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A Helping Hand for your Career

“I don’t need to see a Careers Adviser because I already know what I want to do…”

“I need to see a Careers Adviser because I don’t know what I want to do… and they can tell me …”

Does one of these statements reflect your views? I’ve often heard comments like these and thought it might be helpful to de-bunk some common myths about what Careers Advisers have to offer – read on and I’ll try to make sure that you don’t miss out on some invaluable help.

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So first, a few things you might not know about Careers Advisers:

  • We’re professionally qualified. We’ve all undertaken training to develop our skills and we work to professionally accredited standards.
  • We won’t tell you what to do. If you’re hoping for a quick career fix this might be bad news! What we do is explore the options open to you, make suggestions and help you to work out what your next steps should be.
  • We’re impartial. Our aim is to help you work out a career strategy or come to a decision that’s right for you. We’re not paid commission, we won’t force you into a particular job or course, and we don’t let our own personal views interfere with the guidance that we give.
  • We don’t know everything. We do know a lot and the Service has specialists in different career areas however if we don’t have the answer straight away we can usually find it for you.

If you don’t know what you want to do – we don’t have magic wands!

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You probably won’t leave your first meeting with a Careers Adviser knowing exactly what your future career should be (although it does happen occasionally). What we can do is help you in:

  • Getting focused. We can work with you to pinpoint how focused you already are. Often students who say they have “no idea” about their future do in fact have some ideas of sectors that interest them or things they definitely want to avoid.
  • Your situation. We can help you look at your individual situation. You might have specific interests or abilities that you want to use that will influence your career choice, for example desire to travel or wanting to help people. There might also be personal barriers such as financial restrictions or health issues.
  • Deciding. We can suggest strategies and resources to help you make a decision including recommending online questionnaires and specialist careers information.

Choosing a career path takes time and you can make further appointments with an Adviser if you need to.

If you do know what you want to do – then you still have to get there

Careers Advisers can also help you with your application strategy for jobs and courses:

  • Knowing where to look. We can help you to identify the best websites to use for finding jobs/courses in your chosen field and suggest strategies for finding jobs that aren’t advertised.
  • Applications. We offer one-to-one help with putting together a professional CV, writing a targeted personal statement and tackling competency questions on application forms.
  • Interviews and Assessment Centres. We give expert help with preparing for typical (and not so typical) interview questions and exercises.

At a time of increasing competition for graduate jobs you need to have and excellent application and interview technique. Careers Advisers can help you with this every step of the way.

So if you’d like to talk to an Adviser,

book a Quick Query or Careers Guidance appointment via CareerHub

or drop-in 12.00-2.00pm (Mon-Fri) at either of our offices.

photo credit: Veronique Debord and Marco Bellucci via photopin cc

Suzanne Ball is a Careers Adviser in the Careers and Placements Service at the University of Hertfordshire. http://twitter.com/CareerView

Suzanne Ball is a Careers Adviser in the Careers and Placements Service at the University of Hertfordshire.

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