Monthly Archives: October 2012

How to ACE the face-to-face interview – Autumn Career Essentials

Got that interview? Great! But what’s the next step?

Not sure what to expect at an interview and feeling nervous about it? Many people have a fear of interviews; here are some tips to help you make the most of this opportunity.

Do your preparation

An interview is a chance for you and the employer to get to know one another. It is NOT the time to get to know about the post or the employers business so make sure you know what the job entails. Make sure you are well prepared and confident.  Do your research and find out about the company you are going to interview for and have a good idea of the job you applied for.

Interview questions Continue reading

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How to ACE Telephone interviews – Autumn Career Essentials

We are pleased to invite you to a telephone interview on Friday 9 November at 2.00pm. The interview will last for approximately 25 minutes.  If you are not available at this time, contact our HR department immediately to arrange another date.

Yes! Cue much air punching and self-congratulation until there’s a sudden icy feeling in your stomach……. A telephone interview: How does that work?

Answer: Exactly like a face-to-face interview but with some significant advantages in your favour Continue reading


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“I got the job, I’m speechless!” Articulating your employability – Autumn Career Essentials

Employers want you to be able to tell them why you are right for the job. Articulating skills and motivations is something many students struggle with so here are a few easy steps to give you confidence in articulating your employability.

Employability skills put simply are your attributes, skills and knowledge.  Evidencing these skills effectively for a specific role is the key to unlocking that graduate job door.

image of a man jumping off a cliff to reach his future

Recognising employability Continue reading


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Using social media to find jobs & internships – Autumn Career Essentials

Chances are that you’re already well acquainted with at least one social network, but have you considered using such networks as part of your career exploration or job search strategy? Because of its up-to-the-minute information and accessibility, social media is a really useful tool for both of these things (and much more!). In our Prezi, 3 ways social media can help your career, we outline some of the ways that LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook can help you research your options or career ideas, get application tips, develop a professional online profile and network your way to success. Although we’ve only focussed on these 3 networks, the same principles could equally be applied to many others.

To find out more, pop in and see us on our drop-in service (open Monday-Friday 9am-4pm) or look out for relevant workshops on our events database.

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CVs and Applications – Autumn Career Essentials

Don’t know where to start with that all important internship or graduate job application? Don’t panic, we are here to help! Here are a few of our top tips to get you started:


  • Organisations want to know that you are the right person for the job. Make sure you research the company thoroughly, what kind of person are they looking for? What appeals to you about the organisation and the role? Check out their website, follow them on Twitter, like their Facebook page and check out our events database to see if they are coming on campus. Stating that you have spoken to a representative of the company is a great thing to mention on your application form.

Don’t contract ‘jobsearchitis’

  • Applying for every job in sight, thinking that if you throw everything at the wall something will stick, rarely works. Remember quality over quantity – take time over your applications and ensure that they are for roles and organisations that you are really interested in.

Target your CV/application

  • If you’re applying for a job that has been advertised you will have a job description and person specification in front of you, think of this as a check list from the employer. They will usually tell you what skills and experience they’re looking for – make sure they are all evidenced in your CV or application form. We can show you how to do this through our drop-in at the Careers Centre and we have a series of “Get Hired!” workshops that can talk you through it. In the meantime have a look at our website for hints and tips:

Check your application/CV

  • When you feel you’ve finished writing your CV or application, get it checked. Our advisers have seen hundreds of applications and will give you expert advice on your content and targeting. If you are off campus and can’t make it in to see us then don’t worry, we’ve got an eGuidance service. So that’s the content covered, what about the spelling, grammar and random typos? Well that’s something that can be easy to miss the first time round, but it’s something that definitely matters to an employer! So proof read your work, then proof read it again and then get a friend to read over it. Extra checking can be worth it as that one final step!

Have a cup of tea and relax for a bit…

  • You’ve earned it after all that work!

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Careers Fairs and Events – Autumn Career Essentials

Networking is an essential element of successful career planning and job seeking.  We make this easier for you by arranging hundreds of on-campus events every year; nearly 200 this semester alone! These include recruitment fairs – both large, and faculty-specific – employer presentations and workshops, and workshops delivered as part of our central programme.  With our main Autumn jobs & internships fair just around the corner (Monday 15th October, The Edge), we’ve asked Leeds Economics student Tom Staley to share his reflections on the benefits of attending such events, below.

In addition to Tom’s advice, if you are planning on attending a recruitment fair, do your research first! Plan which organisations you wish to speak to and the questions you want to ask; think over and above what is on their website – you should already have looked through such information. Continue reading


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Enhance your skills with our fantastic project: ‘An Excuse to Breakfast’


‘An excuse to breakfast’ is your chance to create more local jobs and internships for University of Leeds students whilst developing some awesome employability skills which are massively sought after by graduate employers. You will work in a team to research the local labour market and find an industry that interests you. You will then be trained to approach organisations within that industry and invite them to a breakfast networking event. The event will be set up by yourselves (with our support and expertise) so not only will you develop great communication and interpersonal skill but you’ll also be able to demonstrate a proficiency in event management!

Here’s what some of last year’s participants said about the project:

“This opportunity has proved hugely valuable, in terms of experience and professional development. I have used this work in a subsequent interview and they were impressed! It encompasses a lot of different skills that are unobtainable solely through an academic degree. Working with like-minded people on a project such as this has built up my team work and leadership skills as well. Overall though, I have more confidence in the professional environment and a better idea of what industry sector I want to enter once I graduate.”

“I thought the opportunity was great and I really enjoyed working with Laura, Steve and all the other people who were involved in the project. I’d like to be involved with the group next year”.

“I have found a position with the National Council for Volunteer Organisations in London and am starting the job next week. I definitely found the Excuse to Breakfast project a great thing to talk about in interviews!

Interested? Check out the full details, and how to apply, on our website or email Laura with any questions. The deadline is THIS FRIDAY 12th October – so don’t miss out on this fantastic opportunity!

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Autumn Career Essentials Series – Get a life……

……a Leeds Life in particular. Using the Leeds for Life web site for more than your personal tutorials can help you make a successful job application. How can this be? Simples. It has a section called “The Living CV”  which prompts you to not only record your activities whilst at University – well, not every single activity, obvs, but those you feel happy to share with your parents – it also prompts you to see what skills you have developed whilst doing them.

There are lots of opportunities – searchable by specific skill – which if you click on them will give you details about the opportunity as well as the skills you are likely to gain from getting involved. For example being a member of Action with LUU (organisation, interpersonal, empathy and motivation), becoming a staff/student committee member (time-management, communication, ability to analyse and synthesise information and views) or playing a sport (motivation, enthusiasm, self-discipline, teamwork) Continue reading

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Autumn Career Essentials – Get involved!

Graduate recruitment is competitive and employers are increasingly interested in what else you have done – alongside your degree – to develop your skills and competencies.  A common complaint from recruiters is that students often lack the skills they need, or are unable to articulate these in a meaningful way.

The good news is that the majority of skills which employers seek are fairly generic transferable skills and as a student at the University of Leeds there are literally hundreds of things you can get involved in to help you develop the skills sought by recruiters.  Work experience is one example and you might want to look at our recent post on internships and work experience.  In addition to work experience, one of the easiest, and most enjoyable ways to develop and evidence your skills is by getting involved with the array of activities available to you right here on campus Continue reading

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Internships & work experience – Autumn Career Essentials

Employers warn that graduates with no work experience are unlikely to be successful in the selection process

High Fliers 2012 survey.

Sound scary? It is worth noting that High Fliers is a survey of the Times Top 100 Graduate Recruiters which is only a very small  portion of graduate market. Nevertheless, experience is increasingly important and sought after by employers across the board.

The good news is that there are many ways of developing experience. We’ve listed some below to help you get started; whether you are in your first or final year, it is never too early (or too late) to undertake some work experience.  Clearly, the more you have the better, so we advise starting as soon as possible, but even in your final year, there are still things you can be doing to develop your experience.

What are the options? Continue reading

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