Anna’s Career Tips: Employability advice by stage and subject

Word Cloud for employability

This is a very disquieting time at the moment, the future is more uncertain than usual and all of us, individuals and organisations of all types are having to plan day by day in order to manage an event of which human societies globally have no recent experience. Here Anna gives her monthly tips on how to remain focused on employabilty, whatever stage of study you’re in.

For all students: 

From an employability perspective there is a lot to remain upbeat about. Things will get back to normal eventually and there is a lot that you can do whilst on lockdown to boost your confidence, skills and heart at your ability to cope with and manage the unexpected. After all resilience is an attribute that is sought by employers everywhere and for those of you considering an academic career, resilience is a must in order to function in a sector that is subject to the constant churn of ongoing change.

You may have noticed that there are numerous opportunities for honing existing ad developing new skills online. MOOCs such as those offered by the platforms below are slick, easy to use and for the most part free at the point of use.

Remember to keep an eye on sites such as Gradcracker, many employers are still advertising opportunities and are adapting projects in order to be able to deliver them online. Regardless of what happens, by checking in regularly, reading employer profiles and familiarising yourself with what they are looking for, you are laying the groundwork that will enable yourself to take flight the next time that you start applying for roles or postgraduate opportunities.

The Careers and Employability Centre have moved a lot of services online which are available for all students. Book your 1-2-1 guidance appointments with CES.

Stage 0

Remember that there will be opportunities for summer internships at the end of stage one and that these are paid opportunities to build your professional skills, find out more about yourself and the labour market and get some great experience under your belt.  These open early so begin looking in the late summer before you arrive back on campus. These opportunities are advertised on Gradcracker.

Stage 1

At this point and whilst you are prepping for exams, you should start setting aside 60-90 minutes a week to look through Gradcracker for employers that have schemes for years in industry for which you may want to apply.  Most opportunities will be in Chemistry and it is worth thinking now about the skills and qualities that they are looking for.

Stage 2

Some of you are going out on placement at some point this summer and the employers are updating these candidates with regard to the current situation. It is difficult to determine what companies will do regarding summer placements. Some are delivering projects online, some are choosing to defer. My advice is to keep an eye on the announcements made by companies / organisations to see what their approach will be in the coming weeks.

Stage 3

Finalists need to make sure that their CVs are up to date, that they are familiar with psychometric tests and that they are aware of the opening and closing dates of any graduate recruitment schemes on which you have your eye. Applications will start opening mid to late summer and you will need to be quick off the mark.

Stage 4

For those of you who are reaching the end of your time with us make sure that you reach out with any queries or concerns. The Careers and Employability Team have moved services online and can check CVs and applications, conduct mock interviews and guidance interviews if you are feeling really lost and unsure of your next steps.


Free E-learning from NPL until 30 June 2020 for students, lecturers, early career researchers and academic staff.

I am pleased to share with you news that NPL is opening its entire e-learning platform and offering its full portfolio until the 30 June 2020.  Students will be able to access additional metrology content to suit your needs.

Details can be found below:

See more on e-learning.

Explore course content.

The complete online catalogue of e-learning content, including courses which may have cost up to £700, covers a variety of different content – including metrology, dimensional measurement and a range of specialised application areas.

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