Friday, August 30, 2013

Time to say goodbye

And now, the end is near, and so I face the final curtain. But, before it falls, the fat lady needs to sing.

It’s her day off, though, so you’ve got one final aria from me. I’d like to give you a peek into what a TARGETjobs intern gets up to, and share with you what I’ve learned from my time on this job before I head up north again to don the red gown of St Andrews.

Like Laura, Hollie and Harriet, I too have spent time working on TARGETjobs print titles, Law and IT & Technology. Work involved liaising with representatives from the companies that feature in the titles to obtain editorial content, occasionally writing this content up for publication. The most useful thing I learned from this work was how to conduct telephone conversations in a professional manner confidently. I’ve had experience of handling business-related telephone communications before, but in that previous job I was acting as a first-point-of-contact: I would direct calls to the appropriate person, do my best to answer them, or politely decline to give any details over the phone. In this job, however, I was starting off a conversation that needed to bear fruit at the end, and it felt like a lot of responsibility! The calls went well, and I obtained the permission or copy that was needed. There were one or two slippery fish, but they were eventually netted, and I now feel confident that I can handle these calls and maintain client relationships.

I have also had the opportunity to write articles for the TARGETjobs website, honing my researching skills so that I can complete relevant research efficiently within a limited time frame, a completely different skill to finding the right text in long research stints in the university library!

My time spent on the Guardian UK 300 and RECOVERY magazine was beneficial in more ways than one. From the first, I learned how to write up recorded interviews into an 800 word article, and handle the feedback from the interviewees. In the second, accurately summarising news stories into short formats and then reacting to breaking news and incorporating those developments into existing articles has enhanced skills gained through my journalism experience and applied them to a professional situation, which was very helpful.

One of my major developments here, however, has been in my ability to tailor my writing for different audiences. After three years of academic essays and factual news articles my writing style had grown very formal and academic, which is not appropriate in certain circumstances. Writing articles for the website and blog posts has softened my style somewhat, and re-invigorated my creativity. It’s a great idea for anyone who finds writing difficult: start a blog, or, if you, like me, need a strong nudge to start you down the creative road again, put yourself in a position where blogging is required of you. You will soon find that it limbers your creative muscles.

I have also received some fantastic CV advice from the editors here (honestly, check out what they have to say about CVs and covering letters on their website – it’s gold-dust), and advice on my future career, for which I am immensely grateful. All that remains is for me to say thank you to everyone at TARGETjobs for a fantastic three months, and to bid you all farewell.


TARGETjobs News round up

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s the brand spanking new TARGETjobs website! Hi everyone, it’s Hollie here and I’m pretty excited about the weekend, but I’m going to tell you why I’m even more excited about what’s been going on at TARGETjobs this week.

Some of you might have noticed that our website was offline on Wednesday, but that’s because we were undergoing a glorious makeover and now we’re back and better than ever.

We’ve still got all the same great content but now there’s a lovely new layout to make your research into our graduates jobs and advice even easier. If you want handy advice about applying to a particular employer then take a look at the ‘what we say’ section of their profile on our employer hubs.

Have you been thinking of a career in retail banking or insurance but are worried about not having a numerate degree? We’re here to help with information about which employers hire graduates from any degree discipline, what kind of maths you need to know for your application and exactly how to prepare yourself for assessments.

If you’re an aspiring barrister or solicitor then listen up! Law fair season is about to start, so if you want to impress the legal recruiters you’ll meet there, then read our advice on how to make an impact. These useful tips will help you on your way to securing your desired training contract or pupillage so be sure to have a look.

Alan is now up to a whopping £3942.12 and it’s only week 12 of his One Pound Challenge. Visit his page to catch up with his adventure and discover what he’s learned about business and finance.

And one more thing before I go: stay ahead of the game and don’t forget to check which graduate jobs have deadlines this week.

Happy weekend guys!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Announcing this year's TARGETcourses Bursary winners

This spring TARGETcourses ran a competition giving away five bursaries, each worth £2,000 for students pursuing a postgraduate course in the 2013/14 academic year in the UK. 

To enter students had to answer three questions in no more than a total of 1,000 words. This year the questions were:

-          How will postgraduate study contribute to your career goals?
-          How will your postgraduate experience and qualification benefit the community, the economy or indeed any other person or group?

-         Apart from academic knowledge, what else do you expect to learn from postgraduate study?
The competition proved very popular, with more than 1,000 entries. And to make sure every entry was given a fair chance, the TARGETcourses team was busy for more than two weeks thoroughly checking each one. There was even a panel of judges involved!

After all this hard work five worthy winners were announced: Alexandra Khageeva, Kayla Song, Stephanie Watts, Fay Hart and Mahwish Batool.

Judging by the popularity of the competition, it is clear funding is still a major issue when it comes to postgraduate studies. We asked the winners to comment on whether they had found it hard to secure funding elsewhere and their comments highlighted just how difficult it is.

Fay Hart responded, ‘I have found it exceedingly difficult to gain funding elsewhere, as it would seem the majority of bursaries are course-specific, or a steady work placement has been required to contribute to the sponsorship of postgraduate studies.’

Kayla Song said, ‘After I came back from Haiti at the beginning of summer, I realised that all the major funding institutions had already selected their scholars. This made me think seriously about whether to proceed with my application status. Moreover, there were relatively few awards for students coming from North America, which was discouraging.’

So how have our bursaries made a difference?

Stephanie Watts comments, ‘It has made things so much easier and has meant I do not need to work or get a bank loan, which I really didn’t want to do. I did struggle to secure any other funding. There were no scholarships or charity bursaries available from the university that I was eligible for, so it was all my own savings, and that was obviously not enough for the tuition fees and living costs.’
TARGETcourses is very happy to have given five students the opportunity to continue their studies and we do hope this can be repeated next year. However the is a bigger lesson to be learned here. Opportunities are out there and motivation and determination will get you results, as winner Alexandra Khageeva comments: ‘… it is good to know that if you have such a goal as mine and work hard to reach it, there is someone outside who is ready to help you.’

If you are searching for funding, make sure you check out our funding database, the largest funding database in the UK.


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

It's goodbye from me...

Our intern Laura Davidson has left us early to start her year abroad in France. We want to wish her all the best. 
Here is her last blog, telling you all what she's done at TARGETjobs and what she's learnt. 

My internship here at TARGETjobs is coming to an end as I’m off to France next week for my year abroad. I thought I’d give you an overview of the work I’ve been doing here over the last three months and some of the things I’ve learned before I say au revoir.

So, what do we interns actually do at TARGETjobs? For a start, I can assure you that it’s not making cups of tea and photocopying all day. It’s definitely been a mixed bag of tasks. I’ve worked on careers sectors including law, engineering and property – so as well as improving my writing style both for print and online, I’ve picked up knowledge about the industries themselves. This winter, I’ll be applying for law vac schemes, so getting involved in the law publication in particular has been really valuable, as it’s given me real food for thought in terms of the areas of practice I’m interested in, the firms I might like to work for, and submitting applications.

Another good chunk of our time has been spent on the Guardian UK 300, conducting interviews with recent graduates in different careers, writing these interviews up into articles, and compiling the list of top graduate employers. The interview side of things was engaging and something totally new to me; I really enjoyed finding out about different graduates’ career experiences first-hand and transforming the interviews into articles with really useful info.

One of the key tasks for us over the summer has been working on the TARGETjobs content management system – OK, it doesn’t sound like the most exciting thing in the world, but it’s essential for getting all that online content across to you! It’s a long process but knowledge of how a company’s website is run, organised and accessed by users is a skill to show off to employers, and one that might set you apart from other candidates in certain industries.

At the halfway stage of my degree, the internship here has been invaluable for advice on CVs, interviews, applications and so on. Chatting to different people at work has given me some really handy tips – contrary to what I thought, I do have a worthwhile range of experience and skills, it’s just about how I use and present them to convince employers that they should consider me. Also, it’s helped me recognise my strengths and focus on what I want to do. I’ve had a great experience and learned a lot, so thanks to everyone here!

Friday, August 23, 2013

TARGETjobs weekly news roundup

Hello all, this is Harriet bringing you the weekly news roundup from TARGETjobs. With the university holidays drawing to a close, most of our sector guides have gone off to the printers in order to come back fresh, glossy and as helpful as ever. If you’re headed back to uni in the autumn, make sure you look out for them in your careers centre.

Since that time of the year is coming up again, it’s worth turning your attention to application preparation and giving your CV its all-important makeover. Check out the graduate’s guide to job application forms and our six steps for perfect CVs to get on the right track straightaway.

If quantity surveying is your thing, there’s no better place to begin than by knowing exactly who you’re applying to. Take a look here to find out how consultancies and contractors differ and what this means for your graduate career. 

Or are you still a few solid decisions away from the application stage? You might want to check out our new guide to careers in financial planning – a possibility for those of you interested in entering financial services. You can go into the field with a degree of any discipline.

And if finance really is for you but you’re worried about making the grade, then our updated article on financial services, retail banking and insurance employers who accept 2.2s might be just what you’re looking for.

Have you been following Alan’s One Pound Challenge of turning a £1 investment into a graduate salary in a year? It’s been 11 weeks and his total is now approaching £4,000 – find out more.

Lastly, make sure you keep an eye on the deadlines as they march forwards to meet you. As always, there are many graduate jobs closing next week.

Enjoy the bank holiday weekend!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Winning the Low Carbon Undergraduate of the Year Award - Max Feller tells his story

When I told my friends I had applied for an undergraduate of the year award they thought I was joking, but I was the one with the last laugh, as 4 months later I was crowned Low carbon Undergraduate of the Year 2013 at a gala event in Canary wharf.

This blog will give you the motivation and confidence to apply, as I explain how I won the award and why it has been such a positive experience.

My journey started in December where procrastination led me to start the application form, only to stop halfway through and think ‘Only one person can win, this is a waste of time!’ A phone call a week later informed me that they were interested in my application, and this was enough for me to spend some time answering the sponsors essay style questions. I later learnt that this helps later on in the process when you are presenting on a similar subject and tells the sponsors you are truly motivated to succeed in the award.

A month later I was invited to complete ‘SHL’ online tests, these analysed my various skills including numeracy, inductive reasoning and workplace style role plays. My advice would be to see your University careers service for advice and get your hands on as many similar practise tests online.

A couple of weeks passed and to my disbelief I had been invited to an assessment centre in London! At this point it all started to get real; I began to think that I was in with a real chance. My advice is to make sure your presentation is concise and then practise it over and over again. I did a lot of research on body language and eye contact to ensure that my body language didn’t hinder the execution of my presentation.

The other assessment was a group task, which entailed making a decision on a number of proposed projects that have different pros and cons. The main things to consider are that if you don’t say anything they can’t assess you, and if you act like it’s a competition and talk too much it will reflect badly on yourself. The main rules are don’t interrupt someone when they are talking, ask open questions like ’why?’ and make sure you get everybody involved debating a decision. Remember there isn’t a correct answer; it’s to show you can work in a team!

The assessment centre can be intimidating but it’s important to give yourself the best chance of success by trying to relax so you can express your personality effectively. To make the most of your time I would recommend talking to as many people as possible, it will help you relax you and you can bring that positive energy into your presentation and group task.

A week l later I received an email informing me that I was in the final 10 and was invited to the awards ceremony in canary wharf. This was a huge achievement and looking at the location I anticipated an impressive event: I was not let down as I enjoyed a magical day hosted by broadcasting legend Sir Trevor Mcdonald. After a fantastic meal and a few glasses of wine later the awards ceremony had started and the room was filled with anticipation. ‘Maximilian Feller’ was called out by Sir Trevor and I was announced winner of the Low carbon undergraduate of the year award!

Now I am enjoying a paid summer internship with EDF energy, including a trip to France and lunch with a station director. I never would have thought this possible 6 months ago so my closing words are don’t underestimate what’s possible with hard work and a bit of luck.

Feeling lucky? Pre-register now. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Spend five minutes with Dom and Geri's head of design, Caroline Macrae

Caroline Macrae, Head of Design at Dom and Geri gives her advice and guidance to those wanting to apply for jobs within the creative industry.

Applying for the job
“It is important to be proactive, plan ahead and have the right attitude and personality for the position. These attributes have enabled me to get my work in front of the right people and got me to where I am now. 
If you see a particular company that you want to work for, my tip would be to contact them - even if they don’t have any jobs advertised. Make a call to show your interest and to find out the right person to speak to.
I believe that a well written CV is still the best way to communicate the value that an individual will bring to the position advertised - but a concise online profile or portfolio can also be a great way to show off your very best work.”

Networking Skills
“Due to the explosion of social media and a tighter job market, people are definitely taking advantage of the opportunity to network online, building relationships and then submitting CVs once they have made a connection. I found that networking played a very important role in my gaining a creative position - but it is important to not restrict yourself to one mode of networking.

Look out for opportunities to network in person, through acquaintances or at industry-related events. Before going to such events find out who is attending and familiarise yourself with the respective companies. Look at their online presence, their personality and promotional materials in order to establish what they would be looking for in a prospective employee, and then tailor your

What to avoid
“Try to avoid sending your CV by email, as it can either be deleted or just put in the ‘to do’ file with the many other hopefuls. 
It is important to understand that if your application is well-designed and appealing to look at, but has grammar and spelling errors and lacks substance, you won’t receive an interview invite.
Make sure that you read your entire application out loud, ensuring that the words on the page showcase concrete examples of your skills and past accomplishments.”

“When looking for potential employees at Dom and Geri, we are amazed at the lengths people will go to in order to secure a job with us. We have been sent a 3-D CV, a T-shirt CV, and even an application on fabric - all of which we instantly were impressed by.  The main aim is to get your potential employer to look at what you have created, and to want to meet the person behind it all. 

Employers look to see what experience the applicant has had to determine whether they are suited to the role. Volunteering for several organisations enabled me to add important and relevant experience to my CV, gain practical knowledge, improve my creative skills and increase my confidence through the feedback received. I found the knowledge and experience gained was invaluable to me, opening doors I would never have been able to open myself.

If you feel like you are struggling to overcome obstacles, try to think even further outside the box. People in this industry are rightfully known for their originality and creative problem-solving, so why not make yourself stand out and become even more innovative?

It could open up a world of opportunity. “

Friday, August 16, 2013

TARGETjobs News round up

In this week’s news round-up we are focusing on the construction flavour of graduate jobs from the great Mr Whippy van of choices out there, as well as some of the classics. I’m Craig, another TARGETjobs intern, and I will be your server today.

Are you dead keen on construction? Do you take it with a scoop of something else? Or have you always eyed it up, but been afraid to ask the nice man behind the counter for a taste?

Whatever your preference – we have something here for you.

If you’ve been thinking about construction for a while, but haven’t looked into it yet, let some recent graduates tell you why they love construction so much? Who knows – you might find it delicious…

Is quantity surveying more your thing? Edward Shryane, graduate quantity surveyor at Gardiner & Theobald LLP, gives you his advice on securing that first job.

Looking for construction experience? The Open Doors Weekend, a scheme which lets you go behind-the-scenes at some of the UK’s most high-profile projects, is filling up fast! Don’t miss the chance to build your network and get a feel for life on site. Find out more here…

None of the above taken your fancy? Here’s something completely different, just in this morning: everything you need to know about a career in hotel management. Give it a try – you might like it. 

For fans of the One Pound Challenge, it is still going strong! Find out how graduate Alan Radbourne is turning £1 into thousands…

And finally, the TARGETjobs ‘99’: this week’s round-up of graduate deadlines, including construction, banking, media and more. You could find the one job you’ve been hunting for all this time.

Would you like a flake with that?

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Are you a budding chef? Do you like to whip up delicious concoctions with leftovers? Or do you simply have one delicious recipe that you wish you could share with everyone?

Then post your recipes and photos of the finished product on

Studentrecipes is a great site where all students are encouraged to share their recipes with the rest of the student community – recipes for students written by students. It was started by James Bailey in 2004, when he was a first year student at University of East Anglia. As a student himself he struggled to find quick and easy to cook and CHEAP recipes. With this in mind he started the website and now runs a very successful business.

So if you want to share your recipes or are in need of inspiration get yourself onto This will be a great site to call upon as you enter your first year of university, (make friends quick by baking up a storm in the kitchen), or as you return to university and realise  that you want a little bit more variety than beans on toast every

Happy cooking and remember to share! 

Monday, August 12, 2013

The phantom student

On my way into work this morning I was chatting with a friend about our university friends’ summers, and what everyone was up to.

Number one is on an internship with a Magic Circle law firm, hoping to gain a training contract.
Number two is lining up for a three-week placement in investment banking.
Number three is at an internship with a TV news network.
Numbers four, five and six are on sponsored internships at university doing research projects.
Number seven had a couple of weeks’ placement at an advertising company.
The gent who was in the car next to me is just finishing a week-long placement at NME, having spent a fortnight at Prospect magazine.

This list goes on, I’m sure, but my memory isn’t good this early in the morning. The point is that everyone seems to be doing something that will increase their chances of employment, one way or another. If you asked any of them today, however, how confident they feel about getting a job after graduation next June, not one would give you an answer that belied any semblance of surety. Why? We are all haunted by the fear of the imaginary ‘Other’, the phantom student that we all know is out there, somewhere, pulling 70-hour-weeks in the library, captaining the University’s First XV, acting as Treasurer for an impossibly successful student society, and devoting every university-free moment to developing contacts within a chosen industry. He or she will graduate summa cum laude at exactly the same time as us, walk into the company we liked most, take the job we wanted, and sit there, leering at us, smug as a cat who’s had the cream, the goldfish out of the tank and a sizeable pinch of cat-nip as well for good measure.

As a result of this fear, things start to get crazy in terms of extra-curricular activities at university. Number one is captaining the University’s First XI this year. Number two is the chemistry school president. I’m not sure about numbers four and five, but numbers three, six and seven all hold senior positions in strong student societies. The aforementioned gent is the editor of an online student publication. I have a school friend who started his own record label and another who is a published author, not even touching upon the ones that are going to be lawyers.

The question then becomes, ‘how do you deal with this?’ How do you watch your school friends and university friends succeeding without breaking into a nervous sweat about your own inadequacy every time you measure yourself against them?

It all comes down to planning ahead. Have a goal: a career or even a broad sector that you think you will enjoy working in after graduation. Once you have that goal, start working out what you can do to make yourself irresistible to the graduate recruiters you will one day be sat across the table from. Get involved with a relevant student society or two at an early stage and start working out how you will get to the top. Develop your soft skills through socialising and team-work. Mine the TARGETjobs website for every last scrap of useful information (there’s loads). Apply for work experience placements and internships in the summer, even if you’re planning on going travelling or on holiday; a week’s work experience placement won’t be too hard to squeeze in somewhere during a university break.

As well as the planning, there will inevitably be some things that fall unequivocally down to the hand of fate: a chance encounter, a momentary flash of inspiration or a sudden opportunity. During the address at a prize-giving ceremony at school years ago, the speaker explained her success – how she had risen so far in her field. “Take every opportunity that presents itself to you; grab it with both hands, whatever it is…you can work out what to do with it later.” The gist of this sentence wasn’t tricky to understand. Carpe diem, in the words of Horace, which now, thanks to a depressed cat that’s finally had a breakdown and is now convinced he’s a dog, will forever be translated as ‘grab the frisbee’.

However, this frisbee-grabbing, car-chasing, water-loving, broken cat (unfortunately) epitomises what I’m saying. If you know what you want, go and get it. When you do, and you stand again next to the yardstick of your peers, you won’t be disappointed with how you measure up. Here’s your soundtrack:

Go on, be more dog. 

Friday, August 9, 2013

TARGETjobs News roundup

Hi guys, it’s Hollie here to fill you in on this week’s hot topics at TARGETjobs. I’ve got a roundup of some great advice for you today so put the kettle on, sit back and feast your eyes on what’s been happening in the world of graduate careers.

Did you get a 2.2? Do you want a successful career in property? We did some investigating and found out what you should do to make a strong graduate application to compete with 2.1s and which employers you should apply to. Read more here.

Job interviews can be challenging – especially when you get a question that catches you off-guard. But don’t worry, to help you prepare we’ve compiled a list of nine tricky interview questions and how to answer them. Practise your responses to these and you’ll be sure to impress!

If you’re thinking about a career in finance but not sure what route to go down, then take a glimpse at our information about some of the different areas of work. Is forecasting the future your thing? Have a read about actuarial work. Does protecting against risk appeal to you? Find out about insurance jobs. Are you good at people management? Take a look at retail banking.

In other news, Alan is still going strong with his One Pound Challenge – his total is currently £3292.42! If you haven’t already, have a gander at his inspiring journey to turn a £1 investment into a graduate salary.

Lastly, make sure you take a look at which graduate jobs have application deadlines this week – you don’t want to accidentally miss out on you dream role!

That’s all from me folks. Have a cracking weekend!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Haven't done any internships? You can still make your CV look good!

Towards the end of university one of my friends and I would regularly lock ourselves in a battle of self-deprecating one-upmanship. She’d complain that no-one would hire her because she’d be an arts graduate, I’d lament that no-one would hire me because I hadn’t done any ‘proper’ work experience, she’d respond that she’d be an arts graduate and had no work experience and was therefore positively doomed. It went on until we would both happily agree that we’d both probably spend the rest of our lives shining shoes for a living and using our degree scrolls for kindling.

When we spoke about ‘those’ people who’d been unequivocally proactive and done numerous internships during the summer (instead of gallivanting off travelling like us) we’d accompany the conversation with a customary eye-roll. We had no chance next to go-getters like them.

So, as it went, my CV remained one page long, as it had been ever since my teenage self bashed it together to display a list of my GCSEs in size 16 font. Even up until I started my internship here, it was still only one page long – given with a few added jobs and slightly smaller print (a respectable 12 Times New Roman). I always thought that because I’d only ever done run-of-the-mill part-time jobs, I didn’t really have any experience worth showing off.

However, the research I’ve been doing here at TARGETjobs has made me realise that I might not have done any traditional placements at uni, but I picked up a lot of skills from my various other endeavours – skills worth showing off. In my last blog I talked about some of the jobs I’ve had over the past few years. These were listed on my CV followed by a single sentence describing the role. I thought that this was all pretty satisfactory, I mean, how much can you really say about working on a checkout? Well, it turns out a lot more than I thought. The trick is to break down each role into individual tasks and think hard about what specific qualities you need to undertake them.

So, if you worked in a shop:
  • You could probably clock a grumpy customer a mile away: brow furrowed, lips pursed the last thing you wanted to do was anything that would elicit an angry tirade resulting in the shift from hell. So you tried to be as helpful, competent and friendly as possible. Well in that case you understand the importance of excellent customer service skills don’t you?
  • I bet there was always that one customer who barraged you with questions or had an annoyingly complicated problem that needed dealing with. You know what you probably did? You communicated effectively and efficiently, and were attentive to customer needs. 
  • And who could forget the unadulterated stress of a Saturday afternoon in retail I bet you had to work quickly and accurately under pressure.
  • Chances are you weren’t running the shop by yourself – I’m sure you got some good team-working skills under your belt. 
  • Were you responsible for cashing up the till at the end of the day? Well in that case you were considered honest, trustworthy and you were confident handling money and counting change.

So if like me you didn’t do any impressive high-flying work experience during uni, then don’t worry. Because those jobs you did do: waitressing, bar-tending, shelf-stacking, PR-ing – you didn’t get them done by standing there like a lemon. You’ll have displayed some worthy abilities and it’s just a matter of recognising them. Extra-curriculars such as sports, volunteering, class repping and societies are another goldmine for soft skills that you can flaunt on your CV. Write for a uni publication? Well don’t do what I did and put ‘wrote for a university publication.’ Show what you learnt:

Did you:
  • contribute regular pieces? How many?
  • monitor social media and the campus environment to devise potential stories?
  • use initiative, news sense and knowledge of readership to pitch article proposals?
  • work to tight deadlines?
  • interview anyone or have to research anything?
  • brainstorm with others to plan content?
  • promote the publication over social media?
Remember, it’s all about analysing experience task-by-task. Even travelling can be a source of skills to show off. Recruiters will have piles of CVs to go through so they don’t want to have to figure out for themselves what you’re capable of. Show them! Of course, the skills you push on your CV will depend on what kind of job you’re applying to so visit the TARGETjobs website for some more in-depth advice or an example of what a graduate CV should look like.

As for my friend and I, we still like to pretend we’re heading for a life of impoverishment and despair, but that’s probably just because we’re arts graduates and have a flair for the dramatic.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Tips on getting a job in fashion - interview with Kathy Allison, HR Manager at

HR manager from, Kathy Allison shares some tips with us on how to get your foot in the door in the fashion industry.

What work experience or what jobs can students do on campus to make them stand out in the application process?
Work experience needs to be as relevant as possible. This could include applying for internships in the fashion industry, however we value experience in the fashion retail side too. Look for as many opportunities as possible to get great experience to make you stand out from the crowd. Determination and persistence pays off! As well as job experience we do like to see candidates that showcase their talents on blogs. Being an online retailer gives us an expectation that applicants are online savvy. Blogs are a great way of determining applicant’s style, personality and their knowledge of the fashion world, if you have not already started; I’d suggest you get typing away now!

What key skills should students look to develop whilst at university to be successful in this industry?
This is an industry which requires passion and dedication, team work and creativity. Being able to work alongside many strong characters in a productive team is essential for all of our roles, as is being able to balance commercial thinking with creativity – including a creative approach to problem solving. Be prepared to enter a business that is fast moving with tight deadlines, this is why we stress you need to be able to work well within a team. Candidates should be prepared to sleep, eat and breathe fashion!

What is the best way to seek work experience, is it worth sending speculative applications?
Speculative applications can be effective, but the key is in making sure you are targeting the right person, and also being unique. Some of the most memorable speculative applications we have received have been messages on T Shirts, handcrafted teddy bears with our logo, and beautifully packaged CV’s. Most recently in the marketing department we received ‘a message in a bottle’ CV carefully folded into a glass bottle, it certainly encouraged us to open it! If you are applying for a creative role it’s a great way to showcase your talents.

Are there any websites they should be reading in order to be aware of the latest fashion trends? When looking at the latest fashion trends, the usual sources like WGSN and Drapers Record are as relevant as ever. However, looking at fashion bloggers, online magazines and being aware of street style is equally important. Everyone at the office trawl the web on fashion weeks to see what the designers are pulling out on the catwalk for the following season. Use as many different sources as possible and keep an eye on the mainstream fashion press too. Working in fashion is about having that eye for the next big trend and how that can travel down to the high street.

What should you wear at your fashion interview?
For interviews at boohoo we always say don’t wear a suit! Think about the role you are going for and the business you are applying to. We like to see candidates who manage to blend professionalism with a fashion spin, something that also brings across your personality. It’s not always easy to pull off! At the same time we understand there are some fashion trends (for example hot pants) which would not work in a meeting room. Like we said before not an easy task, but most employers make an assumption on a person in the first 30 seconds they meet them, so make sure those seconds count!

Find out more about careers at 

Friday, August 2, 2013

TARGETjobs News roundup

Hi, it’s Laura taking over the blog today. It’s that time of week again when we bring you the latest career news, job advice and deadlines.

This week at TARGETjobs we've been having a bit of a property burst. Before you apply to your chosen firms, be sure to read our advice on writing a property-specific CV. We've also got handy application form advice and essential interview tips to close the deal on your graduate property job.

We’re always advising you to show off your skills and achievements to their maximum potential, but if you’re the kind of person who feels uncomfortable at the very thought of that, we've had a brainstorm on how to sell yourself if you’re a shy job hunter. Make sure you read our key tips before sending off those applications.

Looking for the latest salary and job location info? We've summarised the results of the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) survey to give you an idea of where you might find employment and the salary you can expect when you graduate.

Have you been following the One Pound Challenge? Check out how Loughborough graduate Alan Radbourne has been getting on in his £1 business investment project.

And if you've been inspired by Alan’s challenge, have a look at our advice on becoming an entrepreneur when you graduate.

Finally, a reminder about the graduate application deadlines coming up over the next week, in sectors including management, HR and IT. Don’t miss out.

After all that news, we can be glad it’s Friday! Have a good weekend, everyone.