Frontrunner for Disabled Students – in Association with EY

Have you heard about this new, (free!), leadership development and employability opportunity for students with disabilities? I thought it might be of interest to some of you!

Frontrunner for Disabled Students in association with EY_EMAIL (2)_Page_1

In association with the professional services firm EY, Common Purpose are launching a two day programme in February 2015 hosted at EY’s global headquarters in London. Over two days students will investigate a challenge set by EY: How can EY employees, or the organisation as a whole, achieve their vision of building a better working world? They will explore this from within EY and also through visits to organisations in London across the public, private and not-for-profit sectors.

This is a great employability opportunity for students and may lead on to summer internship or graduate recruitment opportunities.


The key details are below and you can find out more on the webpage:

Date: 24 – 25 February 2015

Location: London, UK

Course fee: Free. A number of accommodation bursaries are available for students studying outside of London on a first come, first served basis.

Who: Open to all students with a disability, as defined by the website.

Frontrunner for Disabled Students

Social Media and Recruitment Infographic

You know how much we love a good infographic here on the University of Cumbria careers blog, right?! This infographic from has some useful information about how recruiters use social media, including some top tips for students – like checking what’s on your social media profiles – even if you don’t list them on your application, 75% of recruiters now check social media profiles, and a third of employers have rejected candidates based on something they found on their profiles.

You have been warned!!


Friday’s Featured Vacancy – 12/12/2014


Created in 2009, Speaking-agency is the leading provider in France (Paris, Lyon, Lille, Toulouse, Nantes, Bordeaux, Nice, Aix-en-Provence and Montpellier) of childcare services in foreign languages and private language courses to French young children, teens or adults!

Every year we hire over 1000 native or bilingual speakers!

We are looking for native or bilingual speakers (English, German, Spanish, Chinese, etc.) for part-time language teaching (kids, teens or adults) or babysitting (3-12 years old) jobs. More than 100 positions will be available from next January!

It’s more than just a job!

  • Join a community of foreign students/expatriates and get the chance to make new friends from all over the world!
  • Work with kids and pass on your knowledge and passion for languages!
  • Discover a new way of teaching! You will use a specific method developed by experts in language acquisition (our company was named the 2009 most innovative Enterprise in Europe by the JCI).
  • Perks : Free French classes for our employees in Paris, Free Velib’ year pass & free events!
  • Training included.

We adapt to your schedule: positions go from 2 to 20 hours per week.


  • Be at least 18
  • You have to stay for at least 4 months
  • For childcare jobs: previous experience with children required (formal or informal)
  • For teaching jobs: previous experience in teaching required
  • Minimum level of French language is not required

Salary: EUR 10-20 /hour.

To apply, we don’t need a resume: simply fill-in the application form on our website:

Five tips to find work when it’s just not happening

CBIC Showcase

L-R: Sylvia Grainger, Student Enterprise Coordinator; Yasmin Phair – student; Amie Godward – Graduate Intern; Naomi Oosman-Watts, Employability Manager


Hello! My name is Amie Godward and I’m currently a Graduate Intern (Social Enterprise/ UnLtd SEE Change Programme) at the University of Cumbria. I studied Drama at the Lancaster campus and graduated in July 2013. I was elected to be the Student Life Sabbatical at the Students’ Union where I worked for one year. This was a paid position and in this role I represented student views on health, wellbeing, student groups, housing, finance within the union, the university, in the community and nationally. I also ran projects and events, developed and ran training sessions, assisted volunteers, minuted meetings, wrote and presented reports, and was a member of the board of trustees for the students’ union.

After being unsuccessful in my re-election campaign, I began looking for work, naively thinking my experience as a sabbatical would land me a job immediately. It actually took me just over 7 months from finding out I wouldn’t be continuing at the students’ union to find a job.

At first I was only looking for jobs in students’ unions. I had a few positive interviews where I just missed getting it, or was the second choice, even travelling for over 13 hours for an interview in Norwich, to be told they would have hired me if their first choice had turned down the offer.

After finishing at the SU in June, I moved into my partner’s parents’ house in North West Cumbria.  I began to run out of money pretty fast, and so the idea of moving to a different location became impossible. This narrowed the work I could look for, as I was only searching in Cumbria and around my home town in West Yorkshire. I was predominantly looking at working in the charity sector, and I seemed to be applying for loads of jobs all the time. It got to the point where I had to register as unemployed and claim Jobseekers Allowance, which meant I now had strict criteria for my job searching, and certain ‘targets’ to reach on a weekly basis.

Again, in my complete ignorance, I presumed being on JSA would mean I’d find a job straight away as I was now applying for everything and anything, but I was wrong, and I was searching and applying for 35 hours a week for 3 months before I found my current job.

Don’t let that panic you though! I was far from the perfect job searcher. Although towards the end I had learnt some pretty important things about looking for work.

  1. Always have a plan. I had no real idea what I wanted to do, or where I wanted to do it, which made it nearly impossible to job search. Speak to the careers service, they’re there to help you. Speak to your friends, find out what they are doing. It’s fine to not know what you want to do straight away, but if you can have some idea of area, whether that’s geographical or career wise, then it’ll definitely help.
  2. Tailor your CVs. This is on every single CV guidance website and job searching site but it’s absolutely true. Having a few different CVs depending on what job you’re applying for is great. You might be applying for one job where they’re looking for someone with event planning skills, and you might have never done that in your last job at Tesco, but when you volunteered for that local music festival, you gained loads of event planning expertise.
  3. Prepare your answers. A great piece of advice I got from an old boss was to think of the questions you would ask if you were on the interview panel. You can look online and find examples of general questions, but really think about the role, look at the person specific, what are they going to need information about? What things do you want to tell the interviewer? You don’t need to memorise your answers word for word, but there are general things that will come up time and time again. Be confident in your answers too, have someone ask you them and practice how you will say them out loud.
  4. Consider your weaknesses. Another tip from my old boss (a very wise man) was to recognise what the interviewer might see as a weakness, and turn it into a positive. For example, the main negative for graduates might be lack of experience, but flip that on its head; you’ve gained an enormous amount of skills at university, you aren’t going to need to completely readjust or learn different processes, you are eager to learn and work hard, the employer has the opportunity to work with a ‘blank canvas’ so to speak. I didn’t see the question come up that often, but the first time I was totally stumped, the second time I was prepared.
  5. Write ‘stock’ statements. I wrote and re-wrote so many similar statements in applications towards the beginning of my job search, then I realised I was just repeating myself. I saved statements in sections depending on the kind of job I was applying for, and just edited them according to the person spec and job description. It saved me tonnes of time and made the whole process less daunting knowing I didn’t have to re-write statements every time. For example, for jobs working with student groups, I saved a paragraph where I talked specifically about the projects I worked on with student groups, and an introduction that focussed on that area of work. For jobs that focussed on volunteer coordinating, I saved a paragraph about working with volunteers in the SU, and a paragraph as my time as a volunteer. This is particularly helpful if you’re applying for lots of similar jobs. Remember though; don’t just copy and paste, make it personal to the job!

Thanks for your great article Amie! If any current students or alumni would like to volunteer a post for the blog, please email


5 Tips for using your careers service at University

I found this really useful post over on the Enterprise blog, and thought it would be good to share with our readers. You can view the original post on the Enterprise blog here.

Taking advantage of your university’s careers service is extremely important, but the reality is that a vast majority of students don’t even visit, and most of them don’t even think about making the most of what they offer until they are in the final year of university.

University is supposed to prepare you for a career, and one of the ways that they do this is to make sure that you get all the support during your degree to find a job. Many universities continue to offer this service to new graduates, sometimes up to two years later depending on where you studied.

Here are five great things that you can get help with when you visit your university career service.

Find a direction

Some people, like dentists, doctors or nurses, have a degree that normally leads into a specific job. But if you are still a little bit confused about all the options available to you, then it is worth booking a consultation with your career advisor well before you start your final year.

For your initial meeting, they will find out a little more about what you are up to and the things you enjoy. They can tell you more about different industries and types of roles you could explore. If you go early enough you can arrange placements and internships that could help you understand which career you should pursue after graduation.


Most companies and recruiters who are looking for students to take part in their internship programmes will ensure that they share opportunities with careers services around the country, so they are a great resource to help you find a summer internship or an industrial placement.

It’s certainly worth going to meet them. It might be that you haven’t yet developed the right skills or have not thought about other possibilities when it comes to where you could spend your internship. By sitting down with a careers advisor and telling them your career plans you can find something that suits your future plans.


One of the best ways to find your way in the career market is to speak to someone who’s already applied for graduate jobs and internships and has ‘inside’ knowledge about the kind of work you hope to do. Universities have access to a great pool of alumni who work in all different fields, and some of them offer to mentor graduates from their university.

Because you have a shared connection, it makes it easier to be invited to networking opportunities and to help you make those connections that you’ll need once you start looking for a job. It’s also a great way to find out more about the recruitment process at companies that you want to work for.

Interview and CV skills

Writing a resume isn’t a skill that you’re born with, but something you develop. Some universities will offer one-to one sessions for CVs, whilst others will arrange classes so that you can work in a group and find out more about presentation skills, what to include and how to pen the perfect cover letter.

Interview technique is also an important skill to develop. If you can, book a mock interview session –  this is a great way of getting some practice in before the big day, and especially important for those who haven’t had a lot of interview experience.

Starting your own business

The career service might look like it focuses on finding graduate trainee positions for students, but they offer some more alternative services too. If you’ve got a great idea to start your own company or want to find out more about loans, business planning and how to start out in general, then the team will be happy to help you with that as well.

Don’t forget that you can find plenty of careers and employability advice on Enterprise’s website, from job application tips to interview techniques. Make sure you also visit the Enterprise website if you’re looking for internship opportunities or graduate management trainee roles.

Friday’s Featured Vacancy – 05/12/2014


TEFL Heaven are currently recruiting motivated and enthusiastic people to fill their teaching positions abroad. The main task is to teach conversational English to students mainly through games and fun. They offer various kinds of teaching positions which come as packages and have the following benefits:

  • Organized teaching placement
  • TEFL training before hand if applicable
  • Visa assistance
  • Housing assistance

They currently have placements in the following countries

  • Thailand
  • South Korea
  • India
  • Costa Rica

In order to apply for positions and programs, you need to be a native English speaker or at least near-native and have a Bachelor degree in any field. You also need to be committed, enthusiastic and open minded towards new cultures and lifestyles – these programs are not for the faint-hearted.

For more information, please visit the website at

Win a web design internship at a top London agency!

Imagine you are a web design agency, and small business owners are visiting your site to look for web design services.

Your task is to design the perfect landing page to optimise conversion rate from people visiting your page, to submitting a request for web design work. You’ll need to entice them to submit their brief with you, and convince them that you are the best option from all the sites they’ve looked at prior to yours.


What do I win?

A one-week internship at Camden-based online marketing agency atom42, working with their dedicated web designer.


What do I need to do?

Create a single landing page to optimise visit-to-request conversion rate from people looking for web design work from your agency.

This can either be a working webpage, or a graphically designed representation of the page, hosted on your website.

You should provide supporting annotation to describe why you have used each element on the page you create.


How do I submit my entry?

To submit your entry, upload your design to your website/online portfolio with a couple of sentences introducing your work, and referencing that you’re entering the competition in conjunction with the Marketing Quotes web design page (
Then, email your page to with the subject line “Web design competition entry”.

*** EXTENDED: The deadline for submissions has been extended to 11 January 2015, so you have loads more time to get your entry in!! *** 

Good luck!



This competition is available to entrants over the age of 18. The prize offered is unpaid work experience shadowing members of the atom42 web design team. Accommodation and travel costs are not included in the prize.