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Finding face-to-face career advice

Finding face-to-face career adviceTalking face-to-face with someone about your career can be invaluable. Find out where you can go for career advice.

At school or college

Schools are legally required to provide careers advice to students from years 8 to 13. Usually, this will mean that a careers advisor will visit the school occasionally and hold one-to-one sessions with pupils.

If there are circumstances that could make it harder for you to get a job, such as disability, then you might get priority for face-to-face advice.

If you're not sure what your school or college offers, talk to a teacher or head of year to find out.

At university

Universities have careers advice services that are open to all students. You might be able to go to a drop-in session, but more often you'll need to get in touch to make an appointment. You should be able to find out more on your university's website.

Your careers services may also run workshops and other events for particular careers, which give you the chance to get advice direct from experts in particular industries. See if there's a mailing list you can sign up to for notifications about these.

On your own

  • Careers fairs: Many organizations run careers fairs where you can meet employers and go to workshops on things like interview skills and careers. These will often be for specific industries, such as law or media. Search online to find a fair near you.
  • The National Careers Service can give you one-to-one advice over the phone, by email or webchat, or in person.
  • Private advice: There are private advisors and companies that can offer you advice, either one-to-one or in workshops and courses. However, these services don't come cheap, so they won't be much help if you're looking for a first job.
  • Friends and family: Don't be shy about asking people you know for advice if they have relevant experience - but remember that their experience won't exactly match yours, especially if their industry has changed since they started out.

Making the most of it

If you want to get the most out of your face-to-face meetings, you'll have to do some preparation:

  • Put together a CV: this will allow your advisor to understand your skills and experience and give you the chance to get feedback on your CV preparation skills.
  • Think about some career ideas: You don't want to spend precious time in your meeting on the basics. Make sure you've given some thought to what sort of job you want to do, and do some basic research about what's required.
  • Prepare questions: Preparing some questions in advance can make sure you get to the key points you want to discuss quickly. If you can email them to your advisor ahead of your meeting, that's even better.
  • Make notes: Don't rely on your memory to record what you discuss. Take notes to make sure you don't miss anything.