Thursday, March 28, 2013

TARGETjobs Easter News Roundup

For those of you reading this for the first time, welcome to our weekly news roundup blog where we summarise all the news and advice we’ve published on our site this past week. I am writing a day earlier than usual this week, as a bank holiday weekend is coming up and we won’t be in our office J

Let me get started by wishing you all a lovely Easter.

Hope you all have a great time, eat lots of chocolate eggs and relax! You’ve earned it. And for those of you revising or finishing off dissertations, good luck and remember there is proof that chocolate is linked to geniuses.J 

Back to business, this week we hit you with a few salary related items, starting with giving you an idea of the salary you can expect as a graduate management consultant.

We also did some research for you to find out whether you should opt for public sector security or private sector salary when making your graduate management choice.  You may think you know all the details you need to make your decision but there are a few things you could be missing. 

If you are still deciding which career path to follow, perhaps knowing which sector offers the most jobs will help you decide on the profession to pursue. So here’s a list of the proportion of graduate jobs that are provided by different sectors and the expected changes for the year ahead.  

And if retail is the sector that inspires you, we are here to tell you how to become a trainee retail manager with Majestic Wine. Although others in the industry are struggling, Majestic is thriving, so here’s how to write them an impressive application.

Hope you find this information useful. Don’t forget that you too can write about your advice and personal experiences for this blog. If this sounds interesting, email me with your ideas:

Until next week, goodbye. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

TARGETjobs News Roundup

Hello, and welcome to our weekly graduate recruitment news roundup. This is where we tell you what career advice we have been writing about on our site this week.

But before we get started we have some exciting news: we are hiring!

We are looking for vibrant, motivated students looking to make their start in the publishing industry to join our editorial team this summer. This is a paid opportunity with lots of responsibility from the start. Interested? 

In other news:

This week we told you what interview questions to expect in the retail industry and how to answer them. If you want to ace your interviews, this is a must-read. 

If you’re currently searching for jobs and are willing to relocate, here is a list of where in the UK you are most likely to get a graduate job and, as an added bonus, what salaries to expect in each location. 

It’s nearly the end of Science & Engineering Week. Have a look at the jobs and work experience opportunities on our site to get a sense of where your career in science or engineering could end up. 

We also want to congratulate Citi for being the overall winner at the National Council for Work Experience (NCWE) award earlier this week. Its 10-week internship programme takes 200 graduates a year and last year 80% of them went on to a place on the graduate scheme. If you are evaluating your work experience options, this is a great one to consider. 

Let us know your opinion. Every week we publish a brand new poll asking you for your thoughts. This week we asked: What part of the graduate recruitment process do you most dread? Find the poll on our homepage, by scrolling down. 

And, as always, we conclude with the latest graduate job deadlines coming up soon. This week our deadline round-up covers two weeks, as we won’t be here next week L If you are applying for any of these jobs, best of luck from us – and don’t forget to use our career advice pages to help out with those applications.  

To get real-time updates of the latest news and advice, follow us on Twitter or visit our homepage.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Taking advantage of the social network

Knowing how to stand out from other graduates and job seekers can be tough. But Amy Russell, part time marketing executive for RAM Tracking and full time student at Huddersfield University, shares a few of her tips to getting ahead of the game.

There will be hundreds of thousands of new graduates, including myself, in the UK alone. So having your potential recognised and standing out from the crowd is becoming very difficult. There are some vacancies getting an extraordinary number of applicants, including the coffee shop that received 1,700 applications for only 8 jobs, so what can you do to ensure you get an interview?  

Having a good degree in a relevant subject will certainly help when looking to enter your desired career sector, but employers are looking for people with more than just a degree. Employers are in the position to choose the best applicants to give an interview to, so when there are over 1,000 CV’s sprawled across a desk or piling up in someone’s inbox, you want to be considered a candidate not a piece of paper.

Having an absolutely faultless CV is a great place to start but there are always others who have gone the extra mile, or ‘the networkers’. The adage ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’ is something we have all heard, but ‘the networkers’ are out there using social media to communicate with prospective employees. Rich Jones, recruiter and HR professional has recently said “if you’re not taking advantage of LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, you’re not maximising your networking efforts”. The majority of people have profiles on these social networks and often use them for personal correspondence, but they also provide a great opportunity for professional networking.

When it comes to professional networking LinkedIn is by the far the most useful to build your professional contacts. Sending out invites to friends and people you know, or even influential figures in your preferred field, is a great starting point; but having a big list of contacts isn’t particularly useful until you start networking. Join groups about subjects that you are interested in, your desired career path, or areas related to your dissertation. Comment on posts and engage with the other members of the groups; be confident and let people know what you are doing in a professional sense.
When you feel you have developed a relationship with some members of the group message them personally. Ask them for advice or guidance, and what steps they took in their career to get where they are. Don’t be afraid to ask people questions, be proactive, if you don’t I guarantee someone else will.

Facebook is the most common social media channel for personal communication, but is rarely used in a professional sense. Building a professional online presence through Facebook may not be the most effective way to communicate with companies or potential employers, but you can definitely learn a lot about a brand and the way they communicate with the public.
But be aware that potential employers may look at your personal Facebook page to see how you communicate with people. Think about what you are about to post as a status, and whether the pictures from last Saturday night are going to come across as totally professional. Don’t be afraid to show you like to have fun and socialise, but be aware of what potential employers may gather from that information.

In the past 18 months Twitter has become increasingly popular for professional communication. Having a strong Twitter presence allows potential employers to see what topics interest you, and that you are confident enough to share your thoughts on these topics. Again, don’t be afraid to engage with people, ask influential figures questions or their opinion on something, even share articles with them that you have come across. Twitter provides you with direct communication to people working in your desired field, so make sure you take advantage of it. 

Friday, March 15, 2013

TARGETjobs News Roundup

Hello and welcome to this week’s TARGETjobs news roundup. Today we start by congratulating our Comic Relief showstopper challenge winner, Jim Talbot. This cake not only looked great; it was also very delicious - now where is my second helping?

If you want to help us raise money for Comic Relief why not like this photo on our Facebook page? For every ‘like’ we receive, we will donate an extra £1 to charity.

Back to business: this week the press circulated a story on how male graduates receive a higher salary than females. Although this is true, it is not the full picture. Our expert Liz is here to shed some light onthese headlines.

Following on from this, we set about finding out which graduate career offers the best pay. If money is your key driver, this is a must-read for you. 

For those interested in specific sectors, this week has been dominated with civil engineering and construction industry advice.

If you are dealing with online applications, we also wrote advice on how tackle those too. 

With all this application advice, you will be sure to get an interview. Fear not: we have that covered too with our ‘Construction interview questions and how to answer them’ article. 

BUT – hold your horses. Before you get started on your applications here is some essential research every construction job candidate should be doing. 

And for those interested in finance, we have something for you too this week. According to the Association of Graduate Recruiters, the average starting salary for graduates in accountancy is £25,750. There are also many benefits up for grabs. Why not find out what could be in store for you? 

Finally, as always, we conclude our news with the latest batch of graduate job deadlines coming up next week. Get them before they go!

To get real-time updates of the latest news and advice, follow us on Twitter or visit our homepage.

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Employabiltiy Award

Loughborough student, Ali Materna is back with another blog, this time discussing her involvement in the Employability Award and how she sees it will benefit her in her future job hunt. 

As most finalist students would probably agree, this year requires us to consider the inevitability of our future. After two or three years of focusing on university and all it has to offer, suddenly we are faced with the frightening concept of the real world, without the comfortable cocoon uni provides for us. This provoked me to do something, anything, in order to ensure I was employable.

Participating in the employability award at Loughborough University allows me to hone my employability skills and, hopefully, receive an award to show this, signalling to future employers that I am an applicant worth pursuing.

The award is no easy feat. Initially, I applied for it with the idea in mind that it would be quick and simple; I would fill in a few forms and it would be completed, however, now I am at the stage of nearly completing it, I realise my naïve and lazy approach was wrong. But I am extremely glad I was wrong. At first I was encouraged to put time aside to complete the award and not just sit down and do it in a day. This did take time and concentration, but it has made me incredibly aware of my strengths, weaknesses and the covetable skills that employers will find positives in. Without realising it, by doing this I have already established some answers to potential interview questions. This will save me future time and planning, but will also make me consider the jobs that I may be more suited for when bearing in mind these qualities.

It also made me aware that actually, there are many things I had already done that make me employable. For instance, the fact that I am a TARGETjobs blogger in the first place! I used this to contribute to my ‘activities’ for the award, as each activity gains you points to help you achieve the award. Whilst I am still awaiting the number of points I will gain for being a blogger, it fits perfectly into the ‘employable’ categories they are looking for to give points away as being a blogger means I can communicate my ideas lucidly (hopefully!) and work to deadlines. This contributes to time management skills. After all, you must have evidence when you say you’re ‘organised’ or ‘good at writing’ as whilst writing this sounds impressive, though generic, it is your unique experience that suggests your employability.

Whilst I have only delved into one of the activities I have submitted as part of the award, there are numerous things that can be used. Good examples could be previous work experience you have done, a committee position at university, the fact you are a member of a sports team or theatre group or an example where you have participated in charity or volunteering work. I am sure most university students will have done one of those extra-curricular activities.

Finally, if your university has an equivalent of the ‘Employability award’ I would strongly recommend participating in it. Not only has it opened up my mind to my own strengths and weaknesses, but also it has assisted me in establishing what career path I wanted to pursue even though I had no clue where I wanted to end up. If your university doesn’t have one, maybe mention it to the careers department, or use this blog to help you recognise that, in fact, you are more employable than you think!

Thanks Ali, and good luck for your future, we have no doubt you will be very successful. 
If you too want to write for TARGETjobs please do get in touch with me: 

Friday, March 8, 2013

TARGETjobs News Roundup

As you all know Ross has sadly left us L  so from this week onwards I, Jackie, will be writing the news roundup (bare with me please, as I am not an editor).

I will structure this a little differently starting with our general advice to begin with followed by sector specific advice and news that was published on our site this week. Hope this is ok and please let me know if you would prefer me to follow a different format. 

First up we are starting with a question:  How well do you know employers?

When applying for work experience, or graduate jobs a key thing that will get you through to the interview stage is to show the employer that you know about them and understand their culture. You need to make them feel special; a little TLC can go a long way. So why not find out what the most popular brands around want you to know about them. 

Our second tip this week is all about videos.

Video interviewing is a rapid growing trend in the graduate recruitment industry. So to make sure you don’t get caught out here are some helpful tips on how to be successful at your Skype interview. 

And for those interested in specific sectors, this week we have news from the law and construction industry.  

If you are a law student applying for a training contract this year make sure you read this five minute interview with Jane Croft-Baker, graduate recruitment specialist at Clifford Chance.  Here she discusses their vacation schemes and training contracts application system and what they expect to see at this stage. 

In construction we are telling you what essential skills you need and how to show employers you have them. This should help with making your CV stand out from the rest.  

And if you’re looking for work experience in construction, here is what you need, when to apply and how to beat the competition.

And as always we have the latest round up of all upcoming graduate jobs deadlines. So spring into action and make sure you apply before it’s too late.

Hope you all enjoyed reading my first attempt at the news roundup and hope to "see" you all again next week.