Graduate Employment and Skills Guide – Office for Students

Written by Samantha Oates-Miller, Careers Insights and Graduate Support Assistant at the Careers Service

The Graduate Employment and Skills Guide is a UK government initiative developed by the Department for Education and the Office for Students, working with the higher education sector and graduate employers. You can read more about the guide from the Minister of State for Universities.

The guide can be used by all students and graduates from any university. However, upcoming summer 2021 graduates from The University of Manchester may find it especially useful for the transition to employment. Remember: as a recent graduate, you can access The University of Manchester Careers Service for two years after you complete your course.

The Graduate Employment and Skills Guide is based around five key steps, each designed to help students and graduates at the start of their career journey. Each step signposts resources and opportunities to help you develop skills, gain experience and build networks in preparation for a graduate career. The steps all include advice and links to helpful resources and websites. The steps can be taken in any order and independently of each other, allowing you to focus on the areas you find most helpful.

Step One: Identify your skills

Step One focuses on the skills and experiences you already have. These may be from your course, work experience or placements, or because of the pandemic. There is also information here about postgraduate courses and guidance for international students who want to stay in the UK.

Alongside the guide, The University of Manchester has information and guidance on transferable skills and tips to get you started with thinking about careers. For postgraduates, there is also a resource on exploring your strengths, which focuses on skills you will have gained during your postgraduate course. If you are struggling to identify your skills, you may wish to book a careers guidance appointment to discuss your strengths with a Careers Consultant.

Step Two: Develop your Skills

Step Two helps you to consider gaps in your skillset and how you can develop new skills to move forward with your career. It includes resources to help you build and develop skills, and links to mentoring schemes.

Additionally, the Careers Service has tips for boosting your CV, including links to additional resources, courses and training. There is also information on virtual work experience and online courses, and links to workshops and other events. You can also look at the Which Career pages, for guidance on skills and experience for specific sectors.

Step Three: Gain Experience

Step Three identifies how you can build experience and create a network. It includes information on volunteering, internships, and work experience in a variety of sectors.

The Careers Service also offers resources to help you gain experience, with resources on virtual work experience, volunteering, placements, and more. Additionally, there is information about building your network, communicating with contacts and using LinkedIn. We run regular online workshops on developing your online presence, and networking. You can access workshops on CareerConnect. It is also a good idea to look for relevant articles on the Careers Service blog, such as The Student’s Ultimate Networking List.

Step Four: Apply for Jobs

This step focuses on where to find different kinds of jobs. It includes links to various job search platforms and guidance for applications. There are both general and specialist job platforms, as well as information for entrepreneurs.

Alongside Step Four, the Careers Service offers advice and guidance for job applications, including tailored guidance appointments. There are guides for applications, CVs, and interviews, information on how to find a job, and details of the Manchester Graduate Talent scheme. You can also search for jobs and opportunities on CareerConnect.

Step Five: Look After Yourself

The final step of the guide reminds you to look after yourself. Searching for a job can be difficult and stressful, so it is important to look after your mental health and wellbeing.

The Careers Service recognises that job hunting can be tough, so there a range of resources on the website to help you, from dealing with rejections to feeling overwhelmed, the Careers Service can help go from concerned to confident.

There are also useful blog posts to help you move on after a setback and stay motivated.

If you use the Careers Service and work through the Graduate Employment and Skills Guide, you can boost your employability as you search for graduate roles.

If you would like to speak to a Careers Consultant about your transition from university into the workplace, you can book an online careers meeting on CareerConnect. Boost your employability, gain skills, find opportunities, stay resilient, and gain all the skills necessary for your transition into the workplace today!

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