Careers Toolkit for graduands

Graduation star balloon and graduates

Samantha Oates-Miller, Career Insights and Graduate Support Assistant

Congratulations to everyone who is graduating during the next three weeks. We are so proud of all your achievements and hope you enjoy celebrating your successes with friends, family and staff. Whether you completed your degree a few months ago, or over a year ago, you might be feeling uncertain about your options or planning your next steps. Remember that you are not alone: the Careers Service is here for you now, and for up to two years after you finish your course.

To make the transition from University a bit easier, we’ve put together a toolkit of helpful resources and advice on all things related to careers. So whether you need help setting a budget while job hunting, you’re not sure how to start applying for jobs, or you want to know how you can stay in touch with the University, read on!

  1. Planning your next career steps

The Careers Service can support you whether you know exactly what you want to do, or aren’t so sure.

As a graduate, you can continue to use the Careers Service for up to two years after finishing your degree. Look at the graduate careers pages for more information on upskilling, graduate careers stories, our Alumni Day in the Life series, preparing for the workplace, and much more.


You can continue to access CareerConnect using the ‘Student sign in’ option with your student email address.

If you receive a ‘permission denied’ error message after entering your details, don’t worry. All you have to do is click on the ‘Graduate sign in and registration’ option, and register for your free graduate account using your personal email address and alumni ID number (the same as your student ID number), as explained here.

Then you will be able to access your free, graduate CareerConnect account for two years after your course completion date.

Volunteering and experience

To get work experience for your CV, volunteering can be a good place to start. From boosting your confidence and employability, to expanding your network and giving back, read more about the benefits of volunteering.

If you are still in Manchester, check out Manchester Community Central. Elsewhere, you can use Do It to search for volunteering opportunities by postcode. You can also explore the benefits of online volunteering.

Part-time work, internships, work-shadowing and even virtual work experience are all excellent ways of boosting your professional network, expanding your skillset, and gaining vital insights into your areas of interest.

Connecting with alumni can also be a great way of finding out more about different jobs and industries. Find out more about connecting with alumni on LinkedIn, and through panel events like Meet the Professionals.

Jobs and job searching

There are two ways of looking for jobs. You can apply for advertised vacancies through industry websites, graduate job search websites and via CareerConnect. If you’re interested in finding graduate work in Manchester, have a look at Manchester Graduate Talent, which offers paid, graduate-level jobs across a variety of sectors in Greater Manchester, especially for 2020 and 2021 UoM graduates.

However, it’s worth remembering that not all jobs are advertised in the same way (or at all), and you develop a job search strategy to find hidden opportunities.

When it comes to applications and interviews, there is loads of online support available, including on-demand CV and Cover Letter advice through CareerSet, application and interview skills training through CareerConnect Pathways, and video interview practice via Shortlist.Me. For further support, book a 20-minute application advice appointment or a 30-minute interview simulation on CareerConnect.

Applying for further study

We can also help if you’re thinking about further study. Our postgraduate study pages offers advice on everything from researching PhDs to applying for and funding Master’s study.

The CareerConnect Further Study Pathway is a great place to start.

Don’t forget that you can also get help with your applications for further study and with postgraduate interviews.

Postgraduate support

If you have completed a postgraduate degree, there are some resources specifically for you! Student Support has advice for Postgraduates, lots of which applies to graduates, and the Careers Service has support for both Master’s and PhD students and graduates.

Still got careers questions or concerns?

You can get in touch with the Careers Service by using the ‘Queries’ button on CareerConnect or via our web chat (staffed every weekday, 10am-4pm UK time). For further support, book a careers guidance appointment for one-to-one support and advice.

2. Stay connected

You are now part of The University of Manchester alumni community. This means you have access to exclusive perks and benefits. Keep up to date with university news, follow us on social media, and join alumni networks to stay connected.

The Careers Service

The Careers Service shares events, opportunities and resources regularly across its social media accounts, so follow us to make sure you don’t miss out!

Don’t forget to sign up for your graduate CareerConnect account too!

The University of Manchester

There are several University of Manchester social media accounts you can follow to stay up to date with university news:

Graduates can also continue to use the library – follow the instructions in this post to set up your access: Graduate Library Access.

Finally, there are lots of events, conferences, and exhibitions run by the University that you can attend.


Find out more about becoming part of the UoM alumni community on our Welcome to the Alumni Community pages.  Make sure you update your contact details to continue receiving fortnightly emails packed with careers support, University news and information about events and volunteering opportunities.

Follow UoM Alumni on social media too:

3. Other support and services

From money and living costs, to health and travel, you might need information about managing your life outside of University.


The SU has useful Financial Advice to help you get started, while Student Support has specific resources on financial wellbeing, debt and budgeting. Have a look at the Student Support: Finances A-Z for a full list of online financial support.  

If you are a graduate from the UK applying for jobs, have a look at the UK government website to see if you are eligible for Job Seekers Allowance during your search.

Finally, be aware of financial risks. Student Support has some advice on risks and scams and spotting risks.

Health and wellbeing

The NHS website lists NHS Services available in your area, and the SU has a guide to finding a GP or dentist and health costs. Read the Student Support advice on health and taking care too.

The Counselling Service has some resources on their website that you can access as a graduate. Unfortunately, graduates cannot access appointments through the Counselling Service, but you can contact Shout Mental Health Support or find support through your GP. See our blog on Managing your Mental Health after Graduation for more advice and tips, including external sources of support.

Housing and living costs

If you are moving house, you might not be sure what to expect: your first home as a graduate will have some differences from your student digs or family home. The SU has some advice on guarantors, tenancy deposits and tenancy agreements. Student Support as resources on rent, food – shopping and costs and travel. There is also a student living costs resource, which is a good starting point for thinking about how much things cost, even as a graduate.

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