Take a look at the following feedback from employers who took part in a recent student mock interview event. Are you meeting their needs?
- Take notes if the interviewer gives you feedback.
- Articulate what your achievements say about you. If you swam for the county, for example, that says you are committed and competitive.
- Relate extra curricular activities to skills employers are looking for. Use army cadets experience, for example, to demonstrate teamwork and leadership skills.
- Take an interest in the outside world, current affairs and business. Prepare an answer to the question ” what has grabbed your attention in the news recently”.
- Answer the “tell me about your weaknesses question” very briefly, stop speaking and wait for the next question. Don’t fall into the bear pit by rambling on about your weaknesses.
The Placement Careers Centre sees students up to two years after graduation. If you would like careers or interview help, book a session with a careers consultant today by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, stipulating your degree course and student number.
Make the most of Brunel’s Summer Graduate Recruitment Fair on Monday 20th May with the following tips:
- Check out who’s coming using this link and research the companies you are interested so you can have an intelligent conversation with people on the stands
- Dress smartly
- Approach companies by yourself and not as a huddle with friends – much more professional
- Don’t presume you know what that company can offer by its name or specialism – an engineering firm will be looking for all discipines including finance, business, human resources and marketing , as well as engineering graduates.
- Have a list of questions to hand so you’re not tongue tied
- Write notes after your conversations with recruiters and get the names/business cards of those you speak to so you can name drop when writing to apply for jobs, or make speculative approaches.
- Take a bunch of CVs with you to hand out on the day
Social sciences graduates are the most flexible when it comes to choosing job sectors, according to latest research. The study by graduate-jobs.com, shows that social sciences grads top the industry adaptability index, the web site’s measure of career preferences - closely followed by business graduates. Meanwhile engineering and arts graduates are the most likely to confine their career search to sectors which are directly relevant to their degree.
Those who graduate from the social sciences faculties – including subjects such as politics, psychology and history – top the list of those searching for careers outside the field of their degree in sectors as diverse as Military & Defence, Secretarial & Business Administration, Sport & Recreation and Travel & Hospitality.
Click here for more information
Industry Adaptability Rankings
1 Social Sciences
2 Business Management
4 Public Service
5 Applied Sciences
6 Medicine & Health
7 Life Sciences
Big companies are beautiful but so too are small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Don’t just go for well known firms when applying for jobs. Look out for smaller firms advertising for roles (often in the local paper) and certainly make them part of your target list when approaching organisations directly.
Graduate Talent Pool is a government-funded initiative run by Prospects on behalf of the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills to help graduates connect with SMEs across private, public and voluntary sectors via internships.
Because SMEs are not as flush as big companies they can’t recruit large numbers of grads, but this has its advantages. Because competition is less intense than on grad programmes SME recruits often find they have highly varied roles, are given responsibility quickly if they shine and more opportunity to have their fresh ideas heard.
Other useful places to start looking for SMEs include the Brunel University library and it’s access to the database FAME (Financial Analysis Made Easy).
Useful book just out for education leavers by occupational psychologist Cathy Brown called Testing the Water – Helping You Take Your First Steps From Education to Work . It’s particularly good on employability skills and being work ready. It also explores the often tricky transition time between leaving Uni and gaining your ideal job.
Hear what others say: The Testing the Water Career Guide is an excellent resource. I would certainly recommend this to anyone making the transition from education to employment. –Katharine Edwards, Manager, BBC Careerlink
This is a practical and highly accessible guide, designed for those taking their first steps into the world of work, which prompts them to take time to think and to explore the options which will be right for them. Particularly valuable in today’s highly competitive employment market, it addresses the need of both young people and UK businesses to improve employability and promote work readiness. –Claire Payton, Group Senior Talent Specialist, Co-operative Group
Cathy has once again produced a practical and wholly accessible guide that will actually make a difference to those who use it. Testing the Water provides guidance during a transition period for students in to professional workaday world. Many guides exist for students, for employees, for careers. However, Cathy Brown’s work addresses that transitional time, which is the most challenging for everyone. Much of the information contained in the career guide will surely serve even beyond. –Justin C. Donne, Programme Executive, The Prince’s Trust
Sorry to get genderist for a minute but the website Where women work has recently compiled the Top 50 best employers for women. It’s a good place to start if you’re heading for a corporate career and have strong values around company ethics and ethos, that is , hopw it treats its workers.
Also check out WWW’s graduate jobs, they tend to be sent direct by employers (so they are not via agencies) and are genuine. A quick look at what’s currently available include grad roles with Homebase ( not to be sniffed at if you have retail experience) and Prudential.
A recent article in HR Magazine about Generation Y, (that’s you!), states that 42% of 16-24 years olds would rather work alone in a team than collaborate with others, five percentage points higher than the average workforce. However, this is only part the story. Your attitudes to work and working relationships differ to older age groups , you are apparently more relaxed about chatty colleagues, not feeling them to be wasting time; more happy to build relationships after work or over a coffee; and very comfortable with interacting digitally and face to face, where professional and personal networks blur.
WHAT DO THINK?
What’s interesting is this may not be news to you, but it could be to recruiters so make sure in applications and cover letters you get across the message that you can talk to people, interact face to face, be tolerant of co-worker’s differing behaviours and are are good at building strong and effective relationships.
Scittels, (School Centred Initial Training in East London Schools) is staging a couple of taster evenings for those of you considering primary school teaching (and may have left it a bit late to submit your PGCE application). You need a 2.1 degree or higher. Dates are the 25th April and May 20th, 5-7pm.
For general information go to the Scittels website and check out the taster evening page.
• Find out more about the programme from staff and current trainees
• Find out how to write a successful application for a PGCE course
• Fees and bursaries
Register for the evenings by emailing email@example.com .