Friday, July 25, 2014

TARGETjobs career advice weekly roundup

Hello everyone, welcome to this week’s weekly roundup post!

To start off this week's roundup, I will let you know about the upcoming deadlines that you may be interested in applying for.


There's still time to apply for work experience and internships for this summer and the year ahead, so don't miss out! This week we've got a range of internships with upcoming deadlines available through Step and ScotGrad, including a graduate IT training programme. A number of these vacancies are ideal for recent graduates. Check what's available here.

Graduate jobs

Now that graduation season has passed there's no better time to start thinking about your future, and this is a bumper week for graduate jobs. Check out what's available here and get your applications in! 

Careers advice

Want a management career? Consider a graduate job at a smaller business! Smaller organisations are often left in the dark while larger graduate employers with formal training schemes take centre stage but smaller employers could fast-track graduates in management. 
Read our article to find out more.

Quantity Surveying

Graduate recruiters in the built environment urgently require graduate quantity surveyors and cost managers. Within our article 'Recruiters are crying out for graduate quantity surveyors. Take advantage!' We explain how students can make the most of this situation and speculate about the reasons for such a shortage. 


Are you interested in working within the construction industry? Well, you may be interested to know that we have all the details on how to get your career kick-started with one of the industry's major players Balfour Beatty. Check out our article 'Applying to Balfour Beatty? What you need to know'.


Majestic Wine is expanding and they are seeking to hire graduates from any discipline into trainee management roles. Read our article 'How to become a trainee retail manager with Majestic Wine' to find out more about the retailers recruitment plans and how you can impress in your application and interview.

If you aspire to work within the retail industry read our article 'How to write a great graduate retail CV' for our key advice to help you become a successful graduate.


Banking and investment careers are highly sought after by graduates, with the industry having seen highs of 141 applications per vacancy. If you want to improve your chances of getting a foot in the door, read our article 'Beat the competition for investment banking jobs' to find out what you need to know about beating the competition.

Are you considering postgraduate study? Choosing to do an MBA is a big step. It requires self-discipline, time and financial commitment, and potentially a career break if you study full time.
Have a read of our article 'Deciding to do an MBA' to find out about the advantages and disadvantages you will experience.


Just a quick reminder to all law students, the deadline for applying for your training contracts is the 31 July 2014! Only 6 days to go)

That's all from me this week!
Best of luck with your applications

Have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Skype interviews

Most of us will have a dreaded job interview at some point in our careers – probably several. The mere mention of an interview induces fear and panic in some people. But now there’s something new to get to grips with – the Skype interview.

Skype logo

You’re probably thinking that interviews over webcam would be easier than the traditional face-to-face kind. When I got an email offering me a Skype interview that’s what I thought too. What could be better than sitting in the comfort of your own room and being able to have multiple tabs open to help you if you get stuck?

In actual fact they present a whole new set of considerations. This only dawned on me once I’d experienced one. After answering my housemates’ questions about whether I was prepared with, ‘It’s a Skype interview – I can just read stuff off the screen’, it’s fair to say I thought I’d breeze through it.

I was under the impression that I would be able to see the interviewer and they would be able to see me, just as if we were in the same room. Yet when I answered the call I found that my interviewer had turned his camera off.  This was unsettling. I knew he could see me, but I couldn't see him. When he began to ask the questions, the connection began to fail and all I could hear were strange crackly noises.

On top of that, I suddenly became very aware that I was sat in the midst of my very typical student bedroom and that my friends were laughing loudly at something in the room next door.
Perhaps not the breeze I thought it was going to be.

Learn from my mistakes – make sure your room isn't a tip, you have a good internet connection, you’re not going to be disturbed and expect the unexpected.

By Katie Lloyd
Editorial intern

Friday, July 18, 2014

TARGETjobs career advice weekly roundup

Hello, hope you are all enjoying the lovely weather. If you are taking a break from the sunshine then you've come to the right place to catch up on all the career advice we have been writing this week. 

But don’t worry it’s going to be a quick round up today so you can rush off back outdoors and enjoy this beautiful weather we are having.

So, let me start off with career advice in the finance sector:

Most employers within the financial services sector will test your commercial awareness during your graduate interview. And your understanding of the bank, insurance broker, actuarial firm, consultancy or regulator to which you've applied, and the market in which it operates will be taken into account to decide whether you get the job. 

The training contract is closing in, with only 14 days left to apply it is time to organise yourself and beat the rush. Have a read of our article 'Don't miss the 31 July training contract deadline' for the list of law firms you can apply to. 

Whether you are interested in applying for training contracts, vacation schemes, insight days or open days, it’s likely you’ll need a law CV – even if you're just uploading it to your online application form. Use our top ten tips from graduate recruiters in law to help you.  


Increasing numbers of students are setting up their own businesses after leaving university. Find tips on how to develop your entrepreneurial skills with our article 'How to become an entrepreneur when you graduate' and learn how this will help you whatever path you choose.  


We refreshed an old piece of career advice which is still very prevalent today. How can women turn their internship into a job and into a promotion? We were privileged to catch up with Dr Sue Black, a senior research associate at University College London and campaigner for women’s advancement in the workplace. Find out what suggestions she has regarding how you can progress in your career.


The World Cup and Wimbledon are over so there's no excuse to put off your job hunt any longer. Your friends might already have their graduate careers lined up but there are still jobs out there, you just need to search for them. To make your life easier, we have put together the latest opportunities 'Get them before they go: graduate jobs to apply for now'.

It's not too late to get yourself on an internship or work experience placement to boost your CV and your bank balance. There are still lots of great opportunities out there, many of which have an immediate start and are paid. Don't wait around for an opportunity to magically appear, apply now!

That's all from me this week.
Enjoy the warm weather and have a great weekend.


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The power of an internship

Why are internships so important? You may be asking yourself this very question. Whether you’re a budding student or you’re embarking on your new career, landing an internship can better your chances of employment.

Here are my top reasons why internships are worthwhile:

  1. You gain industry experience
  2. You gain networking connections
  3. You build on your knowledge and skillset
  4. You differentiate yourself, making yourself more employable

Not everyone gets the chance to gain experience before graduating from university. If you’re a student, or a recent graduate, now is the best time to start interning. By starting work experience early, you not only build up your CV, but you also give yourself the opportunity to find out what the industry is like and whether it is right for you.

When considering work experience, do not expect everything to be exciting or interesting. A working internship requires humility because there may be times that you will be asked to perform menial tasks such as photocopying or running errands. However, even menial tasks can be a chance to learn and make a good impression on your employer. If you're asked to sit in on a meeting, write up a memo or even add your input, you will get a better picture of what the industry is all about.

There can be some downsides to interning. Money is always a key factor and some internships require you to travel. It can sometimes be an expensive decision. Check what’s on offer carefully, does the internship cover travel expenses? Some internships are well paid, but if you’re voluntary in the charity sector, for example the pay on offer varies.

You may be able to juggle your internship and part-time work to make it more manageable, some internships are very well paid, in such cases this won’t be an issue!

So why not start searching for that internship that could start off your career? Start today with TARGETjobs

By Roxanne Chand

Liam entered the National Student Challenge 2 years in a row! The first time he entered he came third in the Challenge! Read why he came back!


As a brief intro to me, I’m now a graduate Civil Engineer from the University of Bath, and in September I will be heading off to London to start a job with Atkins, I’ve attended the NSC for the last few years and have really enjoyed the experience. It’s always a lot of fun, and I feel I gained a lot of confidence and experience from it, but most importantly it helped me get a job!

Job Hunting

During final year, you will be stressed with deadlines, exams and job hunting, so you might think that anything extra like the challenge is a waste of time that could be better spent, but that’s so wrong!
Genuinely, there is nothing better way than forgetting your degree for a day and improving your career prospects. Every single CV I sent out had my experience with TargetJobs events prominently displayed, and in nearly every interview it was discussed. From what I’ve seen when applying, the companies don’t care that much whether you got 63% or 68%, they are looking for applicants with other skills not taught (explicitly) at Uni, such as Teamwork, or Initiative, and the NSC is a great way to develop/demonstrate this.

In a large part due to my experience with the NSC I was offered a job in December, so while all my cohort where stressing and juggling coursework and assessment days I could relax and focus on my degree. During my successful application day I put a lot of what I learnt with TargetJobs to the test, with a presentation task and a group debate that I am sure I would have struggled at without the confidence I gained from the Finals.

Reasons to go back

I’m sure also that a lot of people go one year, and then skip it the next, because they’re busy, and have already done it once, but that really wastes the awesome opportunity that this is. Firstly, experience matters at this! I won a prize my second and third years,  so there was pecuniary reward for my efforts, but most importantly I could practice the lessons I learnt as well as demonstrating that I could do it again, both to myself and employers. Also, it’s a lot of fun, and you meet some cool people on the day.

A few of my friends that I mentioned the competition to didn’t apply this year due to the pressures of final year, but honestly how likely are you to actually get much done this exact day? Take a break, do something fun and polish that CV. (Also try and win something, there are some very shiny prizes)
I am certain that the National Student Challenge helped me get my graduate job, with the company and team that I wanted.

We've been back in touch with Emily who won the 2013 National Student Challenge and she's now starting her placement at Siemens!

Since Emily’s last blog on her experience of winning the 2013 National Student Challenge, 7 months on we've been back in touch with her to find out what she’s been up to!

What have you been doing since the Challenge?

After the grand final in December, I returned home to revise for my January exams. My classmates did the same and were consequently surprised to find my face displayed on the University homepage! Upon return to Exeter, I was recognised a few times and even received a very tongue-in-cheek award from a society AGM for being the "Most Famous Member."

Since then I have completed the second year of my Maths degree and started my summer internship with Siemens.

When did you start your internship and how is it going?

A couple of months ago I received news that I would be interning within Siemens' Rail Systems department, based in Euston. On 16th June, I undertook my first commute to London and was introduced to the team. Everyone was very welcoming despite being rushed off their feet! The office is always busy and I seem to meet someone new every day.

Most of my time each day is dedicated to a large research project to be used in workshops later in the year. As well as this, I complete various tasks for my colleagues, attend meetings and sometimes visit other sites. I have never had an experience like this before and learn so much every day; it's great! The internship also counts toward one of my modules, which is an added bonus!

Have you spent your prize money yet?

Unfortunately, I haven't found anything worth spending it on. I just hope it doesn't end up paying my rent!

Would you recommend taking the Challenge to your friends?

My recommendation to anyone that is thinking of taking the challenge would be to apply and go for it - what have you got to lose. For the online testing, just practice as much as you can because you will get used to the pace of the tests and style of questions quite quickly. When it comes to the Grand Final, just be yourself and enjoy the day!  It's been one of the most invigorating days of my life and I doubt I will ever forget the experience.

Good luck with the rest of your placement Emily! Why not take her advice? What have you got to lose! Take the Challenge now and represent your university!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Who was your favourite teacher?

It’s that classic question popular for high school reminiscing and, for some reason, bank security questions. Well, Miss Hoff, this blog post is for you. (Just don’t go trying to hack into my online banking now.)

Miss Hoff was my Year 7 English teacher who actually made lessons interesting – we studied Shrek, not Shakespeare. But one of the things that really stuck with me and has been very useful ever since was learning how to pee properly (cue pre-adolescent giggles). Of course this ‘pee’ was actually an acronym of ‘point example explain’ and a handy way to remember how to make an argument fully. Let me explain...
  1. Point: Briefly state what the point you want to make is.
  2. Example: Give an example to support your point.
  3. Explain: Don’t forget to explain yourself – what does the example show? How is this relevant to your overall argument?

I made an effort to pee all through my education, in my exams, essays, everything. And here’s where the job-hunting comes in: I do it on my CV and covering letters too. 

I think most people come across some acronym like pee during their education but you’d be surprised how many people don’t remember to do it in the real world. 

I’ve come across job applications before that just make a point (‘I’m an excellent communicator’) without backing it up or that give the examples (‘I had a part-time job’) without explaining why it’s relevant to the job. I find the final ‘e’ is missing the most often, so next time you have to write a CV or covering letter, ask yourself:

  • Why is this relevant to the employer?
  • What did I learn from this experience that makes me a better candidate?
  • What skills did I develop?
  • How can I apply this experience in the job I’m applying for?

Just like how you had to make an argument about the effect of the literary devices used in Shakespeare/Shrek, you need to make an argument for why you’re the best candidate for the job. No-one cares that you worked in a charity shop in your spare time but they do care that you learned the value of great customer service and that now you always deal with customers with an approachable attitude and a smile. You need to produce a complete, persuasive text and the best way to do that is to pee liberally, all over your application (further pre-adolescent giggles).

By Jess Jennison
Editorial Intern

Friday, July 11, 2014

TARGETjobs career advice weekly roundup

Hello, it’s that time of the week again for me to tell you what we've been reporting in this past week on all things to do with graduate recruitment. 

As always I am going to start this week's roundup with next week's graduate job and internship deadlines.

So, calling all graduates, you've had a month or two of winding down after the stress of your last exam and now you're in the perfect frame of mind to start focusing on kick-starting your career. For next week's graduate job deadlines look no further, check out our article here.

It might already be July, but that doesn't mean it's too late to apply for internships and work experience. Deadlines for a host of internships available through ScotGrad and Step are fast approaching. Internships are a great opportunity to find out if you like working in a particular area, get some all-important experience. Check out the internships available here.

Now, onto career advice.

Are you considering working abroad after university? According to the trendence UK graduate barometer survey one in four students plan on working abroad after graduation. Have a read of our article 'One in four UK students plans to work abroad after graduating' to find out more.


Planning on applying to CMS Cameron McKenna for a training contract by 31 July? Then make sure you follow our advice when crafting your application form answers.


HSBC and Willis are among the many employers in retail banking and insurance that highlight the importance of emotional intelligence. It’s a quality that’s easily forgotten because it’s not explicitly requested or graduates don’t know what it means. Have a read of our article 'Emotional intelligence - a must have for financial services graduates' to find out more.

Interested in working as a financial manager? Have a read of what would be expected of you in our job description article. 'Financial manager - job description'.

Art & Design

Do you aspire to be a Graphic Designer? Read our job description article to find out what is required of you and how to make that dream a reality.


Are you looking for funding options for your postgraduate study? Have a read of our article 'Government bursaries for teacher training, social work, medical and healthcare courses' to find out more.

That's all from me this week,
Best of luck with your applications.

Have a fun weekend!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Dos and Don’ts – the interview process

Over the past two months we have been recruiting for an Events Promotions Assistant. This particular role would see the chosen candidates increase their knowledge of student events, travel, hone their managerial skills and also enjoy the freedom of creativity. 

The interview process has been straight forward, phone interview followed by a face to face if you have successfully passed the initial first stage.

We have had numerous candidates apply for the role, and there have been some successful applicants that have gone through to the final face to face interview stage.

After listening and understanding the process of trying find suitable employees for the role from my colleague I decided to write a blog post about it.

When a company is looking for a potential new employee one personality trait seems to stand out above all others 'ENTHUSIASM'.

Being enthusiastic and confident makes you memorable.

We have had a variety of very diverse candidates all with different characteristics.
The collective issue that we have had is that they do not seem to be aware of the dos and don’ts of an interview. So I have decided to enlighten you all with a list.

The Dos 

  • Dress appropriately – dressing professionally will help with your confidence, it also shows that you’re serious about the interview and will allow the recruiter to see you on a more professional level.
  • Arrive 10 minutes before your interview – this will allow you to collect your thoughts and shake off any nerves you may have. Punctuality is important, but do not show up too early, you’re set a time for a reason.
  • Offer a firm handshake – a firm handshake is a sign of respect and is a professional greeting.
  • Maintain good eye contact – you may feel nervous or even shy but you need to express your interest and prove you’re listening.
  • Be prepared – ensure you are clued up about the company, prove that you have done your research by being able to answer all questions thoroughly with confidence and backup statements.
  • Ask for clarification if you didn't hear or misunderstood a question.

The Don'ts

  • Don’t be late; if you think you might be late for your interview make sure you inform the person interviewing you.
  • Don’t make negative comments about previous employers; you will appear to lack decorum with the inability to control your personal feelings.
  • Don’t give the impression that you are only interested in the salary, this may be an important factor but your interest in the job should be more important.
  • Don’t chew gum or smell of smoke.
  • Don’t take your parents to your job interview. This shows a lack of independence.
  • Don’t fidget or play with your hair, keep your nerves under control.
  • Don’t lie about your abilities to make yourself look better. 
I hope you have found this useful!
Check out the TARGETjobs website for further career advice.

Written by Roxanne Chand

Monday, July 7, 2014

That weekend job is more than a necessary evil

You might think that working while you’re studying or during the summer is just a necessary evil, but there might be more value to that (awful) job than you thought.

I’ve had my fair share of dull jobs. Every time my friends suggested a festival we should go to or a holiday we should go on I knew it was time to sacrifice my evenings and weekends for another three months or so.

When I was in the sixth form I worked in Primark at the weekends. The objective being to raise enough dollar to go to Greece with my friends after our exams. I hated it and I let everybody I knew know about it – all the time. Standing behind a till with a spotlight beaming down on my head and a constant stream of agitated customers for four hours at a time just wasn't my thing. 

It also wasn't the coolest place I could have worked. When I first started I was constantly bombarded by my friends asking ‘Do you actually work in Primark though Katie?’ If they happened to be in town while I was working, they would visit me. By ‘visit’ I mean stand by the side of the tills and throw pity glances at me.

All in all I didn’t really enjoy my time there. But I think I got more out of it than I actually realised at the time. I now had working examples that I could use to back up the claims I’d made in my CV. As opposed to just saying ‘I am reliable and trustworthy’, I could now prove it by saying ‘I was chosen to have the responsibility of cashing up which shows that I am reliable and trustworthy.’ It might sound basic, but it does make a difference.
Also, the holiday was so so worth it.

So if you’re slaving away this summer, remember the greater good. I'm not saying you’ll enjoy it, but you will pick up some skills or values that you can put to good use when you do get a job that you like.  Or failing that, you’ll at least have something to talk about in an interview.

Katie Lloyd
Editorial Intern

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Goodbye student life, HELLO graduate living

As graduation is fast approaching, job hunting is the top priority for most students.

After the ceremony has ended and the few days you spent celebrating with your friends and family are over because yes you have finally made it, and hooray you didn't fail. It is time for you to organise yourself and figure out what you're going to do.

Whether you have decided to take a year out to travel around Australia or the USA or to find yourself your first graduate job, it is better to have a plan. 

When looking for a job there are a few steps you need to take to get the process started.

I understand this process extremely well, so I decided to share what insight I have to encourage and hopefully help you with your transition from student life to graduate living.

When I began my job hunt I had to create a list of my expectations, what my priorities are and what was most important to me.

The list

The questions I asked myself...

What am I looking for?
Where could I see myself?
Which industry is right for me?

I came to the conclusion that I wanted to work within an industry where progression was important, where I could develop my knowledge and be able to freely use my creativity to inspire and design products. 

I also wanted a job where I could earn good money so I could still relish in those student antics of a good night out, but most importantly I wanted a job that I enjoyed. 

And here I am – a digital marketing executive for the biggest student recruitment company within the UK. 

When you've finally made the decision of what you want to do, you have to then start the application process.

What to expect
  • Create your CV and covering letter – if you’re thinking of applying for various roles you will need to cater your CV to that specific role in question. Here are some hints and tips to help you.
  • Preparation – once you have secured an interview you will need to research the company vigorously, you won’t be expected to know everything however you will be expected to know the basics and be in a position to answer their questions with confidence.Have a read of our article 'Eight steps to graduate interview success'.
  • What to wear – your appearance matches your ambition in an interview, you want to make a good impression. People tend to form their opinion of a person within the first few seconds of meeting them. Don't make that first impression a bad one. If you look scruffy you will come across as unprepared. Business attire is what you should be aiming for, formal wear – you have to look the part to be the part. 
         Read our article ' Dress for success at your graduate job interviews'.
  • Interview questions – if you have gone through a recruitment agency they will put you through your paces to prepare you. Understanding the company's expectations from their candidates is important, you need to be able to answer the interview questions honestly, sufficiently and confidently. Read here for more information.

It may sound daunting to begin with, and you may not feel prepared but there is no better feeling than making a good impression and being offered your first job.

I hope you have found this useful!
Best of luck,

Roxanne Chand


Friday, July 4, 2014

TARGETjobs career advice weekly roundup

Hello and welcome to the weekly news roundup. The one and only place to find all the latest news and career advice published on our main sites and in the past week.

First of all, congratulations to all the new university graduates! I hope you have all achieved the grades you expected. 

This week I would like to make some space within this news roundup to introduce the changeover of to

Some of you may be wondering where the idea of renaming our website came from, so I thought it would be a good idea to enlighten you.

The core reason behind was to help students like you and perspective students from around the world find our website as we move to offer a global service.

The site will still offer the great benefits that TARGETcourses have 
  1. The most comprehensive UK postgraduate course search
  2. Funding advice linked to relevant courses
  3. Postgraduate fairs across the UK with 70+ different course providers
  4. International study options                    
  5. Advice on how to choose a course to further you career

If you haven't yet signed up to, then edit your profile today to start receiving targeted emails catered to your interests.

Now, let me start of the news round with the latest internships and graduate job deadlines.

Don't miss out on next week's internship and work experience opportunities, apply here or miss your chance.

Degree results are in and graduations are approaching fast - there's never been a better time to apply for jobs. If you're interested in IT or engineering, read our article here to see what MI6, FactSet, Marshall Wace and DSTL have to offer. There are also accounting and finance roles available and management and marketing feature heavily this week. Make sure you don't miss out!

Careers advice

With graduation creeping closer for many students I thought it would be a good idea to share CV and covering letter advice to help you kick start your job search.

Regardless of what professional industry you aspire to work in, catering your CV to match the criteria of the position is crucial. Whether your target is a graduate scheme with an investment bank or a vacancy for a graduate managing a shop, write a CV that is right for the job. Have a read of our article 'Writing CV's for different types of graduate jobs'.

Most companies will request a covering letter to accompany your CV, your cover letter is a way for you to sell your skills and explain why you think you're suitable for the role in question. When writing your covering letter there are some blunders that you're better off avoiding, have a read of our article here to find out what they are and how your can cross them off your list of 'don'ts'.

Find out how to crack interview questions about your time management techniques and the kind of examples you might give in your answer. Have a read of 'How do you manage your time and prioritise tasks?' Tricky graduate interview questions' for more information.

Sector Deadlines

Don’t miss the training contracts deadline, second-year law students. See which law firms want applications in by 31 July with our helpful list of application deadlines: Find out here.

That's all from me this week.
I hope you all have a great weekend 

Happy 4th July to our American readers! 
Roxanne Chand

Thursday, July 3, 2014

The winner of the 2014 Female Undergraduate of the Year Award talks us through her first two weeks at Rolls Royce!

Exams are done and England’s summer favourites and sunny weather have left everyone buzzing with excitement. From Cambridge May Balls and garden parties to Royal Ascot and Wimbledon to the World Cup and the Royal Henley Regatta, London is certainly an exciting place to be in summer. It is particularly lively in the Rolls-Royce International office, just outside of Buckingham Palace; with not only great World Cup chat from various nationalities, but also some incredibly interesting projects.

My time with Rolls-Royce so far (all of 2 weeks) has been everything I hoped it would be and more. It is an incredibly friendly bunch of people who are all very bright and committed to strong development. They have all gone out of their way to make me feel welcome and to assign me with stimulating tasks. My first week was filled with a plethora of training and introductory calls from Regional Directors located in Indonesia, Thailand, France, Singapore and Vietnam. I sit in the International and Government Relations team and will be finishing my placement out in Jakarta, Indonesia in August (something for which I am also incredibly excited!).

My morning starts with a short tube ride and a lovely stroll through Green Park. I am lucky to get to pass by the barracks - outside of the palace - where the guards hold a drill parade every morning.  I come in to the office and often have relatively early morning calls as they are usually with the team out in Asia. I work with various people throughout the day on my three main objective projects. I will also be commencing work with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for the Government Relations aspect of the role. The team is upbeat and dynamic - shown by our lunchtime run today with the trainer! In the evenings I am able to get in runs around Primrose Hill and play a few quick games of tennis with friends also working in London. Next week I am participating in the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge Run in Battersea Park which is a great team building event and fantastic place to meet other City employees.

I am very optimistic that my internship will continue as it has begun.  Now off to Henley for a weekend of fantastically coloured blazers, phenomenal rowing and fun!

Courtney Gill, University of Cambridge, Land Economy

Think this could be you for 2015? Apply now to the awards here: