Category Archives: application

New Year, New Strategy!

If you’ve been applying for jobs left, right and centre, but not getting anywhere, maybe it’s time to change your strategy. With 2015 lurking around the corner, why not make a fresh start with your job search strategy, and make 2015 the year you shine! 

Be clear on where you want to go

If you haven’t been getting anywhere with your previous applications, take a loo at the roles you are applying for. Do they suit your skill set? Do you meet the criteria in the job description? If not, you could be wasting your time applying for the wrong jobs.

Take the time to really think about the role you want, and that is realistic and achievable. There are some great careers planners available (TargetJobs and Prospects are two we recommend), which can really help you understand the jobs that you would be suited to.

Once you have identified a suitable area, undertake lots of research into companies and the industry to get insider knowledge that will really help your application stand out.

 

Target your applications

This is something we tell students time and again – tailoring your CV and cover letter for each application is one of the most important things you need to be doing when job searching. It shows that you have taken your time to research the job and the company, and will give you the opportunity to demonstrate to the employer how you will fit into the job role.

If you have to decide between applying for lots of jobs with a standard (non-tailored) CV, or applying for a few jobs with a customised CV, always choose the latter. Quality over quantity wins every time!

 

Fail to prepare, prepare to fail!

Interviews need to be prepared for just as much as your application – if not more so! Get ready for all of those invites coming in by looking at the different types of interviews you might be faced with (for example, group interviews, assessment centres, etc.) and learn how to prepare for them. You can also research common interview questions for your sector and prepare your answers, using examples to really show how you have used your skills in real-life situations.

Getting a good collection of examples together at this stage means that you will be able to walk into the interview knowing that you will be able to give some strong answers to questions that are likely to come up.

If you struggle with nerves, arrange a couple of mock interview with the careers service before your interview, to gain some experience and some feedback on your technique. Email careers@cumbria.ac.uk to book a mock interview.

 

Don’t be afraid to follow-up

So you’ve applied and been for interview, but haven’t had a response – frustrating, right? Following up applications and interviews with a phone call or email shows that you are a keen applicant and that you are still interested in the role.

It may be difficult to ask, but if you have been unsuccessful it’s always a good idea to ask for some feedback on what you did well, and what you could have done better. This way you will be better prepared for your next interview.

 

Remember that the careers team is here to help you from the day you arrive at University, all the way through your studies, and for up to three years after you graduate too. We can offer application and CV feedback, as well as mock interviews and general careers guidance. Email careers@cumbria.ac.uk to get in touch.

 

 

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Friday’s Featured Vacancy – 12/09/2014

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The biggest public sector employer offering permanent graduate jobs.

APPLICATIONS OPEN NOW!

Given the size of the civil service, there are an unparalleled wealth of roles and experiences on offer. There are lots of different routes to choose – just click on the links below for more information:

The deadline for most Fast Stream programmes is 3 November 2014. The deadline for the Commercial and Finance Fast Streams and Analytical schemes is 30 September 2014.

Be an early bird this summer!

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Summer is here, exams are over and you don’t have to be back on campus until October – time to put your feet up. Or is it? Well, not if you want to be the career early bird and bag yourself a job before you graduate. Some of the big graduate schemes are already open for business, so there’s no time to waste if you want to get ahead of the pack. 

 

Make a start

From now onwards it’s possible to make applications for graduate schemes, so use this window of opportunity while you can. Feedback from some of our top graduate recruiters suggests that three-quarters of applications are usually made in the final third of the recruitment cycle. Many employers recruit on a rolling basis so that they start reviewing applications as soon as they arrive; you stand a better chance of scaling that first hurdle if you submit an early application. Leave it too late and the vacancies may be filled.

Before you rush off to start writing your applications, just pause for a moment and put yourself in the shoes of a graduate recruiter.  In particularly competitive sectors employers may be reviewing hundreds or even thousands of applications. Some may outsource this function or use applicant tracking systems, but for many it’s still a manual process. And that means reading through application after application – a pretty monotonous task.  They have the unenviable job of having to look for reasons to reject, not select,  applicants and nearly all will carry out a rapid “first cut” to remove the worst offenders.

Mistakes will cost

The stark truth is that for some recruiters, and law firms are top of this list, even one typo or grammatical or spelling mistake can be enough to see you rejected. Don’t rely on spell check to do the work for you and watch out for the (un) helpful autocorrect feature, which can turn a grammatically sound sentence into a syntactical nightmare. You might type something correctly, and find its changed into something far less pleasing.  Autocorrect is particularly prone to change ”your” to ”you’re” and “its” to “it’s”. Always get someone else to proof your document before you hit send. You will read for what you expect to see, a third-party will read what’s there – therein lies the difference!

If you don’t enjoy crafting fluent English sentences, or if English is not your first language, the application process is going to be even more fraught. Keep your sentences and your vocabulary simple and don’t be tempted by the thesaurus. If you try to impress with long words and you’re unsure what they mean, your application will fall flat. At best the application will provided some unintended humour and at worst you’ll frustrate the recruiter who’s trying to disentangle the meaning.  Remember that application writing is not the same as academic writing: clarity is king. A simple sentence which conveys meaning suggests an ability to communicate clearly and is a reasonable indicator that you can write coherent reports, letters of advice and memos. Such writing might see you through the cut.

You may be feeling confident about your chances, particularly if you’re graduating with a (predicted) first, have an internship under your belt and have been a society president. This confidence may be misplaced! If you submit a rushed application littered with errors, your chance of proceeding to the interview stage is virtually nil.

How many words?

Use the information in the application form to guide the length of your answers. If a question has a 500 answer word limit then you won’t be able to produce a compelling answer in 300 or 400 words.  It may sound obvious, but read and answer the question asked – not the one you’d prefer to answer. And don’t think you can just re-hash answers from an earlier application form; recruiters can see through these games and get irritated by attempts to throw them off course.

And finally…

Never copy and paste, always start each new application from scratch as a new document and keep referring back to the question. When you are writing essays you need to answer the question to get good marks – application forms are no different! Remember that we’re here to help and guide you through the application process, but that doesn’t mean we’ll do the work for you.  Will we check applications – yes? Every single one? Certainly not. You need to take ownership of the process and apply the right techniques. Do that and you’re on the road to success.

This post was originally published by Claire Leslie on the University of Warwick’s Careers Blog.

If you would like any help with job applications, you can get in touch with the UoC Careers team by email: careers@cumbria.ac.uk 

Artists Access to Art Colleges Scheme 2014 (AA2A)

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The AA2A project (Artists Access to Art Colleges) is offering 90 placements, giving artists and designer makers the opportunity to undertake a period of research or realise a project using art college facilities e.g. workshops, IT facilities, lending library, and lecture programme. AA2A schemes aim to benefit students and institutions through their interaction with practising artists

For full eligibility criteria and details of how to apply visit:  http://www.aa2a.org/apply

• Access is free, for at least 100 hours, between Oct 2014 and April 2015
• AA2A has a Hardship Fund, primarily for artists on benefits providing support of up to £200
• Closing dates for applications vary but all are in September 2014
• Artists on AA2A schemes run from 2012 to 2013 or before can now reapply
• All applicants must have at least one year’s professional practice
• This year M.A. students with at least one year’s experience as an artist, can apply in the same year they graduate
• Applicants should be able to work with minimal technical support

To see current AA2A artists’ work go to http://aa2a.biz or read previous artists’ stories here.
AA2A particularly welcomes applications from applicants with disabilities, from culturally diverse backgrounds and non-graduates.

Map and list of our 21 schemes with links to their application information: http://www.aa2a.org/colleges
Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for regular, updated information.

Don’t finish your career before it starts!

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The UK fraud prevention service is warning new graduates that they could be risking risk their futures by lying on job applications

So you’ve graduated from Uni – congratulations! After all the partying, it’s time to get your CV ready and start applying for those all-important graduate jobs. But what are the consequences of lying on your job application?

The UK’s Fraud Prevention Service (CIFAS) has produced a new publication: Don’t finish your career before it starts. This leaflet is targeted at current students as well as graduates and explains to young people about job application fraud – which despite the myths that lying on your CV is harmless, could result in imprisonment. A lot of graduates think that ’embellishing’ your CV, by adding A Levels or making up references is acceptable, even expected. In reality, if you submit false or exaggerated information on your application, you could end up being dismissed, getting a criminal record or even in jail.

The aim of the publication is not to portray young people as fraudsters, but to educate them in the risk they are taking if they are tempted to embellish their experience and achievements. Research carried out by CIFAS demonstrates that a lot of applicants are unaware that job application fraud is a crime.

Did you know that there is an Internal Fraud Database run by CIFAS that allows employers to record cases of actual or attempted job application fraud (as well as fraud committed within employment such as stealing money, bribery and corruption)? They can also check any new applications to the company against this database.

What this means is that if you attempt to gain employment after being recorded in the database, then your previous fraudulent application will be uncovered – even if your most recent application is genuine. This could have a massive impact on your graduate job prospects!

We know how tempting it can be to tell a little white lie on your application, especially if you haven’t been getting a very good response from those applications you have submitted – but it just isn’t worth the risk! If you feel that your application or CV is not working for you, make an appointment with the Careers Team, or send it to the careers inbox for some feedback (careers@cumbria.ac.uk) – we are here all summer and happy to help!!

 

Post adapted from http://www.cifas.org.uk/warning_to_new_graduates

Friday’s Featured Vacancy – 18/07/2014

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Full Time Front of House Staff at The Fenwick Seafood Pub – Lancaster

The Fenwick in Claughton are looking for front of house staff to join our team. Full time & part time positions are available. Successful candidates must have a good attitude to work, positive mental attitude & be a team player. Experience is preferable. This rapidly expanding company are very keen on promoting from within & are expanding all the time.

To apply, send a CV and covering letter FAO Tom Wilkinson via Indeed.co.uk: http://www.indeed.co.uk/cmp/The-Fenwick-Seafood-Pub/jobs/Front-House-Staff-5ba43fe98b5436e6 

Shop Floor Assistant at Asda, Carlisle

How will you make a difference?

Here’s the short answer;

Our customers love us as much for our friendly, helpful service as for our fantastic low prices. On the shop floor you have a great opportunity to welcome customers, talk to them, help them and make their shopping trip memorable. You also have an important part to play in helping us meet our sales targets, whether it’s by recommending a product to a customer or making sure the shelves are stocked with the things they want to buy.

Everyday matters

Out there on the shop floor you’re in the front line of our business, providing great service to the very highest standards. We’re proud of our warm and friendly service. It’s what our customers love and have come to expect. So we’ll always expect you to:

Service

  • Have a smile in your voice as well as on your face. Always say hello and goodbye and talk to customers, showing an interest in their needs
  • Treat every customer as an individual. You may be the first person they’ve spoken to in the store
  • If a customer asks where to find a product, don’t just point or give directions, take them to it – and have a chat along the way
  • If a customer has a complaint, try and resolve the problem yourself or quickly decide if it’s an issue for a manager. Be sympathetic and don’t get flustered
  • WOW customers with your friendliness

Sales

  • Try to recommend additional products to meet customers’ needs
  • Help to maximise sales (and customer satisfaction) by keeping shelves replenished and products always available
  • Be aware of promotions going on in the store and make sure customers are aware too

Closing Date: 22 July 2014

Apply online at https://hourly.asda.jobs/TGWEbHost/jobdetails.aspx?jobId=402061&siteid=5034&partnerid=25222

Friday’s Featured Vacancy – 11/07/2014

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Fat Media are recruiting!

Graduate Vacancies closing on 24/07/2014:

Developers

We are looking for four trainee Developers; two with an interest in HTML5 and CSS and two with a Back End Development preference.

You will need a 2:2 degree in computing, software engineering, IT or Web Development, a demonstrable ability to work in a team and a passion for remaining at the forefront of technology and designing new development techniques.

Please supply an example of your code with your application.

 

Designers

We are looking for two web designers. You will need a degree in graphic design, web design or any other design related degree.

You must submit a portfolio demonstrating innovation and creativity. Degree class is less important. You must also be able to persuade us that you are interested in designing for the web.

 

Project Management

We are looking for one graduate trainee who will ideally have at least a 2:2 degree in project management or have covered project management as part of their degree course.

We will train you in modern complex project management techniques including Kanban and Scrum.

Apply now at http://www.fatmedia.co.uk/apply/26