So it’s your final year at university and there’s a big question looming large in your mind: what next?

Life after university can be an exciting yet daunting prospect. As you leave university many options present themselves to you. 

That’s why we’ve taken the time to give you some tips and advice for what to do after university.

Take a Gap Year

One option that many young people decide to take after studying is to go on a gap year.

It’s an amazing way to meet new people while travelling or volunteering in a new place. You could even learn a new language while away, which adds another string to your bow when making job applications later on!

Take Your Studies Further

One of the most popular routes taken by graduates is to continue with their studies. 

There are many possibilities with postgraduate study, whether it be a masters degree, a PhD, or a vocational course like a PGCE. 

Just make sure you’re choosing to continue your studies for the right reasons. Don’t just go into another course because you don’t know what else to do or feel daunted by the working world. 

Postgraduate study is intense, and unless you’re an academic or doing a training course, you may find it’s very different to undergraduate studies.

Many postgraduate studies choose to get part time work while studying, not only to gain an income but also to build up relevant experience for their future careers. 

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If postgraduate study is something that appeals to you, accommodation is a key element in your study life. Life in undergraduate student halls and residences may have been fun, but with a deeper intensity of academia, you’re going to need a more mature outlook and quieter surroundings.

Novel offers an amazing selection of student accommodation in Leicester, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Sheffield and Belfast. Their residences focus on the wellbeing and overall experience for students. 

So wherever you decide to continue your academic journey in the UK, you’ll always have a safe and comfortable base to study and explore from! 

Start Applying for Jobs

For many graduates, getting a job straight away is the most attractive way forward. 

One good idea before you begin with any job searches is to have a think about your strengths and existing experiences. The graduate job market can be very competitive, so you need to make sure your CV stands out from the crowd.

Write down your skills and make sure you have a well-written resume – it should be concise yet detailed.

Include any work experience you may have on your CV. Make sure your social media accounts are all presentable and make sure your privacy settings are on. 

It may feel intrusive, but the reality is that many employers now do a Google search of prospective employers, particularly for roles of responsibility with vulnerable people. It’s important to make a good impression and come across as professional.

The last thing you need is a prospective employer seeing what you got up to in a nightclub last Saturday night!

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Get Some Work Experience

While you’re still a student it’s a great idea to try and get some work experience in the field you’re interested in. 

If you fancy being a teacher you could get involved with volunteering at a local school or participate in a mentoring scheme. If journalism is your thing, perhaps there is a student press office you could write a few articles for. 

Whatever it is you want to do after university, there are so many opportunities to gain experience. 

You could even apply for an internship with a company you like. Internships are not always paid, but they are certainly a good way to get your foot in the door and build up your resume. 

Once the company knows you and has seen what you’re capable of, it’s more likely that you’ll be offered a position with them. It’s also a great way to network and make connections, so an internship is an investment in your future.

Apply for Graduate Schemes

If you prefer to get your career off to a flying start in a position that offers on-the-job training and professional development, then look into graduate schemes. 

Even if it’s been more than a year since you graduated, you are still eligible to apply for  a graduate scheme. They are extremely competitive though, and the application process is tough, so be prepared for some rejections before you find the right one for you.

Ask for Careers Advice

If you’re still not 100% sure of what you want to do after university, then don’t worry. You are not alone, uncertainty is something that most graduates experience at some point. 

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One of the best things you can do to help clarify what your next step should be is to seek careers advice from your university careers service

Students and graduates alike are welcome to take advantage of the free service from trained advisors who can point you in the right direction and offer help with creating CVs and job hunts.