Accessibility statement

Planning for employability

Encourage your supervisee to start planning their career and offer advice on accessing resources to build skills and gain experience to help with their future employability.

Encourage students to develop further skills to become a more rounded graduate and enhance their employability prospects.

Session checklist

To help support your supervisee with their progress we advise:

  • Encourage students to go through the employability skills page early on in their time at York to help them to start planning early and taking responsibility for their future employability.
  • You should provide references whilst students are at York and for a reasonable period after they have left. The Reference Writing Guidance for Supervisors developed by the Careers Service can help when you are asked for a reference.
  • Get to know who your Department Careers Liaison Officer is. They can offer you and your supervisee careers related support.
  • You are not expected to provide careers advice - see the summary of key activities and services offered by Careers, developed for Supervisors. Daily bookable one-to-one appointments are available with the Careers service.
  • Encourage your supervisees to use the Handshake, the University's volunteering, internship and employment vacancies database, and the work, volunteering and career planning section of the website. 
  • Remind students to attend briefings on industrial placements, if they are offered by your department, and Professional Network Connect and other careers events
  • Encourage students to apply for the York Award, the University's employability certificate that provides a portfolio of recognised skills and experience. 
  • Help your supervisee understand the breadth of different ways they can gain experience and valuable transferable skills to enhance their employability. Some of these include:
  • If your supervisees would benefit from, or are looking for international experience, find out more from the Centre for Global Programmes office. Students wanting to study or pursue opportunities abroad will need to apply within the deadlines. They will also have to engage with key people within the department before their departure and upon their return.


By encouraging students to regularly consider their future employment prospects as part of your supervisory session you will be helping them to achieve the following outcomes:

  • By developing further skills and exploring extra-curricular activities, students become a more rounded and capable graduate, enhancing their employability prospects, which benefits the student and the University.
  • By discussing opportunities to gain experience and develop personal skills, you will be helping students to consider their full range of options. This makes it more likely they will find something suited to them, or even consider something they didn’t know was an option to them, such as studying abroad. (See also Discussing progress and Promoting activities).
  • If your supervisee registers for and completes the York Award programme over their time at the University, they will leave with a portfolio of recognised skills and experience and a certificate from an award winning scheme - all of which will help them to stand out from the crowd when employers are recruiting.
  • By building a relationship over time, your supervisees will trust you know them and can provide a genuine reference or recommendation. This reflects well on both you and the University.