Why you should always target your CV

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Career Rock‘ by Louise Smith

This week Beth Leslie from Inspiring Interns is talking about why you should target your CV to the job and company you’re applying for and gives some useful tips on how to go about this.

Let’s be honest, job hunting is not fun. The path to that fulfilling and high-paying career of your dreams is strewn with obstacles, from all the other applicants you have to compete against, to the fact that some job openings never get advertised.

With opportunities scarce and competition fierce, many graduates are trying to up the odds by applying to every role they come across. They bung across the same CV and cover letter, cross their fingers… and get rejected 99% of the time.

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Staying In:Leeds

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This week, Contemporary and Professional Studies student Roland talks about the In:Leeds day which took place in March, and gives you a glimpse of the reasons why you should consider staying in Leeds after graduation.

As part of a team of six, we pitched an idea on the final day of the inaugural, Leeds-New York Leadership Programme. The idea would see an organisation set up, with the specific purpose of ‘retaining and attracting SMART talent in Leeds.’ We figured if talented students are made aware of what Leeds offers, they would decide to stay in the city post study and be the drivers of innovation, change and development that the city will need if it is to achieve its stated desire of becoming a global economic powerhouse. This project was titled In:Leeds!

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Tackling the Application Process & Being Open about a Disability: Part Two

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In part two of our ‘Tackling the Application Process & Being Open about Disabilities’ series, we are continuing the discussion on whether applicants should be open about their disability and what makes an application stand out.

Should I be open about my disability at the application stage?

It is your decision whether and when to be open about a disability and a careers adviser can help you to explore the pros and cons, so that you can make that decision. There are some exceptions, for example, if you have a condition like epilepsy that has health and safety implications – beyond these exceptions it is up to you.

A graduate I saw recently was advised by her friend not to be open about her disability on application forms. After numerous unsuccessful applications she decided to ignore this advice and successfully applied and got a great graduate job!

Take time to write a quality application

Research complete, you can now start writing your application. Written applications come in different formats, generally it is a covering letter and CV or an application form. Here are some general pointers:

  • Application form questions are generally based on your interest in the role and organisation (commitment), competencies (skills) and personal strengths (behaviours).
  • Have you researched the organisation thoroughly enough to address your interest in them and the role?
  • Examine the job description: what specific skills and attributes are they looking for?
  • Select recent and relevant competency examples from your university life and degree, extra-curricular activities and work experience. The ‘STAR’ approach here is an ideal way of articulating your skills.
  • Quality check your letter writing etiquette – how to structure and avoid minor mistakes that will put your application in the ‘no’ pile e.g. ending your letter ‘Yours faithfully’ when writing to a named person, grammar and spelling errors. Structure, format and write your CV succinctly. You can also check our website for more information and resources on applications.

Checking before pressing send is a must! If you have a disability that affects your written communication skills (spelling and grammar) have your application checked by someone else before sending and use all the resources at your disposal.

Resilience

This is now a commonly used term associated with being successful in the workplace and you will need more of this than other applicants (add link to resilience article). Legislation will support your path to employment but you cannot rely solely on it. Be persistent, curious and learn how to articulate your added value, abilities and diversity. In addition, make good use of disability services, your careers service and other support available to you.

Need further advice/guidance? Make sure to check out the resources available on our website and book an appointment to talk to us.

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How to impress at the Graduate Jobs & Internships Fair

Careers Fairs provide a fantastic opportunity for you to meet – and learn more about –  a whole range of employers, and further study opportunities, all in one place.

Our Spring Graduate Jobs & Internships Fair is taking place on 3rd May.  Full details available on the fair website.

This post provides tips to help you get the most from the fair.

Fair

Before the fair

Consider what you want from the fair: This should form the foundations of your planning and will shape how you approach the fair. Giving this some consideration beforehand means you are much more likely to find the fair useful.  For example, are you hoping to

  • Get answers to specific questions about a particular organisation?
  • Get advice on their selection processes?
  • Learn more about the organisation’s culture, or what their different opportunities involve?
  • Find out more about potential opportunities for the future?
  • Meet people doing the job roles in which you’re interested to get further insights?
  • Get inspiration about different types of opportunities or companies in which you may be interested (either now or in the future)?
  • Or something else?

Find out which organisations are going to be there:  And plan which you want to Continue reading

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5 Ways To Show Employers You’re Ready For The World Of Work

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‘Career Clock – Flazingo

This week, Susanna from Inspiring Interns gives some useful tips for students and grads on how to prepare for the world of work, and demonstrate this to employers.

We’re in the middle of a graduate shortage. That’s right: while grads complain about how hard it is to find a job, employers are moaning about the lack of good candidates. Seems weird, right? But the problem isn’t necessarily the quality of graduates; it’s their readiness to enter the world of work.

The reality is that most students have never known real employment – a fact that many recruiters can tell from fifty paces. From STEM to arts subjects, from Russell Group to poly, graduates find the real world hard. These days, the movement from childhood to adulthood occurs not at sixteen or eighteen but with the end of university. As a result, many employers think of graduates, however much they claim otherwise, as too immature to be trusted with a job.

Here’s how you can assuage an employer’s fears and prove you’re ready to enter their world. Continue reading

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Tackling the Application Process & Being Open about a Disability: Part 1

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Steve Bone is a Careers Consultant at Leeds University, he supports students applying for graduate opportunities and advises his careers colleagues on inclusivity. In this blog, he highlights observations of the additional challenges faced by students with disabilities and shares advice on how to overcome these. This blogpost was originally published on Myplus Students Club.

Remember, you have something extra!

When supporting students with a variety of disabilities (both physical and unseen), what strikes me is that a positive approach to the application process is key. Successful applicants reflect on their ABILITIES and articulate these positively, alongside disabilities that the employer can make ‘reasonable adjustments’ for in the workplace.

Getting through to the application stage is a challenge; have I understated this? For prospective undergraduates who are unaware of their dyslexia, it is even tougher! So when I heard that an undergraduate, unaware of his dyslexia, had managed a successful application for an internship, I wanted to know how. Continue reading

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How I got my job: Secondment on the role of science and engineering in policy and parliament

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Katie Timms is undertaking a PhD in Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine at the University of Leeds’ Institute of Medical & Biological Engineering, following her undergraduate degree in Medical Sciences (2015), also from the University of Leeds.  In this post she explains why she chose to do a secondment during her PhD and how networking and her proactive approach helped her to secure it.

Why did I decide to undertake a secondment?

Browsing through twitter one afternoon I came across a poster describing alternative careers for scientists, based on the Science Council’s ’10 type of scientists’. In case you were wondering, there’s a quiz on the Science Council’s website! I have always been interested in science and research, but was curious about the alternative careers available following my PhD. Continue reading

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