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.

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

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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…

 


Apply for 2013 start – graduate schemes open now!

June 12, 2012

Whether you are just about to graduate or have a year to go, you need to get started now for jobs starting summer 2013.

While there are lots of graduate jobs being advertised at the moment with immediate start dates, some 2013 graduate schemes are also opening now. These opportunities are open to graduates from previous years as well as the class of 2013. If you are graduating this summer, or are just going into your final year there are many reasons why it is a good idea to get in early… Read the rest of this entry »


There’s something for everyone at the Graduate Fair

June 4, 2012

The University of Manchester Graduate Fair takes place at the Armitage Centre in Fallowfield on the 13 and 14 June 2012. It’s your chance to meet with over 160 employers (different ones on each day), who all have immediate vacancies. Find out more and register here: www.manchester.ac.uk/graduatefair

A number of recruiters are looking for graduates of any discipline: Abercrombie and Fitch, Arcadia Group, The Co-operative Group, Deloitte LLP, Google, Matalan, Royal Air Force, Teach First, adidas Group, Asda, Civil Service, Emerald Group Publishing Limited, HSBC, Rolls Royce plc, TEFL Express and Warner Music to name but a few.

A number of others have more specific requirements and are looking for language, business or law students, engineers, scientists and mathematicians.

View the full list of recruiters by subject here: http://www.careers.manchester.ac.uk/media/services/careersandemployabilitydivision/careersservice/talkshandouts/calendarofevents/Summer-Fair-Rec-by-Subject-2012.pdf

Want to know how to make the most of the fair? Come along to one of our ‘Prepare for the Fair’ seminars, more details here: www.manchester.ac.uk/careers/summercareersevents/?src=blog


Last minute planning #catsandcareers No 2

May 21, 2012

Mack was busy revising for his exams and found a copy of the Times Top 100 he had picked up in October, untouched and gathering dust on the shelf.

Never one to to miss an opportunity to procrastinate Mack started investigating graduate employers with enthusiasm.

Mack was horrified to see that the closing dates for many of the graduate schemes listed had passed. It quite put him off his katnip!

He was somewhat relieved to find out however, that there are loads of prime jobs available on the Careers Service vacancy database careerslink.   He set himself up a job agent pronto so that he could receive email alerts for new vacancies and curled up for a nap to recover from the stress.

If you haven’t got a job or course lined up for next year there is still time.

  • Use resources like the Times Top 100, Prospects Directory and Target Jobs – Get Directory to find out about the big graduate schemes with popular recruiters
  • Use Careerslink – to find current vacancies and gradauate schemes with the above recruiters plus local companies and those that are specifically looking for Manchester Graduates. Read the rest of this entry »

About to graduate or want to get a head start for next year?

May 17, 2012

Worried about your job prospects? Thinking what options are open to you? Need advice on how to get a job? Then Summer Careers Events 2012 is for you!

The sun may not be shining yet, but we have organised a programme of events to get your career off to a bright start. Read the rest of this entry »


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