Welcome (back) to Manchester!

September 17, 2012

Whether you’ve just arrived in Manchester to start your first year, or are returning for your second, third or final year after the summer break, we can help you make the most of your time here and help you land a job for when you leave!

So how can we help you?

Exploring your options

We run a number of events throughout the year which can help you get an insight into a variety of industries and hear from people who do these jobs first hand. Search for events on CareersLink, log in using your university username and password: www.manchester.ac.uk/careerslink

Work experience

Work experience, whether it’s a part-time job, volunteering, an internship, work shadowing or getting involved in student societies, is vital to helping you get a job after you graduate! We offer a range of support and advice about work experience on our website: www.manchester.ac.uk/careers/workexperience and we advertise hundreds of part-time and work experience vacancies on CareersLink: www.manchester.ac.uk/careerslink

Applications and Interviews

We offer advice and guidance on applications and interview whether for full-time graduate jobs, part-time work, work experience or for further study.

A good application will get you noticed and get you through to the important interview stage! We offer a range of advice on our website: www.manchester.ac.uk/careers/applications or you can come in for a 15 minute quick query appointment and get your application checked by an expert: www.manchester.ac.uk/careers/students/services/quickquery

Interviews are usually the final hurdle between you and a job! Don’t let your nerves get the better of you, and make sure you’re prepared. We offer practice interviews and have a range of advice on our website: www.manchester.ac.uk/careers/students/services/practiceinterviews/

Accredited Modules

Want to boost your employability and earn credits at the same time? We offer two accredited modules, Career Management Skills which is largely delivered by employers so you can find out first hand the skills they are looking for: www.manchester.ac.uk/careers/students/employable/modules/ and the Manchester Leadership Programme, which combines volunteering with academic study around leadership www.manchester.ac.uk/mlp

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Are you going to be hot off the blocks like Oscar Pistorious? Summer internship schemes with graduate companies open from NOW!

September 11, 2012

If you want to work for a well known corporate employer, now is the time to research, plan ahead and apply. Some summer internship schemes are already opening applications for summer 2013.

With the start of the new academic year it is easy to forget to plan ahead for summer 2013. It may seem far off but NOW is the time that the big graduate employers advertise not only for graduates, but also for their summer internship schemes for 2013. If you want to work for a particular company or type of work, now is the time you should research their summer internship schemes and when they’re open for you to apply. Planning to get your application in early will avoid disappointment at a later stage when some companies may have filled their places before the closing date.

 

Accountancy, finance, banking, management consulting, IT and legal roles are being advertised now including on the CareersLink university website and also Milkround.com. Top graduate employers advertising include: Barclays (ratemyplacement.co.uk No.1 voted company for internships 2011), Morgan Stanley, KPMG, LEK Consulting, Saffery Champness and Standard Life.

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Get ahead in the graduate job market – choose career management skills

August 24, 2012

It’s that time of year again when many of you are choosing your modules for the next academic year.  Decisions, decisions, decisions….What will I enjoy?  What am I interested in? What am I good at?

Have you thought about how your module choice will help your future career?  Have you thought about choosing a career management skills (cms) module?

For a number of degree programmes – single honours maths, all BA(Econ) courses and many courses in the faculty of humanities, you can opt to study for a career management skills module. An excellent opportunity to gain academic credits and help your future career at the same time!

Here are 3 good reasons why taking a cms module is a great idea:
•    CMS courses are delivered by the careers service and key graduate employers.  It’s a great opportunity to find out first-hand what recruiters look for in their graduates and how to get-ahead in their recruitment processes and the graduate job market in general.
•    Employers look for a good degree, but also for key practical skills such as leadership, communication and team working. Have you thought about how you are going to provide evidence of these skills when applying for jobs in the future?
As part of the module, you may work on a group project for an outside organisation which will provide some real evidence of these practical skills to add to your CV. Previous projects have included: event management for a local charity, researching ‘user’ satisfaction for a community group, devising marketing materials for arts and sports organisations. CMS will also help you to sell these skills effectively on your CV or in application forms and in interviews or assessment centres
•    It’s assessed by 100% coursework so no exams!  You will get extensive feedback on your graduate level CV and cover letter and attend workshops on Interviews, Assessment Centres, Career Choice plus many more.

You will need to confirm your eligibility with your course administrator. Many final year as well as second year students have been given approval to take cms modules in the past.

Find out more about the courses today:
For Humanities Students
For Maths Students

Any don’t just take my word for it.  Here are some quotes from students who took cms last year….

“Career Management Skills surpassed my expectations and has been one of my most enjoyable, though challenging modules at University.”

“I was recently offered a job and I feel CMS contributed to this.”


Don’t be a lastminute.com type of person

August 14, 2012

We all know that those prepared to leave things till the last minute sometimes pick up the best deals, it’s positively encouraged!

However there are loads of things best not left till the last minute. Sorting out things that affect your future is one of them.

Hindsight is a marvellous thing.
Graduates always tell us “if only I had known earlier” or “if only I had done that earlier it would have been so much easier”.  We are so busy dashing through our lives making plans; to go out, meet for coffee, go on holiday etc, that we rarely make time to think about our future. It’s often something we would prefer not to think about.

When things don’t go to plan it can make dealing with the situation rationally and effectively quite difficult.

So give yourself a little time.

  • If you see a job you want to apply for make sure you seek help well before the deadline.
  • Don’t send applications on the deadline anyway – you may press send before 5pm but if the server doesn’t actually send it for several hours you may miss out.
  • If you are graduating or going home for the holidays you don’t need to panic about having an appointment that day. We are open in the vacations and can set up telephone appointments for those out of the area.
  • If are sure you are going to fail your exams, there are probably reasons behind this. Seek help from academic advisers, the counselling service and careers as soon as you feel unsure or stressed. We may not be able to fix the problem but we can help you evaluate your options.
  • Got a deadline coming up –  like a date to pick modules or submit coursework by?  Think there might be issues? Take action early, you may have to book appointments with academic staff and they may refer you to other services such as Careers. The process is never as quick as you think it will be.
  • Employers can surprise you by offering you an interview at the last minute but it is rarely next day. Ask the information team for help on how to prepare – no appointment needed!

It’s generally a lot less stressful if you can take a few minutes to plan in advance.  The new semester starts in just 33 days so why not:

  • Check to see if any of the graduate or placement schemes you are interested in are open yet.
  • Have a careers appointment to start clarifying your ideas.
  • Check over your CV and update it with activities and experience from this summer.
  • Start researching sectors and roles you might be interested in, find out what the entry routes and typical employers are.
  • Watch the interview and assessment centre videos on our website to familiarise yourself with the processes.

Short term work experience over the summer

August 7, 2012

There are still some short term vacancies for over the summer, so if you don’t yet have any work experience sorted yet, then check out what is still available and apply before it is too late! Work experience of even a few weeks can give you an opportunity to develop your skills for both continuing your degree studies and preparing you for a job after your course.

Some companies offer up to four week placements or even part time work, which in some cases is longer term and could fit around your studies. Look through a variety of sources including local newspapers, job websites, through your own contacts or contacting employers direct, as well as firstly checking vacancies on the University’s CareersLink website.

One example of a current summer internship for undergraduates is:

Journalist Student Internship with the Red Army on CareersLink, Ref: 14089.

There are 10 part time Journalist positions available. This role needs interns who are inquisitive, excellent at writing for magazines and the web, relating with all kinds of different people, as well as having a cool head under pressure and absorbing information quickly. As the Red Army is a publication for Manchester United, it is important for this role to have an interest in the football club and football in general.

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Considering your module choice options? Think again…

July 30, 2012

We (your Careers Service) offer Career Management Skills (CMS) modules which give you the chance to gain academic credits, meet employers and develop skills to make you employable

.

CMS modules are a great way for you to improve your:

  • Job search strategy
  • CVs and applications
  • Interview technique
  • Teamwork skills
  • Presentation skills
  • Business awareness

Plus many lectures are delivered by employers so you can find out exactly what skills they look for.

Through CMS you can build on the skills you have through taking part in group projects and case studies. You can also assess and evaluate your skills helping you prepare for the recruitment process and the world of work.

Some CMS modules are compulsory, some optional and many are credit-bearing.  Look in your school handbook to find out if there is one you can attend, or visit: www.manchester.ac.uk/careers/cms


Looking for work – how selective can you afford to be?

July 18, 2012

Here’s a dilemma for you

  • Unemployment rates are high, some students fear they might not get a job when they graduate.
  • Yet employers tell us they can’t find graduates to fill the jobs.
  • Students and new graduates tell us they aren’t interested in the jobs available.
  • Yet some graduates are content to stay on in casual jobs in bars and fast foot outlets, rather than finding graduate level roles.

Here at Careers Service we hear from students every day that “there are no jobs” and yet we have employers desperate to find students and graduates to apply for vacancies.

We have seen that some vacancies get few hits on our database, and some get few applicants.

Whats going on?

  • Some students are just not ready to think about employment after their final year: High flyers survey tells us that nationally –   13% have no plans after graduation,  12% plan to go travelling or take a gap year, 8% intend to volunteer or get work experience.
  • Are we blinded by high profile companies and won’t look at other organisations no matter what the job is?
  • Are smaller or less high profile companies just not very good at making their opportunities sound interesting?
  • Are some locations not appealing enough?
  • Are the salaries not high enough?
  • Some students tell us they are put off by the time it takes to make an application.
  • Is it low priority to think about careers and graduate jobs if you could continue in your student casual job after you graduate?

If you can’t get your ideal job are you going to give up or look at other options?

The simple facts are:

  • A job is not for life! If you don’t like it or find a better one you can leave.
  • Taking a job in a smaller company may give you more responsibility earlier – a great start to your career.
  • It’s easier to get a job when you are in a job. You are gaining skills and experience and therefore look attractive to other employers.
  • All jobs can’t be exciting all the time. Everyone has things they would prefer not to have to do in a job, be realistic about what jobs really involve.
  • Taking a gap year can be useful, but if you don’t plan ahead it can easily turn into 2 years off with no income.
  • Jobseekers allowance isn’t much, your friends will be out at work so it can get pretty dull especially if you end up having to move home.
  • Casual jobs like bar and fast food jobs are fine to earn money, but if there is no hope of progression and you are still doing it 2 years after graduation it’s not ideal.  Aim to be looking for roles that will give you more experience and skills while you earn money to pay the bills – you could consider a graduate internship.

You can’t afford not to be looking for work.

You only have so much time, so which jobs SHOULD you apply for and which ones should you ignore?

Apply for:

  • Jobs you have the relevant skills and experience for.
  • Jobs you have some of the relevant skills and experience for. Don’t be put off by a long list of requirements you may still be better than other applicants.
  • Jobs where you may not know much about the company but the role sounds interesting. You can easily research the company to find out more.
  • Jobs in places you may not have heard of.  It may not be as far away as you think – research bus and train fares. You don’t necessarily have to live there, if you can commute less than an hour each way you are doing well!
  • Jobs that are less than the average salary.  The average graduate salary is due to hit £26K this year but that takes into account big city firms, most starting salaries will be well below this. 
  • Jobs that are low paid but give you great experience to progress your career – e.g. admin work or teaching assistants.
  • Think strategically – if the location or some element of the job is a little offputting to you, others will probably feel the same. Low application numbers = more chance of success for you!

 Ignore:

  •  Jobs you can’t be bothered to properly research.
  • Jobs you would turn down if you got an interview or an offer.

If you are simply not interested you are wasting your time and the recruiter’s.

There are simply thousands of immediate start jobs available right now, but you need to have a positive attitude and be prepared to put in the time to make a good application.  Employers would rather be short staffed than take on  staff with bad attitudes. So what are you waiting for? Get applying…

 


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