Finding a job

Looking for a graduate job, placement or internship? Whatever job you're searching for, we can help to get you started!

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Besides the range of on-campus opportunities, we have links to a wide range of websites and information. We can help you to understand the jargon and the whole recruitment process.

Types of jobs/experience available

The task of finding a job after university can be challenging, and sometimes it is even more daunting, as there are so many words and terms used to describe the opportunities available.

Below is a list of opportunities available and an explanation of what they all mean:

  • Work placement – is a period of work experience which is a required part of a course, often to help students develop their employability skills and apply their course of learning within a professional context. They are generally organised and structured activities, with clear goals and outcomes
  • Internship – is an opportunity offered by an employer to potential employees, called interns, to work at a company for a fixed, limited period of time. Interns are usually undergraduates or students, and most internships last for any length of time between one week and 12 months
  • Graduate programme/scheme – a formalised programme that combines full-time working and training, targeted to recent graduates. Offered mainly by large employers and can last for a period of 12 months to 2 years. Successful completion normally leads to a permanent position and often a professional qualification. These may be offered as either single roles or rotations through several areas of the business
  • Work shadowing – this involves a student going to a workplace and observing employees performing their job(s). It is a way to gather information about a role or workplace without the organisation having to find specific tasks for you to do. This is usually a short-term opportunity lasting between 1-2 weeks
  • Sandwich courses/industrial placements – sandwich courses are three year undergraduate degree programmes which include a year-long work placement in industry. Typically, students on sandwich courses complete 2 years of their degree, and then undertake a related work placement in industry for a year. During this time you are able to utilise knowledge gained as part of your studies in a real work environment to gain ‘hands on’ experience. Following your year in industry, you will return to university to complete your final year of study
  • Gap year – a year-long break, whether taken before, during or after university study, to travel, work overseas or undertake volunteer work
  • Part-time work – this can be undertaken during vacations and in the evenings and weekends to fit around your studies. Whatever role you undertake, whether in a bar, shop or office, you will always be able to reflect on the skills you have developed, and use them to prove to employers that you have gained some valuable experience of the world of work
  • Self-employment – setting up your own business and working for yourself, instead of working for an employer. A self-employed individual earns their income through conducting profitable operations from a trade or business that they operate directly
  • Volunteering – this is unpaid activity which involves you providing time and commitment, for the benefit of a community or cause. Volunteering can be organised at any time, and many organisations have opportunities that can be undertaken in the evenings and at weekends. It can be carried out in the UK or overseas

Sectors and organisation sizes to consider

It is important for you to consider which sector and type of organisation you wish to work for, the most common ones are listed below:

  • Charity – charitable organisations are a business that fit within the non-profit organisation (NPO) category. A charity is set-up to carry out some benefit for the wider community than just its members. This community benefit could be social, educational, environmental or economic in nature
  • Public – the Public Sector is responsible for providing all public services in the UK, from healthcare to education, social care to housing, refuse collection to tourism etc. Funding comes from various forms of direct and indirect taxation
  • Private – the Private Sector is the part of the economy which is run by private individuals or groups, usually as a means for profit, and is not controlled by the state
  • SMEs – this is short for small and medium-sized enterprises, and are businesses whose personnel numbers fall below a certain limit. The EU defines companies with fewer than 50 employees as small, and those with less than 250 as medium-sized

Get started

Check out the following sources of information that will help you to research the job market in the UK:

Don’t forget to check out company careers pages on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to find jobs, company profiles, and industry professionals you can get in touch with.
Also, click on the yellow button above to access all the local job opportunities and part-time work available.

Top tips

Finding a job can seem daunting but don’t panic. Here are our top tips to help find a graduate job or internship:

  • Be prepared – get your CV and covering letter ready, get to grips with application forms and practice your interview skills
  • Get networking – build up contacts and talk to alumni to open up opportunities, ask for advice, engage in job shadowing or gain work experience
  • Search creatively – change your search terms regularly to get a variety of results. Check out local newspapers or visit local business parks which house small and large businesses in all cities and towns. Visit the area and see if there are any companies that take your interest. You can then contact the organisations and ask for work experience
  • Be knowledgeable – keep a note of job titles that interest you and use these in your search. Remember that ‘officer’, ‘assistant’ and ‘coordinator’ are often interchangeable
  • Be resilient – don’t be disheartened if you don’t get a job straight away. Learn from your experiences, try again, and contact us if you’d like to discuss your options or how to succeed in the selection process
  • Use temp agencies – an excellent way to find short-term work at short notice. There are a lot, so Google ‘Bolton Temp Agencies’ or use directories like Agency Central