment background. This MOOC is complementary to any additional course of study as it enables you to recognise your own strengths and skills and understand how to best articulate those preferences and achievements to future employers or academic institutions in the future. Click here for details and free sign-up.

5. Still undecided?

  • Follow up your deeper research by looking at your most preferred options, then rank your preferences. Look up some advertised jobs in your preferred field to get a feel for what is available.
  • Compare the skills needed for your preferred options and the skills you have developed already. A good match will ensure a strong application. If the job descriptions are vague, then you will find skills listed under ‘Entry Requirements’, for example, on the Graduate Prospects career profiles. At Target Jobs you will find the main skills here.
  • Are there any discrepancies or weaknesses? How does your work experience relate to your choices? Might you need some extra skills development that you could get from an internship or volunteering, before you make applications? Or do you have good experience, but are not sure how to ‘sell this’ on your CV or applications?
  • Would you like to discuss your plan (or lack of plan) with a professional? Why not make use of free professional help at KBS and the university. Go to Careers Advice on this blog and make an appointment or email for help. This is free, confidential and available for 3 years after graduation!