A guide to graduate job hunting

Now graduation is over you may have turned your attention to the little matter of job hunting. Here are some handy tips on getting started.

Know what sort of job you want and in what sector?

If you’re not sure what type of job and for what type of company, check out the Get Ideas of the Careers and Placements website. Here you’ll find exercises to help you think about what’s right for you. The job sector pages give you background information on a variety of occupational areas and our York profiles give you an insight into the range of jobs York alumni have entered.

Where are jobs advertised?

There are lots of graduate level jobs advertised on a host of online jobs sites. Our web page, Graduate jobs will lead you to other job sites, including Handshake, Prospects, TargetJobs and lots more.

Depending on the sector you want to work in, you might be better checking job sites which are particular to certain industries and services. The job sector pages will give you links to specialist sites.

The things nobody tells you

There are some details, which aren’t often covered in advice to graduates. These include busting a few myths around graduate job hunting (“all the jobs are in London”, “I’ve missed all the opportunities”, “all my peers have got jobs”, etc) and what employers really want from candidates.

Some of these issues are tackled in the job hunting toolkit, along with understanding job adverts and how best to use job sites.

Getting the job

Making applications is only the first stage on (what can be) a long recruitment process. Help with writing a CV or completing an application form to sitting aptitude tests and attending interviews is available on the apply for jobs web pages. 

Keeping it local

If you’re keen to stay in York(shire), visit Yorkshire Graduates or use the location search field on vacancy sites like graduatejobs.com.  Other specific regional sites include Inspiring Interns (for Manchester and the north of England, as well as London), ScotGrad (Scotland), Unlocking Potential (Cornwall), BrighterBox (London)

International work

Whether you’re an international graduate returning home or any nationality looking to work outside of the UK, use the international work resources for vacancy sites and advice.

For international students considering working in the UK, it’s important to read through the information about options and visas on our pages for international students.

Unsure of your next move?

You might feel you’re not ready to start job-hunting yet, and need more time to be sure of your direction.  So, if you need to talk to someone here in Careers and Placements, login to Handshake and book a careers advice appointment. These are conducted via Zoom, so are accessible for graduates not in the York area.

See also our blog post, ‘Job hunting in tough times‘ (published June 2020).

A version of this blog was originally published in July 2019. The content has been updated (August 2021).