Tag Archives: #SummerCareerFix

Summer Career Fix: Follow people in your sector

What are you doing this summer to help you stand out from the crowd?

Gary’s bags are packed and he’s ready to jet off to places far sunnier than Cumbria. But he’s not off for a lazy beach holiday – he’s going to be doing one small thing each week that will help in his future career. He doesn’t know what that career is just yet, but that’s ok – most of these things can be done even if you aren’t 100% sure what you want to do. And if you need some help finding your path, you can always email the Careers & Employability service for some advice and guidance: careers@cumbria.ac.uk

So what’s Gary doing this week?

He’s finding relevant people and organisations and following them on social media.

This is a really quick and easy way to improve your career prospects. Instead of mindlessly scrolling Twitter, do some searches to find influential people in your career sector. Follow them and try to get involved in conversations.

This will build up your commercial awareness skills – one of the most important graduate skills that employers look for. Commercial awareness is basically knowing what’s happening in your sector.

So for example if you are an Occupational Therapy student or graduate, search for local NHS trusts to follow, find out who are the influential voices of OT on social media, and also find out about any Twitter chats you can get involved in (#OTalk for example).

This will help when you start applying for jobs as you will have greater understanding of what’s happening in the sector and the important issues happening now.

Come back next week for another #SummerCareerFix 

Support is available from your Careers and Employability Service with career planning, CVs and applications, interview skills, practice interviews and more. Contact careers@cumbria.ac.uk with your careers queries.

Summer Career Fix: Social Media Audit

What are you doing this summer to help you stand out from the crowd?

Gary’s bags are packed and he’s ready to jet off to places far sunnier than Cumbria. But he’s not off for a lazy beach holiday – he’s going to be doing one small thing each week that will help in his future career. He doesn’t know what that career is just yet, but that’s ok – most of these things can be done even if you aren’t 100% sure what you want to do. And if you need some help finding your path, you can always email the Careers & Employability service for some advice and guidance: careers@cumbria.ac.uk

So what’s Gary doing this week?

He’s doing a social media audit!

If you want to get a professional job, you need to present a professional image on social media. The majority of recruiters will google applicants before inviting them for interview so it’s vitally important that you make sure what is online reflects you in a positive and professional way.

There are a couple of things you can do:

  1. Google yourself! See what comes up when you search for yourself online. Any old accounts pop up that you had forgotten about that you can close? What about news articles and images too?
  2. Look at your accounts: Check all your social media channels e.g. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, Yello, Flickr, Bebo, MySpace – check them all! Are your security settings locked down? Are there any posts that would be damaging, for example, drunk photos, swearing, negative posts about your employer – these would all be warning flags to a potential employer.
  3. Take a look at your network and start conversations. Remember that anyone you meet could know about your perfect job, so make those professional connections and use them! Send messages out on your channels about what you’ve been doing to enhance your employability. Let people know you what you are looking for and see where it takes you.

If you would like to find out more about carrying out a social media audit, and why it’s important, you can read this article.

 

Support is available from your Careers and Employability Service with career planning, CVs and applications, interview skills, practice interviews and more. Contact careers@cumbria.ac.uk with your careers queries.

Summer Career Fix: Career Action Plan

What are you doing this summer to help you stand out from the crowd?

Gary’s bags are packed and he’s ready to jet off to places far sunnier than Cumbria. But he’s not off for a lazy beach holiday – he’s going to be doing one small thing each week that will help in his future career. He doesn’t know what that career is just yet, but that’s ok – most of these things can be done even if you aren’t 100% sure what you want to do. And if you need some help finding your path, you can always email the Careers & Employability service for some advice and guidance: careers@cumbria.ac.uk

So what’s Gary doing this week?

He’s creating a Career Action Plan!

A career action plan is a road map that takes you from choosing an occupation to becoming employed in that occupation to reaching your long-term career goals. It has been scientifically proven that you are more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down and set SMART targets.

Once you have decided on a career, you can start to set your goals. Your career action p07lan is made up of these goals and the steps you will take to reach them. There are 3 steps:

  1. Come up with a list of goals – where you do you want to be in 1 year, 5 years, 10 years? Where do you want to work (Location/company)? What skills do you want/need to develop?
  2. Break these goals down into short-term and long-term goals. Short-term in this case means achievable in a year or less. For example, a long-term goal could be completing a masters course. A short-term goal would be applying for the course.
  3. Identify any barriers and how you will overcome them. For example, a barrier to getting a masters could be a learning disability. A way to overcome this would be to research the support available from the student support team.

Keep going back to your career plan once a month or so – keep setting new goals when you achieve your old ones and use your action plan to grab the job you deserve!

We’ve created a couple of resources to help you with your career plan:

Come back next week for another #SummerCareerFix 

Support is available from your Careers and Employability Service with career planning, CVs and applications, interview skills, practice interviews and more. Contact careers@cumbria.ac.uk with your careers queries.

 

 

Summer Career Fix: Update your CV

What are you doing this summer to help you stand out from the crowd?

Gary’s bags are packed and he’s ready to jet off to places far sunnier than Cumbria. But he’s not off for a lazy beach holiday – he’s going to be doing one small thing each week that will help in his future career. He doesn’t know what that career is just yet, but that’s ok – most of these things can be done even if you aren’t 100% sure what you want to do. And if you need some help finding your path, you can always email the Careers & Employability service for some advice and guidance: careers@cumbria.ac.uk

So what’s Gary doing this week?

He’s updating his CV!

While a lot of applications nowadays require you to fill in an online application, it’s still valuable to have an up to date CV ready to go – you never know when you might need one! For example, you might be attending a jobs fair, you might want to apply for a volunteering opportunity, you may want to send a speculative application to a company you want to work with.

The Careers & Employability service have a few resources to help you with updating your CV. There is so much advice online around CVs that it can be hard to know what to include, how it should look, etc. We’ve put together some suggested guidelines (including an example CV), as well as a CV writing checklist and a quick CV exercise to get you started.

If you don’t already have a CV and aren’t sure where to start, take a look at Prospects.ac.uk and TargetJobs for some great tips and advice.

And remember! You can send your CV to us for feedback – just email it to careers@cumbria.ac.uk and we will get back to you within 5 working days.31

Come back next week for another #SummerCareerFix 

Support is available from your Careers and Employability Service with career planning, CVs and applications, interview skills, practice interviews and more. Contact careers@cumbria.ac.uk with your careers queries.

 

 

Summer Career Fix: Do some Volunteering

What are you doing this summer to help you stand out from the crowd? 

Gary’s bags are packed and he’s ready to jet off to places far sunnier than Cumbria. But he’s not off for a lazy beach holiday – he’s going to be doing one small thing each week that will help in his future career. He doesn’t know what that career is just yet, but that’s ok – most of these things can be done even if you aren’t 100% sure what you want to do. And if you need some help finding your path, you can always email the Careers & Employability service for some advice and guidance: careers@cumbria.ac.uk

So what’s Gary doing this week?

He’s finding out about volunteering opportunities!

Volunteering is a great way to gain really useful work experience and skills, try something new or different, and do something worthwhile and rewarding. Furthermore, it will give your future job applications a competitive edge, as it will enable you in job applications or interviews to draw on real life practical examples. For example, employers often want to know what experience you’ve had of working in a team, communicating with a range of different people, or problem solving. So volunteering helps you build up a useful skills bank.

If you are not sure what to do, consider something new to see if you like it. Lots of volunteering roles offer a trial session, so you can get a feel for whether you would like to become more involved.

Volunteering is also useful for getting an inside view on what the workplace is like and seeing what other people in other roles do. Importantly too, it develops your network. You’ll meet other volunteers and make contacts which could lead to other things.

There are lots of different ways you can volunteer. These are just a few ideas to get started.

University of Cumbria Student Union (UCSU)

UCSU have dozens of different volunteering opportunities, and also help students to facilitate their own volunteering experiences – so if there’s something you want to do, let them know and they’ll help you make the most of it. Maybe you’d like to apply the learning from your course, develop your skills, help people in the local community or just try something completely new. Visit www.ucsu.me/volunteering to register and create your volunteering profile or email SUvolunteering@cumbria.ac.uk for more information. UCSU runs volunteering information events too.

Other UK wide options you could explore are:

Do-it makes it easy for anyone to volunteer in their community and lists hundreds of opportunities throughout the country.

vInspired is a youth volunteering charity which connects young people with volunteering opportunities.  Use their search tool to find placements to help make a difference.

GoodGym combines physical tasks that benefit the community and keeps you fit at the same time! You can join a group run to work on a community project, do one off missions to help vulnerable people, or commit to visit an isolated older person every week.

Environmentjob  lists conservation and wildlife opportunities throughout the UK and overseas options too.

If you are interested in bird life, the RSPB welcomes volunteers from bird identifiers to graphic designers.

The homelessness charity Crisis helps deliver services, campaigns, fundraising, administrative and IT support and always needs volunteers.

The Red Cross has lots of opportunities too from working in a charity shop to fundraising and it doesn’t matter how much time you can give.

Cancer Research UK recruits event, media and office volunteers.

 

Volunteering abroad

For a summer volunteering placement, the International Citizen Service programme is worth considering. It’s funded by the UK Government’s Department for International Development and runs 12 week volunteering placements in over 20 countries. The programmes are aimed at 18-25 year olds.

VSO provides volunteering placements overseas, mainly in developing countries, but you can support them in the UK too by volunteering at fund-raising and community events.

 

What are your rights as a volunteer?

As a volunteer, you don’t have the same rights as an employee, and you won’t receive a contract of employment, but you will usually be given a volunteer agreement that explains what training you’ll get, the level of supervision and support you can expect to receive and whether you’re covered under the organisation’s employer or public liability insurance. Health and safety issues should be covered too.

You aren’t paid for your time as a volunteer, but you may get money to cover expenses. This is usually limited to food, drink, travel or any equipment you need to buy.

GOV.UK has a section on volunteering which includes information about your rights as a volunteer.

 

Come back next week for another #SummerCareerFix 

Support is available from your Careers and Employability Service with career planning, CVs and applications, interview skills, practice interviews and more. Contact careers@cumbria.ac.uk with your careers queries.

 

 

Summer Career Fix: Update your LinkedIn profile

What are you doing this summer to help you stand out from the crowd? 

Gary’s bags are packed and he’s ready to jet off to places far sunnier than Cumbria. But he’s not off for a lazy beach holiday – he’s going to be doing one small thing each week that will help in his future career. He doesn’t know what that career is just yet, but that’s ok – most of these things can be done even if you aren’t 100% sure what you want to do. And if you need some help finding your path, you can always email the Careers & Employability service for some advice and guidance: careers@cumbria.ac.uk

So what’s Gary doing this week?

This week, Gary’s updating his LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is a great social media platform to manage your network and can help you find a job. It’s sometimes described as a more professional version of Facebook.

Keeping you LinkedIn profile updated is recomended as it acts as an ‘online CV’ – recruiters will often check out applicants’ profiles, and if they see lots of activity on your feed, it demonstrates that you are keeping up to date with the sector, and that you are actively promoting yourself and your skills.

If you don’t already have a LinkedIn profile, we have a handy guide specifically for students: Building a Student Profile on Linkedin (PDF). If you need any help with LinkedIn, you can always email us for help, too.

Come back next week for another #SummerCareerFix 

Support is available from your Careers and Employability Service with career planning, CVs and applications, interview skills, practice interviews and more. Contact careers@cumbria.ac.uk with your careers queries.

 

Summer Career Fix: Skills Audit

What are you doing this summer to help you stand out from the crowd? 

Gary’s bags are packed and he’s ready to jet off to places far sunnier than Cumbria. But he’s not off for a lazy beach holiday – he’s going to be doing one small thing each week that will help in his future career. He doesn’t know what that career is just yet, but that’s ok – most of these things can be done even if you aren’t 100% sure what you want to do. And if you need some help finding your path, you can always email the Careers & Employability service for some advice and guidance: careers@cumbria.ac.uk

So what’s Gary doing this week?

He’s doing a quick skills audit to find out what skills he already has, and what skills he needs to develop, in order to succeed in his chosen career.

A good one to start with is the National Careers Service’s Skills Health Check. It’s quick and easy and you can save your progress if you need to.

Once you’ve identified the skills you have, add them to your CV! And the skills you need to work on? Get working on them!

 

Come back next week for another #SummerCareerFix 

Support is available from your Careers and Employability Service with career planning, CVs and applications, interview skills, practice interviews and more. Contact careers@cumbria.ac.uk with your careers queries.