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Supporting your career development from 1st year to graduation



Careers Service

Dear Student Welcome to Imperial! Thinking about your future can be an exciting and daunting task, so we are here to help you with everything from discussing your values and motivations towards careers in general, all the way through to making those final job or further study applications. We are here to help you right from the start of your course and are still here for you up to 3 years after graduation.

What the Careers Service provides: • Comprehensive information, advice and vacancies, all accessible online at and JobsLive • The Careers Service is located on Level 5 in the Sherfield Building. You’re welcome to come in and browse at any time, pick up take-away handouts and publications, consult our expert

Information Advisers, or just find a space to sit and read • Events such as careers fairs and forums, company speakers and presentations that put you in touch with employers • Practical workshops on CVs, interviews, group tasks, career planning & more • Seminars on CVs, interviews, group tasks, career planning & more • Confidential one-to-one advice appointments with our Careers Consultants and Placement & Internship Advisers (Book a 20-minute consultation on JobsLive. 40-minute consultations are also available on referral) • We work closely with your department to ensure that you get information that is tailored to your subject Working directly with recruiting companies, we offer access via our website to information on over 5,000 employers, from multinationals and public sector to start-ups and charities - all sectors are covered. Access our JobsLive system to find up-to-date information on placement, internship and graduate vacancies - all aimed specifically at Imperial students. All of our services and opportunities can be accessed through JobsLive. Find out how to make the most of the system over the next few pages, and don’t forget to follow us on social media to keep up-to-date with the latest news and events.

How we can help you Our team of professionally qualified staff are here to offer you confidential, one-to-one guidance about any issue relating to your career, such as your career options, how to find out more about opportunities of interest, deciding your next step, and help with CVs and interviews.

Contact our expert Information Advisers with your initial enquiries

A dedicated Information Team to help you with any enquiries that you have. You can drop-in at any time (Level 5, Sherfield Building) during our opening hours (Monday to Friday, 10:00 - 17:15) or contact us via or phone on +44 (0)20 7594 8024.

Careers Consultations

Careers Consultants can provide impartial and confidential information, advice and guidance in assisting you with your continuing career planning. What can I talk to a Careers Consultant about? • Advice on identifying possible careers, finding potential employers, completing application forms, interview skills and assessment centre technique • Tailoring your CV for specific sector/industry/employer • Discuss further study and training • If you are at the point of applying for an internship/role/further study opportunity and would like your draft documents to be reviewed • Advice on in-person and online networking

Internship Consultations

Like the Careers Consultants, the Placement & Internship Advisers work with students, providing information and advice, but with a focus on how to gain experience while you’re studying What can I talk to a Placement & Internship Adviser about? • Where to look for internship opportunities • Information and advice on CVs and cover letters for internships • How to tap into the hidden jobs market by making speculative applications • How to gain experience while studying • Imperial Careers Service experiential learning schemes (see following pages)

Practice/Mock Interviews

To help you with your interview technique, specify the areas/questions that you would like to concentrate on and the Consultant will structure the mock interview accordingly. Feedback is given during the interview session.

See our ‘about us’, ‘who we are’ page to see the entire team!

How to use JobsLive in 3 easy steps JobsLive is our online jobs, events and appointments system. You can use it to register to attend events and search for vacancies from over 5,000 organisations and book an appointment with a Careers Consultant or Placement and Internship Adviser. You can also submit your CV for brief feedback from one of our professionally qualified team by using My CVs.

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Go to careers/jobslive

Log in with your Imperial username & password

Update your settings in to receive daily or weekly targeted email alerts about vacancies and events. Subscribe to our weekly Careers newsletter.


Now you are ready to search for job vacancies, receive email alerts, and book events or appointments with the Careers team.

Start getting experience Gaining hands-on experience while studying is a great way to set yourself apart from the competition. Doing an internship, volunteering or work experience in your first year can make it easier to secure opportunities in the future.

Internships are sometimes reserved for penultimate year students, so you may find there

are not as many internships open to first years. Instead many organisations offer insight days or taster weeks to first year students and we offer a Work Shadowing scheme too! It is vital that you start your research in the autumn for opportunities taking place in the spring and summer vacations.

Volunteering is a great way to develop many transferable skills sought by employers such as leadership, teamwork and organisation. There’s a huge range of opportunities available locally and the Imperial College Union charitable societies can be a great place to start.

Positions of responsibility help develop a variety of skills including organisation,

leadership and communication. You could represent your peers within your academic department or take a leading role in a club, society or hall of residence.

Vacation & part-time employment is a way to earn money, and is an opportunity to

demonstrate to future employers that you’ve developed skills like customer service, time management and team working. All experience is good, you simply have to look out for the transferrable skills you acquire.

Work experience schemes Work Shadowing

takes place in the spring and summer and is open exclusively to firstyear undergraduates. Mirroring commercial Spring Insight schemes which take place in many industries, this scheme offers you the opportunity to experience a sector of interest by spending up to five days in a professional environment.

Charity Insights is an initiative developed for Imperial students. The scheme requires you

to find your own four-week project within a UK-registered charity and define a project with them. The internships are full-time can be taken at any point during the summer. Once agreed with the charity, you can then apply to the Imperial College Careers Service for a £1200 Charity Insights bursary.

Ask an Alumnus provides students with a database of Imperial alumni who are happy to answer your careers-related questions. This platform provides you with the chance to get an invaluable insight, directly from a professional in industry or research.

SME Internships, in partnership with Santander Universities, is able to offer funding to

support the engagement of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with students through paid project-based internships. The programme supports SMEs to provide internship opportunities to undergraduate students over the summer vacation (July – September) by contributing to their training allowance. Find these opportunities by searching “SME Internship” on JobsLive.

Alumni Mentoring provides students with the opportunity to be mentored by a professional

alumnus working in your chosen field of interest, or a related profession. The aim of the scheme is to encourage personal and professional growth. Mentoring partnerships run for just under a year from May to March (the following year).

Please refer to the Imperial Careers Service webpages for more information on each of these schemes

Exploring career options Successful career planning starts early and although everyone’s situation is unique, there are some common steps to develop and progress a career plan. It’s a good idea to start this process during your first year.

Know yourself

Understand who you are and be clear about what motivates you. This important step acts as the foundation to making sound career decisions. • What are you good at? • What do you enjoy? • What really matters to you? • What do you want from work?

Explore options

The skills gained during your degree can lead to a wide range of careers both within and outside of science and technology. During your time at Imperial you’ll have opportunities to access an extensive network of industry contacts and alumni. Talk to these people to discover your options.

Gain experience to try new things and to build your CV in your chosen area of work! Work experience enables you to develop many skills and evidence your potential. It can also be useful to find out more about what you like and dislike while building a network of future contacts. You could try work shadowing or get a mentor to find out about a particular job role prior to graduation too.

Make choices and apply

The best decisions are made when you have sufficient information. If you’re struggling, you may need to do more research or talk to someone. There will always be an element of uncertainty but knowledge truly is power. Once you’re in a position to apply for a role we can help you target your application.

Further advice on career planning is available at

Your Journey to Success


First Year - get involved in university life! The Students’ Union offer a variety of extracurricular activities which can be a great way to make new friends and gain new skills. You may want to try to secure a position of responsibility through the student elections or pick up a language via Imperial Horizons. Use your first year to begin exploring career options through mentoring or insight programmes but remember to also have fun!

Penultimate year - build your network and consider your future Research your options and talk to recruiters. Attend skills workshops, employer presentations and our careers fairs. You’ll want to plan early in the year if you want to undertake a summer internship or UROP. You may also want to choose modules that align to a future career. Use the summer vacation to plan ahead for the next year by reflecting on your skills, planning a CV and getting some work experience.



Final year - take action early! Don’t hide from the realities of leaving university. Many graduate scheme deadlines occur during the autumn term and the same is true of many postgraduate options too. Attend our career fairs and various networking events and make use of our presentations and workshops to prepare for assessment centres and interviews. Book to attend our events, workshops and appointments via JobsLive at careers/jobslive.

The Skills Hit List Below are some of the top skills employers look for, from a recent ‘Future of Jobs Report’ from the World Economic Forum. We’ve provided definitions from the report below. Don’t worry if you haven’t got many of your own examples at this stage as you’ll find ways to develop many skills during your time at Imperial.

Analytical thinking & innovation Complex problem-solving Critical thinking & analysis Active learning & learning strategies Creativity, originality & initiative Attention to detail, trustworthiness Emotional intelligence Reasoning, problem-solving & ideation Leadership & social influence

Analytical thinking & innovation Active learning & learning strategies Creativity, originality & initiative Technology design & programming Critical thinking & analysis Complex problem-solving Leadership & social influence Emotional intelligence Reasoning, problem-solving & ideation Systems analysis & evaluation

Manual dexterity, endurance & precision Memory, verbal, auditory & spatial abilities Management of financial, material resources Technology installation & maintenance Reading, writing, maths & active listening Management of personnel Quality control & safety awareness Coordination & time management Visual, auditory & speech abilities Technology use, monitoring & control

The Skills Hit List cont’d The Future of Jobs Report 2018 - definitions of ‘top skills’ Analytical thinking and innovation

Job requires analysing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems. Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.

Complex problem solving

Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Critical thinking and analysis

Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Creativity, originality and initiative

Workers on this job try out their own ideas. The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem. Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges. Workers on this job plan their work with little supervision.

Attention to detail, trustworthiness

Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks. Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations. Job requires being honest and ethical.

Emotional Intelligence

Abilities that influence the application and manipulation of information in problem-solving. Abilities that influence the solution of problems involving mathematical relationships.

Reasoning, problem solving and ideation

Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks. Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations. Job requires being honest and ethical.

Leadership and social influence

Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction. Job requires having an impact on others in the organization, and displaying energy and leadership.

Co-ordination and time management

Managing one’s own time and the time of others. Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.

Preparing a CV For guidance please see the Imperial Guide to CVs and book a 1-1 with a Careers Consultant. Below is an example CV for a first-year student. Remember that all work experience, paid or unpaid is valuable and worth including. When applying for an opportunity, emphasise the skills required for the role on your CV, this is the process of ‘tailoring a CV’. It can take some practice so please book appointments for help with this. R.747 Gabor Hall , Princes Gardens, London , SW7 1BU

Sam Pull

sam.pull@imperial +44 (0) 123456789

EDUCATION Imperial College London MSci Geology

2018 - present

• Demonstrate good writing skills through group and individual assignments. • Negotiate and agree tasks to successfully complete group project work in the field and experiments within laboratories. • Evidence good time management to meet multiple conflicting deadlines. • Gaining confidence in preparation and delivery of presentations and public speaking through various classroom activities and seminars. Newton College, Basingstoke A Levels • Geography (A*), Physics (A*), Chemistry (A)

GCSEs • 9A*s, 2As & 1B

EXPERIENCE Pulchinella, Southampton

2015 – 2017

Restaurant/Bar Supervisor • Promoted to supervisor in June 2016 to train new staff in various procedures. • Provided exceptional levels of customer service in a fast paced restaurant. • Responsible for cash handling and banking daily takings.

INTERESTS / ACHIEVEMENTS Geology First Year Student Rep

2018 – present

• Representing the student body at academic committee. • Proposed and designed new template to assist with course-work submission. Royal School of Mines 1st XI Mixed Hockey

2019 - present

• Attend two hour weekly training sessions. • Arranged team travel for a weekend hockey tour to Blackpool International Travel 2017 - 2018 • Independent travel through Asia and Africa during a Gap Year. • Learnt French and became exposed to diverse cultures.

References - available on request.

Cover Letters A cover letter is a formal document used to introduce yourself to a hiring manager or organisation. There is a rough framework outlined below that can help you to structure a clear and concise document. Check out further support at

Their Postal Address

Your Postal Address

Date Dear Sir/Madam Who are you? Give reasons why you are interested in them. Demonstrate your knowledge and your understanding of the role. Be sure to mention products, projects or clients. Make this specific to highlight your motivation and demonstrate your commercial awareness.

Why you? Give reasons why you should be considered and provide evidence of relevant skills, knowledge and/or experience. Expand upon areas of your CV developing themes; don’t just repeat the information but elaborate on it to showcase your value. Try to present a positive picture of yourself.

Thanks & Closing Remark Yours Faithfully Name

Event Calendar The Careers Service runs a comprehensive range of events throughout the academic year, with the majority taking place in the autumn and spring terms, in line with graduate recruitment schedules. You will be able to book for the below events are more through JobsLive. Autumn Term Finance and Consulting Careers Fair 3 & 4 October 2019

I.T. & Technology Careers Fair 6 & 7 November 2019

Career options in the Energy Industry Forum 10 October 2019

Internship Fair 13 November 2019

Engineering Careers Fair 18 October 2019

Career Options in Manufacturing Forum 14 November 2019

Career Options in Consulting 24 October 2019

Career Options in SME/Start-ups November 2019 TBC

Career Options in Science Forum October 2019

Spring Term Science Careers Fair 30 January 2020

Data & Analytics Career Fair 12 February 2020

Career Options with a PhD Forum January 2020 TBC

Career Options in Data & Analytics Forum February 2020 TBC

Career Options in Charity & Not for Profit Forum February 2020 TBC

Women’s Career Networking February 2020 TBC

LGBT+ Careers Networking February 2020 TBC

Summer Term PhD Careers Fair January 2020 Summer Recruitment Fair 16 May 2020 Career Options in Research Forum May 2020 China Careers Fair August 2020

Profile for Imperial College Careers Service

Imperial First Year Planner 2019-20  

Supporting your career development from 1st year to graduation

Imperial First Year Planner 2019-20  

Supporting your career development from 1st year to graduation