Graduate Futures First and Foundation Year Guide to Careers

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Your first year...

first year at university is a tic time to try new things, w people, develop new skills mprove your confidence.

y to finding a job you'll love duation is taking advantage pportunities on offer to you.

will help to improve your yability and will make you a e attractive candidate to employers. the new final year

We can help you to identify opportunities which enhance your knowledge, contacts and experience. Start now, using the tips in this guide to:

Get personalised one to one support Find work experience

Meet employers

Get ahead with our tools for success

Create a personalised career plan

"You can't wait until your final year to make your career decisions. To complete in today's job market you need to plan, find relevant work experience and get involved in extracurricular activities and work. And the earlier you start the better."

Kickstart your career with our support

Quick Query

20-minute appointments. Ideal for quick careers queries: get help with CVs, covering letters, finding work, placements, volunteering, finding information on employers, and interviews. A great starting point for recruitment advice and information.

Jobs and Selection

45-minute appointments. Ideal for in-depth job search, recruitment, and selection support: get help with searching for graduate jobs and placements, advice on applications for jobs and post-graduate study, tips on networking and how to succeed in interviews.

Mock/Practice Interviews

45-minute appointments. To practice interview techniques, get feedback and prepare for upcoming interviews. Provide details of a vacancy that you are applying for, including job description and your application details before your appointment.

Careers Guidance Appointments

45-minute appointments. Ideal for in-depth careers support including exploring your options whether looking for work experience, graduate jobs, or post-graduate study, help with decision making, identifying gaps, articulating skills and discussing concerns such as disclosure, reasonable adjustment requests and help if you’re thinking of changing your course

All appointments are held weekdays 10am-4pm. Digital and face to face appointments are available. To book an appointment visit:

Student and Graduate Enterprise

If you have a business idea, are interested in self-employment or would like to develop your enterprise skills, speak to the Student and Graduate Enterprise team. Book with us by emailing:

International Mobility Support

Working and studying abroad develops and shows your motivation, independence, research skills and your individual ambition.

Whether you are a UK, EU or an international student, we can support your international ideas or aspirations - whether you want to work or study abroad, stay in the UK or haven’t yet decided! Book an appointment by emailing:

Support on your course

Each faculty at Northumbria has a dedicated Employability Partnerships Adviser that works with your academics and personal tutors to provide tailored careers sessions throughout the year.

Ask us about:

Finding part-time jobs and voluntary work

Getting relevant, suitable work experience

Exploring your options

Improving your CV Interview tips

Identifying transferrable skills

How to sell your skills to an employer

Writing a first year action plan

Impressing employers at interviews/assessments

Future placement/internship ideas

Pack your CV with the skills employers demand...

To compete in today's job market you need employability skills such as:


To express your ideas clearly and confidently verbally or in writing.


To work confidently or in a group.


To overcome challenges and come up with solutions, be analytical and creative Time Management

Planning & Organisation

Flexibility & Resilience

To prioritise tasks and work to deadlines.

To plan activities and carry them out effectively.

To adapt successfully to changing situations and environments even when it gets hard.

Negotiation and Persuasian

To influence and convince others, to discuss and reach agreements.

Positive Attitude

To give it your best, even if it's challenging and it's going to be hard work.

Commercial Awareness

To understand the business and the industry which you are apply to

Get the skills and experiences to impress employers

Part-time work


Earn extra cash and acquire a skill set valued by graduate employers. Improve your confidence, teamwork, communication and time management skills.

Employers often recruit based on volunteering experience. They recognise it takes initiative, commitment and a caring attitude.

Turn your passion and interests into action! Join a society or become an academic rep. Getting involved and making a difference impresses employers. Work shadowing

Societies & Academic Reps

Learn more about roles and work environments. Shadowing can help you decide what job would be right for you.

Open & Taster days

Visit employers to gain a greater inight into their organisation. This can look good on an application.


These are usually short periods of work experience of 6-12 weeks. They can help you decide if a career area is right for you.


These are normally structured programmes which involve working for an organisation for a full academic year, usually your second year.

There's a lot you can do to impress employers and there's no time like the present to start!

Where to look for work experience

Jobs Online

Discover part-time and volunteer jobs. Search 1000's of opportunities Receive e-mail alerts of new jobs which match your preferences. Find the link at:

Careers Online

Find content for all levels - including foundation and first years With links to sources of part-time jobs, volunteering opportunities and more, Find the link at:

Social Media & Events

Follow organisations you're interested in working for, who may post their vacancies on social media. Follow us on all major social media platforms where we post regular Job of the Day posts and more! Just search for: NUGraduateFutures

Part-Time Jobs Fair:

We run an annual event for all students to attend Join us in the Student Union Domain on 3rd October from 11-3pm to talk to employers offering jobs!

Visit our website to access all of our tools:

Your CV...your marketing tool

Give your CV a competitive edge before employers see it. Get it checked by us or check out our specific CV resources, templates and online CV feedback and scoring tool at Careers Online.

Meet Employers

Careers Workshops

Find out more about different sectors and career options and develop your employability skills

From September we run a programme of Career Workshops designed to provide you with information on what it is like to work in different job roles and how you can improve your application skills - all to secure a job.

Many of these sessions are open to students of any degree discipline, so don't rule them out!

Employer presentations & drop-ins

Get a step ahead in the recruitment market - connect with employers eager to meet Northumbria students. Find out about their opportunities and how you can impress them with your application.

Student and Graduate Enterprise

Develop your enterprise skills at Enterprise Experience Weekends, workshops, competitions and other events thrghout the year.

to browse our careers events:
Visit our website

Careers Online

Careers Online is your unique employability hub. Expand your career knowledge with our top 5 things to read and do on Careers Online: Use the CV builder and Cover Letter Builder tools to create expert applications for part-time jobs and work experience opportunities. Once you've drafted your CV, use the CV360 tool to check it and score it out of 100!


2 Go to the Job Hunting section of Careers Online to get advice on how to find part-time jobs, work experience and voluntary opportunities to help you develop the skills that employers want.

3 Fully explore the FIRST YEAR box on Careers Online. Here we've given you advice on early career planning as well as specific, expert advice for new students.

4 Get to know what tools are on Careers Online via the TOOLS drop-down menu. Here you'll find the CV & Cover Letter tools as well as an interview simulator and assessment centre content!

5 Explore the Job Search engine on Careers Online via the VACANCIES tab. You'll find various links already setup for you, as well as access to GoinGlobal - giving you access to 1000's of global opportunities!

Visit our website to get access to Careers Online:

Your Online Brand

Make social media work for you and get noticed by employers. Use it from your first year to help you stand out from the competition for placements and graduate jobs around the world.

Social Media do's:

Set up and develop a Linkedin profile.

Visit Northumbria University's page on Linkedin and click Alumni to freely investigate what graduates from your course have gone on to do

Follow companies which interest you on social media to improve your commercial knowledge and networks.

Check out Pinterest, Instagram and others - particularly if you study a more visual/creative course or a subject like graphic design or architecture.

Social Media dont's:

Don't refer to yourself as a jobseeker online Use key words and phrases which identify you as a professional

Don't forget that everything you put online stays online. Future employers may see it. Check your privacy settings too.

Don't start an account and never use it. This will damage your network and potential reputation. We can support you in our appointments with all of the above. Just book at

Don't forget, use us to help you...

Come and Speak to us

Your career is unique to you Our careers professionals offer confidential bespoke support. Whether it's help with your career decisions, developing a career plan or learning how to stand out in your applications and interviews, with our insight into graduate recruitment, we can help you

Attend a careers event

Employers target Northumbria students, they want to meet you! Speaking to employers at a fair or event is a great opportunity for you to find out if you would like to work for them and get an insight into the person they are looking for. Here is a comment from one of our previous students:

"I hadn't thought of applying to xxxx before, but I really like what I heard at the presentation, so sent off my application....and out of the 1000's of applications I was successful in getting the only graduate scheme position in the North West!"

Access exclusive career resources & vacancies

Don't spend hours trawling through jobs and career websites on the internet. Out careers professionals have brought together the key, personalised information best suited to you! Save time by using Careers Online and JobsOnline and get ahead early in your career!

Career Action Plan

Have you done the following? (Print/Screenshot this page if needed, and you can tick them off as you go!)

Attended our Part-Time Jobs Fair on 3rd Oct 113pm in Student Union Domain?

Logged on to Careers Online?

Had your CV checked on CV360 or in a clinic

Had a 1:1 appointment with our staff?

Looked for vacancies on JobsOnline?

Setup a Linkedin profile and had it checked by the Graduate Futures team?

Organised voluntary work or joined a society?

Arranged work experience (shadowing or paid?)

Met with an employer on campus or virtually or attended a workshop session?

Organised summer vacation work?

Moving on to your second year

Things to consider

As well as your academic achievements, employers value work experience and time abroad. By discovering your work preferences in your first year, you can make some well informed choices.

If you haven't achieved everything on your action plan, there's still the summer vacation. Speak to us before you leave or over the summer.


With almost three-quarters of the UK's leading graduate employers* offering work experience, these opportunities will provide excellent evidence for graduate job applications. Speak to us early in your second year to find out what placement options are available on your course.

Work and Study Abroad

Demonstrates motivation, independence and research skills - all behaviours valued by employers Find out what options are open to you on your course.

Book an appointment with an adviser at the end of your second year to identify your next steps and receive support with all your applications and interviews.

The Graduate Market in 2022, High Fliers Research Limited

Moving on to your Final year

Things to consider

With lots of career options to choose from it is often difficult to know where to start. Students who start their career planning early develop the skills and experience employers are looking for and gain an understanding of their strengths and motivations, will be in a better position to take advantage of the career options open to them in their final year.

The graduate recruitment process will start early in the final year so consider the options open to you

Graduate Schemes

Offer a programme of training and are designed to fast-track you to a leadership position. Available across all sectors, from social work and teaching to finance and marketing, most enable graduates of any degree discipline to apply.

Graduate level jobs

Available in the private and public sector. The vast majority are small and medium sized companies These roles often offer greater variety and responsibility.

Further Study

For those who want to change direction or give their career an edge, or for those who have a burning passion for their area of study.


If you have an enterprising mindset and would like to start your own business, our Student and Graduate Enterprise team is here to help you.

CONTACT US: 0191 267 4646

Enquire at the Ask4Help enquiry point

At City Campus, Newcastle

Student Central, City Campus Library

At Coach Lane Campus, Newcastle

Student Central, Coach Lane Library

At London Campus

Ground Floor

At Amsterdam Campus

Coro Tendeloo (from August 2022)

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