Category Archives: CVs & Applications

Expert advice on all things relating to CVs and applications

Why take a Careers module? My experience with ‘Career Planning for POLIS Students’

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This blog post was written by POLIS student Sam Greet about his experience on the module Career Planning for POLIS Students.

When I was looking at my module choices for second semester, I wasn’t sure I had made the right choices back in September. My first lecture for one of my choices really didn’t suit me and I knew I had to think of something else to move onto, but amongst the array of discovery and optional modules I really struggled to narrow down exactly onto something I wanted to do.

Finding the right module

A module that I had originally glanced over (but not given much thought to) was the Career Planning for POLIS Students module. When it was getting closer to deadline for changing modules, I still had yet to find anything that really spoke to me from the traditional module list and I revisited the careers module in more depth. What I found was a comprehensive programme of teaching, with extended seminar sessions and no lectures that looked to develop all manner of skills and employability. However, I remained unsure about what this would really amount to in practice.

I’ll admit that I was at first concerned with academic rigour, as I very much enjoyed traditional subjects and essays, and was performing well with these. I decided to seek out lecturers and staff members to discuss the POLIS Careers module, and I was immediately reassured of the module’s immense value. Ultimately this convinced me to take the plunge and switch – and I can say that this was one of the best decisions I have made in my second semester.

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Advice on getting your first tech job – from an IT recruitment agency

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This guest post was created in collaboration with Venturi Group – one of the UK’s top IT recruitment agencies.

As an IT recruitment agency, we work with recent graduates every day. For many students, getting that first foot on the career ladder after finishing university is a daunting prospect. While some nerves are unavoidable, 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 university

You’ve probably heard this one a few time before. Employers look fondly upon students who are engaged in technical projects outside 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.
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Filed under Advice, CVs & Applications, Develop your employability, Getting into..., Interviews

LinkedIn could land you your next job

Annie Moss

Final year English & Philosophy student Annie Moss just completed a placement year with the global recruitment consultancy, Hays. Here she shares her tips for fellow students and graduates on why taking care of your LinkedIn profile can really pay off.

Would you arrive at an interview late, with a scruffy attire, and little to no preparation?

No, of course not, and I’m not about to bless you with words of wisdom regarding interview techniques like some employment guru. I do, however, have some insight and a few tips as to how we can make that killer first impression.

I’m not talking about interviews, or even our CVs. I’m referring to LinkedIn. Continue reading

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8 Graduate CV Mistakes Recruiters See Over And Over

In this guest post, Susanna Quirk from Inspiring Interns outlines some of the most common graduate CV mistakes, and how to avoid making them.

For many, the CV they write for graduate jobs is the first they’ll ever produce. While the conventions of the common-or-garden resume may seem simple enough to grasp, the reality is that mistakes happen. In fact, some mistakes happen so frequently that recruiters wonder if there is some kind of on-going global conspiracy out to get them.

Wondering whether you rank among the offending many? We asked the Talent Development Team here at Inspiring Interns to tell us the most common graduate CV mistakes they find. Continue reading

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Use the rule of 3 to give your career an Olympic boost

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Adapted from citius altius fortius. empathy2016. lviv. by Yaroslav F.

As something that I usually mention in interview preparation with students and graduates, I’ve been thinking about writing a post on the rule of 3 for a while. Being reminded of the Olympic motto, with its focus on aiming high and continuous improvement, this weekend prompted me to get it written.

The Olympic motto; “Citius, Altius, Fortius”, meaning “Faster, Higher, Stronger”, is one example of the rule of 3. Think how often popular phrases, soundbites from famous speeches or advertising slogans are comprised of 3 words or parts.

You can find examples in pretty much any area of life, Continue reading

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Filed under Autumn career essentials, Career fairs & events, CVs & Applications, Interviews, Networking

Job applications: Keep it simple

Claiming excellent written communication skills in your job application? Too many applicants contradict their own claims through poor written communication (and there is more to it than just running a spell-check!) This post outlines why your written style matters and three simple ways to improve it.

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CC-BY Wesley Fryer on Flickr

I see a lot of applications, CVs and cover letters in my job as a Careers Consultant.  The quality of these varies massively.  Often I’ll know at first glance that some are sure-fire interview winners, whereas others are unlikely to get past the first sift. Like most recruiters, I tend to skim-read CVs initially to form a quick impression.  Research conducted by The Ladders has shown that recruiters may only look at your CV for a matter of seconds, so a clear and legible format is essential.  Assuming that yours makes it past that first sift, what impression does it create when they actually read it and how can you make sure it stands out? Continue reading

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5 mistakes to avoid in your placement search

Saad1Saad Ali is a final year student doing an integrated masters (MEng) in Mechanical Engineering. He is also currently working part-time at Slipstream Engineering Design and has completed a number of placements throughout his time at Leeds. In this article, he shares his experience of applying to placements and advice on how to make the best of your time at university.

  1. Not spending enough time on applications

After sending numerous applications without any success, one day sat in a career’s lecture, I realised that I probably spend more time deciding what to watch on Netflix than I do my applications. My first ‘proper’ application took me 40 hours to write, it was a form with two questions for internship at Toyota Boshoku in Japan.

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Visit to Kinkakuji Castle with a fellow intern during my placement in Japan

 

I went over it several times, and got help from my Faculty Employability team and the Careers Centre, to ensure each sentence was as concise as it could be whilst delivering my knowledge of the company and industry, and demonstrating how my skills aligned with the job role. It eventually secured me my immensely rewarding and ‘life-changing’ summer placement! Continue reading

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Job application video tips

Have you been asked to submit a video as part of a job application? Read on for our top tips to help you create a winning video. Note this is different to a video interview. If you’re looking for tips on video interviews, see this post from an employer and this post with our tips.

Many employers now ask applicants to submit a video as part of the recruitment process.  We are aware of companies from all sorts of sectors doing so, ranging from perhaps the more obvious (PR, Marketing, Media) to the less so (including Estate Agents, Cosmetics and FMCG brands), to the downright unusual (e.g. First Choice’s Water Slide Tester recruitment, which a Leeds student eventually landed, helped by this video entry).

You may be given specific instructions about what is expected from your video Continue reading

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CVs and Covering Letters: All the Help You Need

So you need experience to have a good chance of securing that longed-for graduate job… But to get an internship, you have to write an application. In this blog post our student blogger, Rebekah Billingham, talks you through how the Careers Centre has helped her get to grips with applications.

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Once I came to terms with the fact that I needed to apply for internships, I had to figure out where to start. Still finding my feet in my second ever semester at uni is challenging enough, let alone getting down to the nitty gritty of job applications, which is another thing I’m pretty inexperienced with. The Careers Centre has been a life saver in more ways than one. Having taken advantage of a lot of their services, I feel like I’m finally getting somewhere. Continue reading

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How I got my job: Research and Leadership Scholarship summer placement

If you’re considering a summer placement this year, why not look in to a Research and Leadership scholarship? That’s just what Karolis Velicka did, here he tells you how he made his summer placement happen!

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About me

I am currently a second year Computer Science student and I have been awarded the Research and Leadership Scholarship by the University of Leeds. This scholarship is available in many departments of the university and is a great opportunity for anyone looking to do something extraordinary with their summer – the scholarship comes with two paid summer placements. For me the best thing is that the topic of your placement is entirely up to you, as long as it is in your department of study! Continue reading

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