University of Leicester Career Planning Guide 2012
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.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 email@example.com. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.