We have been blogging on and off in the careers team for about ten years now and over time our blogging energy has ebbed and flowed. Before we had this blog, we posted on what we called the postgraduate careers blog, which was created for postgraduates at the university. We archived that blog in 2013 but the content is still public. This week I’ve been re-visiting posts that colleagues and I wrote in the past. It is a bit like a diary – sometimes it makes me cringe and at other times, I think, “wow, that’ still relevant ten years on”.
So here are six old posts I thought it worth sharing again:
This was one of my first posts and it is about planned happenstance, which is a careers theory, which is relevant to modern careers. It is about how we can all plan our careers to some extent but how for many people, the next career move is also about being opportunist in proactive ways when unexpected things happen.
Our recent blogs have looked at the experience of recent graduates in the labour market and how they have secured their roles since graduating. This month we have decided to look at graduate job search from the perspective of one of our Careers Consultants as Paul Sheppard shares his experience and offers the following tips and pointers about being proactive in securing your next role.
I need direction
Many students and graduates feel a pressure to have their careers planned out years in advance. Life doesn’t usually work out to plan and the previous blogs show people make effective career decisions at different stages of their life and change tack but if you are struggling the Prospects website is a great starting point and has a couple of career planning quizzes to help you generate ideas and it’s always worth looking at their ‘what can I do with my degree’ pages as a starting point. My colleagues Fiona Christie and Eileen Cunningham have written an excellent ’21 day to Career Success for graduates’ programme that offers advice and practical activities to anyone looking for some inspiration. We would strongly recommend you combine any online research with a conversation with one of our Careers Consultants (and yes, unfortunately, we do work over the summer!)
This is the second in our series of blog posts written by recent graduates from the University of Salford summarising their experiences in the labour market upon graduating. In this post, recent Music graduate Alexa Lee shares her story. We hope you enjoy it:
It is that time of the year which every undergraduate has looked forward to since embarking on their university education: graduation. I love graduation ceremonies. Everyone is happy and enthusiastic, shopping for that perfect graduation outfit and making celebratory plans with friends and family. It is an amazing and fitting conclusion to the three to four years of sleepless nights cramming for exams and writing that last 5000 words for a dissertation. And to those who are about to attend your graduation – enjoy it, relish in it. Because what happens next isn’t great and it can be downright soul-crushing.
Life is great, you have graduated and are now free from libraries and exam halls that smell like sweat. But once the celebrations have died down, adult responsibilities make you come crashing straight back down to earth with a thud. Now you have an annoying voice inside your head telling you that you need to find a job or you will starve, but also there are too many good shows on Netflix, the struggle is real. As someone who knows this feeling all too well, I would like to share my own experience with the hope that it will resonate with you in some way and show that there is hope for the struggling graduate yet.
As a recent graduate, I spent months in a state of panic over what I was going to do next. As a woman with Asperger’s, Dyspraxia and anxiety the process was made much harder. My initial career goal, to be a performer, was unsustainable. It is hard to perform when you are worried what everybody is thinking. This limited my career options significantly.
This is a guest post from the LinkedIn Careers Team.
Making the most of LinkedIn’s features
Many students and graduates say they don’t know how to use the platform effectively so we thought it would be useful for you to hear directly from Linkedin about some of the most useful features of the platform, such as the Alumni Tool and Open Candidates features that allows users to let employers know they are interested in other opportunities.
We hope you find it informative.
Your soon-to-be awarded degree is likely a requirement for your dream job. But what is going to set you apart from thousands of others who just graduated with you? Your network!
Do I even have a network?
LinkedIn is helping soon-to-be grads from around the country tap into their professional community—whether they realise they have one already or not. LinkedIn has the power to uncover 1st and 2nd degree connections that will boost your chances of getting hired for highly sought-after jobs in a competitive market. We found that 70% of people were hired at a company where they had a connection.
This guest post was created in collaboration with Venturi Group, one of the UK’s top IT recruitment agencies. We asked them for their top tips on getting your first job in tech.
As an IT recruitment agency, we work with recent graduates everyday. For many students, getting that first foot on the career ladder after finishing university is a daunting prospect. While some nerves are unavoidable, fortunately there are things you can do to give yourself a headstart in today’s competitive job market.
Below we have outlined some advice on what to do before beginning your search for your first role in the tech industry.
Get involved in projects outside of university
You’ve probably heard this one a few times before. Employers look favourably upon students who are engaged in technical projects outside of university. After all, it’s a clear indication of a genuine passion for technology. In a market saturated by graduates, having that extra something on your CV will inevitably make you stand out from the crowd. For example, being able to list coding projects you have worked on, hack-a-thons you have entered, or internships you have undertaken are all major advantages when it comes to applying for jobs.
Depending on what jobs you are applying for, you may be asked to take a psychometric or aptitude test at some point in your job hunting.
We want to offer you a chance to get an instant testing practice to get you ahead of the game and help with you future job applications.
Tests are often only one of several selection tools used by an employer in assessing your suitability.
They are designed to test how your abilities in different areas such as verbal, numerical and logical reasoning.
Research shows that practice can help improve your performance in tests and we can help you with that.
The Careers website allows you free access to a range of psychometric tests: numerical, verbal, logical reasoning, as well as a personality questionnaire, a situational judgement test and Assessment Centre Exercises.
If you are curious about the 21 Days career learning programme, why not watch this short video introduction to help get you in the picture about it. It’s my walk-through of the programme and is about ten minutes long. It details the structure and some example posts and activities are introduced.
Effectively, we have created a career learning programme that you can work through at your leisure. It is primarily designed for graduates but of relevance to many others.
We don’t all have the same definition of success and it can be liberating to think about this when talking about careers. It’s easy to get tied up in knots about earning more or having a certain status but success can be much more subtle than that. We’ve called our 21 Days to Career Success programme deliberately to get you as graduates to think about what success really means to you.
What does ‘career success’ mean to you? Get yourself in the mood to think about this by viewing these YouTube clips (source Kerr Inkson – Understanding Careers) which show different ideas about success. Getting rich, developing as a person, overcoming adversity, winning and being the best, recognition of creativity and making the world a better place come out of these songs. Which one do you identify with the most, or do they all leave you cold?
Dominika Piasecka graduated with a Journalism degree in 2016. She rapidly realised that the skills she needed to build relationships and contacts to get stories for her course were also valuable in finding jobs.
“My name is Dominika, I’m a journalism graduate from the University of Salford and am currently working as Media and PR Officer at The Vegan Society. When I moved to the UK almost 7 years ago, I didn’t know anyone and had to start forming relationships with people from scratch. I first understood the importance of networking at the beginning of my university course when I had to find interviewees for my assignments. The people I knew were more than friends or acquaintances; they were contacts. They helped me to find and connect with people I had to talk to. Online networking makes it all so much easier these days, especially LinkedIn which is a great platform to connect to people professionally. I would add everyone I met during my course and ask relevant people for references and endorsements to build my profile.”