The University of LeicesterCareer Planning Guide Inside this guide What do Leicester graduates do? Why employers love Leicester graduates Planning your career Meet employers – face to face Effective applications – impress employers Successful interviews and assessment centres Be enterprising – be your own boss www.le.ac.uk/careers
2 THE UNIVERSITY OF LEICESTER CAREER PLANNING GUIDEContentsLeicester and your Job seeking Further Careerscareer 16 Meet employers – Service resources4 What do Leicester face to face 28 Employers who recruit graduates do? Leicester graduates 18 Effective applications –5 Why employers love impress employers 30 Your career starts now Leicester graduates 21 Successful interviews and 31 Your career and6 The Careers Service – assessment centres academic success here to help 23 Make your Masters degree 32 Get Set for Career Success work for youPlanning your future8 Planning your career Alternative options 24 Be enterprising –10 Experience works be your own boss12 Skills – show employers you 25 Taking time out have what they want 26 Go further – consider14 International students postgraduate study Editor: Vicky Parkin Photos: A variety of sources including the University of Leicester Design Service, Vicky Parkin and Shutterstock Produced by: The University of Leicester Design Service Source: The Leicester Guide to Career Planning - GTI Media and the University of Leicester Careers Service
THE UNIVERSITY OF LEICESTER CAREER PLANNING GUIDE 3Start here......to plan your futureWelcome to this edition of The University ofLeicester Career Planning Guide. Studying at theUniversity of Leicester, a first class UK highereducation institution, is an excellent basis for yourfuture career.However, employers expect more than academic achievement. They are looking fortheir applicants to be equipped with sound employability skills, many of which will bedeveloped throughout your university career.The University of Leicester Career Planning Guide is written by Careers Serviceprofessionals at the University of Leicester especially for you. It offers excellentguidance on areas such as planning your career, developing your skills, job seeking,and postgraduate study. I strongly urge you to take advantage of this advice and visitthe Careers Service on a regular basis to tap into their wealth of knowledge and themany events they run for your benefit. If you do all of this, it will undoubtedly stand University of Leicesteryou in good stead for your future.” – a top institutionProfessor Sir Robert Burgess,Vice-Chancellor Contact us Careers Service 2nd Floor David Wilson Library University of Leicester University Road Leicester LE1 7RH www.le.ac.uk/careers Open Monday to Friday 10.00 am to 4.00 pm
4 LEICESTER AND YOUR CAREERWhat doLeicester Successful gr aduatesgraduates do?Leicester alumni are successful in entering a huge resource to help you think about what you would like to do. This information isvariety of career areas as well as pursuing other available on the Careers Service website at www.le.ac.uk/careers. It is worthoptions such as further study, travelling and noting that most of this data is collectedvoluntary work. just six months after graduation, when some people are still in temporary jobsEvery year Leicester graduates embark before going on to more permanent Postgraduate studyon a wide variety of career paths. positions. The University of Leicester has a highMany graduates find employment with proportion of graduates embarking onmultinational organisations such as further study. This provides essential Find out about Leicester alumniAlstom, Barclays Bank, BBC, training for many careers such as law,Caterpillar/Perkins Engines Ltd, You can read career profiles of recent teaching, scientific research, finance, Leicester graduates on the CareersEnterprise Rent-A-Car, HM Revenue and medicine.and Customs, John Lewis, Medical Service website at www.le.ac.uk/careers.Research Council, Metropolitan PoliceService, National Grid, How graduate destinationsPricewaterhouseCoopers, Shell and information can help youVodafone. However, Leicester Having access to information aboutgraduates may also be found working what previous students have gone on toin other areas such as a range of small do after they graduate can be a valuableto medium-sized enterprises (SMEs),the voluntary and charity sectors, thepublic sector, the forces, the creativeindustries, and the media. Destinations of Leicester graduates (class of 2009/10)What sort of jobs do Leicester Full-time paid work only: 45.2%graduates do? Part-time paid work only: 9.3%There is a huge variety of jobs thatLeicester graduates do. As a random Voluntary/unpaid work only: 1.7%sample, these include teacher, librarian, Work and further study: 6.9%administrator, software engineer, Further study only: 24.0%business analyst, recruitment Assumed unemployed: 10.3%consultant, firearm licensing officer,graduate engineer, trainee accountant, Not available for employment: 2.1%museum curator, parliamentary Other: 0.5%assistant, PR account executive, anddoctor, to name just a few. For many Source: Destination of Leavers from Higher Education Surveyof these jobs employers recruitgraduates in any degree discipline.
LEICESTER AND YOUR CAREER 5 Employers value your skills, ambition and employabilityWhy employerslove Leicester Mattioli Woods has regularly selected University of Leicester graduates intograduates the graduate training programme, with great success. We feel not only that the standard of their academic achievement is extremely high, but they have often participated in aFind out why Leicester students are in demand. variety of employability programmes run on campus. This means they areEmployers have confidence in students It is no wonder that employers are keen able to communicate much morefrom Leicester. The University of Leicester to have links with Leicester. Over recent effectively at our selection stages theis a leading UK university committed to years, staff in the Careers Service have skills and abilities they can bring to usinternational excellence through the built up a strong reputation and excellent as an employer. These graduates alsocreation of world-changing research and relationships with local, regional, national tend to be focused, ambitious individuals, which – as a growinghigh quality, inspirational teaching. The and international employers. Here are just company – is crucial to our success.University won the Times Higher some of the activities that employers areEducation (THE) award for Outstanding involved with: Penny Waterfield, Recruitment andStudent Support 2009/10. It was also Development Manager, • Campus visits where employers come tonamed THE University of the Year in Mattioli Woods deliver a presentation about their2008/09 and applauded by the judges as organisation or a skills workshop.‘elite without being elitist’. Attend as many of these presentationsThe University has a growing reputation as you can – even if you are notfor excellence. It is consistently in the top interested in applying to that particular20 of major national league tables. The employer you will gain a valuable insightUniversity is ranked in the top two per into the job market and the sort of skillscent of universities in the world by the QS and attributes that employers generallyWorld University Rankings 2010. look for. Look out for details of(Information correct at the time of going employer-led events atto print.) www.le.ac.uk/careers. • Careers fairs where students have the Employers such as Enterprise Rent-A- opportunity to make contact in person – Car like hiring University of Leicester Careers facts do come along and speak to as many graduates because they tend to be • It often doesn’t matter what employers as possible. very commercially aware of the sectors degree discipline you have they apply to and are able to tailor • Talks and presentations to students in studied as long as you have the their experiences to match those the specific disciplines where you can meet skills and attributes that employer is looking for. They employers at careers day events run by employers look for. therefore make themselves extremely department and Careers Service staff. employable by being able to talk • Most of the jobs advertised on • Advertising vacancies on JOBSonline at about their encounters during JOBSonline are for graduates of education, part-time employment, www.le.ac.uk/jobsonline where any discipline. around 4,500 employers are registered, society/sports activities and relate • Employers like to recruit many of whom are currently advertising these experiences to the competencies Leicester graduates and will to fill their vacancies. the position requires. This means that train you in their graduate they are better prepared not only for programmes. • Skills development programmes such as the interviews but also for the actual Experience Employability and job they are interviewing for. • Employers have successfully Tomorrow’s Managers, both of which recruited from Leicester in the Claire Fisher, Talent Acquisition are part of the Leicester Award for past and would like to do so Manager, East England Region, again in the future. Employability, and have considerable input from employers. Enterprise Rent-A-Car
6 LEICESTER AND YOUR CAREERTheCareers Service –here to help days (see ‘Make an appointment’ in theWhether you need help with career options or ‘Develop your career’ section atwant to meet employers, find out how staff in www.le.ac.uk/careers for more details).the Careers Service can help you. Information resourcesUniversity life can be hectic and thinking Come in and talk to us – ask at the There is a range of careers-relatedabout careers may not be uppermost in Help Desk if you need any assistance. information in the Careers Service. Thisyour mind when you are busy studying includes information about occupations,for your degree, possibly doing some department/subject areas, and Careerpart-time or voluntary work and, well, Getting help from an Development Guides on makingjust enjoying yourself. However, it’s information and advice applications.never too early to start to think specialistabout what you want to do after Information and advice specialists areyou graduate. normally available between 10.00am Recent graduate viewThe Careers Service isn’t just about and 4.00pm and offer individual As a student both atgetting a graduate job. Our friendly consultations. They can help you find undergraduate and postgraduatestaff can help you to find out about the information you require, offer the initial advice you need to get started, levels, the Careers Service hasgaining experience and skills through and provide feedback on CVs, provided me with much neededvacation work, placements, volunteering application forms, covering letters, help with writing a good CV,and part-time jobs. We can point you to and personal statements. researching different job options,information about postgraduate and deciding whether furtherfunding or how to make the most of a study was right for me. The staffgap year. We can also help you to planyour career path, meet employers, and Getting help from a are always friendly and willing tomake effective applications. careers adviser point you in the right direction if Careers advisers provide in-depth youre lost in the masses ofThe Careers Service is located on the resources available. There are guidance as well as interviewsecond floor of the David Wilson Library. regular careers events where you coaching. You can book an appointment at the Help Desk in the get the chance to meet potential Opening times Careers Service, or you can telephone employers face to face and ask 0116 252 2004. The Help Desk is them about their companies – it’s The Careers Service is open for open between 10.00am and 4.00pm. an excellent way to find out what students to browse the resources during normal David Wilson Further appointments with a careers different jobs are really like. Library opening times. Staff are adviser may also be arranged following an initial meeting. Careers Jonathan Potter, available from Monday to Friday advice is also available by telephone MA Humanities and English from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm. and e-mail. We aim to respond to all e-mail enquiries within seven working
LEICESTER AND YOUR CAREER 7Making contact with under ‘Develop your career’ atemployers www.le.ac.uk/careers for full details of Recent graduate view these sessions. Careers advisers also I received invaluable guidanceThe University has regular contact with awide range of employers who want to collaborate with academic staff in from a careers adviser in themeet and recruit Leicester students. departments to run sessions related to Careers Service on how to improveCareers fairs, skills sessions and employer your degree discipline. Contact your my CV. Their advice was vital andpresentations are organised throughout departmental careers tutor for more they helped make my CV standthe autumn and spring terms. The details (see the ‘People’ area in the ‘About out which, in today’s competitiveAutumn Fair, normally held in November, us’ section at www.le.ac.uk/careers for job market, gave me a betterhosts over 100 employers. Other events to contact details). chance of gaining employmentlook out for include additional fairs such after graduation.as the Volunteering Fair in the autumn James Parker, MA Modern Getting help after youand the Summer Careers Fair, as well as Literature and Creative Writingcareers days within individual graduatedepartments. Employers are also involved Our Get Set for Career Successin skills development programmes such programme provides you with a numberas Experience Employability and of services. You can:Tomorrow’s Managers. • use the resources on the Careers ServiceJob vacancies are advertised on website at www.le.ac.uk/careersJOBSonline at www.le.ac.uk/jobsonline • arrange a telephone discussion with awhere over 4,500 employers are careers adviser – telephone the Helpregistered, many of whom are currently Desk on 0116 252 2004advertising to fill their vacancies. • e-mail your enquiry using the form available at www.le.ac.uk/careersWorkshops (see ‘Make an appointment’ underStaff in the Careers Service run a variety of ‘Develop your career’)practical workshops covering areas suchas: CVs and covering letters, interview • use the graduate online advice servicespreparation and postgraduate study. Visit at targetjobs.co.uk orthe ‘Events, workshops, activities’ section www.prospects.ac.uk. Attenborough Where to find us Bennett Engineering Careers Service Charles Computer Science Wilson 2nd Floor David Wilson Library Adrian Rattray Lecture Archaeology & University of Leicester Theatre Ancient History David Wilson Michael Atiyah Bennett Library University Road Link Leicester LE1 7RH College House t: (appointments): 0116 252 2004 Entrance 3 t: (general enquiries): 0116 252 5040 k al W w: www.le.ac.uk/careers s or ay M Entrance 2 Fielding Johnson Univer South Wing sity Road George Porter EntranceMaurice Shock 1 Medical Sciences Percy Gee The Careers Service is located Students Union The on the second floor of theGatehouse Astley Chaplaincy Fielding Clarke David Wilson Building on theCentre Johnson Nuffield Fitness To Welford Road main University campus. Ken and Wellbeing (A5199) Edwards Centre
8 PLANNING YOUR FUTURE Talking abou t your skills an d experience be the first st canPlanning ep in career pl anningyour career Some people know exactly what they want to do after graduating; others have absolutely no idea. Many fall somewhere between the two. Wherever you are in the process, putting in some effort now to do some research can really help youWhether you know what you want to do or along the path to making the right careerdon’t have a clue, it’s essential to plan ahead. decision. Although there are various methods to approach career planning,Either way the Careers Service can help you. the process opposite shows one way of looking at the different stages. UNDERSTANDING YOURSELF - think about Understanding yourself and what makes you special yourself Career planning starts with you. Think about your skills, interests, values and motivations. What skills and Researching competences can you offer to an Time for what’s out employer? What makes you different? action there What have you achieved? And what are you are looking for in a career? • Look at the ‘Career planning’ section of the Careers Service website at www.le.ac.uk/careers. • Try using Prospects Planner, a careers guidance programme, at www.prospects.ac.uk (see ‘Jobs and work experience’ then ‘What jobs would suit me?’). Making Gaining • Think about Personal Development Choices experience Planning (PDP) which is designed to help you to record, reflect and develop your skills, and build up your career profile. If you are a campus-based student contact your personal tutor and/or supervisor. If you are a distance learner, contact your department.
PLANNING YOUR FUTURE 9 enjoy them long-term. Keep a diary to RESEARCHING WHAT’S record what you have done and to refer Our advice OUT THERE – find out to when making applications. Taking time to plan your career what’s available can make your job hunting more focused and straightforward – MAKING CHOICES – the earlier you start the better. decision time Use the resources in the Careers Service. Make the most of your• Look at what other graduates in your time at university. Get involved subject have gone on to do, available in different activities, whether at www.le.ac.uk/careers (see it’s society membership, work ‘Develop your career’ then ‘Plan your experience or volunteering. All future career’ then ‘Graduate When you have researched your ideas these will help you develop destinations’). you will be able to start making choices those all-important employability that suit your skills and interests. Think skills that employers will expect• Find out about employers and talk to you to have. about short, medium and long-term them at employer events such as fairs goals which will enable you to develop Vicky Parkin, Careers Adviser, and presentations. Details are your career on your terms. Consider the Careers Service advertised on our website. priorities of what you need to do and• Visit the Prospects website at when. For example, not everyone www.prospects.ac.uk for information chooses to pursue a career immediately on specific occupations (see ‘Jobs and after graduating. You may decide to work experience’ then ‘Types of jobs’). take time out, or undertake a postgraduate course. Book an• Consider other options such as appointment with a careers adviser if postgraduate study or taking a you would like to discuss the ideas you gap year. have, and make a contingency plan in case things don’t go quite as you expect them to. GAINING EXPERIENCE – helping you decide what you do and don’t TIME FOR ACTION – like doing making applicationsUse your time at university to gain asmuch experience as you can.Demonstrate to employers that you Apply for vacancies that match thehave the skills they are looking for. career choices you have made –There are so many things you can get whether for jobs or postgraduate study.involved in, such as: Before you start however, make sure• working during vacations to you do some research into an demonstrate that you are committed organisation before applying to them. Getting help and motivated • Talk to employers by visiting fairs, • Look at the resources in the• working part-time during the term to attending presentations and going Careers Service (second floor develop those valuable transferable to workshops. of the David Wilson Library). skills • Write/update your CV. • Visit the Careers Service• working on volunteering projects – website at • Visit the Careers Service website at if you are developing your skills it is www.le.ac.uk/careers, the www.le.ac.uk/careers for irrelevant to an employer whether you Prospects website at information on covering letters, get paid or not www.prospects.ac.uk or the application forms, interviews and TARGETjobs website at• work shadowing if you are interested assessment centres, the Prospects http://targetjobs.co.uk. in a particular career area where work website at www.prospects.ac.uk or experience is not easy to come by. the TARGETjobs website at • Consult an adviser http://targetjobs.co.uk. (10.00 pm – 4.00 pm).Work experience is also invaluable as itallows you to ‘test-drive’ different roles, • Consult an adviser if you would likehelping you establish whether you’d help with any of these.
10 PLANNING YOUR FUTUREExperienceWorks Top-notch co mmunication skills will see you right in any jobWork experience is an integral part of your time Benefits of our internship opportunities:at university and will improve your career • opportunity to take ownership of andprospects once you have graduated. deliver a genuine project • gain valuable employability skills andWork experience has become increasingly experience that will make a significant Graduate internshipsimportant in the graduate market. No difference to your career prospects The graduate internships are basedlonger will a good honours degree suffice with external employers from different • receive an allowance of £1000as employers focus their attention more sectors. They are open to any University per month.and more on graduates’ ability to of Leicester graduate who has eitherarticulate the skills they have gained from For further information about how to graduated in the last three years or apply, please visit www.le.ac.uk/wrl orwork experience. who will be graduating in 2012. The email email@example.com.Work experience is one route towards internship opportunities are advertisedgaining those all-important skills that will from March 2012 and are availablegive you the competitive edge and until December 2012. The durationincrease your chances of securing the of each internship opportunity is Student viewright graduate position. Work experience twelve weeks. The best way to gain relevantincludes volunteering, internships and and useful transferable skills ispart-time work amongst other things. Summer internships to get some work experience in your chosen area. The summer internships are very similarWork experience opportunities: to the graduate internships except they Graham Smith, LLB, workInternships are open to any University of Leicester placement at Shepherd andThe University of Leicester runs student who is in their penultimate year Wedderburn LLPinternships for both current students of study. The internships begin inand graduates. June/July 2012 and run for a period of eight weeks. Obtaining internships Student view workshops The Leicester Graduate The Careers Service runs ‘Obtaining I highly recommend summer work experience placements. Internship Programme internships’ workshops for students The experience was very useful This internship programme for recent looking into applying for internships. for both my academic studies graduates places interns with The workshops run in the autumn and and research skills. departments within the University for a spring terms and provide information six-month duration. The internships are and guidance about: the internship Sara Rafice, PhD Chemistry, also accompanied with a series of process, where to search for work placement at IAESTE employability skills workshops over the opportunities, articulating your skills to course of the six months. employers, and what to do before,
PLANNING YOUR FUTURE 11during and after your internship. Theworkshop is an excellent opportunityto gain an insight into internships. Forfurther information please visitwww.le.ac.uk/wrl.Work Experience BulletinWatch out for the weekly WorkExperience Bulletin, a comprehensivelist of vacancies that you should Graduate view Graduate view (Leicesterreceive from your department via (Leicester Graduate Graduate Internshipe-mail. The bulletin includes industrial Internship Programme) Programme)placements, vacation work, summer I think the internship scheme The programme has offered me aplacements, internships and offers a wonderful opportunity good platform between studyingvolunteering opportunities to which to graduates. It’s a gateway into for my degree and the work ofyou can apply directly. an institution that you probably world. It’s a mix of training andThese placements, as well as a wouldn’t otherwise be able to being paid to do work, so you getcomprehensive and current list of enter into on your first job. It really valuable experience,graduate vacancies, can be found at provides you with an insight especially for me in press andJOBSonline, the University of Leicester into the working world and communications. I have been givenstudent and graduate vacancy bulletin, trains you not only in the skills the freedom to develop and carryat www.le.ac.uk/jobsonline. relevant to the job you are out independent projects. I felt doing but also in the workshops very well supported both at the that we do on how to get a job start of the internship andMaximise your work afterwards. So it’s a really good throughout as and when moreexperience grounding for a future career. training was needed.Regardless of whether you are It has been a wonderful I feel I now have the workconsidering a summer internship, a introduction to working life; I experience which is so highlyyear in industry or voluntary work, you have learnt so much and gained sought after in applications. Ishould strive to make the most of your so many skills which will set me would recommend the Internshipwork experience. Here are some useful up well for my future career. Programme to others and I havetips to help you do just that. already recommended it to a Amy Cory, friend who is graduating next year. Press Office Intern Ruth Shephard,Before work experience Press Office Intern• Research the employer/organisation that you are interested in – look at their website and contact their HR department for information. After work experience related learning consultation by e-mailing • Use your diary or logbook to help you firstname.lastname@example.org. Our• Establish some learning outcomes advisers will help with all aspects of the articulate your skills and professional that you would like to achieve work experience process, from development in your CV, application during your work experience. researching opportunities right through to forms and job interviews. articulating your experience in your CV.• Book a work-related learning • Reflect on your experiences and what consultation by e-mailing you achieved. Was your work email@example.com. experience role one that you’d like Useful websites to develop? Book a work-related • www.le.ac.uk/careers – Careers learning consultation to talk through ServiceDuring work experience your next steps.• Maintain a diary or logbook of your • go.le.ac.uk/volunteering – Student activities and achievements. Contact Volunteers Work-related learning • www.step.org.uk – eight-week• Ensure you are assigned a mentor consultations summer placement programme and meet regularly with him or her If you are struggling to find work to discuss your progress. • www.fledglings.net – work experience opportunities or feel placement organisation• Request a reference or a certificate uncertain about how to present your listing the competences you have CV/application to a work experience • targetjobs.co.uk/workexperience developed. employer then you should book a work-
12 PLANNING YOUR FUTURESkills – show Student socie ties offer theemployers you decision mak chance to draw ing and orga on your planning prom nisation skills, otional events especially whe such as this ba n lloon launchhave what they wantRecruiters look for more than academic Student viewachievement – they want transferable skills too. Volunteering made a hugeShow them that you can hit the ground running. difference to my university experience. Not only did it help me make great friends andEmployers in todays work environment What are the skills and abilities positively impact my localexpect graduates to be equipped with that employers want? community, but it also gave merelevant employability skills, abilities and the skills to go straight into a The general skills and abilities thatpersonal qualities in addition to good rewarding job after graduating. employers look for – often referred to asacademic qualifications. Those who are employability, transferable, key skills, or Jenny Idle, Graduate 2008able to demonstrate that they have such competencies – can be developed in oneskills are likely to be successful in a environment and applied to another in acompetitive job market. new context. As a student you acquireBeing aware of your own strengths and transferable skills not just in your lectures opportunities are all Leicester Award-weaknesses will help you to: accredited. Visit the website at and seminars but through all of the www.le.ac.uk/leicesteraward.• decide on a suitable career activities you engage in and the many experiences you have in life.• identify those employability skills that Experience Employability you need to develop Some examples of skills that employers value and ideas for how you might This is a programme that allows students• make effective applications that match provide evidence of these abilities are to reflect on their work experience or an employer’s needs. listed in the table on the opposite page. extra-curricular activities and to examine and improve those skills. It is delivered via workshops and is assessed through Employer view The Leicester Award for assignments and a presentation. Employability Our involvement with the Leicester Award for There are many opportunities to develop Tomorrows Managers your skills during your time at university. This is a two-day insight into management Employability has proved to be Participating in societies, sports teams, course, which helps students gain an an invaluable way to gain obtaining work experience (paid or insight into different career areas. Through exposure to high calibre, voluntary) or doing a part-time job can all presentations, role-play and business motivated and enthusiastic help to develop your skills and improve exercises, students can develop key skills students. your CV. The Leicester Award for required in the working world. Barry Nee, Accenture Employability is a ‘kitemark’ that validates a suite of programmes across the institution that aim to help students to Volunteering Award develop, assess, recognise and record their Students can volunteer in a huge variety employability skills. The following of projects from after-school clubs
PLANNING YOUR FUTURE 13 Skill What it means Examples of how to Where can you develop demonstrate it this skill at Leicester? Adapting Changing or modifying your behaviour in Adjusting to life in another country; coping Volunteering, Leicester Award response to needs or demands of others with a new role on a student committee for Employability Business Interest in and knowledge Reading relevant publications to develop Careers fairs, employer presentations, awareness of the commercial environment understanding of the economic climate Leicester Award for Employability and trends; attending employer presentations and open days Personal Being aware of your own strengths Engaging with PDP development PDP within your department, careers and career and weaknesses and acting programmes interviews or events, Tomorrow’s Managers development appropriately to utilise/address them Communication Expressing ideas and giving information Giving a presentation; contributing Volunteering, as a course representative, or explanations effectively to the student newspaper; as an active member of the Students’ working as a Leicester Ambassador Union, Leicester Award for Employability Decision Identifying options, evaluating them and Serving on a Students’ Union committee As a Students’ Union society or club making then choosing the most appropriate and deciding which events you should committee member, course representative, organise with the funds available volunteering, part-time work Flexibility Being able to respond readily to Working on differing tasks in your role as Volunteering, as a Leicester changing plans a volunteer or in part-time work Ambassador, part-time work IT literacy Understanding and being Using databases in your academic work; Academic course, clubs and societies able to use a range of software doing a society’s accounts on a spreadsheet Leadership Being able to lead, motivate, set Leading a group project, student society Leicester Award for Employability; Tomorrow’s direction and win the commitment or Students’ Union sports team Managers, as a Leicester Ambassador or of others through course representative training Negotiating Holding discussions with people Securing a pay increase or a change As a course representative, club or society in order to reach a position in your working/volunteering conditions leader, volunteering, by working in teams of mutual satisfaction on your course Problem Identifying and using an appropriate Developing a new product or service during a Volunteering, as a Leicester Ambassador, solving method to arrive at a solution work placement; volunteering as a course rep Tomorrow’s Managers, as a course representative Planning and Working out how to schedule available Arranging a trip abroad for a group of friends, As a club or society leader, volunteering, organising resources and activities to meet an objective including finding ways to raise funds academic course projects Team working Ability to work effectively with Being a member of a theatre group; Club or society, volunteering, others to achieve objectives working as a group to organise an event Leicester Award for Employability Time Ability to prioritise and manage personal Ensuring your coursework is handed in on time Academic course, part-time work management tasks effectively and meet deadlines while balancing the demands of part-time workThis is by no means a complete list and, above all, employers are looking for graduates who are willing to learn and are capable of applying themselves to real-life situations.These skills can also be developed through a range of work experience including internships, part-time work and volunteering.through to mentoring or running their Ambassador. Ambassadors supportown project via Contact Student outreach activities for schools and Further informationVolunteers. This programme enables colleges, including school events, www.le.ac.uk/leicesteraward –students to reflect on the skills gained mentoring projects and summer schools. Leicester Awardfrom their volunteering and apply these to This programme is delivered as a series of go.le.ac.uk/tomorrowsmanagers –a work-based context. evening classes combined with practical Tomorrow’s Managers experience and personal reflection. www.le.ac.uk/volunteering –Course representatives Contact Student VolunteersUniversity of Leicester Students’ Union run Personal Development leicesterunion.com – Students’a support and training course for students Planning (PDP) Unionundertaking the role of course Your academic department(s) will have its www.le.ac.uk/jobsonline –representative. This course covers the skills own arrangements for supporting PDP. JOBSonline: find out aboutneeded to effectively communicate with a This might include some or all of the part-time and full-time workwide range of audiences and each student following: taught sessions on how to opportunitiespresents a portfolio of the skills they have develop your skills; exercises to help you www.le.ac.uk/offices/scs –developed throughout the course. reflect on strengths and weaknesses; Leicester Ambassadors tools to help capture your skills and plan go.le.ac.uk/careersevents – attend for your future; and opportunities to employer presentationsLeicester Ambassadors discuss your progress with a personal www.le.ac.uk/ml/lal – learn aThe Undergraduate Student Recruitment tutor. To find out more about how your new language throughOffice offers a training programme for department supports PDP, contact your Languages at Leicesterstudents wishing to work as a University personal tutor.
14 PLANNING YOUR FUTUREInternationalstudents Good commun ication skills will help you secu re a jobWhether you’re hoping to stay on in the UK orreturn home after your studies, you need to planfor your future career.Services for international students. We also run a number of Working in the UK:students events specifically geared towards the the regulationsThe Careers Service provides needs of International Students If you are planning to work in the UK,information for all University of including central workshops on either while studying or after completingLeicester students, including ‘Finding a part-time Job’, ‘Creating a your studies, familiarise yourself with theinternational students. Find us on the UK style CV’ and ‘How to look for current work permit regulations.second floor of the David Wilson work experience’. Check our website You will find this information on theLibrary. Here you will find professional for details of up and coming events. UK Border Agency website athelp to support you with your career www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk andplanning, guidance on making the the UKCISA website atmost of your time at university, Making the most of your www.ukcisa.org.uk.employment and further study. There investmentis a dedicated section for internationalstudents on our website at Finding a graduate job is competitive and you need to make best use of What counts as workwww.le.ac.uk/careers and a careers experience?adviser and information specialist your time at university to ensure youdedicated for the development of gain the skills and experience that will • Year in Industry - some courses mayservices and support for international help you ‘stand out from the crowd’. provide the option of spending a year Employability skills (e.g. in industry on a graduate work placement between your second and communication, teamwork etc.) are a Student views third year. priority for employers so in addition to The vast amount of support doing well academically you also need • Work placement – many employers that I received from the to develop your skills through a range offer placements (internships) during Careers Service not only of extracurricular activities and work vacation periods e.g. you could do an enhanced my confidence as an experience. Getting involved in eight-week work placement during the international postgraduate university life will help you to make summer vacation. It is possible to do a student but also maximised friends. It will also enable you to find graduate work placement after you my chances of success. out about the UK and its diverse finish your course and before your culture and develop your English student visa expires. Eirini-Chrysovalantou Zempi, MSc Criminology language skills, attributes which • Project work – completing projects that are valued by employers in your provide a business solution as part of home country. your course.
PLANNING YOUR FUTURE 15• Work shadowing – observing someone work opportunities abroad. You can find to find out about their job. sources of information in the ‘Develop your career’ section of the website,• Vacation/part-time job – working in specifically the sub-sections on a supermarket, bar or other ‘International students’ and ‘Job hunting temporary job. and work experience’. Country specific• Enterprise activities – PULSE profiles are also available on (Promoting University of Leicester www.prospects.ac.uk with Student Enterprise) provides information on working and living in opportunities to develop specific countries, details of vacancy entrepreneurial skills and commercial sources and further help. Information on awareness. the career paths of Leicester alumni is available on the website and we may be• Volunteering – unpaid opportunities to able to put you in touch with alumni develop skills and gain experience. living and working in your home• Leicester Award – this qualification country. Remember to keep in touch provides the opportunity to develop with your networks at home and and accredit skills and experience and consider signing up with a few includes short courses and business reputable recruitment agencies to How the Careers Service simulations like ‘Experience receive information on jobs. Ask your can help friends, family and other contacts at Employability’ and ‘Tomorrow’s home to keep you informed of • The Careers Service website at Managers’. opportunities that may become www.le.ac.uk/careers contains• Overseas placement – this could be via available. Identify a list of employers that a wide range of information an employer with an office overseas or you want to work for and check their and resources including details organised as part of your course (year career/vacancy web pages on a regular of graduate vacancies, work abroad) or via an external organisation basis. Find out what they are looking for experience, internships and like IAESTE (International Association and make sure that you get the volunteering opportunities for the Exchange of Students for experiences you need whilst in the UK. (JOBSonline at Technical Experience). The British Council may organise career www.le.ac.uk/jobsonline). and job fairs to link UK–educated • One-to-one advice and graduates to UK businesses or guidance is available throughUnderstanding graduate professionals operating in their face-to-face appointments,recruitment home countries. telephone consultations andEmployers who recruit graduates e-guidance.generally advertise their vacancies withclear selection guidelines. This will Postgraduate study in the UK • Workshops run throughout the The University of Leicester offers year on creating a UK style CV,probably include a job description and postgraduate taught and research completing application forms,details of the qualifications, skills and opportunities. The websites interview preparation andexperience required of applicants. Many targetcourses.co.uk, assessment centres, findingemployers start their graduate www.prospects.ac.uk, part-time work, and how torecruitment in the autumn term so it is www.FindAMasters.com and look for work experience.important to start researching careersbefore the end of your second year or if www.FindAPhD.com can be used to • Attend employer presentationsyou are doing a Masters programme search for postgraduate courses in the where you can find out aboutthen as soon as your course starts. Many UK. Education UK at graduate employment and the www.educationuk.org has recruitment and selectiongraduates in the UK obtain employment information on courses and a searchable process.that is not directly connected to their database of funding sources. For furtherdegree studies, so don’t feel limited by information on postgraduate study see • Visit careers fairs, whichyour subject. For further information on section entitled “Go further – consider provide the opportunity tograduate recruitment in the UK see the postgraduate study.” meet and network with a wide“Job seeking” section of this guide. range of graduate employers. Whatever options you are considering, the staff in the Careers Service can help. • Join skill development sessionsFinding work in your home delivered by employers andcountry accredited courses such asMany international graduates find work Experience Employability andin large global companies in their home Tomorrow’s Managers.countries or work in small to mediumsized enterprises in their local area. TheCareers Service holds information about
16 JOB SEEKINGMeetemployers Meeting empl oyers– face to faceUse opportunities to meet employers on you make a formal application. You may even be able to leave a copy ofcampus to boost your employability. your CV with those who particularly appeal to you.Every year the number of graduates never too early to begin researching Fairs provide a unique opportunity toseeking graduate-level employment future opportunities and improving engage with a variety of employersoutstrips the number of vacancies the skills needed to secure the job from a diverse range of marketavailable and this is accentuated when you want. sectors. While the employers will bethe economy is in recession. To make Our events offer you an opportunity happy to hand you free promotionalsure you secure an offer of employment to engage with employers, find out if materials such as pens and memoryit is vital that you engage with potential an employer is right for you, and sticks, the real benefit of the event isemployers to get ahead of the field. The then enhance your prospects of the opportunity to chat with theirCareers Service at the University of securing an offer of employment. employees. Often, the companyLeicester offers numerous opportunities Employer skills sessions, presentations representatives attending the eventto interact with employers throughout and careers fairs take place will be recent graduates who have justthe course of your degree and we throughout the year and are aimed been through the same process thatstrongly encourage you to attend our at increasing your employability. you’re going through now.events in every year of your study. It’s Details of these events are listed on the Careers Service website at www.le.ac.uk/careers (see Skills Workshop Programme ‘Develop your career’ and then Employer-led skills sessions focus on ‘Events, workshops, activities’). developing the particular skills necessary for success at the most rigorous of selection procedures. The Careers fairs sessions cover selection procedures, A good place to start getting interviews, assessment centres, inspiration and advice on application forms, and CVs. In your future is a careers fair. addition, employers provide talks on These fairs are information- industry sectors. These events give gathering and informal you the chance to meet leading networking events. They employers and make a positive offer you the opportunity to impression on them. network with representatives from different sectors and talk Employer presentations candidly with employers Employer presentations on campus are who interest you before an excellent way of researching your
JOB SEEKING 17career options. Employers will be develop the skills necessary to bedelighted to hear that you attended their successful with your jobpresentation on campus when you apply applications. Although careers fairsfor a job, and might wonder why not if provide a platform where you canyou didn’t! You could also make a interact with a variety offavourable impression at this point which employers and offer a great placecould help you at a later date when you to get inspiration and findmake an application, placing you one information, it is important to seize all opportunities to engagestep ahead of your competitors. with employers on campus toThe Skills Workshop Programme and ensure that you find theemployer presentations will take place on organisation that’s right for youMondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays and then to secure a job offer.between 12.00pm and 2.00pm and With 40 per cent of graduate5.00pm to 7.00pm in the Careers Service level employment now open toSeminar Room on the second floor of the graduates of any discipline, it isDavid Wilson Library. vital to build up your Getting inside inform ation knowledge of the graduate about employers employment market.Why attend? Interaction with employers is aAttendance at skills sessions and key way of doing this and enhancingemployer presentations will help you your employability at the same time. JOBSonline JOBSonline is the University’s dedicated jobs website for students and graduates. To date, nearly 12,000 jobs have been advertised on the website and there are details of more than 4,500 organisations available for you to browse. Local, national and international employers have advertised their vacancies on JOBSonline and a wide range of nda r nts cale sectors, job types and degree Eve disciplines are represented. It’s an organic website, growing and ember 2nd Nov changing as new companies and Autum n Fair - vember vacancies are added on a daily basis. 17th No ering Fair - ring term What makes this website so special is Volunte tumn/sp me - Au that employers have sent vacancies Program orkshop n/spring term in because they want to recruit Skills W s - Autum ntation University of Leicester students. er prese Employ mer term That’s YOU! ir - Sum r Ca reers Fa Summe mer term But JOBSonline is not just a resource ss - Sum er Succe for finding jobs when you’re about for Care Get Set to graduate. It’s there for you every day of your university life as of the /careers ts section .le.ac.uk employers also use it to advertise ase see the even at www their summer internships, work Ple bsite ervice we . Careers S etails of all events experience, industrial placements, rd for furthe volunteering opportunities, and part- time work. If you’re not already involved in doing some work experience, this is a great way for you to build your experience and give you the extra edge to stand out from the crowd.
18 JOB SEEKINGEffective Getting aapplications – dviceimpress employers CVs – some quick guidelines • Two sides of word-processed, A4 paper is normally sufficient.Whether you use a CV or an application form, • For postal applications, useapply online or on paper, you’ll need to convince good quality paper and paperthe recruiter that they want to meet you. clips, not staples. • In the education section, put your most recent course first.When you make an application you are The latter are the more difficult butengaging in marketing yourself, or at they are the ones where you will be • Summarise qualifications thatleast you should be, if you want to marketing and selling yourself directly were achieved some years agomaximise your chances of obtaining an as a suitable candidate. Either way, it’s (such as GCSEs).interview. Here’s how to go about it. essential to look at what the employer • In the work experience section, is offering and the type of person they try to make your most relevant are saying that they wish to recruit.Application forms experience stand out. Show awareness of the company andThe questions on application forms can why you want to work for them. For • Make your CV clear andbroadly be divided into two main types the competency-based questions avoid consistent and leave plenty of– straightforward/factual and those that general answers – give specific white space.analyse your qualities and competences. examples. Try and vary your use of • Make your headings stand out examples in each question. Drawing by using bold, for example. them from different areas of your life will help you to do so. • Be concise. A ‘note-form’ style Further information of writing is generally Visit the Careers Service For online application forms, cut and recommended. website at paste your response from a word processing document first to allow you • Using bullet points to list what www.le.ac.uk/careers for to run your text through a spell-check you have done/achieved can be further information about: before you send it - but make sure very effective. • CVs, covering letters, and you proofread it anyway. Also make • Use positive/action words that application forms, along sure that you keep a copy of what you describe what you did. with samples have sent. • Use a legible font with a • dates of workshops and minimum size of 11 point. presentations relating to making applications • Check your spelling, grammar and punctuation - get a friend • finding out how to get to help spot mistakes. feedback on your CV, covering letter or • Use a laser printer for a better application form. quality finish when you are sending your CV by post.
JOB SEEKING 19CV – Sample Structure Personal Details Name, address (term time and home), telephone number (mo bile and landline), e-mail add Notes: Put your name at the ress. top of the page in the centre e-mail address you use is a sen - no need to write ‘Curriculum sible one and not a ‘nick-nam Vitae’; make sure the status, etc. e’; no need for personal info rmation such as marital Education Put your education in reverse chronological order i.e. Univers be selective. Look carefully, for ity of Leicester first. Give det example, at the vacancy/traini ails about your degree, but which modules to include. Pro ng scheme you are applying ject work and dissertations are for to help you decide always a good idea to include Notes: Scientific/Engineering/ and indeed highlight. IT and vocational degree stud that have been covered (tho ents should also show the tech ugh if you are applying for a nical knowledge and skills you should not give too much general graduate job that is detail). open to any degree disciplin e Work Experience This should also be presented in reversed chronological ord experience is more relevant tha er and do include voluntary n others, but you feel that it work. If some of your work could write this under a separat might not stand out amongst e sub-heading called ‘Releva a list of other jobs, you Experience’ etc). It is importa nt Work Experience’ (or ‘Me nt to highlight what you did dia Experience’/’Legal experience and do indicate any so that the reader can see wh specific achievements. Writing at you learned from this this in a bulleted format is ofte Notes: If you have had many n particularly effective. similar jobs then by all means use bullet points saying what group them together e.g. ‘cat you did/achieved that covered ering’ etc. You could then all these jobs together. Skills Detailing some of the key skill s that employers commonly potential employer is looking want (with a close eye on the for) is what you would write specific skills that your ‘organisational skills’, ‘problem here. Typical examples are ‘com solving’, ‘IT’, etc. It is vital to munication’, ‘teamwork’, to provide examples from you back these up with evidence r work, study and extra-curricu and the way to do that is lar experiences. Notes: Given that one in thre e people today have a degree experience as well as your aca it is important to demonstrat demic qualifications. Employ e your skills, qualities and section helps to show them ers commonly want a degree what you have to offer. plus other things: a skills Positions of Responsibility or Achiev ements If you have done anything tha t fits under these headings, the them so that you do not hav n select one of them and use e too many sections in your it! (Try and use just one of be things like being your cou CV.) Information that would rse staff-student committee fit under these headings wo representative or having a pos uld Prizes, awards, fund-raising for ition in a student society. charities and many other thin gs would fit well under ‘achieve Notes: This can be a very effe ments’. ctive heading for you. Even tho relevance to the job that you ugh the information might app may be applying for, employ ear to have no direct worthwhile things that build ers do like to see people wh skills, confidence and various o keep themselves busy doin competencies. It shows that g to offer, there is more to you whilst you have your degree than that! Interests It is better to demonstrate leve ls of involvement rather than to just provide a list. Notes: Whilst you should high light interests in which you are fine to also include things tha especially active and have par t you do simply because you ticularly done well, it is enjoy them. References One academic and one recent employer. Notes: Do ask your referee first . You can write ‘available on request’ if you are short of spa ce.
20 JOB SEEKINGCovering letters when you apply to organisations think you are suitable, and why you speculatively (when a job has not been want to work for the particularA covering letter is a particularly advertised). Your letter should: company or organisation that you aresuitable vehicle for tailoring your submitting your application toapplication to the particular job and • be one page longcompany you are applying to. You can • close with ‘Yours sincerely’ if you have • mention the job title, reference (ifhighlight the most relevant areas of named the recipient; ‘Yours faithfully’ provided) and where it was advertisedyour CV or application form and if not. It is always better to use athereby give your application impact. • state why you want to pursue this name if you can.A covering letter is also essential for particular career/vacancy, why youSample Covering Letter Our advice When you are thinking about what to say about yourself in Street your applications, don’t do it in 389 Mile End a vacuum – look first at the Leicester LE1 6RJ available information about theMs S France er uitment Manag vacancy you are applying for soGraduate Recr ers d Coop that you can see what theSmith, Jones an reet selectors are after. Then12 -15 Regent St London EC1 6PY assemble all the things you can 2011 say about yourself with this 10th October Scheme information in mind. Look also tancy Training RE: Graduate Accoun at company information, e vacancy websites, reports, etc, as you’ll vertised on th Dear Ms France , Scheme as ad tancy Training need to show awareness of who aduate Accoun apply for the Gr you are applying to and why I am writing to my university. s presentations bulletin on the website at series of career you are applying. ance throug h attending a vid Rome, impr essed a career in fin ur colleague, Da st in I first becam e interested in e talk on acco untancy by yo combine my skills and intere John Constantinou, at m y university. Th an acco untant would I obtained las t summer by employers that training as ork experience Careers Adviser led me to feel people. The w onment. I am me most and working with financial envir lving, and d being in a reer has busin ess, problem-so useful and I greatly enjoye untancy and my choice of ca at XYZ Bank was extremely po tential in acco ofession. t fulfilling my e about the pr ly excited abou careers literatur now particular ive reading of My been confirmed by extens s and Coopers. to Smith, Jone rience at the ba nk and ant skills th at I can bring a range of relev my work expe d I feel I have developed both through ys but frequ ently presente n sk ills have greatly not on ly written essa visual aid s. One communicatio y course I have ing the use of gree. During m sionally employ arch and co- through my de seminars, occa team to co-rese gum ents orally in students working as a presentation sk ills to a papers and ar groups of four king skills and use assignmen t involved small er develope d my team-wor level of IT sk ills: I regularly cw hich both furth ve de veloped a high data ele ctronically. As present a topi my course I ha and handling I Additionally, on ble in sourcing has meant that high standard. d I am comforta activities, which d the Internet an my vario us sporting s handed my work in Word, Excel an sy life through t. I have alway es, I lead a bu e managemen my CV illustrat portance of tim ly learnt the im have very quick a deadline. me and the d never missed ur training sche on time an because of th e variety of yo position as on e of the ers attract me y support. Your firm, offers th e Smith, Jo nes and Coop y together w ith all necessar ers, a leading rly responsibilit ith, Jones and Coop emphasis on ea d I feel that Sm that I am seek ing. peals to me an ses and clients top 20 firms ap type of busines training work with the s and Coopers’ opportunity to join Smith, Jone d potential to ard to hear ing from you. ve the skills an e and look forw shows that I ha iew at any tim I hope my CV able for interv am avail programme. I Yours sincerely, John Edwards John Edwards
JOB SEEKING 21Successfulinterviews and Getting advi ce to perform wel l at intervie wassessment centresPreparation is the key to convincing an employer Top tips for interviewthat you are the right person for the job. The preparationCareers Service has many resources to help you. • Preparation is key. • Do your homework and sell your skills and achievements.If you have made it to the interview supposed to do and what will be expected • Practise your answers out loud –stage – congratulations! You have from you. For example: record them if possible.already passed the first hurdle in the • familiarise yourself with where the • Give some questions to a friendapplication process and convinced the interview will actually take place and to ask you, to give you moreemployer that you meet their basic how long it will take you to get there practice.requirements. The interview is now yourchance to give a good impression and • Think of the questions you • how many people will be at thedemonstrate that you are the right would most hate an interviewer interview?candidate for the job. Spending some to ask you, then prepare some • will there be any other tests or activities? answers.time preparing before your interview isyour key to success. • Prepare questions for the interviewer. What sort of questions will • Book an appointment with aPrepare to succeed at you be asked? careers adviser for interviewinterview Interviewers are interested in your coaching for further help.Make sure that you know about the motivation to do the job and whether youorganisation and are very clear about have the skills and abilities to do it. Thereyour reasons for applying. You should are different sorts of questions employers • Technical questions may also be askedhave already done lots of research about may ask to establish this. if, for example, you have done a morethe employer to help with your initial technical or vocational degree. • Open or unstructured questions such asapplication so ensure that you havebrushed up on this knowledge. Look ‘Tell me about…’ Prepare structured • Strengths-based interviewing givesagain at your application (i.e. CV and answers in advance as it is easy to drift candidates the opportunity to talkcovering letter or application form) to off the subject. about their natural strengths and the situations in which they are at theirremind yourself exactly what you wrote. • Situational questions such as ‘What best. This helps employers to identifyThe interviewer is likely to ask you would you do if…’ These gauge how candidates who are best suited to thequestions based on your application you would react to a hypothetical role in question.documents. scenario. Look for further typical interview • Criteria, competence or behaviour type questions on the Careers Service websiteCheck the details questions such as ‘Describe a situation at www.le.ac.uk/careers, the ProspectsBefore you set out for your interview, when you…’ These encourage you to website at www.prospects.ac.uk or themake sure that you know what you are talk about specific skills. TARGETjobs website at targetjobs.co.uk.
22 JOB SEEKINGPrepare examples be just the start of the selection process with another to follow and/or an First impressions countInterviewers need evidence that whatyou say about yourself is true. Prepare invitation to an assessment centre. On the day, make sure that you:some answers with specific examples of Panel interviews involve several people • arrive on timewhat you have achieved to demonstrate forming a panel – the number can vary. • dress appropriatelythat you have particular skills. The more As you cannot speak to them all at once, • shake hands firmlyyou prepare the easier it will be for you try to concentrate on giving your answer • use ‘open’ body language andto draw on those examples when you to the person who asked the question. smile frequentlyneed them during your interview. • expect to be nervous – this will give you adrenalin to perform well Assessment centresInterview formats • are positive – the employer was Assessment centres are designed to test impressed enough with yourTelephone interviews can be an integral candidates’ capabilities and future application to invite you topart of the recruitment process and are potential. They are usually held (although interviewbecoming increasingly popular amongst not always) at the employer’s premisesemployers. Most employers will pre- • are yourself – if you put on an act and can last anything from half a day to the interviewer will probably seearrange a time with you but do be two whole days. Recruiters want to see through itprepared for those who just ring. how candidates perform in various tasksRemember that non-verbal cues are lost • show enthusiasm – for the job to assess their behaviour, skills and and the organisation.as the interviewer is not able to see you, competences, knowledge andso try to keep a positive tone in your But don’t: motivation. They are looking forvoice. Try and find a quiet place to take • be negative competences such as communication,the call and use your CV or application sensitivity, negotiation and listening skills. • waffleform to prompt your answers. They will also want to see how you • expect the interviewer to be anOne-to-one interviews involve just the handle difficult situations and cope in expert – he/she will probably becandidate and one interviewer. This may team situations, and will tailor the tasks as nervous as you are!be the only interview you have or it may to show the competences they seek. What to expect at an assessment centre Activity What’s involved In-tray/e-tray Business simulation exercises where candidates act as a member of staff in a hypothetical organisation. You are asked to exercises prioritise and deal with documents such as letters, memos, telephone messages, reports, etc. E-tray exercises are similar in that there will be an electronic in-box full of e-mails. Group exercises/ Discussions with a group of other candidates who work together and find a solution to a problem. discussions/role play Case studies Candidates are given a set of papers relating to a situation based on typical day-to-day issues and asked to assimilate, form an opinion and make recommendations in a brief report. Designed to evaluate how well candidates analyse information, think clearly and logically, exercise judgement, and express themselves. Presentations May be anything from 1 – 2 minutes for an exercise such as an ice-breaker, to 10 – 15 minutes or more and requiring quite extensive preparation. You may also have advance notice. For more information about presentations visit the Careers Service website at www.le.ac.uk/careers (see resources in ‘Succeed in your studies’). Business game/ May be linked to the employer’s own business where a task has to be performed, targets met and difficulties overcome. simulation Employers are looking for candidates’ ability to grasp basic commercial issues, negotiate and organise workflow, and to work within a team. Second interview As with any interview, candidates should prepare beforehand by finding out as much as possible about the job and the organisation. Visit www.le.ac.uk/careers (see ‘Develop your career’) for further information. Psychometric Psychometric assessments are structured ways of evaluating how people perform in various tasks or react to different assessments circumstances. The most commonly used are aptitude tests, such as verbal, numerical and diagrammatic reasoning, where candidates are required to reach a set standard. Personality questionnaires may also be used. Find more information at www.le.ac.uk/careers (see ‘Develop your career’). Social events You will be expected to cope with general socialising amongst other candidates as well as with management, often over coffee and at mealtimes. This is part of the selection process so how candidates behave will be noticed. However, this does give candidates the opportunity to ask probing questions about the organisation.
JOB SEEKING 23 Further information • www.le.ac.uk/careers – see ‘Develop your career’ then ‘Plan your future career’ for information about destinations of masters graduates from theMake your University of Leicester. • www.prospects.ac.uk – see ‘Careers advice’ then ‘Starting out’ and ‘Your Masters – what next?’Masters degree • targetcourses.co.uk – search and compare courses and find advice on funding and careerwork for you development. • www.vitae.ac.uk – national organisation promoting career development of doctoralShow employers that you have something extra. researchers and research staff.A Masters degree is impressive. It can help Sample interview question: ‘Tell me about your Masters course.’you stand out from the crowd in a volatileemployment scene where globalisation, Your possible response What the recruiter thinkscompetition, technological advances and ‘I have in-depth knowledge and understanding of medieval ‘There’s no call for that in thisan increasing number of graduates are in land law.’ organisation. Score out of 10? 1.’the marketplace. Assuming that you are ‘I have demonstrated a higher level of intellectual ability and ‘A little better – shows intelligencenot planning to go on to further study but motivation than the average undergraduate.’ and commitment. 2 out of 10.’are one of the 68.9 per cent of Mastersstudents likely to enter work on ‘I developed a passion for nano-technology.’ ‘It’s good to be passionate –graduation, you’ll need to start your job score 5 out of 10.’hunt from scratch unless your qualification ‘I have developed higher level skills such as critical thinking, ‘Interesting, but where’s theis vocationally targeted to a specific planning, research and data collection and analysis, and evidence?’profession. project management.’First of all, look at other chapters in this The 10/10 response:publication such as: ‘My research project involved a great deal of project ‘I am interested – tell me more...’ management. I had to plan in detail how I was going• Planning your career to interview the subjects. It took a lot of tact and diplomacy• Skills - show employers you have what to get the interviewees to reveal their true feelings. they want Measurement of heartbeat rates was technically easy but• Meet employers – face to face required accuracy and attention to detail to get reliable results...’• Effective applications – impress ‘...and these seem to be the skills you are looking ‘At last – someone who has for as you described on your web page and from researched the company and employers my discussion with the graduate recruitment team; job. Stage two interview for• Successful interviews and assessment they are the ones specifically required for this role.’ this one!’ centres. Destinations of UK Masters GraduatesImpress employers Entered work in the UK: 68.9%In terms of your career, to make the mostof your Masters, you need to know how Working and studying: 8.3%much it has added value to you as a Other: 4.7%potential employee. Think about how anemployer will view your Masters degree – Entered study or training in the UK: 7.9%see the table opposite for examples of Working or studyinghow (and how not) to impress at overseas: 28.4%interview. Not available for work or study/believed unemployed: 8.3% Source: HESA, DHLE, What Do Masters Graduates Do? 2007/08
24 ALTERNATIVE OPTIONS ect rise Way Proj Social Enterp eaker Dor othy Francis with guest spBe enterprising – SIFE L e and th icester with e Awa rds t Dave Hall Natio he group w Registrarbe your own boss nal Co nferen on at the ce in 2 010Setting up a business or developing make their business idea a reality. The group holds networking events with guestentrepreneurship are real career possibilities for entrepreneur speakers and share their story of starting in business.graduates. Find out how to get started. SIFE Leicester (Students in Free Enterprise)Have you thought about starting your attributes. You will need to have initiative, enables students to take part in enterpriseown business or working for yourself at adaptability, creativity, leadership, problem- and entrepreneurial activities during theirsome point? Have you already got a solving skills and the ability to network time at university while making a differencebusiness idea that you want to get off the effectively with others. These skills form in the community.ground? Or would you like to become an the basis for success in any organisation, Bright Futures Leicester is a student-ledenterprising student and develop your so engaging in enterprise activities will society that helps students maximise theirentrepreneurial skills to help you get a make you more attractive to potential employability and enterprise skills throughgraduate job? If so, there is a range of employers. The next step is to get involved collaboration with business. It worksprogrammes and activities available at the in the enterprise programmes and directly with graduate employers to buildUniversity of Leicester to support you. activities, to help you develop and grow undergraduates’ skills, helping them your skills. become more enterprising andStarting a successful and sustainablebusiness depends to a large extent on PULSE (Promoting University of Leicester’s commercially aware – and ready to launchyour skills, knowledge and personal Student Enterprise) provides support and themselves into their careers. training for students wishing to develop Enterprising Volunteers Competition their enterprising skills and start a business. started last year to encourage and support students who have an idea and want to Enterprise Inc expands and develops gain practical experience in project planning entrepreneurship capability of students and and enterprise. graduates. Apply to the programme with your business idea and if your application The Enterprise Zone provides facilities for is successful, you will receive a cash Leicester students and recent graduates bursary, business training and support to researching and setting up new businesses, help your business succeed. including research resources within thePULSE Launch Raef Bjayou BBC Apprentice Careers Service.and Entrepreneur WISE (Working in Social Enterprise) brings together volunteer students and For more details regarding all the above graduates who want to gain valuable programmes visit www.le.ac.uk/careers. experience in real work projects with social enterprise businesses who want an injection of fresh ideas, talent and Further information enthusiasm to inspire and build their Access reference publications at organisation. the Careers Service on the second floor of the David Wilson Leicester Entrepreneurs provides the Library and online at opportunity for budding student www.le.ac.uk/studententerpriseEnterprise Inc Dragon Doug Richard at the entrepreneurs to meet like-minded peopleUniversity of Leicester and gain the knowledge they need to
ALTERNATIVE OPTIONS 25 Taking time out: the pros and cons The advantages • You can broaden your horizons and experience different cultures. • You can develop qualities such as self-awareness, maturity, flexibility and independence. • You can develop the employability skills that employers look for such as organisation,Taking problem solving and the ability to cope with new situations and challenges. • Taking time out may be seen astime out an advantage by some employers. The disadvantages • It may be difficult to re-adjust to normal routine on your return.Plan ahead carefully if you are thinking of • Your friends may get ahead ontaking a gap year. the career path and you will be in competition for jobs from newA gap year after your degree can provide graduates when you return. What do employers think?an opportunity for personal growth, Most employers are positive about time • You may lose ground if you wishfulfilment and relaxation. And, with a little to get into a fast moving or out – provided that you can demonstrateplanning, you can use your time to gain technical career. that your time has been spentskills and experience that can bring real constructively and you have developed the • Some employers may need morebenefits to your CV. But before you decide skills and personal qualities they are convincing about the value ofanything, it’s important to be clear about seeking. However, in some fast-moving your time out.why you want to take time out and what industries, recruiters may be less keen, soyou will gain. if you’re in any doubt, speak to an adviser When you returnThere are hundreds of things you can do in the Careers Service or check with Use the resources in the Careers Serviceduring a gap year. These include spending employers themselves. before you go, to help you identify whichtime abroad, working in temporary jobs to Some employers make deferred job offers, career area you want to get into and whatfinance travel or doing work experience in giving graduates the chance to travel and you will need to do when you return. Usethe UK. Alternatively you may wish to come home to a guaranteed job. your experiences to promote yourself totake a short course (for example, in IT or However, this is becoming less common as prospective employers by emphasising theTEFL) to develop your skills. Look in the many employers have difficulty in making skills that you have developed during yourreference books in the Careers Service and predictions of vacancies so far in advance. time out. As a Leicester graduate, you willtalk to people who have already taken Contact prospective employers to find out be able to continue to use the Careerstime out. their policies. Service to help you plan your next step.Planning your time out Further information - websitesDon’t see a year out as simply a means of • www.gapyear.com – gap year placements around the worldescape from permanent employment or • www.do-it.org.uk – search for volunteering opportunitiesfurther study. To make the most of your • www.bunac.org – working and volunteering abroadtime you must plan ahead, preferably • www.worldwidevolunteering.org.uk – volunteering around the worldduring the penultimate year of your • www.workingabroad.com – working abroaddegree. At the very least you’ll need tothink about availability of work (which can • www.learndirect.co.uk – access to learning opportunitiesbe difficult to get overseas), working • targetjobs.co.uk/gapyear – making the most of your time out and sellingconditions, visa and vaccination your gap year to employers upon your returnrequirements and medical insurance. These are just a few useful resources – look for more on the Careers ServiceThere’s plenty of advice on offer in the website at www.le.ac.uk/careers and the Prospects website atCareers Service and online at www.prospects.ac.uk (see ‘Gap year’ under ‘Student life’).www.le.ac.uk/careers.
26 ALTERNATIVE OPTIONSGo further– considerpostgraduate studyIs studying another course right for you? • How do employers view the course and is it needed to achieve myFind out what to think about before career aspirations?making the decision. • Is funding an issue? Would it be cheaper to find a course nearer to home or a part-time course I couldThere are hundreds of further courses develop a specialist interest or change combine with working?that you can undertake as a direction completely. These usuallypostgraduate, either as full-time study take 12 months full time or up to two • How is the department structured?or on a part-time basis while working. years part time. They will include What is its reputation?Distance learning is another increasingly formal teaching (lectures, seminars, • What support is given topopular study option. Postgraduate tutorials) and independent research postgraduate students by thestudy isn’t for everyone, however. It can (leading to a dissertation). department and the University?be hard work and may notautomatically help you jump the job Postgraduate diplomas/certificates arequeue. But if you enjoyed your degree usually vocational courses that provideand want to continue studying a the skills needed for certain careers (e.g. teaching, journalism, social workparticular subject, need a specialist Recent graduate viewqualification for your career or want to and law). Courses last around ninechange direction, then further study can months full time or up to two years The staff in the Careers Service atallow you to build on your knowledge part-time, and they may lead to a Leicester can help you with where professional qualification. to find appropriate courses, howand open doors to your career. to apply for suitable funding, and give advice on filling in theWhat’s on offer? The essential questions to application forms. There is alsoResearch courses include doctorates and consider excellent support available to Before you apply for a course, consider current PhD students – there aremasters degrees (e.g. PhD, DPhil, MPhil, the following questions carefully and career management courses thatMRes). It can take four years to talk your ideas through with an adviser help you to identify the skillscomplete a PhD (some take many in the Careers Service. you’ve gained from further study;more), although research masters workshops on topics such ascourses usually last one or two years. • What are the entry requirements? writing journal articles,Research usually builds on an interest Am I being realistic about my presenting and publicising youryou have developed in your capabilities? research, and how to prepare andundergraduate degree, although you pass your viva exam; and one-to-will be working independently so you • How is the course structured? What one consultations are available ifneed to be highly motivated and are the teaching and assessment you just want to chat!determined. methods? Andrew Shore, PhD GeologyTaught courses such as masters degrees • If the course is vocational, what is(e.g. MA, MSc, LLM, MBA) allow you to the practical component?
ALTERNATIVE OPTIONS 27Funding options example, primary PGCE, graduate I want to carry on learning:Fees can vary and you should find out entry into medicine and social work. what else could I do?about sources of funding before deciding • Generally applications for Skills courses (such as Teachingif you can afford to do another course. postgraduate study are made directly English as a Foreign Language,Ask an adviser for more information and to the institution and closing dates bilingual secretarial, and computing)investigate the following: may vary. are short courses that help you build specific skills. They are not usually at a• research councils – you should already • Familiarise yourself with the more advanced level than your have an offer of a place on a course application process; for example, university studies and may be practical before applying and there are strict ensure you have a good personal rather than academic. deadlines for applications. Visit statement and referees. Prepare www.rcuk.ac.uk for more information these well in advance of the closing Studying abroad can offer the chance date to avoid last-minute panics. to combine a new culture with• university/departmental bursaries academic study and, in some• grants or loans from charities and trusts instances, cheaper fees. Start planning Making the decision early, at least eighteen months ahead,• career development loans There are plenty of people who can as closing dates vary and application• part-time work help you decide. If you are thinking procedures differ from country to about a PhD, discuss your plans with country. Make sure you evaluate the• company sponsorship. academic staff in your department. If potential benefits and ensure that the you are thinking about increasing your qualification is recognised in the UK.When and how to apply employability through vocational routes, find out relevant employers’• Apply early: start making enquiries in views. If you need help with your your penultimate year. career decisions, consult one of our• Check out closing dates as some advisers and use the resources available courses have strict deadlines – for in the Careers Service. Further information Websites • www.le.ac.uk/careers – postgraduate study and study abroad • www.prospects.ac.uk – advice and profiles on further study • www.rcuk.ac.uk – links to all the individual Research Councils’ websites • www.jobs.ac.uk – jobs and studentships in further and higher education • www.findaphd.com and www.findamasters.com • targetcourses.co.uk – search and compare courses and read hints and tips Events • Attend University of Leicester postgraduate open days • Talk with postgraduates in your department
28 FURTHER CAREERS SERVICE RESOURCESEmployers whorecruit Leicestergraduates Korco MarketingLeicester graduates work in a wide range of KPMG Lancaster Schoolorganisations. Here is a list of employers who Lattitude Leicester Arts Centrerecruited Leicester graduates last year. Leicester City Council Leicester City NHS Leicester Montessori School AALPS College Coventry Primary Care Trust Leicestershire County CouncilAbracardabra Creative Support Lewis PRAction for Children Cyprus Government Libri PublishingAcumen Professional Intelligence Ltd DataBuild ListenAggregate Industries Deloitte Lloyds Banking GroupAir Cadet Organisation Department of Work and Pensions London Borough of HarrowAlexander Hall Mortgage Brokers Deutsche Bank London Fire BrigadeAmerican Express DLA Piper Mad ScienceAmnesty International Dolphin Bathrooms Mark ITSAnglian Water Environment Agency Marston Green Junior SchoolArnold Middle School Epping Forest District Council Mattioli WoodsAssociated British Foods Essendine Primary School MediaComAttorney General’s Office European Parliamentary Labour Party Member of ParliamentAvens Ltd Ferranti Technologies Midlands Co-operative Society LtdAXA Life Fir Vale School Ministry of DefenceBAE Systems Submarine Solutions Flight Centre MMS LawBarclays Bank Folville School MOD – STLBarnsley Primary Care Trust Fortescue Mineral Group Montserrat Volcano ObservatoryBasildon Council Fridays Media Group MouchelBBC General Electric National Policing Improvement AgencyBeauchamp College Geological Survey NatWestBicester Community College Glenside Manor Network RailBig Communication Grant Thornton UK LLP NextBirmingham Adult and Child Psychological Growth Technology NHSAssessment Services Harborough District Council North Kesteven District CouncilBlackwells Harbour Lights Cafe and Restaurant Northamptonshire County CouncilBond Adams Harrow Council Northumbrian Water LtdBoots Hays NXP (Hazel Grove)Brent Borough Council Her Majestys Gov’t Communication Centre OutfitsBritish Council Hodge and Baxter Oxford UniversityBritish Heart Foundation Home Fundraising Paradigm GeophysicalBrockington College Hospitals (various) Pharmaceutical RetailsCambridgeshire County Council House of Commons Planet-mi.comCamden Council HSBC PMCCapita Huntingdon Life Sciences Pointon York Sipp SolutionsCapricorn Contracts Hutton Collins Portland CollegeCode Weavers Ltd IDS Logistics PV SolutionsColchester Borough Council Independent Review Service Quality SolicitorsConnect PR Intrinsiq Materials Ltd Quest EmploymentConservative Party Jobcentre Plus RBSConsumer Knowledge Centre Keats Healthcare Realtime DistributionCo-operative Group Kent Forensic Psychiatry Service Red Back Mining IncCorporate Executive Board Kings College London / Nokia UK Redwood Professionals LtdCosta Coffee Kings Court Financial Planning Reed Agency
FURTHER CAREERS SERVICE RESOURCES 29Rethink St Johns Ambulance UK Water FeaturesRiver Island Tate Britain Unite Union FinanceRoyal Bank of Scotland Taylors Countrywide University of LeicesterRoyal Household and the Royal Collection TCN Suffolk University of Leicester Students UnionRoyal Institute of International Affairs TEN UK VassilladesRoyal Mail Tesco Veolia WaterRSK Stats Thales Victim SupportSJ Electronic The American School VodafoneSalisbury NHS Trust The Cotswold School Warwickshire County CouncilSavvides Institute Thermo Fisher WaterstonesScopeMedical T-Mobile West OneSeven Stories Topps Tiles plc WH SmithSinar Technology Topshop William Hill plcSmart Kids OK Toys R Us Woodside Middle SchoolSmith Truphone Youth Offending ServiceSt Andrews Healthcare Tullett Prebon Zero Spot LaundrySt John the Baptist C of E Primary School Turning PointLeicester graduates: where are they now? Managing transport Leading large teams Working overseas operations Name: Kate Blakemore Name: Daniel Turner Name: Christina Ratcliffe Degree: BA Economics Degree: BSc Chemistry Degree: BA History Job: Senior Account Job: Technical writer Job: Operations Manager Manager Employer: Varian Australia Employer: Stagecoach Employer: Mattioli Woods Pty Ltd As operations manager, I am After completing Mattioli Woods’ I am now a technical writer for responsible for the operations of training programme, I moved on Varian in Melbourne, Australia. our business in Cambridge. This to leading larger teams and My role is based in the companys includes: recruitment and selection; worked my way up to my current marketing and communications marketing and public relations; role. My daily tasks include team and I am responsible for man management (eg through managing and running over 70 preparing marketing materials and disciplinary and/or grievance different pension schemes and I manuals for products. All of our hearings); community relations; am the first point of contact for products are manufactured at the budgeting and financial my clients, all of whom I’ve got site here in Melbourne so I can management; and performance to know well. I’ve also completed easily access people with the reporting. The key skills I learned my Certificate and Diploma in knowledge I need to impart to at university that are useful to me Financial Planning. customers. now are report writing, time Alongside managing my client The position came up just after I management, prioritisation, portfolio, I mentor, train and received my permanent resident presentation skills and the monitor a developing account visa. The role was something that I importance of good research. manager and prepare procedure had no previous paid experience Alongside my work at Stagecoach, notes for the team to ensure that in but was well suited to. My I’ve completed a professional all tasks are performed uniformly. employer agreed that I was a qualification in management and I’m studying for a diploma in My employer encourages taking good fit and offered me the job Passenger Transport (Level 5), extra responsibility, which has led based on the writing skills, keen which is a distance learning course, me to co-ordinate the study of eye for detail and ability to accredited by the Chartered professional qualifications and consolidate complex information Institute of Logistics and Transport undertake first interviews with into discrete, easy-to-understand (CILT). I was also awarded the the recruitment manager, so – concepts I’d honed throughout my coveted Young Manager of the you never know – our paths may degree. Writing and defending my Year Award at the 2009 UK Bus cross! postgraduate thesis paid dividends Awards – a proud moment. in that respect.
30 FURTHER CAREERS SERVICE RESOURCES ...Set your career planning in motion using our interactive careers timeline: it guides you through what to do and when, offering tips for success and signposting useful links every step of the way...Yourcareerstarts nowTake advantage of the wealth of onlineresources at your disposal and yourdream career could be but a click away...The Careers Service website www.le.ac.uk/careers provides a rangeof resources that are available to you 24 hours a day, on and offcampus. It’s jam-packed with the latest vacancies, topical advice fromthe Careers Service, inspirational case studies of what Leicester alumnihave gone on to achieve, and news about projects, events andresources we’ve developed to help you research and plan your career.Here we’ve cherry-picked a few highlights to whet your appetite… First things first: explore your options... www.le.ac.uk/careers ...Visit the Careers Service website and take advantage of our wide range of resources... www.le.ac.uk/careers ...Need some hands-on support? Find out what we can do for you... www.le.ac.uk/careers ...Check out our comprehensive database of the latest jobs and internships at JOBSonline. Go online to find out more!
FURTHER CAREERS SERVICE RESOURCES 31Your careerand academicsuccessMaking the most of your studies andachieving academic success could be vital tosecuring the career you want.As pressure increases, particularly in Revision and exams undertaken to date. We’re here toyour final year, remember the Learning As you prepare for exams, our Revision facilitate the process with ourDevelopment team is here to help. and Exams resources, including the comprehensive ‘Demystify Dissertations’Ensure you’re making the most of your Study Guide and Ten Top Tips could online resources section, as well aspotential with our academic skills prove very useful. We also run regular dedicated workshops.workshops and resources. Revision and Exam skills workshops, These are just a few of the ways in before and during exam times. which we’re here to help. To access anyEssays of the above online resources (and much more), or obtain moreThroughout the year we offer Dissertations information regarding our workshops orworkshops on writing ‘fundamentals’, For many students, their dissertation is one-to-one consultations, simply go tosuch as planning and structuring an the largest project they will have www.le.ac.uk/succeedinyourstudies.essay and how to avoid plagiarism, aswell as more advanced writing skills,including critical analysis and academiclanguage and expression. If you’d like toaccess relevant resources in your own Getting startedtime, why not take the Writing Essaystour? This is a collection of resourcestaking you through the essay writingprocess step by step. Question Managing and organising the information Getting down to writing Essay Finishing touches