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Job hunting after your Masters - How to find a specific career?

Wednesday 8 March 2017 Postgraduate

Time on a Masters course can go very fast and so making the most of your time – and planning for what happens next -  is vital.

MastersCompare, the masters course comparison directory, spoke to Holly, a University Postgraduate Careers Officer, about her top tips for successful job hunting for students who have undertaken a Masters to find a job in a specific sector or field:

  • Check if your university Careers Service (or other service) has an online job board; if it does, check it regularly or sign up for job alerts – there may be bespoke opportunities on there that are just open to students from your university and thus involve less competition
  • Identify which sector-specific job boards/websites are used to advertise jobs in your chosen field. Sign up for email alerts a few months before you formally start your job search if you can: not only will you get job opportunities straight to your inbox, but you'll also gain a good insight into what roles are available, where the jobs are and the types of skills/experience that employers are seeking
  • Is there is a professional body or association linked to the sector(s) you are interested in? These organisations often have careers sections on their websites which can be useful sources of job vacancies and advice. HM Revenue and Customs have a comprehensive list of these organisations online
  • Jiscmail (www.jiscmail.ac.uk) is a national academic mailing service in the UK. Use the site's search facility to find out if there are any mailing lists associated with your professional area(s) of interest and sign up to these. They can be a great source of information on job vacancies: for example, the HEALTHECON-ALL list is a great resource for anyone job hunting in Health Economics
  • Let others know that you're looking! The more people know that you're looking for work in a particular region or sector, the more likely it is that someone will send details of opportunities your way. You never know who might have useful contacts; and remember, not all opportunities are advertised…
  • Research whether there are recruitment agencies specialising in recruiting to roles in your chosen sector or industry. Using an established, reputable agency could save yourself some effort with job hunting and let the opportunities come to you
  • Work on your online presence, especially via LinkedIn (if you’re looking for jobs) or academia.edu (if you’re thinking of a PhD and academia). LinkedIn is a great way of researching people who currently work in fields that interest you and how they go to where they are now. Look up people who are already working in roles or companies that you are interested in and look at their profiles to see how they got to where they are. A friendly connection invitation with a personalised message can help you to connect.

Think carefully about your ‘commercial awareness’. Commercial awareness isn’t all about knowing how the FTSE 100 is doing; it applies to any occupational sector. For example, how have recent policy changes and government decisions affected the sector in which you want to work? What will the main challenges be in the sector over the new few years? How can these be tackled? If you have a particular company in mind, who are their key competitors? Make sure you’ve done your research and know your stuff.

Next steps

Search and Compare specialised Masters by your subject area at https://www.masterscompare.co.uk and register to get email updates as courses and funding are announced.

Share your story: Are you considering a specialised Masters? Or are you already doing or completed one? Tell us about your experience or ask any questions you may have on our TalkPostgrad page on Facebook and Twitter.

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