Careers Advice, Health and Wellbeing, Managing your money, Preparing for your future

5 tips to get you started after you graduate…

Whether you’re excited to embark on the future, or a little bit apprehensive – don’t worry. Sophie, our student intern, explains…

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I can’t believe that this is it, I’ve received my results and I will be graduating from Cardiff University with a 2:1! The last three years have flown by. It feels like only yesterday I arrived at my halls, with far too many boxes of stuff and nervous about what the future would hold. This time, as I’m moving out of my student house for the last time, I don’t feel scared, but hopeful.


1. Take some time to yourself.

Chances are, like me, you’ll have been working from one deadline to the next for the last few years. University is likely to have changed you, so take a week or so to reconnect with yourself. What do you like to do for fun? Without the stress of exams looming, figure out where you see yourself five or ten years down the line and work out a plan to get there.

Everything you need to plan your career is available through Career CentralIt is important to leave enough space in your timetable for job hunting, as it can be hard work and time consuming. Plan your day with structure to help you stay focused and motivated.

You may want to consider putting your entrepreneurial skills to the test by starting your own business. Perhaps you’ve always had a great business idea or you believe your final-year project has commercial potential, but there’s no room for self doubt.


2. Get the most out of your Careers Account.

As Cardiff University students, we have unlimited access to the online resources and face to face guidance with our degree-specific careers adviser. Now you’ve graduated, it is important to re-register as an alumni to continue using Careers and Employability services.

If you’re reading this before you graduate, make sure to utilise your unlimited access to jobs, workshops, employer events and careers fairs. Cardiff University alumni are still eligible to drop in and get support from the Careers and Employability team. Why not book a 15 minute appointment with your Careers Adviser to discuss your options? Make use of the many online resources available to you, both as a student and alumni.  Set up searches and alerts for job opportunities with organisations recruiting directly from Cardiff University.

Do you dream of graduate employment? Check out the latest vacancies on the Jobs Board available through the Cardiff University intranetThere are a wide range of positions listed such as work experience, contracted jobs and paid internships advertised by the Work Experience team.

TOP TIP: Applying for graduate schemes isn’t something you can leave till the night before. Apply on time with a great application if you hope to get an interview. Graduate schemes with top companies are incredibly competitive and your application really has to stand out. Applying for grad schemes, if taken seriously, is a full-time job in itself.


3. Keep learning.

If you’re not quite ready to draw a line under your education just yet, or you fancy taking your learning in a new direction, explore your options. Have you considered studying abroad? If you are planning to stay in the UK, take a look at all the higher education courses available to you.

Embarking on a postgraduate qualification can help you develop a specialist, in-depth knowledge. A Masters or Postgraduate degree can be expensive, so if you’re considering this as an option to boost your employability, or just to stay at university another year because you’re not sure what you want to do yet, then get some advice from your Careers Adviser.

If you’re getting a job after graduation but want to keep learning, check out these great online courses


4. Update your CV and Cover Letters.

Now is the perfect time to get out your CV and update it. Don’t forget to include all recent, relevant experience. Make sure your CV is targeted to the job and company you’re applying for. If you’re unsure how best to sell yourself in these important documents, check out our latest blog or drop in and speak to the Careers and Employability team at 51A Park Place between 2-4pm weekdays throughout the summer. Even better, book an appointment with your careers adviser through your Careers Account or by emailing 

Don’t leave applying for a job till the last minute, employers can sometimes close applications once they’ve received enough.


5. Get connected.

Staying in touch with the contacts you’ve made during your time at university could be crucial later in life. Don’t forget to join the Cardiff University alumni group on LinkedIn.


No matter what your plans are following graduation, there is no way of knowing what the future holds unless you actually go out there and give it go. You never know what opportunities could be waiting out there for you!

Good luck!


Best wishes,

Sophie, Student Intern.


Your Student Life, Supported.

The Student Support Centre has a range of services dedicated to helping students make the most of their time at University, including: Advice and MoneyCareers and EmployabilityCounselling, Health and WellbeingDisability and Dyslexia and International Student Support.

The Student Support Centres are located at 50 Park Place, Cathays Campus and Cardigan House, Heath Park Campus.

For further details of services, events, opening times and more find us on the University Intranet.


  • Henry

    Great tips Sophie.
    As someone who works with a lot of graduates – I see complete sense in a lot of what you say.
    My number 1 tip to new candidates coming through our doors is to stay active and keep growing – even if the perfect job doesn’t come up straight away.

    Remember, it can take months, maybe years to arrive at the best place for you after graduating. Rather than letting failure drag down remember that it’s just another step on the way to success.

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