Job hunting advice
Brexit and studying at Imperial
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Whether you are still studying or have recently graduated, job hunting is a central part of finding work experience. There are many different ways of finding jobs and you can increase your chances of success by combining different methods.
For further information on different types of work experience and its benefits, explore our resources on work experience.
See the most common questions about Brexit and studying at Imperial.
Search for jobs with JobsLive
You can access job vacancies via JobsLive, (Imperial Careers Service's online jobs/appointments and event system) and filter them by industry sector, location, and job role. These opportunities are from employers specifically targeting Imperial College London students and graduates.
We also organise a series of careers events targeting the recruitment of students. These include careers fairs, employer presentations, careers talks and subsequent interviews at College. You can book for events and see up to date information on JobsLive and review Career Choice, a Careers Service publication which lists the upcoming events for the academic year.
Student and graduate job boards
A streamlined way to identify roles targeted to current students and graduates is through an array of websites advertising internships, placements and graduate opportunities. The best known are:
- Gradcracker – STEM focused
- Student Ladder – a good place to look for internships and work experience
GoinGlobal is a resource that Imperial has a subscription to and offers country specific career and employment resources including worldwide job openings and internship listings.
Try to check a variety of different sites and not rely on one website alone, as each jobs board will have different opportunities from different employers.
Many occupations are represented by professional bodies. Examples of these include the Royal Academy of Engineering or the Institution of Civil Engineers. You may already be aware of professional bodies and institutions that accredit your degree course. These organisations often have advice for people considering careers in their areas and sometimes host useful jobs boards.
Recruitment agencies act as an intermediary on behalf of employers to find suitable candidates to fill vacancies. Many specialise in a particular sector and have temp departments that applicants can sign up to, for casual or part-time work. You should always check that any recruitment agency is a member of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation website (www.rec.uk.com).
A recruitment agency should be used to supplement not replace your own job hunting strategies. Bear in mind that they are operating on behalf of the employer rather than the candidate and their priority is to get the vacancy filled rather than find the ideal position for you.
You may be surprised to learn that not all jobs are advertised; sometimes you can create your own opportunity in the hidden job market. To find these hidden roles you will need to write a speculative application. These applications are used to approach employers despite the fact they are not advertising a particular vacancy.
High Fliers’ The Graduate Market in 2020 confirmed that graduate recruiters are making more use of social media for recruitment activities.
A large numbers of recruiters now have Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn profiles to share information with students and proactively look for talent. Follow companies you are interested in as many internships and jobs are advertised via social media. Visit our resources on LinkedIn for more details on how you can use this platform for careers networking and job hunting.
Types of opportunities
Graduate and PhD opportunities
Many Imperial graduates join graduate schemes. These are structured training programmes, often within large corporations. You'll usually be part of a large intake with considerable support in place from the organisation and your fellow recruits. Closing dates can be ongoing throughout the year, but many are as early as November of your final year.
Other graduates start their career in specific jobs, often with small or medium sized organisations. Vacancies may be advertised throughout the year and in many cases employers will expect you will be able to join them within a month or two of your application.
Many undergraduates choose to undertake internships in their summer vacations and some departments offer placements as part of the course. With larger companies, formal internships are usually offered in the student's penultimate year. Some graduates and PhD students also choose to undertake internships in order to gain industry experience or test-drive a career.
Certain employers offer insights programmes for earlier year groups. These usually take place in spring, hence also being known as 'spring weeks'. Often deadlines for internship and insight opportunities are similar to those for graduate schemes, so be sure to research these as early as possible.