Time to think outside the box

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As the job market becomes increasingly competitive and the volume of applications employers receive grows, it’s more important than ever to consider transferable skills, alternative roles and indirect routes into a placement – and ultimately your graduate job role.

Here are some ways to think outside the box when you’re making your application…

 

Think differently
Instead of following your usual thought process – for example: ‘I want to get a job in marketing, therefore I must get a placement as a marketing assistant’ – branch out and consider other roles. The qualities associated with roles such as a marketing assistant include a good eye for detail, the ability to effectively compare and analyse data, and a creative mindset. These can all be found in other roles, which can offer you the transferable skills needed for a career in marketing. Positions such as content writers, social media assistants, brand consultants and PR interns will still enable you to build transferable, industry-related skills.

Widen the employers you approach
Only wanting to work for a marketing company will limit your search. Many diverse organisations and employers have their own marketing teams or positions – including local businesses such as Dyson, Airbus, the National Trust, Bath Spa University, Clarks, Wessex Water and Bath & North East Somerset Council. This list is by no means exhaustive but should help you to spark some ideas! Different sectors and employers may offer additional benefits, too.

Attract the right attention
Think about how often a company receives the standard ‘please find my CV and cover letter attached’. You may well have the best CV in the world, but this opening email doesn’t inspire the recipient to keep reading or open your attachments. Consider using your covering letter as the body of the email… which you will, of course, have tailored and checked for errors. Both this and your CV should be well-researched and planned to not only showcase your skills but also your interest in that particular company. There are also non-traditional ways that you can showcase your skills. Build an online portfolio or film a video CV that’s then uploaded to YouTube? Use colourful or creative format? Do be sure that this method is appropriate for the industry, company and the role you are applying or approaching them for, though. If you’re not sure, stick with a CV and covering letter.

Don’t judge a job by its title
Don’t discard a job just because you feel it doesn’t apply to the level you are looking for. Many of us are often tempted to go back to old habits, such as only considering roles titled ‘graduate intern’. Entry-level roles such as junior business executive or business administrator may still be suited to your experience and skills.

It’s not always what you know, but who you know
When seeking opportunities, look at who you already know that might be able to help you get your ‘foot in the door’. Family, friends of friends, work colleagues or Bath Spa University alumni may all have links to the industry that you wish to work in. 70-80% of roles (including placements) aren’t advertised on the open market through job adverts or agencies. Instead, they are found through word of mouth and recommendations, or filled by candidates the company already knows as a result of previous placements and work experience. Speculative applications can put you a step ahead of other students and graduates. You can take a look at some examples here to get you started.

 

The hard and fast rule is not to underestimate the experience a different role might give you. By trying something new, you may find you really enjoy a role you hadn’t fully considered before.

Remember, the Placements team are here to help. If you’re currently seeking opportunities and not sure where to start, or want to talk about a role advertised through one of our schemes, come along to our drop-in, every Tuesday and Thursday during term time from 1pm-2pm in Steward’s Lodge. You can also get in touch with us by emailing placements@bathspa.ac.uk.

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‘Kickstart’ your life after uni!

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Calling all final year students! You’re nearing the finish line!…

Soon you’ll be celebrating your success as a fully-fledged graduate! But what comes next? Have you got an all-important job lined up? Need help on perfecting that winning CV? Don’t panic! Bath Spa Careers are holding a series of events especially for you!

Introducing… ‘Kickstart’ Your Life After Uni

Our Kickstart series is designed to help final-year students prepare for life after university. With graduation on the horizon, we’re here to help you with the essential toolkit to source your graduate career.

Each session will consist of three key workshops, looking at job search strategy, how to show off your best CV, and tips to ensure you ace that interview process. There will be short intermissions, with light refreshments provided.

After you’ve got to grips with the nuts and bolts, you will also have an option to stay behind afterwards and speak with student advisors on staying savvy with finance and well-being.

Booking for this event is essential!

In the mean time, if you have any queries with regards to your future career just pop along to our Final Year drop-in –Every Tuesday from 11am-1pm in Steward’s Lodge!

Summer placement experience: Purpol Marketing

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Third-year student Business and Management with Psychology Bronwyn Jesse undertook a paid placement last summer with local business Purpol Marketing. Here’s her experience of working from home on her placement, getting involved with small/medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and the impact of her time at Purpol on her choice of career:

“Perhaps one of the more challenging aspects of coming to the end of my placement lies in trying to summarise everything I have learned over the past few months.

“From social media tools to networking, and whitepapers to bid writing, I really have encompassed a variety of skills into 15 weeks. But the biggest thing I’ve taken away is a newfound confidence in my work, which I hope to take back to uni with me in my final year.

“In particular, my placement has helped to refine my own academic and career goals. I thought I knew everything worth knowing about marketing from my degree, but working here has taught me that the world of business is continuously developing. With this in mind, I will look to continuously open myself up to learning new skills.

“My goalposts have also changed. I now have a preference for working with SMEs – I’ve become intrigued with the low-cost day-to-day changes of marketing. There are now targets for £1 in every £3 of government spending to be with small British businesses by 2020, and I’m excited to follow this movement!

“Overall, Purpol Marketing have excelled in giving me a whistle-stop tour of the world of marketing and procurement. While university has helped lay the foundations for marketing knowledge, it’s the time spent on placement that has helped to consolidate my understanding, with the ability to put things I have learnt in the classroom environment in to the real business world.

“I would like to thank Denise for being such an inspiring entrepreneur with an infectious work mentality. Together Denise and I have succeeded in proving that placements working from home with flexible structures, complemented by cloud technology, can be equally rewarding as a traditional setup – I hope this will increasingly become an option offered by more businesses.

“My placement’s home-working methodology was unlike most other internships offered, and it has really distinguished me from others in my graduate job search. More than anything, I am more confident at assessment days, and telephone interviews as I feel I now have something to talk about. The placement has enabled me to put skills such as ‘flexbility, self-management/initiative, communication’ and more, as I can now provide real life examples of this. This has been a learning curve filled with insight, and I’m forever indebted to the Purpol team.”

Interested in undertaking a summer placement of your own? Sign up here to find out about our opportunities as they come in.

Considering a year in industry?

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Have you been weighing up the pros and cons of carrying out a year in industry placement as part of your degree? If you are, read on to hear first-hand from Bath Spa student Richard Napier about his experience of working for recruitment firm Hays

“I have been studying Business and Management at Bath Spa, and as part of my degree I wanted to take advantage of an industrial placement to gain exposure to the business world. I did my research via Rate My Placement; however, after speaking to various companies I got the impression I would be doing very basic functions in their businesses rather than gaining real insight.

“During my research, I discovered Hays ­– and the more I read about their 10-to-12-month internship programme the more attracted I was to applying. All of the reviews I read about the placement made it very clear that I would be given a lot of responsibility during my fixed-term contract and in theory run my own business (my desk) with the backing of a global brand (Hays).

“I discovered that I would be rewarded for my hard work through monthly performance bonuses; individual, team and regional incentives; and be offered the same flexible benefits package as all permanent employees.

“I was incredibly excited about the prospect of joining Hays, and when I did start in the business I was not disappointed. I loved the fact I was working in a fast-paced, target-driven and competitive environment, with like-minded people who not only worked hard but had fun doing it.

“Nine months into my internship I am more confident, have developed my sales skills and have had the business exposure work that I was looking for when I originally applied. The skills and knowledge I have gained through my internship cannot be learnt in a classroom. My success at Hays has meant I have been rewarded through remuneration and that money is going towards my post-internship summer vacation fund!

“I am extremely proud to work for the number-one employer of choice in the recruitment industry, and look forward to returning to Hays after my final year of university.”

To find out more about an internship at Hays, contact Talent Scout Richard Napier People and Culture Coordinator Anne-Marie Kalas.

Yuyo Drinks: a Seed Fund success story

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Calling all food and drink entrepreneurs of tomorrow!

Are you a small or start-up business looking to flourish in the food and drink industry? Would you like the opportunity to receive a year of support from a select team of mentors, alongside £100,000 worth of branding and marketing development?

Check out Rosie and Charles’ story – who have been able to hire Bath Spa students as a result of The Seed Fund’s support. This could be you!

“In 2014, my partner Charles and I co-founded Yuyo Drinks, a range of organic infusions with South American drinking herb yerba mate, inspired by our experiences travelling in South America.

“In early 2015, several months into our first year of our business, we applied to The Seed Fund, a philanthropic business accelerator award coordinated by local food branding agency The Collaborators. For fledgling food and drink businesses with a great product and proven concept, The Seed Fund offers critical support to reach the next level.

“At the time, we were still tiny: my partner and I were freelancing and house-sitting to get the business off the ground, and packing our own products with hairnets on. Oh, the glamour! Nearly two years on and our business has transformed, enabling us to hire Bath Spa students and graduates.

“Yuyo is a vibrant, growing brand sold by online supermarket Ocado, along with UK retailers Whole Foods, Planet Organic, Revital and more –plus we now export to Germany, France and Sweden. As I write this, I am working with our team of employees and interns around me, all of whom are former students from Bath Spa.

“Following initial contact with Bath Spa’s Careers service last summer, we have partnered on a series of placements, including a part-funded graduate internship. I was lucky enough to find Joana Garcias Águia, a former Publishing and Media Communications student – she’s been the perfect fit for us, with excellent design and communications skills and a creative, flexible and independent work ethic.

“Joana has been working on everything from sales to web design, attending trade events and even supervising students on a work placement with Yuyo. She is now applying to other jobs and I wish her every success in her next steps. It has been so gratifying to see the process through, and we’re indebted to The Seed Fund and Bath Spa for being part of our journey to becoming a successful brand and employer.”

Rosie Marteau, Yuyo Drinks Ltd

Keep an eye out for future placements with Yuyo Drinks on My Career. To apply for The Seed Fund please visit www.theseedfund.co.uk before Thursday 16th March.

 

Create a Winning LinkedIn Profile with 10 Top Tips

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On Wednesday 1st March in your diaries, as we will be hosting our interactive LinkedIn Day event throughout Commons, Newton Park.

With various workshops, industry speakers, opportunities to have you photo taken and competitions to get involved in, it’s an opportunity you shouldn’t miss! To get ahead, check out these top tips for your profile:

  1. The profile picture
    Showing off that all-important headshot will help you to gain 14 times more views than you’d receive if you went without. Make sure to give a good impression!
  1. A hot headline
    Alongside your name, this will be the first thing any viewer sees when checking out your profile, so make sure to keep it short and snappy. Keep it current and professional.
  1. Sell your summary
    Supplying a great summary can help you to gain seven times more profile views. Consider it as an elevator pitch; keep it short and to the point, but be make sure you highlight what you’re all about.
  1. Experience gives the extra factor
    Make sure you provide detailed experiences. Whether that’s voluntary work, internships, work experience or a part-time job, it demonstrates that you know what you’re talking about when it comes to your field of interest/study.
  1. Education counts
    You’ve managed to land yourself a place at university and are likely doing well, so ensure you cover all your key qualifications for employers to see.
  1. Include key projects
    If you’ve overseen any notable projects in university or work, you should be showing off your skills. Include links, or embed photographs and videos to alongside your education and experience.
  1. Shout your skills
    Having a key skill that fits with your career could improve your profile views thirteenfold. You likely have more than one, so get noting those technical and team-working abilities now.
  1. Recommendations rock
    Think of a recommendation as a reference on your CV. Likewise, think carefully about who you ask to recommend you and ensure the contact will prove relevant to the career you hope to focus on i.e. if you’re an avid photographer, perhaps don’t get the milkman to shout about your skills…
  1. Share endorsements
    They say sharing is caring, and endorsements do everyone good. Is your best friend good at drawing? Endorse her to confirm it. In return, she might vouch that you are capable of teaching, which reflects well on you. It’s a win-win situation and can make you feel good, too.
  1. Get connected
    Now you’ve completed your profile, it’s time to start showcasing yourself to potential employers. Research relevant connections in you field of interest/study and approach them with personalised emails asking them to connect with you.

We will be running a series of workshops on LinkedIn Day – you can book your place here!

Spring term employer events – helping you find an internship or graduate job

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The spring term is well underway, and for some of you that means graduation is looming… along with the need to find a graduate job. Or maybe you’re looking for a placement or internship to gain some valuable work experience over the summer and earn some money while doing so.

Well, panic no more! We have some fantastic employers on campus over the next couple of weeks to talk to you about their opportunities, and even provide hints and tips on how you can succeed during their application processes – so make sure you pop these dates in your diary.

On Tuesday 21st February, Teach First will be hosting a pizza presentation. That’s right: enjoy a slice of pizza whilst hearing about their Leadership Development Programme (LDP)  – a paid two-year programme that trains and supports committed individuals to become inspirational classroom leaders in low-income communities. The programme combines teacher training and a fully- funded Postgraduate Diploma in Education (worth twice the credits of a PGCE) with one-to-one coaching. If you are in 1st year or 2nd year you may also be interested in hearing about their one-day taster programme or two-week insight programme. To attend, book here.

If you are you considering working abroad, how about China? Opportunity China will be on campus on Thursday 23rd February to talk to you about their exciting graduate and summer employment opportunities. Their presentation will look at the employability benefits of living and working as a teacher in China, vital information about salary expectations, living arrangements and a first-hand account from a former head teacher at an English School in China.

Finally, are you heading for an interview – whether it’s for a part-time job, internship or graduate job – and want to make sure you stand out from the crowd? On Tuesday 28th February, there will be a session on understanding the importance of how others perceive you and why your personal brand is so vital when applying for jobs.

Don’t forget, you can also meet a range of employers at our Employer in the Foyer sessions, every Tuesday, in the Commons Atrium from 11am – 2pm!

Save the Date for LinkedIn Day!

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Put Wednesday 1st March in your diaries, as we will be hosting our interactive LinkedIn Day event throughout Commons, Newton Park.

With various workshops, industry speakers, opportunities to have you photo taken and competitions to get involved in, it’s an opportunity you shouldn’t miss!

What is LinkedIn?
Linkedin is similar to, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, in that it is an online social network. However, whilst professionals may have accounts on the likes of Facebook, LinkedIn is strictly for professional use. It doesn’t matter whether you’re an undergrad student or a major CEO, LinkedIn is accessible by anyone who wants to build career contacts.

Why is it important?
LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network and has millions of members, which continue to grow rapidly. Many companies big and small use the power of the internet to search for potential employees. It’s essential, now more than ever, to keep your online accounts professional, because the world can view them. LinkedIn helps to provide a professional page where you can showcase both skills and talent to the people who matter.

Why join?

  • Professional space to showcase your experience and ability
  • Build relevant contacts through social connections
  • Learn about companies in your desired industry
  • Scout potential job opportunities

 

Book your place online via My Career, or come along to the Commons Atrium on the day.

Final-Year Drop-Ins: an update!

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We all know that third-years are frequently worried about their workload and preparing frantically for dissertations –  it’s often easy to lose sight of what all the hard work is for.

The Bath Spa Careers team are here to help ease those added stresses; whether it’s helping to choose your next step after graduation, additional support with postgraduate applications or assisting with your graduate job search.

We understand how important the next step is after finishing university, which is why final-year students have their own timeslot to discuss these issues –every Tuesday between 11am-1pm, downstairs in Steward’s Lodge (the cottage opposite the library bus stop).

What are Final Year Drop-Ins for?

  • Help with searching for graduate jobs and schemes
  • Support in applying to postgraduate study/teacher training
  • An informal space to discuss you options after graduation
  • Guidance to postgrad study abroad and international opportunities
  • Quick queries regarding the Bath Spa Award in your final year

Careers Space – Steward’s Lodge. Every Tuesday – 11am-1pm 

Simply pop by and say hello, no booking required.

Hope to you see you soon!

Summer Placement Scheme

 

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Having survived Blue Monday, perhaps your thoughts have turned to summer – holidays, sunshine, socialising and coming out of hibernation! But inn the Placements team, we’ve turned our attention to the launch of the Bath Spa University Summer Placement Scheme.

Why would you want to spend your summer doing a placement/internship?

  • Allows you to develop specific industry skills
  • Work in or learn about a specific profession or sector where you will undertake a role with real responsibility or changes
  • Gain experience that you can add to your CV and later help you land that graduate job
  • Build new relationships and wider networks
  • Get paid!

For those of you who haven’t heard of this scheme yet, we work with a wide variety of local businesses to provide paid 3 month opportunities for second- and third-year Bath Spa students. Placements and internships will be advertised on My Career from the end of February, with start dates of May-July.

The majority of applications will be via a CV and Covering Letter – did you know you can get this checked through our Careers team, by booking an appointment or uploading to ‘Ask a Question’?

Alternatively, if you have already arranged your own local placement/internship for the summer why don’t you contact us to see if we can support this with our funding? We provide £1,500 towards the cost of the three months and the employer must make this up to reach at least National Minimum Wage.

If you’re interested in hearing more about the opportunities as they come in, please complete the short form here. Those that sign up by the 10th February will be entered into a prize draw to win a £50 Sainsbury’s voucher!

For any support with finding placements/internships please contact the team on Placements@bathspa.ac.uk / 01225 876638 or come along to the Placements Drop In (1pm-2pm) every Tuesday and Thursday in Stewards Lodge.