Careers Network

Keep your plans on track during CV-19

The impact of the Coronavirus has literally changed our world and will continue to do so for some time. So, what can you do in these extraordinary circumstances to respond positively to how it might affect your career plans, while you are at university or after you graduate? We provide below links to some useful information and answer some of the questions students are asking. (If you have questions not yet covered here, please get in touch.)

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I contact Careers Network?

We are still ‘here’ if you need us and there’s loads of support available online and over the phone. Our 'flexible' appointments (including Quick AdviceCareer Consultations and Mock Interviews) allow you to choose support via email, telephone or video, depending on the appointment type.  For more information on how to get careers advice, see Book an appointment. For any other queries email careers@lboro.ac.uk or phone us on 01509 222039.

How has COVID-19 impacted on graduate recruitment?

We are working closely with employers to learn about the challenges they face and how they are dealing with them.

Different industries and employers are doing different things. Some are reducing the number of roles they have on offer. Some are delaying the start dates for their recruitment. Most have now introduced virtual recruitment processes.  Careers Network can support you in preparing for these online assessments so do get in touch.

There are also employers who are continuing their recruitment and establishing remote working practice for new recruits. The situation is changing quickly so the best you can do is to continue to engage with the recruitment process, learn more about where to find jobs  research industries and professions and seek help from Careers Network.

Remember you will have a degree from a top UK university and this will stand you in good stead when the current situation has passed. If you are a finalist, check out our support for finalists and, don’t forget, you have access to all the services provided by Careers Network for three years after graduation.

I need help with job applications, what should I do?

You’ll find a wealth of resources in the Make applications section of our website.  We can also answer any queries you have and give feedback on applications in our ‘flexible’ appointments, which can be via email, telephone or video, depending on the appointment type.

I have a video interview, what can I do to prepare?

Initially, it’s a good idea to look at our website to help you prepare for Interviews which includes video interview resources, including example interview questions. With all job interviews, consider potential questions you may be asked and practise answering them. You can also book a quick advice appointment or mock interview with one of the Careers Network team to gain feedback and help you prepare.  

You might find this article useful on How to succeed in a virtual interview and assessment centre amidst coronavirus.

Can I still access Enterprise and Business Support?

Yes. Enterprise and Business Support can still be accessed remotely through Loughborough Enterprise Network (LEN). They are providing regular 1-2-1 support via phone and video call appointments on a weekly basis. Information on a wide-range of internal and external support (resources, opportunities and business interruption loans, for example) is available on their website.

If you have any questions or need to speak to a member of the team, you can email LEN@lboro.ac.uk.

I'm in my final year, I'm not sure what I want to do and am worried I won’t be able to get a job when I graduate.

If you aren’t sure what to do after graduation don’t worry, help is at hand. We have lots of information on our website about getting started with career planning and more information can be found in explore career options. It’s a good idea to book a career consultation to discuss your plans, but don’t worry if you haven’t given this much thought yet, this will help you to get started.

Our finalists pages are packed with useful information and you can find them here. Look out for our guide to Planning your next steps after graduation containing lots of practical advice to maximise your time after graduation.

If you didn't know, Loughborough students have access to Careers Network for three years after graduation. More information on the support available to graduates can be found here.

I wanted to travel after graduation, but now it may not be possible and I haven’t started thinking about careers yet.

Our website provides some great starting points to help you explore career options.  We offer a variety of online psychometric tests and self-assessment tools as well as links to selected websites to help you explore different roles and industries.  When you are ready you can book a Quick Advice appointment or Career Consultation throughout the year and for up to three years after graduation.  But you don’t need to know what you want to do to get in touch!   To speak to a member of our team, telephone 01509 222039 or book an appointment.

Depending on your plans, and the impact of the Coronavirus in other parts of the world at the time, some international travel may still be possible after you graduate.  If you still want to explore travelling or working abroad, visit GoinGlobal and the Prospects website via our working abroad page.  If you are considering travelling abroad always consult the current UK Government advice here.

I am graduating this year and want to know how to find short-term work whilst I consider my longer term plans.

Temporary jobs will earn you money and help evidence your skills whilst you are planning your next steps.  

It’s possible to look for temporary roles in your chosen sector (this works especially well for the charity or public sector). The benefits of this can include learning terminology/technology used, networking and getting a good understanding of how organisations work.  If you can’t find anything in your preferred field, many jobs working online, in administration, team situations or with customers will give you some really useful communication skills to add to your CV. 

A useful resource to find vacancies is Indeed and make sure you view vacancies by date order. Don’t forget specialist job sites such as NHS Jobs, and you could also contact recruitment agencies.

Find more details of places to look in Find jobs and work experience and Options with your degree.  If you’re not sure where to look, just ask us.

If you are looking for temporary work, it’s crucial to make time to research your longer term career plans and to make connections in your chosen sectors (otherwise you could drift). So free time up for this during evenings and weekends or on your days off. You could also do voluntary work alongside temporary paid work.

I had hoped to be going out on placement next academic year, where can I get some advice?

Answers to a number of FAQs asked by students hoping to go out on placement next year can be found in the placement students section of the University Coronavirus website.

I would like to start networking, but don’t know how this will be received by industry professionals.

It is more important than ever to use networks to help you plan your next steps.  Your approach really depends on the industry and how it is being affected, but as with any difficult decisions, it is worth considering the pros and cons.

Approaching individuals might be challenging at the moment because:

1. Senior staff and managers will be spending their time (mostly remotely) making decisions about how to run their businesses:

  • supporting staff in their teams
  • considering the financials aspects of what is happening
  • working on interim plans and activities for their own business
  • responding to customers and other organisations they work with
  • looking after their families at home
  • thinking about how this will impact on their own careers

2. It isn’t easy to go and meet anyone in person at the moment.

3. You may not get any responses, because people are just too busy prioritising other things.

4. If you ask questions about how COVID-19 might impact on your career options, they may not have any answers.


However, networking might be a good way to spend your time because:

1. Some people you talk to may have more time available because they can’t do their normal roles.

2. Most people enjoy talking about their job and profession.

3. Everyone is trying to help each other at the moment and helping you might be something that they would benefit from too!

4. It could work really well if you:

  • do it by email
  • contact people with a Loughborough connection if you can
  • start by recognising their situation and you appreciate they may not be able to help you
  • explain that you are trying to make the best use of your ‘spare’ time
  • you are asking for information about ‘normal activity’ in their business (not only about what is happening now).
  • ask very focussed, specific questions
  • seek advice on what you can do to improve your career prospects when businesses start functioning ‘normally’ again
  • ask what online research you could be doing – could they point you to some websites, blogs etc.

So, no definitive answer here, but lots of reasons to give it a go! 

As a second year, what can I can do to increase my chances of getting a placement starting in 2021?

There are lots of things you can be doing to boost your employability and knowledge to apply for placements starting in 2021. As there may be more competition for future roles it’s a good idea to get proactive as soon as possible. Make the most of the practical career planning advice and activities on the Explore career options pages of our website.

You may have to be a little more flexible in your thinking, while maintaining social distancing and using online platforms, but look out for ways to gain skill-building experience including volunteering, part-time work, positions of responsibility and self-directed learning. Maybe build or improve your existing LinkedIn profile. Think about what you can do, for example, if in-person work-shadowing isn’t possible, why not conduct virtual information interviews with people in your network to find out about job roles and industries?  For help with this visit Find jobs and work experience.

Use your time productively to get familiar with different aspects of the recruitment process; check out the information, examples and free practice packages in the Make applications section of our website, so you feel really prepared for making effective and timely applications. The Careers Network team will be happy to help you, and answer any queries along the way, so if you need individual support book an appointment with us.