New Year, New Challenge – your future starts here!

Get ready to kickstart 2022 with our tips to securing a graduate role.

We hope that you had a relaxing and peaceful break. As we embark on a new year and new term, now is the time to focus on your future career, ensure your CV is impactful and you are interview ready.

Graduate Schemes application deadlines

There is still time to apply for graduate programmes closing in January or February. Below is a list of the schemes closing in the next six weeks:

28th Jan 2022

31st Jan 2022

4th Feb 2022

5th Feb 2022

7th Feb 2022

24th Feb 2022

28th Feb 2022

Prepare a clear and concise CV

Graduate employers receive hundreds of applications for their schemes and they often skim through them very quickly. A successful CV must be clear and concise so that employers can see your skills and achievements at a glance. It is also imperative that you tailor your CV to the role you are applying for.

The university has partnered with CareerSet where you can upload your CV and get feedback on how to improve it. You can even score your CV against a target job description – fantastic for when you are applying for a specific role. You must use your Kent email address to access the tool.

Practice psychometric/assessment centre tests and mock interviews

Securing an interview is an achievement in itself! Only a small proportion of applicants are selected for interview, so you have already made a positive impression to get to this stage.

When it comes to interviews, preparation and practice are key. Employers will expect you to show a keen interest in their organisation so doing your research is vital. It’s also important to think about the types of questions you might get asked and what skills you have to offer.

A good way to answer competency-based interview questions is to use the STAR technique. And practice, practice, practice is the best way to be fully prepared and ensure you stay calm on the day.

Graduates First is a fantastic tool where you can practice psychometric and assessment centre tests and Shortlist Me enables you to practice mock interviews online. It also provides analysis and feedback on your answers and presentation.

However, nothing compares to live practice so you can also book a mock interview with the Careers Service.

Book at one-to-one appointment with our Employability Officer

Feeling overwhelmed as you take that next step towards your career? It’s an exciting journey but can also be daunting as you start making applications and prepare for interviews. We are here to support you no matter what stage of your career journey you are at. Our Employability Officer can help you with your job and work experience search, help you look for and secure work (we review CVs, applications, and offer interviews and assessment centre training and advice).

If you would like to make an appointment for a careers chat with our Employability Officer, please click this link to see availability and book a time that suits you:

Consider volunteering

If you’re worried that you don’t have much experience to talk about, consider volunteering. Unpaid work is not without value. On the contrary, volunteering alongside your university course demonstrates excellent time-management skills and shows that you are still able to meet deadlines whilst taking on other commitments.

Volunteering is a great way to gain valuable employability skills for the future but it can also be an opportunity to explore roles within a variety of industries and see if they would be a good fit for you.

For more information on volunteering opportunities at Kent, visit the Kent Union website. It’s also worth looking at the Do-it Foundation which runs the site – the UK’s first digital volunteering service. The site provides thousands of volunteering opportunities around the country so you can volunteer either at Kent whilst you study, or within your hometown.

Don’t forget, any volunteering that you do can be logged as part of the Kent Volunteering Scheme (KVS) which recognises and supports the hard work that University of Kent students do when volunteering. By logging your volunteering hours online, you will progress through the various levels of the scheme and receive recognition of your work. Not only is this an excellent addition to your CV but you may have your awards added to your higher education achievement record (HEAR) upon graduation. This will help you when talking to employers about your experience.

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