Careers Service FAQs

Find out answers to your questions in light of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic

In light of the current Covid-19 pandemic, we've moved to an online careers service and we've put together a list of your frequently asked questions below to get you started.

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If there is a question that we haven't answered on this page, please email us and we'll take a look.

Can I still get my CV/application checked?

We are very happy to help with applications, CVs and personal statements, whether you are applying for work, further study or research. You can still make a virtual appointment through the Careers Portal, and email your CV/application to a Careers Consultant in advance of the appointment. You will then be able to speak directly to one of our Careers Consultants through MS Teams. Click here to make an appointment via the Careers Portal.

What if I have a (virtual) assessment centre coming up?

Most large graduate recruiters are now running “virtual assessment centres” where you will be asked to complete a number of tasks online (some tasks could be alongside other candidates, others will be on your own). There is usually also at least one online interview as part of the process. Other companies have decided to focus only on assessing candidates via online interviewing. These are unprecedented times and employers are having to adapt and change too! Do make an appointment with a Careers Consultant – we can usually sign-post you to some helpful resources, or simply help you to plan and prepare for whatever assessment process you are facing.  

To help you prepare for virtual assessment you can practice a video interview here, or book an appointment through the Careers Portal to speak to a Careers Consultant. We will also be running small group webinars and online events about video interviews, so check the Careers Portal for the latest events.

Where are the best opportunities for finding a job at the moment?

Part-time work is still available, and in some sectors new temporary and immediate roles have been created.

Supermarkets and other employers who work in essential supplies (logistics and supply chain, farming, pharmacies and pharmaceutical companies, retail distribution, etc.) are looking for temporary staff as demand has increased significantly in the last few weeks.

The NHS, social care organisations and other public services are actively recruiting non-clinical staff (administrators, caterers, cleaners) as well as volunteers.

Also, if you are looking for graduate opportunities, the demand on technology, telecommunications and social media to keep people connected has increased, and companies are responding by creating new vacancies. Companies like Zoom, Skype, Slack, Virgin Media, Vodafone and Microsoft are increasing their hiring numbers to support the new demand on their services. 

Companies that supply technology solutions to businesses may also benefit from increased demand and be hiring; companies that supply ‘digital transformation solutions’, online payment systems and information security products are well worth a look.

You might also find opportunities in companies that provide online media and entertainment, whether it’s Netflix, TikTok or companies that develop apps to support exercise, interactive quizzing or gaming, there are some sectors that will thrive in the current situation and this will create job opportunities.

More and more jobs are now set up for remote working. Many roles in marketing and brand promotion, web and graphic design, customer services, teaching and tutoring, data entry, translation and transcription can be done easily from home and are being advertised. Freelance work in writing, drawing, composing and coding is also available.

Check the jobs tab of the Careers Portal as well as other recruitment websites to find the latest vacancies and sign up to the recruitment pages for all relevant companies on LinkedIn. The “Careers/Work for Us” pages on company websites will also often allow you to sign up for alerts when suitable vacancies arise. We will be highlighting new vacancies on our social media channels, so follow us on Twitter and Facebook to get the latest updates.

There are lots of opportunities to volunteer, particularly in the charity sector. If you are living local to University then you can search our volunteering platform to explore remote volunteer opportunities provided by our community partners. If you are living elsewhere in the UK then enquire via your local volunteer centre in England or Wales, if under 25 then search across the UK at vinspired, or discover Do It from home.

I have a (video) interview coming up. How can you help me?

Almost all interviews with employers or recruiters are now video/online interviews and it’s definitely worth preparing and practising in advance. Many first-stage interviews will be pre-recorded, and you will be prompted to answer interview questions that have been pre-recorded or appear in writing on the screen. 

Our Careers Consultants are experienced at giving practice interviews and helping you to prepare for all forms of interview. Drop us an email at, let us know when your interview is and send us details of the role that you have applied for. We will then arrange to spend up to an hour with you (on MS Teams), giving you the opportunity to practise answering questions. We’ll give you lots of constructive feedback, support and confidence-boosting tips too. Students always tell us that it is a really helpful experience and that it’s often a big factor in their success!   

We also have a video interview practice tool called Interview Stream that will enable you to practice video interviews on your own at home, creating your own recordings which you can play back and review, as many times as you’d like.  You can also ask to review your recording with a Careers Consultant, so that we can give you some constructive feedback and help you to improve both content and technique. 

Finally, you can watch our Career Essentials webinar on Interview Skills here, which offers great tips on how to prepare for interviews.

I’ve secured an internship/graduate scheme for 2020, will I still be able to work?

If you recently received an offer to interview or attend an assessment centre with an employer, you should contact the employer’s recruitment team in the first instance. Some employers have already transitioned into virtual inductions and are able to facilitate remote working for their new hires, and many more are working to achieve this in the coming weeks and months.

How can I find out which graduate schemes are still recruiting for 2020 and beyond?

This is a changing landscape, but lots of employers are still advertising for graduate schemes with a 2020 or 2021 start. Keep up to date by subscribing to alerts from employer websites, and checking the Jobs Tab of the Careers Portal for new vacancies. We will also be promoting opportunities from employers on our social media channels, so follow us on Twitter and Facebook to get the latest updates.

If you are a final year undergraduate or recent graduate (up to two years after graduation), you may be eligible for the Santander Internship Scheme. For more information about this, please visit our dedicated webpages.

How will Covid-19 affect work experience opportunities?

Concerns over how the global pandemic will impact work experience opportunities are understandable. In a recent survey*, 84% of students expressed concerns over finding placements and graduate roles following the pandemic. In addition, 58% of students indicated that they would like employers to support them by offering virtual internships, or postponing the start date of internships in June/July until later in the year

Careers Services are working hard to find ways to support both employers and students to make new or adjusted arrangements for work experience opportunities. Many employers appreciate the need to continue to support students’ development and the value of online/remote internships and although it requires a large shift for many sectors, a lot of work is being done to make these types of opportunitiy available.

*[Information provided by the RMP Enterprise Survey: Student Perceptions of Work Experience During COVID-19 (April 2020)]

How are employers reacting to the situation with regards to internships and placements?

Employers are considering three options regarding internships and work experience:

Continue: converting opportunities online, so that students can work from home/remotely. The IT sector is leading the way, with many others following.

Postpone: offering flexibility over start/end dates, shortening internships to ‘insights', or potentially pushing back opportunities until the Christmas break or the following year.

Cancel: for some sectors such as hospitality, leisure and tourism, there has been no alternative but to cancel.

In all cases, clear and early communication to students is a priority.

How can I network with employers from home?

Networking online with tools like LinkedIn and Twitter can be very effective, and will expand your professional network for possible job opportunities. Connect with professionals working in your area of interest, or search for RH alumni who may be able to introduce you to colleagues in their organisation.

We have resources on Moodle to help you with making contact and striking up a conversation.

LinkedIn also have a suite of video tutorials with advice on how to build and develop your profile.

I am thinking about doing a Master's degree or other Postgraduate Study. How can you help?

There are many valid and exciting reasons for doing postgraduate study.   It can help towards career aspirations, help you to gain important technical, practical or research skills, or provide you with useful industry contacts and connections. It’s really important to have a solid reason for committing to a course and to consider funding.

You can read more about postgraduate courses offered at Royal Holloway on our website and UCAS has a comprehensive listing of all courses offered in the UK. Our Careers Consultants are happy to help talk through your options and decisions. Once you’ve made up your mind, we’re happy to give you some ideas about how to improve your application, or to give it that all-important final check before you finally submit it. Our helpsheet, with advice on what to include in any personal statement, is here.    

How else can I improve my employability remotely?

There are lots of things you can do to improve your employability while in lockdown:

Online training and resources – Our careers page on Moodle contains a broad range of resources to help you identify, articulate and practice your skills. Passport challenges have been designed by employers, and offer a virtual insight into the type of work that they do and the skills required to be successful there.

Careers Portal events – We have compiled a list of employer events and workshops to help connect you to recruiters and broaden your commercial awareness. Check the portal regularly, as we are updating the events as they become available.

Online learning – As well as Moodle, you can access free learning modules and MOOCs from providers such as Coursera, FutureLearn and Take the time to learn a new skill or language!

LinkedIn and social media – develop your personal brand by investing in your LinkedIn and social media presence. You can use these platforms to publish blogs, vlogs and podcasts, or network with professionals in your sectors of interest to gain insight on available roles.

Commercial Awareness – keeping up to date on changes in your industries of interest will help you job search, and demonstrate your enthusiasm for a role in an application/assessment. Through the Library, you have free access to business media and online newspapers such as the Financial Times to keep you in the know.

Volunteering - Volunteering is an excellent way of developing your skills and abilities. There are a range of volunteer positions available that may offer just as much, or more personal development than paid placement opportunities. The experience you gather while volunteering can be included on your job applications, CVs and cover letters as examples of work experience. A number of our Social Action projects, led by students around the world, are now taking place virtually. These include online ESOL tutoring sessions with refugees, Holloway Notes choir, Sing-Along Surrey elderly support in care homes, and telephone befriending with our Tea Parties Project.

I've been furloughed, what does this mean?

If you and your employer both agree, your employer might be able to keep you on the payroll if they’re unable to operate or have no work for you to do because of coronavirus (COVID-19). This is known as being ‘on furlough’.

You could get paid 80% of your wages, up to a monthly cap of £2,500.

If your salary is reduced as a result of these changes, you may be eligible for support through the welfare system, including Universal Credit.

Check if you could be covered by the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme by visiting the government webpages.

Can I still volunteer during the Covid-19 pandemic?

We understand in these difficult times that large numbers of students and staff want to volunteer and support their community.

You can keep yourself up to date with any new Covid-19 volunteering opportunities by signing up as a volunteer and visiting the Covid-19 volunteering webpage.