Posts Tagged ‘Recruitment’

Meet the Employer Service Team




Top row, left to right: Nick Clarke, Chloe Collins, James Allen                      Bottom row, left to right: Anjulie Mottram, Gill Mckenzie, Sallie Wilson, Ellie Krastina


For those of you who don’t know, the Employer Service Team was established in March 2013 and sits within the Careers, Employment and Enterprise Service at the University of Hertfordshire. A team of eight we are the only “non-student facing” group within the service and are tasked with building links with industry and acting as the point of contact for anyone wishing to access the wide range of student talent the university has to offer. We also take the lead on employer events within the university such as careers fairs and employer presentations. The Careers, Employment and Enterprise employer services are non-chargeable to the majority of employers as our focus is on providing opportunities for student / recruiter engagement rather than generating revenue. Chances are if you’re a student meeting a recruiter on campus or an employer meeting a student, a member of the Employer Service Team will have played a part in facilitating that link. There are a range of channels open for recruiters to meet students including but not limited to careers fairs, roadshows, guest presentations and lecture drop-ins. We also aim to be as flexible as possible and to accommodate any fresh new ideas recruiters may have for attracting talent.

To find out how we can support you in accessing the full range of student talent and recruiter services please call 01707 284 791 or email

This blog was written by James Allen, Employment and Placements Adviser at the University of Hertfordshire.

Dressing to Impress – Is it worth it?

With another Careers Fair just round the corner we look at the age old conundrum – what to wear?! It might be tempting to rock up in whatever you happened to throw on that morning but remember, people make snap decisions on first impressions. It’s a fact, if not a particularly fair or nice one, that you can be judged on what you wear.

Fair Banner
Recruiters make assumptions about you based on what they experience in the first few minutes of meeting you. This includes your clothing and general grooming (hair, nails, beard, etc.). You should be comfortable when you’re at university – no one expects you to wear a suit to all of your lectures – but this is a different environment. This is the first contact with employers who are in turn looking for their new set of hires in their company. They want to see if you fit with their ‘brand’ and one of the easiest ways for them to do this is to visualise you in their work place. It’s hard to do this if your clothes don’t match.

Casual and smart

Now, not all companies are the same. Some require smart attire in the workplace, for others it’s less important. When going to interview you would research the company in more depth and decide if formal or smart-casual was more warranted (if in doubt – always go formal) but for a careers fair you are looking at lots of different companies, so what’s the best option? Read more…

Assessment Centre advice that really takes the biscuit…

Biscuit PhotoIt’s been a long time coming, you’ve been through the online application form, faced off hundreds if not thousands of other applicants along the way and now it’s time for the toughest challenge yet. It’s down to the cream of the crop, those who have been identified as having the potential to go all the way. All that stands between you and success is Paul Hollywood, Mary Berry, and a series of challenges in the Bake off Tent.


Well, perhaps not! But hopefully you can see the comparison between this and an assessment centre. By the time you reach this stage in the recruitment process you will have evidenced to the employer that you have the skills needed to do the job, you will have fought off a huge amount of competition and now is your opportunity to show this in practice. You just have to show that you are the best candidate in the room, a supportive team player who works well with others.

If you are an avid GBBO viewer you will be aware of the format the show follows:

Signature Challenge

The Signature Challenge is a tried and tested bake that the contestant often makes for their family and friends. Think of this as an IT test; something you do often and are familiar with. You likely use Word and Excel for your course and it is just a case of applying your knowledge in a different setting. You can practise these in advance if you are nervous; use the self-help guides from Information Hertfordshire to remind yourself of the most commonly used formulae in Excel. There is information available about In Tray exercises and other word based tests on CareerHub.

Technical Challenge

The surprise! A bake using the ingredients and recipe provided by the judges but missing vital instructions designed to test the knowledge and skill of the bakers. The contestants have no knowledge in advance as to what the challenge is going to be. This is likely the most intimidating part of the experience and is like the group exercise portion of an assessment centre; you know it is coming but you have no idea about the topic. Here are some top tips to help you:

  • Read the information provided very carefully
  • Check how much time you have available
  • Be sure to take an active part in any discussions
  • See if there is an opportunity to stand out from the competition by volunteering to do a presentation

Whilst you might not know exactly what task you will be set you could attend a mock assessment centre in advance and get a better understanding of what sort of tasks will be used so you are more confident when faced with the real thing. You never know if you’re lucky the same topic could come up, just like the happy baker who is particularly adept at a pastry encrusted poached pear whilst everyone else is clueless.

Cake photo Read more…

Getting your Career Match Fit

2014 FIFA World Cup LogoIt’s been a long wait but it is finally here. The World Cup, the pinnacle of world football. Watching the variations in the team’s styles over the past week has inspired me to think and approach tasks in different ways. Whether it is the creative, samba style of Brazil or the efficient, methodical approach of Germany, there is no one defining style to win the World Cup.

There are countless differences between the 32 teams competing at this year’s world cup; however, every team has one thing in common. Preparation. This should be the same for your job search. There are a variety of different approaches you can take when you start your job search; preparation should be the one thing that always remains…


Select your Squad
Before every World Cup each manager selects his squad. You need to do this too by selecting what roles suit you best. So whilst Roy Hodgson considers whether Rooney should play the left or more centrally, you need to think where you are best suited in terms of work environment, type of job, location, etc. Think about your relevant skills, past experiences, and what you are passionate about. These key areas can help you to ensure you select the perfect squad of jobs for you.

Warm Up Matches
Every team will play warm up matches to fine tune their performances for the real thing. The Careers and Placements Service are your coaches for this to make sure are match ready! Before applying for any vacancies, speak to us to help fine tune your CV, personal statement, and application. World Cup teams will have to change their approach to suit the playing style of different opponents – you need to ensure you adapt your applications to show each employer you have what they are looking for by carefully studying their form; in this case doing your research on the company and looking at the job description thoroughly! Read more…

Graduates Assemble!

Starting out with your first steps into the job hunting world can be daunting. Leaving the relative safety of university life can be a real shock to the system and when you have to find a job as well it can be difficult to get started. Well, you don’t have to face it alone, we’re here to help!


What you might need when you’re just starting out is a few useful tools to get you on your way. So just like Nick Fury we’ve assembled a team of resources to help you get started…

Careers and Placements

Shield logoWe know what it’s like to be a student; head down on the way to the library or to hand in an assignment, you might not have even noticed the Careers and Placements Service exists. But don’t worry if you didn’t notice us, we’re not mad! You can use our services for up to two years after your graduation and best of all, it’s free to do so. We can help with your career decisions, understanding vacancies and how they match your skills, interview techniques, setting up your own business, and more! Think of us as the organisation S.H.I.E.L.D (except in this case it stands for: Situational Help In Employment Learning and Direction!)

Action Plan

IronmanYou have to be the brains behind your job search. Don’t be tempted to sign up to everything without a clear plan. There are plenty of tools and resources out there to help get yourself organised, including this checklist, so suit up now.





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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Read more…

Spot the Scams – Don’t be caught out in your job search

Times are tough out there for job hunters. Not only are you up against high unemployment but you also have to contend with fake jobs and scams designed to prey on you. Sadly, it seems that wherever there is an opportunity to make money, there will be a scammer to take advantage. Here’s some advice on spotting and avoiding them…

Cameras Image

The first thing to remember is that if a job is too good to be true – it probably is. So a job offering a large salary in return for not much work probably isn’t legitimate. Quite often these will be linked to ‘work from home’ positions often requiring basic admin/computing skills and a telephone. These vacancies can prey on your desire to make money in the comfort of your own home. However there can be undisclosed costs involved; telephone charges, printing costs, postage fees, etc.

The ‘scam jobs’ can mirror the terms of these jobs but never actually deliver. You may be asked to pay an up-front fee for ‘training materials’, as a prerequisite for working from home, but once you pay – no job appears. Alternatively you will have to call a premium rate number (usually beginning 0871, 0872 or 0873 but can also include 07 numbers) and then stay on hold for a long period costing you money.

Other scams can ask for you, the applicant, to do a task in order to get the job. These are often marketed as reputable jobs like ‘Finance Manager’ but don’t appear to require any special skills or experience. The employer will explain that you need to pass a test in order to be considered, which may consist of receiving money from them (often in the form of a cheque) and transferring it on to a ‘client’ via bank transfer. This is a form of money laundering often called ‘Money Muling’. You are fooled into thinking you are not losing any of your own funds as the employer is paying into your account when in fact two things may happen: Read more…

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