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Posts Tagged ‘Networking’

Big Things come from Small Beginnings

Acorn ImageTo all our new starters, Welcome to the University of Hertfordshire! It’s fantastic to have you with us and we look forward to having more contact with you over the years of your study. Your career after university might seem a long way off but making a few small changes now can make all the difference when you do finally reach graduation. The greatest oak tree had to grow from the smallest acorn and I believe you have the potential to have a great career if you take our advice now. Remember you only have 1000 days in which to make an impact*, use them well!

– Judith Baines, Head of Careers, Employment and Enterprise

We know it’s difficult to think about the future; it can be hard enough planning for the week, especially if university is a new experience for you, let alone three or four years ahead to the end of your degree. The good news is that we aren’t forcing you to decide anything just yet because, even if you have no idea what you want from your future career, there are activities that you can take part in now to increase your prospects further down the line.

Get work experience

You may have seen in the media that graduates are having a hard time finding work when they finish. University is most definitely about learning but just relying on your academic skills to find work can be a big mistake. Employers want to know that you’re able to function in the workplace as well – in fact 75% of graduate vacancies are likely to be filled by graduates that have already completed work experience with that employer. No matter what your job is you’ll learn something so even part time work can have benefit.

Join a Club or Society

Not only are they great ways to make new friends at the beginning of uni, they are also great environments to learn new skills. Read more…

Catch up with the #UHFair2014

This time last week we were just winding down after another successful Jobs and Careers Fair at the University of Hertfordshire! It was a great day but if you missed it you can still get a taste of the day here, read on for more…

The Careers Fair was excellent, great to speak to such a variety of students all keen to learn about our opportunities.

TUI UK & Ireland

With blue skies and sun shining it was a great start to the day and College Lane was looking very well turned out with the Forum ready to welcome employers and a marquee erected on the grass just outside our office. For those who had just finished their exams and were looking towards the future this could be their first step as they readied themselves to meet the 47 employers exhibiting on the day.

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24 Hours – Count down to the Jobs and Careers Fair

24Jack Bauer from the series 24 manages to achieve a lot in one day. Can you out do him and save your career?! The Jobs and Careers Fair is tomorrow and there is still time to make sure you’re fully primed. Remember, any prep you can do before the day is better than none at all…

 

We’re not expecting CTU levels of knowledge but you need to know about the event; what it is, where it’s happening, who is attending and what is expected of you. Do some research into the companies attending, including looking at the vacancies they’re advertising on CareerHub, so you know if they’re looking for your skills. Employers tell us that one of the biggest turn off’s when meeting a student at a fair is being asked ‘What do you do then?’ How can you impress a company if you don’t know about their activities? Be prepared to stand out and flatter them with your knowledge!

Be aware of what employers are looking for from you. What skills are important to them? What should you use to sell yourself to them? Now these will be different from employer to employer, company to company, but the video below is a good indication of what to look for…

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LinkedIn Pro Tip #247

04/04/2014 3 comments

LinkedInUsing LinkedIn for your career networking can be a fantastic way to get a head start in the job market. There’s lots of little hints and tips pro users employ to get the best of the ‘professional network’ but with LinkedIn showing you updates from your contacts, Pulse delivering must-read insights from influencers, and your group notifications pinging away, you can still miss the best tips. Here’s one that you might find useful…

LinkedIn Screenshot 01

LinkedIn has a great little tool for tracking your interactions with your connections. If you haven’t used it yet, this tour notification may pop up for you, if not click on ‘relationship’ underneath your connection’s picture.

LinkedIn Screenshot 02

Here you get the option to save a note about your connection; how you met (for example at a networking event), what you talked about, offers of help you have made or received, reminders of meetings or birthdays. You can save who introduced you and even set up your own tagging system to organise your contacts.

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n00b to 1337 – Power up your career!

01/04/2014 2 comments

Man chased by InvaderI heard a great bit of advice last week – from the hip hop artist Joey Bada$$ – which lent itself really well to when you think about your career search. In an interview with Radio 1’s Alice Levine, Joey mentioned that he takes every opportunity to gain ‘experience points’ in order to help him advance in his life and career. I think you can take it further and look at the whole career journey this way…

Level 1 Begin
HeartWhen you first set out to job hunt or look at your career you will be a beginner. Just like on the first level of a game, you’re not sure what’s going to come next. But you don’t head into a game expecting to win it first time, do you? Cautiously you head into the game world expecting to be surprised and probably having to re-start at some point. So what can you do to continue? Read some reviews of the game to see what you can expect and use that to help you get started.

Training Mode
In games like Call of Duty, where you play online against lots of different people, you can practice first in a training mode. Here you can get an understanding of how the game works and what you need to do. Work experience, like internships and volunteering, is a great way to build your skills in training mode. You’ll gain experience points which you can use when you get into the game properly.

level Up
MedalLike all games, you need to up your game at some point; you can’t stay a n00b for ever. The next levels of the game you need to refine your skills and start learning how the game works. The world of work is the same thing; knowing that you need a magic scroll (CV) before you can ask the gatekeeper (employer) for entrance to the silver castle (…you get the idea). These are your experience points, start racking them up now.

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Get the Skills to Pay the Bills

Work Experience Fair Banner

As someone who is currently working in the Careers and Placements Service, Stella has a little more insight into the value of work experience than your average student might. Here she shares some of what she’s learnt…

 

Business success imageGrowing up you may have had your parents urging you to go to university because, with a degree in your hands, you would be able to land your dream job. And now you are here, starting or in the process of finishing the degree you have chosen. However when I came to university I was told a different story: the degree alone is not as important as the skills you have gained from work experience; a combination is what will help you get that ideal job.

I barely had work experience skills when I came to uni, I gave all my attention to my academic work thinking that would be enough. Sure, the grades are to some extent significant, but as I progressed through my first and slowly started to get into my second year, everyone urged me to chase work experience because of  what an employer is looking for in a candidate these days: skills.

‘Skills’ is such a broad term though. Do I need to know about Java?  Customer service?  Or how to make balloon animals?

Depending on the industry you would like to see yourself in, there are a set of skills an employer is looking for in a potential employee. But no one was born with skills; you have to find a way to get yourself introduced to some of the basics. According to my Line manager, what employers are usually looking for is Read more…

Time to Start Thinking About Your Career?

Our next student writer, Lizzie Butler, looks at the first stages of your career, thinking about the  job you want to go into and how to take the first tentative steps into that industry.

 

As a University student you probably have a lot on your mind. From writing essays to making new friends, figuring out how to budget so you can pay your rent and eat while still meeting your weekly social engagements. Being at university can be very stressful, even after you’ve settled in, and before you know it your first year is over. By the beginning of your second year you need to be thinking about what you’re going to do once you’ve finished your degree. I’m going to offer a few tips to help get you started.

My first piece of advice would be to figure out what kind of career it is that you’re interested in pursuing. You’ve already made a big step in choosing what to study at University but consider what would attract you to a job. Maybe it would be the pay, the location, or perhaps it’s a hobby you would like to make more of. One of the best ways you can help yourself decide if will be the right for you is by getting involved within your preferred area.

 

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Look for volunteering opportunities in the sector you are interested in. No, you won’t get paid but it shows dedication and genuine enthusiasm because there is no money as an incentive. Read more…

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