Cast your mind back to the induction talks at the beginning of last semester. Remember all those people queuing up to talk about the different services at the University? No matter which subject you’re studying, one of those people was probably a careers adviser, encouraging you to come and visit the Careers and Employability Service. But what actually happens when you make a careers appointment? We’ve put together a nice, straightforward guide for you so you know what to expect and to reassure you if you have any concerns.
Why make an appointment?
We can help you with any careers-related issues, whether you’re at the stage of applying for jobs and want feedback on your CV or if you have no idea of what to do next. Some people avoid making an appointment because they don’t want to waste an adviser’s time or are worried about asking silly questions. Don’t worry – if it’s something that’s concerning you, we will try to help. You can book by getting in touch using the contact details on www.hull.ac.uk/careers or by going to the ‘Careers Service’ tab above. People make appointments for all sorts of reasons.
Here are just a few of the things we can help with:
– What are my options with my subject?
– Can I get some feedback on my CV before I apply for this job?
– Should I apply for postgraduate study?
– I have no idea what I want to do after graduation.
– Can you help me to prepare for interview?
– How do you get into this sector?
On the day
Come to the Careers Service reception and let us know you’ve arrived. You’ll be invited to take a seat while you wait for the careers adviser to come and meet you. The adviser will take you over to a seat and you will have half an hour to talk about whatever you want. Our advisers are a friendly bunch and anything you want to discuss will be kept confidential. You’re not limited to one half hour appointment with a careers adviser before being sent off to go it alone – you can book follow-up appointments as a student and as a graduate.
Things that careers advisers do in appointments:
– Listen to you and remain impartial throughout the interview, whatever your query
– Ask questions to help you to identify your career goals and explore your options
– Help you to identify your key skills and how you can develop these
– Empower you to make informed decisions about your future
– Give constructive feedback on CVs and applications
– Help you prepare for interviews and assessment centres
Things that careers advisers will not do (even if you ask very nicely):
– Tell you what career you should do
– Offer a quick fix solution
– Proof-read or write CVs and application forms for you
– Find you a job or a place on a postgraduate course
How can I prepare for a careers appointment?
You will get more out a careers appointment if you do some preparation beforehand – even if the reason you’re making the appointment in first place is because you have no idea what to do next. If you’re stuck for where to start, have a look at the resources on the Careers website to give you an idea of different options that might be available to you. If you think you might like to use your degree subject in your future career, take a look at the Prospects website under ‘Options with my subject’.
If you have a CV or job application that you would like checking, try to get to a CV workshop before your appointment. The Careers Service runs several of these each semester – have a look at the Events page on the main website for dates and times. This will help you to get a grasp of the basics beforehand and means that more of the appointment can be spent talking about your previous experiences and how to present these on your CV. If you have a particular job that you are applying or interviewing for, bring along the job description and have a think about how your previous experiences have made you a good candidate for this role.
Think about what you want to get out of the appointment. It would be lovely if an appointment offered you the perfect solution to your future, leaving you to waltz off into the sunset. (Believe me, we’d love for that to be the case too!) Realistically though, a quick fix solution cannot be found in 30 minutes with someone who’s only just met you. Just spending a bit of time beforehand thinking about what you would like to happen can help you to get the most out of that half hour.
Hopefully, you’ll be feeling a bit confident about the whole thing, now that you know what to expect. We’d love to meet you and give you support as you move to the next step towards your future. What have you got to lose? And what have you got to gain?
By Naomi Alty, Careers Adviser