What’s next after college?
Some students will have already finished all assessments and college exams, while others have a couple left to do – but what now?
You may have already secured your place to study at university or be looking to enter the job market.
If you are starting to look at employment options, why not take a look at our employment resources for blind and partially sighted jobseekers. These include tips for job searching, completing application forms and writing cover letters. It has CV templates and shares stories from visually impaired people on their careers. Once you have been invited for interview, we can even arrange a mock interview session with you.
One of the things we hear repeatedly from people in our employment stories is the importance of resilience. Some of those we featured in our case studies applied for hundreds of jobs before securing their role. If you are not successful, try to find out why you did not meet the selection criteria and adjust your future applications accordingly. Try not to be disheartened if your application is unsuccessful and look at how you could enhance your CV further.
One of the ways into employment is often through volunteering. It looks great on your CV and provides the opportunity to polish your soft skills. It also provides essential support to communities that need help.
You could also look to develop new skills. Is there a gap in your skillset when you look through job descriptions and person specifications for the roles you would like to secure? If so, look into which training courses can help you to gain the skills you need to meet that specification. There are thousands of online training providers and many have made their content free in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read reviews to make sure you are signing up for the course that meets your needs. The Skills Toolkit from the National Careers Service is a great place to start and signposts to loads of free courses.
Networking is important when job searching. If you do not yet have a profile on LinkedIn, set one up and start to make connections. Let recruiters know you’re open to job opportunities by changing your job seeking preferences in your settings. Consider registering with recruitment consultancies, including Evenbreak which specifically connects disabled candidates with inclusive employers.
So, in summary, make every job application as great as it can be and tailor this to the specific role you are applying for; consider volunteering and additional training to boost your CV; make the most of networks you have and register with job search websites and/or recruitment agencies.
For those going on to university, you will have made your first and second choices on where to study but you do still have the option to switch via clearing once your exam results are out at the end of August.
The most important thing is to make sure you are on-track with your applications for student finance and Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) to support your studies. You can read our guide on DSA here. We also have guidance around getting finance ready for university.
Good luck in the next step of your journey – whichever route you take following college.
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