Here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions to the Careers and Employability Centre's services
Can I use the Careers & Employability Centre?
The Careers and Employability Centre provides careers guidance and information to enrolled students and all graduates of the Robert Gordon University (up to two years after graduation).
Access our resources: My Career Toolkit
For graduates of two years plus the Careers & Employability Centre will provide first level support and a ‘diagnosis of need’ service to ascertain if we are the best agency to support you at this time.
- My Careers Handbook
- Target Jobs
- Graduate Careers Scotland
I graduated from another university - can I use the Careers & Employability Centre?
If you graduated from another university within the last two years, we recommend that you make direct contact with your own institution for advice and support.
However, you can make use of our short drop in service for first level advice and information. During peak periods, priority will be given to our own students and graduates.
What can I expect from the services the Careers & Employability Centre provide?
We aim to provide a friendly, professional and accessible service that facilitates your career development through advice, guidance, information and interactive programmes, including access to the My Careers Toolkit resources.
Our work is guided by the following Code of Principles: impartiality; confidentiality; individual ownership; equality of opportunity; transparency; and accessibility.
These are firmly based on:
- QAA Quality Code for Higher Education Part B Assuring and enhancing academic quality
- Part B: Assuring and enhancing academic quality
- Chapter B4: Enabling student development and achievement
- AGCAS Code of Practice
- The Robert Gordon University Equality & Diversity Policy
- The Robert Gordon University Academic Regulations and Organisational Regulations
If a user is unhappy about the service they receive, they can speak to a member of the team who will follow the Robert Gordon University's Complaints Procedure.Robert Gordon University Complaints Procedure
I haven't used the Careers & Employability Centre before – is there anything I need to do?
If you have just started thinking about career planning, or you have a specific query, we suggest that you review the relevant learning topics in the My Career Toolkit resource before attending a drop in session or arranging a booked appointment – this will allow you to get more out of your dedicated time with a Careers Consultant:
I don’t know what I want to do – does this mean I shouldn't book an appointment?
The Careers and Employability Centre supports students & graduates who have little or no idea of what they want to do as well as those who are focused. The Careers & Employability Centre supports students and recent graduates at all stages of the career planning and job search process.
Review the relevant topics My Career Toolkit before attending an appointment to ensure you make the most of your time with the Careers Consultant.
How do I book an appointment to meet with a Careers Consultant?
Log in to My Career using your university username and password (recent graduates will have been emailed their new log in details). Select ‘book an appointment’ and choose a date and time convenient for you.
Drop in sessions become available for students to book, from the Careers & Employability Centre Welcome Point, at the beginning of each advertised session (either morning or afternoon). A sign up sheet will be available for you to allocate yourself to an available 15 minute slot during that particular Drop In session. Drop In sessions are available on a first come basis.
I’m in my final year and it seems too early to start looking for a graduate job, should I start looking now?
It can seem very early to start looking for graduate positions, but if you hope to work for a large organisation and gain a place on a graduate training scheme, then yes be proactive early in semester one, as some closing dates can be set for November/December. This is sometimes referred to ‘the milkround’ or ‘future vacancies’.
If you are not considering a graduate training scheme, for example working for a smaller company as perhaps a Marketing Assistant or within say NHS as a Physiotherapist - these are classed as ‘immediate vacancies’ which you would apply for one or two months before the end of your course.
You can, of course, apply for both graduate schemes and for immediate graduate vacancies and we encourage you to continue to apply for immediate graduate vacancies while you are waiting for the results of your graduate scheme applications
It all depends of course, as to when you hope to start work on completion of your course. Some graduates wish to take time off, even a year out, so that can build flexibility into your job search.
You may wish to review the topics within My Career Toolkit to support your query.
I’m unhappy on my current course, is it possible to change course or exit university?
First of all, we would recommend first of all that you have a chat with your Course Leader to see if things can be improved for you on course.
If you have made up your mind and you wish to change or exit, we can discuss options with you in terms of the career you wish to pursue and which future course may equip you best. If you do decide to exit your course you may also wish to contact Back on Course Scotland; which is a free, impartial and confidential advice service for people who have left university before completing their studies.
If you change course internally within the university, you can check with Student Admissions regarding available places and complete transfer paperwork.
If you wish to move to another university, you need to apply again via the UCAS system for undergraduate courses and some postgraduate courses.
If you wish to exit higher education completely, you would complete exit paperwork.
Whichever path you take, we are happy to support you in your journey moving forward.
You may wish to review the topics within My Career Toolkit to support your query.
I’m hoping to find professional vacation work, related to my course, can you help?
It is very worthwhile to seek professional vacation work to gain relevant experience to accentuate what you have learned on course.
Many students can find such work but need to be proactive in their search as not all opportunities are advertised and a speculative approach is recommended. The Careers & Employability Centre is happy to support you with identifying companies to approach and in developing your speculative job search strategy.
Remember that any work experience can build your experience and many work based skills are transferable. Many employers will value applicants with diverse work and voluntary experience as this can demonstrate flexibility and adaptability to new situations and challenges.
To find out where to look for vacation work why not review the work experience section of the My Career Toolkit resource.
Do I have to submit a cover letter each time I apply for a job with a CV?
We recommend that you do, even if it does not state that a cover letter is required.
The letter is your ‘introduction’ to you, your career path and highlights your key skills and experience, whilst also allowing you to indicate you have undertaken research on the post and employer to whom you are applying.
So, unless the job advert says specifically not to include a cover letter, we strongly suggest that you do include one. Support for writing a professional covering letter for either an advertised job or to introduce a speculative application can be found in the My Career Toolkit resources.
I am an international student concerned about finding work in the UK when I graduate, can you advise me of visa regulations?
For visa regulations we recommend you talk to the International Student Advice team.
They are the experts within the university and will look at your own individual situation and advise you accordingly.
Within the Careers team we can help you maximise your chances of finding employment in terms of selling yourself at application and interview stage and advise you on where to access opportunities within the UK and internationally.
You may wish to review the topics and links within My Career Toolkit to support your query.
I would like to continue my studies, but I am not sure if postgraduate study is necessary and how I will pay for a Masters course?
Postgraduate study can be essential to enter particular professions, depending on your undergraduate qualification, for example, Teaching or Social Work.
Other courses enhance your undergraduate studies, either further developing your subject area or diversifying into a new field.
Postgraduate study can be expensive and intensive so consider carefully whether it is right for you.
Prospects provides further information on postgraduate study in general and on funding in particular.
What is the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) Survey, how useful is it to me and do I have to complete a questionnaire?
DLHE is the Destination of Leavers of Higher Education Survey, an annual survey of all UK based graduates, undertaken six months post-graduation.
As a graduate of the Robert Gordon University, you will be posted and emailed the questionnaire and if this is not returned by a certain date we will call you to ascertain the data we require.
The data informs the university and students of graduate destinations, reflecting whether courses are fit for purpose and equipping graduates with the necessary skills and experience to enter the professions for which they are trained.
As a student it is very useful to gain an insight to the DLHE feedback to reassure and inspire you of the potential options available to you on graduating as this is normally shared with you during on-course career input.