Go from A-levels to the next level with our top tips for getting on track to a dream career — no matter how you did


    MORE than a third of a million school leavers got their A-level results yesterday – and if you were one of them, it’s time to accept your uni place or apply for a job.

    But if you aced your exams and did better than expected — or if your grades weren’t as high as you hoped — then Sunemployment is here to help.

    If you’ve just got your A-level results, it’s time to decide where to go next and figure out which route is right for you

    We’ve teamed up with the National Careers Service Exam Results Helpline to get you on to the right track.

    Samrita Hayer, careers adviser at the National Careers Service Exam Results Helpline, says: “Exam results day can cause anxiety for both young people and their parents, which is why it’s really important to make sure they are seeking proper advice.

    “The different routes on offer are varied and personal and there’s no set answer or perfect formula.

    “Young people need to make sure that they are making the right decisions based on their own strengths, interests and all the options available.”

    Whether you aced it or didn’t quite get the grades, there are still plenty of options

    You did better than expected:

    1. Don’t rush into any big decisions about what to do next. Before accepting a course offer, take time to consider if new opportunities have opened up.
    2. If you want to stick to your original plan, carry out the next steps — that may be accepting offers for college, sixth form, an apprenticeship place or university.
    3. Switching your plans? Make sure you research thoroughly. Read up on all the routes to your dream career now you have the results you need.
    4. Celebrate your success by doing something you love, whether that’s spending time with friends or binge watching on Netflix. You deserve it.

    You did worse than expected:

    1. Don’t panic. There are many routes to a dream job so stay calm and focus your energy on deciding your next steps.
    2. Land a place through clearing. Clearing is how universities and colleges fill any places they still have, so it’s an ideal way to find another course.
    3. Use your support networks. Find out how friends and family began their career and why they wanted to pursue this route, it may give you a flash of inspiration.
    4. Dream big. Sometimes things go wrong, so pick yourself up and keep building those aspirations. Resilience is a vital skill in the working world.
    • The National Careers Service Exam Results Helpline number (0800 100 900) is open 8am to 10pm, seven days a week. See nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk.

    Tips to be a standout success

    NOT going to uni? Make sure your job application stands out from the crowd.

    Accountancy giant BDO has apprenticeships for A-level leavers. Here, the firm’s Paul Eagland – himself not a uni graduate – reveals his top tips.

    Times Newspapers Ltd

    Paul Eagland, of accountancy giant BDO, gives his tips on how to make your job application stand out from the crowd[/caption]

    1. Do your research about the employer before the application and interview. This also applies if you get the job, as you will need to talk knowledgeably about the firm.
    2. Candidates should be able to speak confidently about their strengths AND weaknesses. Acknowledging areas we can improve on means the interviewee is making a commitment to build on these. Knowing your strengths is also important.
    3. Sharing real-life experiences is a great way to demonstrate resilience and how you can overcome challenges. These anecdotes don’t have to be work-related but consider how it might apply to your career.
    4. Be willing to learn. Trainees have to balance work, study and life – which can be difficult. Having a positive outlook and attitude makes a real difference.
    5. Be yourself. Relax and let the interview be a two-way conversation.
    • Apply for BDO roles at bdoearlyincareer.co.uk.


    SPECIALIST site allaboutschoolleavers.co.uk/ has scores of school leavers schemes on offer, including degree apprenticeships and college leaver jobs.

    Clear advantage

    UNIS are braced for the biggest clearing week ever with an ­estimated 80,000 students ­taking up places through UCAS.

    Here’s how to make the most of the system.


    Make the most of the UCAS clearing system if you didn’t get the grades you needed, or if you decided to wait to apply[/caption]

    1. It’s not just for students who didn’t get their expected grades. Some don’t apply until they receive their grades. Others “trade up” once they know theirs.
    2. Visit ucas.com/clearing-launch to work out your points and shortlist courses you are interested in.
    3. Some unis deal with clearing questions on social media. Follow them for updates.
    4. Sign in to Track online to see offers and reply to them.
    5. Call UCAS on 0371 4680 468 for additional help.

    Working holidays

    GET paid for making people happy.

    Bourne Leisure – the parent company behind Butlin’s, Haven Holidays and Warner Leisure Hotels – has 12 places on its three-year BA Hons chartered management degree apprenticeship.

    Trainees study with the Open University and graduates are guaranteed a job in the firm.

    HR director Sarah Dickins said: “Work hard and give guests a great time, then we’ll give you the opportunity of a lifetime.” Apply by August 26 at bournecareers.co.uk or via email at bourne.vacancies@bourne-leisure.co.uk.

    Del’s cushy deal

    AUDIT and consulting firm Deloitte has places for 300 school leavers on its higher- apprenticeship programme.

    BrightStart offers students the chance to gain professional qualifications while being fully immersed in a job.


    Deloitte now has 300 higher-apprenticeship places open to people who achieved a B (grade 6)  in maths and a C (grade 4) in English language[/caption]

    Elaine Atkinson, head of resourcing at the company, said: “A Deloitte apprenticeship can be the first step in an exciting career, working on projects that have a real impact to our clients’ ­businesses.”

    Applicants need 104 UCAS points, GCSE maths at grade 6 (B) and English language at grade 4 (C). To find out more, search “apprenticeships” at deloitte.com.


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