Loads of jobs – but none that suit ME!

So, you’ve been looking for a graduate job, a placement or an internship? You’ve found that there are endless opportunities advertised online. Great, right? Actually, not really. Nothing quite fits.

Hitting the wall

As a Careers Adviser, I find that students often come to me and say things like “I’ve done a search on Indeed and nothing relevant came up” or “there just isn’t anything that matches what I’m looking for”.  This can be due to the fact that not all jobs are advertised. I’ve found that trying a slightly different approach, looking for potential employers rather than jobs, can result in some interesting opportunities…

Flipped job searching

We had a job fair recently and I chatted to a final year Biological Sciences student who would like to pursue a career path related to their interest in plant biology. They’d searched for relevant graduate jobs but couldn’t find anything. As we didn’t have typical resources to hand at the time, I agreed to do some research and get back to them.

Later, back at the creation station (ok, my desk), I thought about key words that might help me to find suitable opportunities without actually searching for jobs. I opened Google (other search engines are available), typed in ‘plants crops science graduates uk’ and hit Enter.

google search

The results

Number five in my list of results was ‘Vacancies – NIAB’. Intrigued, I clicked the link, and found myself exploring the National Institute of Agricultural Botany and opening their flyer about their summer 2017 opportunities for students and graduates. Sounded great!

There was more!

Further down the results, I came across a link to the profile for a “Plant breeder/geneticist” on the Prospects website. From there, one good thing led to another. I found lots of useful information, including a link to the British Society of Plant Breeders, and on their website, I found a list of over 50 member organisations. I was able to recommend that the student explore these organisations for ideas and opportunities. My search results also included some specialist recruitment agencies, some of whom had opportunities specifically for graduates.

plant biology

Have a go!

Why not try some flipped job seeking for yourself? And what better time to do it than over the Easter vacation?!

Here’s how:

  • First, have a think about what you’d like to do and jot down any key words that come to mind. These could be things related to your studies but also things you’d like to be doing in a job or skills you’d want to use (e.g. supporting, organising, research), the types of people you’d like to work with (e.g. children, offenders, refugees), problems you’d like to be involved in solving (e.g. technical, political, environmental). You might also want to think about location (country or specific locations) and any industry/sector that appeals to you


  • Next, type a combination of your key words into a search engine and click search
  • Finally, explore your results and (hopefully) find great things!
  • You can try different combinations and variations of your key words if you’re not getting anywhere, especially if you’ve come up with a lot of possible words!

It’s worth it!

The great thing about this approach is that you don’t need to know exactly what you want to do, it can help to generate ideas and awareness of job titles as well as to find opportunities. Of course there’s also no guarantee that the organisations you find will currently have vacancies on their websites but you can always make speculative enquiries about future opportunities or the scope for getting some work experience in the shorter term.

So go on, make the most of the holidays and try it for yourself. There’s a world of opportunities out there and the right one for you is among them!

And if you need a bit more help, ask us a question!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s