#FindYourFuture with Careers & Enterprise

Did you know you can access one-to-one support for 2 years after graduation?

Check out our *brand new* video below to hear from QMUL students and graduates and find out how we’ve helped them.

Look out for our #FindYourFuture campaign around campus over the next few weeks!Final My QMUL


4 short sharp careers exercises for your coffee break

Making decisions about your future career can seem like an arduous and research-intensive process. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t some great ways to spend 10 minutes of your time that can ultimately help you to make the right choices.

Coffee break coming up? Then consider the following short sharp exercises:

At a crossroads - Decisions and choices concept

  • Prospects Planner

One of our go-to resources can be a great way of broadening your knowledge of the options out there while, simultaneously, finding out more about the career areas that interest you. A few minutes on the Prospects Career Planner will help to match your skills and motivations to suitable roles and allow you to explore these further using their own database of detailed job profiles.

  • Explore your personality

Are you a ‘logician’ or a ‘campaigner’? Answer 100 questions about yourself to find out which of the 16 personality types most closely matches to you, and which careers are likely to suit. The 16 personalities quiz works with the same basic fundamentals as the Myers Briggs Type Indicator and, aside from the results, can be a useful exercise in self-reflection and awareness.

  • Phone a friend!

Sometime we can struggle to see the skills that we have and how they can be applied to the working world. The solution can be to ask those around us who know us well. So, pick up the phone to friends and family – ask them what strengths they think you can bring to an employer and what roles and industries they could see you working in. This approach may bring fresh ideas.

  • Create a careers Top 10

Time for a bit of blue-sky thinking. If anything was an option, write a list of the careers you think you would most enjoy. Then spend some time reflecting on what it is about them that is appealing to you. Which of them are realistically accessible to you? For those that aren’t, are there any related careers you can think of that draw on the same skills and activities?


Hannah, Careers Consultant

Guest blog: The Radical Sabbatical – Trying 25 Careers In A Year

Emma Rosen Ibiza 2 copyright Marie EdwardsIn September 2016, I quit my grad scheme and ‘job for life’ with the Civil Service to try 25 careers through short-term work experience and internships, in a year – before my 25th birthday. I realised that, aged 24, I still had absolutely no idea what I really wanted to do.

It was a gamble, possibly the biggest gamble of my career. Except, to me it didn’t feel like a risk at all, it felt like the most natural career step I could take.

Let me back up and give some context. Whilst at university I studied History and International Relation, and did several internships in journalism, politics and with the civil service. The natural next step during my last year was to apply for grad schemes, and I was incredibly fortunate to be accepted to the Civil Service’s scheme – the Fast Stream. It never once occurred to me that this traditional and ambitious path might not be for me at this stage of my life. 

But within a few weeks of starting my first placement, I began to realise that perhaps this wasn’t for me as I had started to feel unfulfilled and increasingly unhappy, despite on paper ‘having it all.’

I resolved to do something about it and see if there was another way. 

So, after a year, I decided to start a blog about my search for career happiness. I wrote a list of jobs I’d always dreamed of trying, and got to 25 surprisingly quickly. I handed my notice in on my 24th birthday, and 25before25 was born.

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5 New Year Career Resolutions

A new year is a new start: it’s the perfect time to think about what you want to accomplish and to set new goals. Why not use January to reflect on your career ambitions and formulate plans for achieving them?

  1. Follow relevant people and organisations on Twitter: use your social media profiles to develop an up-to-date and comprehensive understanding of the field or fields you are interested in. This can be a source of inspiration and interest, increasing your passion for pursuing your chosen career path. Getting to grips with current issues or debates in the industry is also very useful for answering commercial awareness questions in future interviews (e.g. ‘what do you think is the most important issue currently facing our company’).
  2. Reflect on 2017: why not use January to reflect on the progress you’ve made in 2017? What skills have you developed through your course and your extra-curricular activities? What responsibilities did you take on in your work experience? Did you receive any praise from fellow team-members or from an employer? It’s useful to keep an ongoing record of your accomplishments which you can use as the basis for targeted CVs and job applications in future. Think also about your interests. What motivates you, energises you and interests you? Reflecting on the kind of tasks which you find meaningful and engaging (rather than the sort of tasks which you feel you should be interesting to you) can be useful in making decisions about your career path.
  3. Decide what you want to achieve in 2018: think carefully about what you want to accomplish for your career this year. You could start by looking at the person specifications and job descriptions for graduate and entry-level jobs in the area you’re interested in. Where are the gaps in your CV which you need to fill before you’d be able to apply for these jobs? Then look for ways in which you can fill these gaps, such as work experience placements, QProjects, internships and volunteering. Identifying your goals at the beginning of the year can give you direction and focus.
  4. Make a plan: think realistically about how you will achieve your aims. If your goal is ‘find work experience’, break it down into small, manageable steps.
    E.g.: Step one – research organisations offering summer work experience placements. Step two – start an application for one placement, tailoring your CV and cover letter to the employer’s requirements. Step three: visit the Careers and Enterprise Centre to have the application reviewed. Step four: Revise the CV.Decide when you will work on these career development tasks. Why not set aside a regular time each week? Set yourself deadlines to make sure that you complete everything you plan to.
  5. Brush up on your interview skills: practice is the key to successful interview performance. The more familiar you are with articulating your key selling points in succinct and compelling ways, the more likely you are to be a persuasive interviewee. You might not have an interview coming up, but why not record yourself answering common interview questions (such as ‘tell us about a time when you have demonstrated effective communication skills’)? Then watch the interview back – even if it’s embarrassing! Look at your body language, listen to your tone of voice and think about how specific and concise your answers are. Then work on ways to improve your weaker areas. You could also practice with a friend, and take turns being the interviewer and interviewee. This will give you a new perspective on interview questions.

Careers terms explained


Whether you’re writing your first CV, applying for internships or about to start your first job, you might find there are a lot of terms out there that you’ve never heard of before. So here’s our handy guide to some of the main terms you may come across when it comes to the world of work.

Job Hunting

CV – A CV is a tailored document matching your skills and experience to a particular job role. You should keep your CV up-to-date in case you need to send it to a recruiter at short notice.

Cover letter – This accompanies your CV as part of an application. As well as introducing your CV, it explains your experience and how it relates to the role, whilst outlining your motivation for applying.

Job description – Advertised vacancies will have a job description, which outlines the tasks and responsibilities involved with the position. It will include the skills that the employer is looking for, which you’ll need to match in your application, any may include information such as salary range and who the position reports to (line manager).

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What is a graduate scheme?

At this time of year, you might be hearing a lot of people talking about graduate schemes; but what do you know about them?

A graduate scheme is a structured programme that combines working and training, targeted at recent graduates. They allow graduates to experience many aspects of both the role and the organisation as a whole, over a period of anything from 3 months to 3 years.

Things you need to know …

  • There are a limited number of spaces available on any graduate training scheme, so employers will set minimum requirements to qualify for entry, in a similar way to when you applied to university. It’s common for employers to expect a 2:1 degree or higher for most graduate schemes (see here for information on schemes available to graduates with a 2.2).
  • In some sectors, such as finance, retail management and surveying, graduate schemes are common in the large companies. Other industries such as the charity sector, journalism and NGO fields run very few graduate schemes.
  • Application deadlines are often from September to December, almost a year before the start date, so you’ll need to start looking now if you’re in your final year.
  • Graduate schemes are competitive and only 12-15% of students get a place on one.  They tend to have a longer and more formal recruitment process. 
  • Salaries tend to be relatively high for graduate roles.

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Careers & Enterprise: Who we are

Whether you need help finding a part-time job, writing a CV or cover letter, or preparing for a graduate scheme, we can help.

Where are we?

queensThe Careers & Enterprise Centre is based in the Queens’ building (pic on left) on the Mile End campus, which is number 19 on this campus map.

We’re in room WG3, on the ground floor, near the Octagon and the Student Enquiry Office . From the main entrance, head down the corridor on the left-hand side and follow the signs.

What can we do for you?

We help QMUL students and recent graduates (up to 2 years after you graduate) with anything careers-related, from writing a CV to exploring your options after graduation. A career might seem a long way off if you’ve only just finished your first year, but whatever stage you’re at on your QMUL journey, come and see us! Even if you’ve never even thought about life after university, we’re here to help you …

Appointments with Careers Consultants

We offer 20 minute 1-2-1 appointments with a Careers Consultant, and these appointments can cover any careers query, including: CV & application feedback, finding and applying for jobs, or deciding what to do after graduation.

Job hunting

Whether you’re looking for part-time or temporary work, or a full-time role after graduation, take a look at our jobs page for a range of opportunities: careers.qmul.ac.uk/jobs. We also have a range of industry-specific resources in our information room and on our website.

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