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.

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!

Job Shop: who we are & what we do

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Everyone loves a freebie! Our Job Shop is a FREE service, here to help all students find part-time jobs in the local area, including jobs available on campus.

It was set up to help students find opportunities (outside academic studies) to develop skills and experience required by graduate employers. The Job Shop also provides the opportunity to find well paid employment – as we all know, extra money always comes in handy! Close to 80% of Bath Spa University students have a part-time job while they study.

The most popular jobs are those on campus, as the work is convenient and usually very flexible, with a higher-than-average hourly rate – so expect high levels of competition! The most frequent and popular employers on campus include the Library, IT, Bath Spa Live, the Marketing Department and the Students Union. Job roles range from Library, IT and Commons helpers through to Student Ambassadors, events and bar staff… so there really is something for everyone!

We recommend that students work no more than 15 hours during term time – we’re not trying to be mean; we just want to ensure that you maintain a healthy work/study balance.

All of our employers are ‘student friendly’, which means that they understand your academic commitments, they will always pay at least national minimum wage and they meet our Code of Practice.

If you’re an international student, you will need a National Insurance Number (NINo) when you get a job – this is a unique personal number that is used to record your National Insurance (NI) contributions. Don’t worry: we can help you apply for this.

So, perhaps you’ve found a few jobs that you’d like to apply for, but you’ve got no idea where to start. Or maybe you just need a bit of extra support applying for a role. Apart from providing you with a large range of part-time jobs, we are also here to help you with your CV and covering letter, and to give you guidance on job applications and interview preparation.

We offer a drop-in service three days per week during term time (Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 12 -2 in Steward’s Lodge) designed for quick 10-minute queries. Alternatively, if you’d like a longer session, you can book a 1:1 appointment with us from ANY campus or accommodation block – we can’t be more flexible than that!

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Finally, once a year we also take part in the ‘Student Employee of the Year’ awards – this is a national award, providing a fantastic opportunity for employees to be nominated for all their hard work in combining a part time job with their studies. If you’re lucky enough to be nominated and even win a (cash!) prize, then you’ll be invited to an awards ceremony on campus where we celebrate you!

For more information on any of the services the Job Shop offers, please email us at: jobs@bathspa.ac.uk or phone us on 01225 875864.