A guide to graduate job hunting


Now graduation is over you may have turned your attention to the little matter of job hunting. Here are some handy tips on getting started.

Know what sort of job you want and in what sector?

If you’re not sure what type of job and for what type of company, check out the Get Ideas of the Careers website. Here you’ll find exercises to help you think about what’s right for you. The job sector pages give you background information on a variety of occupational areas and our York profiles give you an insight into the range of jobs York alumni have entered.

Where do I find jobs advertised?

There are lots of graduate level jobs advertised on a host of online jobs sites. Our information sheet, Finding graduate job vacancies, gives a list of suggested general job sites, including Careers gateway, Prospects, TargetJobs and lots more.

Depending on the sector you want to work in, you might be better checking job sites which are particular to certain industries and services. The job sector pages will give you links to specialist sites.

The things nobody tells you

There are some details, which aren’t often covered in advice to graduates. These include busting a few myths around graduate job hunting (“all the jobs are in London”, “I’ve missed all the opportunities”, “all my peers have got jobs”, etc) and what employers really want from candidates.

Some of these issues are tackled in the job hunting toolkit, along with understanding job sdverts and how best to use job sites.

Getting the job

Making applications is only the first stage on, what can be, a long recruitment process. Help with writing a CV or completing a form to sitting aptitude tests and attending interviews is available on the apply for jobs web pages and the info sheets linked from each page go into more detail.

Keeping it local

If you’re keen to stay in York(shire), Yorkshire Graduates advertises vacancies in the region.  Other regional sites include Inspiring Interns (for Manchester and the north of England, as well as London), Graduate Advantage (Midlands), Unlocking Potential (Cornwall); if you’re using national sites, eg Graduate Talent Pool, you can often filter by location.

International work

Whether you’re an international graduate returning home or any nationality looking to work outside of the UK, use the international work resources for vacancy sites and advice.

For international students considering working in the UK, it’s important to read through the information about options and visas on our pages for international students.

Unsure of your next move?

You might feel you’re not ready to start job-hunting yet, and need more time to be sure of your direction.  So, if you need to talk to someone here in Careers, please give us a call on 01904 322685.

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GUEST BLOG: Chinese students: Advice from graduates in China


This post was originally published a few years ago – but the advice from our Chinese graduates is still good if you’re thinking about your return to China:

Seven million new graduates will enter the job market in China this year. If you are a Chinese student at York you might already be thinking about the move back home at the end of your course – and considering how you can make the move from education into employment successfully.

Through our Graduate Profiles database we have collected some interesting insights from former Chinese graduates who have already successfully returned home to find work.  Here’s what they say:

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3 benefits of taking some time out after your degree


Graduation was the climax of the last few years of your life and now it may feel like you’re in a headlong rush into employment. Taking some time out after your studies can be a great opportunity to have fun, build skills, reflect on your university experience and prepare yourself for your next steps. The time you spend doesn’t have to be a year-long, it could be as little as a few weeks – enough time to pause, find inspiration and gain skills.

Pause

pedestrians-400811_1920This has probably been the busiest year of your degree. Library, revision, lectures, seminars, exams, dissertation and in the background, the nagging feeling that you should really have a plan for what happens next when you finish University. It’s OK to pause, in fact it’s good to pause. If you’re not sure what you want to do next then taking some time out will allow you to try different things whether that be volunteering or work experience related to a career area you’re interested in, or travel and work overseas. All experiences will teach you something, it may be that you definitely don’t want to work in a certain career sector but this is still useful! You don’t need to have all the answers right now, but by allowing yourself some headspace, you’ll be able to stop, gain some perspective and figure out what is important to you.

Find inspiration

airport-2373727_1920If you’re taking time out, use it wisely and have a plan. When it comes to securing a  longer term job, employers will want to know how you spent your time out and what you gained from it. You may be considering travelling and experiencing different cultures or you may decide to stay closer to home and and use work experience or volunteering to get an insight into different career sectors or you could combine the two. The point is through your experiences, you will learn more about yourself. You can only know what you do or don’t like, by trying things.

Gain skills

You might think that unless you’re in a graduate level job, you’re not gaining useful skills but the good news is many skills can be transferable. On our website we have a list of skills that employers look for when recruiting. Whatever you do during your time out, you’ll likely be adding to your skillset and fulfilling some of the employer wish list, for example, if you plan to travel, learning a language is a great skill to have and the communication and intercultural skills you’ll develop will be a great addition to your CV, not to mention the self management and planning skills you’ll also acquire. See your gap period as an opportunity to gain experience before entering permanent employment. Short term work can help you identify what really interests you and where your career motivation lies, and it doesn’t have to be ‘casual’ work. Check out the graduate-level internships on Graduate Talent Pool for quality work experience.

Finally…

Once you’re ready to take the next steps – whether it’s a graduate job or further study – Careers and Placements is still here to help. As a starting point, our web resources have plenty of info and advice about job hunting, further study, making applications and going for interview.

Further info:

Check our web page – Taking time out

Read our information sheet – Taking time out

Graduate internships – Graduate Talent Pool

Look at our information sheet on Working outside the UK, this has links to lots of vacancy sources plus volunteer overseas programmes

GoinGlobal is available on our website and includes country profiles, job search resources and cultural information for 41 countries

We’re still available for you. Check out how to set up your lifelong careers service

Guest blog: Succeeding in assessment centres


 In this post Laura Blackledge, Student Recruitment Officer at PwC, for the University of York, shares invaluable insight into how to succeed in assessment centres. Don’t forget that Careers will be running an Interview and Assessment Centre experience event on 7 Feb, which PwC will be attending. Book your placement using the above link.

Why do employers use assessment centres?

Employers use various tools during the recruitment process for a number of diCheck out our latest guest blogfferent reasons:

  • Measure your abilities
  • Understand your experiences and skills
  • Establish your preferred working styles
  • Identify your behavioural responses
  • Provide a job preview for yourself

We know the role and the needs of the roles we are recruiting for.

Our business’ sustainability depends on filling our roles with the most suitable and talented people.

We need to find the right fit – that is what’s best for us and the people we hire – so they can enjoy sustainable and fulfilling careers.

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Interested in the Bank of England? Here’s what their application process is like . . .


Bank of England Blog: Part Two by Erica Rowell

The Bank of England, which was founded in 1694, is responsible for monetary policy and stability, producing bank notes and the Prudential Regulation Authority which means they hold a different ethos to other financial organisations. They have a culture of collaboration, and support employees to develop professionally and personally throughout their careers with the Bank.

Their interns and employees are assessed with the ‘Vision 2020’ model, which is made up of four assessment criteria: diverse and talented, analytic excellence, outstanding execution and open and accountable. Included alongside these is their mission statement: “Promoting the good of the people of the United Kingdom by maintaining monetary and financial stability”.

The application process is the same for both their internships and graduate schemes. This means that someone who is successful in gaining an internship does not have to repeat the application process again when applying for graduate entry.

The Application Process

  1. On-line application form – it is vitally important to research and understand the Bank, what their functions are, and spend some time thinking about what is attractive about the work.
  2. Online Test (Blended) – successful candidates will be invited to complete an online test which will assess a range of skills and is a mixture of situational judgement, motivation, numerical/verbal reasoning and analytical skills. It is important to do some practice in advance. The testing provider will provide some practice questions so don’t skip these! Make sure the test is carried out in a quiet space, with no disturbance, because it is important to be able to focus on the test. For example, if you share accommodation with other people it may be worth warning them that you need some quiet time to yourself to be able to complete the test without disruption. It’s important that your only focus during the test is doing your best, and not worrying about background noise etc.
  3. Video Interview – successful candidates will progress to the video interview. This tests a mixture of technical/commercial awareness and competency. Prepare by reading financial and business news and current affairs particularly if the Bank is mentioned. There is no one recording the interview – it is done through a programme where you are shown between four and five questions, given a short time (one minute) to prepare, and then are recorded (2 – 3 minutes) delivering your answers. There are some simple practice questions at the beginning e.g. favourite film. Don’t skip these as it gives you a chance to check that everything is working, to experience seeing yourself on the screen and check you are looking directly at the camera. Prepare for the questions in the same way as face-to-face interviews. A structured approach is best and the Bank advocates the STAR method. Consider the questions that might be asked: the Bank want to know if you understand what they do, the climate in which they operate, your reasons for applying to the programme and your compatibility with the Bank’s values. As with the online test – make sure you’ve got some peace and quiet to complete this! Keep an eye on timing to ensure your answers are succinct but full, and ensure that there is nothing distracting in the background of the video – a plain background is best.
  4. Assessment Centre – finally, you will complete an assessment centre which involves 2 group exercises (which will be a mix of soft skills and technical questions). The exercise will be a factual case study e.g. why you should be running a paperless office, and will be carried out in groups of 6. You will be assessed on working as a team as well as the recommendations that you make at the end of the exercise. The assessors are not interested in the dominant characters in the group but in those who can collaborate and encourage the team to be structured and keep to time. The time allowance is usually 20 minutes with a 3 minute presentation. Do check, as part of the exercise, who the presentation is to – the CEO or a client of the company. The Bank will be looking to see how you interact with others, and how you deal with time pressured situations to deliver an outcome. Spend some time thinking about the values they might be looking for, in accordance with the values and mission of the Bank, and have a think about how you can demonstrate and evidence these.
  5. Final Interview – this will be carried out by HR and a member of staff from the section of the Bank you have applied to e.g. operations, risk assessment, technology. The questions will be a mixture of checking out soft skills e.g. communication, and technical questions. To answer these questions you need to have a good overview of the stream you have applied for as well as the Bank itself.

Remember! You can book a Careers Advice appointment with us through the Careers Gateway.

And for more information on career opportunities at the Bank of England, visit their website here.

 

“How can I gain work experience with the Bank of England?”: Part One


What they can offer students

On the 8th November this year, The Bank of England came onto campus to deliver a talk on their company culture and recruitment tips. Our Careers Consultant, Erica Rowell, went along to the talk and compiled some of the information that was given into a two-part blog for those who couldn’t attend this insightful event. Below, in Part One of her blog, Erica talks about the different kind of empound-414418_1920ployment opportunities they can offer students.

 

The Bank of England offers a number of internships and graduate programmes.  Here are some of those programmes:

  • First year internship (6 weeks duration)
  •  Penultimate year internship (8 weeks)
  • Postgraduate internship (8 weeks)
  • Industrial placement (13 months)

All of the students on these internships are inducted together as a cohort and treated as part of the team they are allocated to. There are no special projects and interns are expected to ‘hit the ground running’ and work alongside staff. They do have support systems in place including a mentor and line manager; however there is no financial or other support from the Bank for accommodation while on an internship.

The first and penultimate year internships are suitable for students with a degree in any discipline. The Postgraduate internship is for students with a degree (1st class or 2:1) in Economics and/or Finance.

For the first year internship the Bank will look at UCAS points gained. For the penultimate year the Bank will want an update of grades achieved so far. There is a free text box if you need to explain why current grades do not match the predicted class of your degree.

The Industrial Placement offers opportunities as:

  • Research Assistant – will gain first-hand experience in the Bank’s core work. Working alongside economists on a wide range of issues, and gain experience of briefings and produce charts and tables for Monetary Policy and Financial Policy Committee. Will also manipulate economic and financial data for research projects.
  • Project Assistant – are based in either Banking Services or the Programme Office and can work in a variety of roles, including assisting with project processes, supporting testing, trialling and implementation, as well as senior team members.
  • IT Associate – will be part of the Technology Division, working in the Application, Development and Maintenance area or the Infrastructure Group. Experience will include contribution to the success of challenging projects and valuable hands-on experience from technical experts.

 

Graduate Programmes 

Streams:

Operations – generalist scheme, and is open to Graduates from any degree discipline. This stream opens up opportunities in many areas across the Bank, including Banking, Notes and Central Services.

Economist – need to be studying an Economics or Finance undergraduate degree. This stream will develop your skills at the heart of the UK economy.

Risk – this stream develops Graduates to provide technical expertise in areas such as stress testing, the Help to Buy scheme, or wider market risks. They work within areas such as Supervisory Risk Specialists. Strong analytical skills are key for this stream.

Data – these roles are vital for collecting, compiling and analysing data for publication. The Bank looks for students studying a quantitative degree, such as Maths or Engineering. These roles are in areas such as Advanced Analytics, Statistics and Regulatory Data and the Chief Data Office.

Technology – the Technology division enables everything at the Bank, including supporting systems like the Real-Time Gross Settlement (RTGS), enabling the UK financial services sector to transfer trillions of pounds in payment transactions every year. You don’t have to be studying a Computer Science degree –they are also looking for students with an interest in Technology. Based on your interests and skillset, you will be matched to a pathway, such as: Developer, Infrastructure, Service Management or IT Security.

Supervision – open to Graduates from any degree discipline, you’ll be at the heart of the Bank’s work to protect the stability of the UK’s financial system by supervising financial institutions. You could be supervising insurance companies, international banks, building societies, key financial infrastructure or UK banks of all sizes. Supervision puts your analytical, problem solving and professional skills into practice; you will work closely with senior internal and external stakeholders to identify and mitigate potential risks before they can have an adverse effect on the financial system and the public.

Postgraduate – if you are studying for a Masters degree in an Economics or Finance discipline and are looking for a Graduate position, this is the stream for you. These roles are in research-focussed areas such as Monetary Analysis, International or Markets.

Actuarial – qualify as a Fellow of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (Enjoy a salary increase each time you pass an exam!)

All entrants take the Central Banking Qualification, and then study towards a postgraduate certificate in central banking and financial regulation – accredited by Warwick University. It is a 27 month programme and cohorts of entrants are grouped together for the whole of the programme for study days. These take place in the Shard, London.

There are approximately 150 internship/graduate programme places and over 1000 applicants. There are fewer applications for the economic stream.  Also, if you apply for this stream and are not successful the Bank may recommend you joining an alternative application stream.

Applications for the graduate stream closed on 13th November 2017, however the internships are open until mid-January 2018.