Autumn fairs – your views


Over 2,000 students visited our fairs in weeks 2 and 4 this term – and we asked them what they thought.  Thank you to everyone who gave us feedback. We had lots of great comments from students who’d enjoyed the fair, and some concerns as well. Here’s a quick summary, together with our responses:

Space

You said: The fair was too crowded, it wasn’t easy to get around; this could be difficult for students with anxiety; the fair should be in a bigger space. Continue reading

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Why Start-Ups and SMEs can be a great place to start your career


Guest blog written by TalentPool , a recruitment platform matching recent graduates with job and internship opportunities at start-ups & SMEs.

When you enter your final year of university and you start thinking about your graduate job, it is easy to end up feeling like big companies and graduate schemes are the only avenues into the world of work. In fact, it may interest you to know that 9 in 10 graduate jobs are in start-ups and SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises). These companies can offer you a unique and valuable route into your career with great opportunities for development. Here are the top 3 reasons why we think you should consider starting your career at a start-up or SME.

You will be given responsibility

adult-brainstorming-business-1181622At  a start-up or SME the team you work in will be small, so each person’s contribution counts! Far from being kept away from the core of the business until you are more experienced, at a start-up or SME you will usually be given high levels of responsibility very early on. You will be working in a small team, so you will receive lots of feedback and your work will not get ignored among a mass of other tasks. This will allow you to build your skills and see the impact of your work – pretty good for a fresh graduate! ! You’ll get a real insight into how a business operates and get to try your hand at a range of different tasks and projects.

The work is exciting

Working for a start-up or SME means working in a company that is constantly growing and evolving. Your role will probably develop throughout the years you work with the company, so you definitely won’t get bored! In many smaller businesses, due to the close-knit teams, employees from all levels of the company are involved in the big decisions. Seeing the work you do has a real impact on your company’s growth and development is one of the most exciting things about starting your career in this sector.

The company culture

Often at start-ups and SMEs, the environment you work in is more relaxed than it would be in a larger corporate. Dress codes are not as fixed and there is often a less rigid hierarchical structure to the team. Lots of these businesses have socials and team members get to know each other quickly. At a start-up you will be working alongside emerging talent and creative colleagues, making the company culture at a small organisation a very exciting one to be a part of.

GUEST BLOG: The Recruitment Wish List – what skills do employers look for?


rawpixel-660716-unsplashGuest blog written by Jessica Ching, Digital Content and Marketing Executive at graduate recruitment experts,  Give a Grad a Go

It can often feel like employers are looking for a very specific person in terms of qualifications and work experience – but in reality, there are a number of other things that employers look for in their graduate hires.

If you can show that you have these desirable attributes on top of your degree, you’ll make your job application stand out from the crowd:

  • Transferable skills – A degree is an important part of any job application; but if you can demonstrate the skills you’ve learnt throughout your education, and relate them to the particular role you’re applying to, you’ll show the employer what you can offer their business. “Soft” or “transferable” skills can include communication skills (an employer favourite!), teamwork, time management or problem-solving skills – and can be demonstrated through your achievements, involvement in extra-curricular activities throughout school and university, and other hobbies or interests.
  • Commercial awareness – Employers across the board are becoming increasingly interested in hiring graduates who can demonstrate commercial awareness (an understanding of the business world). Show you have an understanding of businesses work by reading up on the market, taking an interest in news and current affairs, running your own business venture at university, or organising a fundraising event.

  • Culture fit – As much as skills and attributes are important to employers, they’ll also be looking to hire someone who will fit into their business and work well with their team. The best way to get a feel of the company culture before you apply is to check them out online (LinkedIn, Facebook, even a quick Google search). If you think you’d be a good fit for their company, show the employer your enthusiasm and dedication to the role throughout the interview process!
  • MemorabilityThe graduate jobs market is incredibly competitive – so if you can make yourself memorable to an employer this is a huge plus. They’ll read thousands of very similar CVs – so a unique design or an interesting combination of skills will make you stand out from the crowd.

  • Research – Preparing for an interview and doing your research around a company is looked on very favourably by employers. If you can drop things you’ve read about their organisation, product or service into an interview, you’ll show that you have a genuine interest in their company and the wider industry.

Find the latest graduate jobs on Give A Grad A Go’s website!

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.

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:

Continue reading

The Insider Intern: Hattie Patten-Chatfield


The Face behind the Facebook : An Introduction 

Hattie Patten-Chatfield

A classic B&W filter, to hide the hair-dye malfunction I suffered for Halloween. Don’t ask.

The brilliant thing about working at Careers and Placements is that I don’t feel like the ‘intern’ or the ‘temporary’…

Graduating from the Theatre: Writing, Directing and Performance course here at York in July 2017 was an extremely daunting and nerve-wracking moment.

My world of routine, society socials and friends being only a stone’s throw away was suddenly taken away from me and I was plummeted into the dark depths of graduate unemployment. (It wasn’t as bad as that, but more on that later…)

I was lucky enough to notice, apply for and then be offered a year-long internship at Careers and Placements, where my official title is ‘Graduate Intern: Communications and Student Engagement’.

This isn’t the first time I have been an intern, though. In the past I have worked for companies that very much treat you as an ‘intern’ – the person who photocopies, makes tea and coffee, but not much else.

The brilliant thing about working at Careers and Placements is that I don’t feel like the ‘intern’ or the ‘temporary’. I am treated as an official staff member and am trusted and respected, whilst also being given huge responsibilities.

In a nutshell, my role here involves updating and scheduling our social media accounts (do you know we have an Instagram, by the way?), organizing and managing our Career Brand Ambassadors and generally working on ways to gather feedback from students and generating new ways of engaging them. This may sound easy enough, but trust me – it’s not as simple as you may think.

However there is a lot more to my role, and to Careers and Placements, than first meets the eye.

I hope that you will follow me as I begin to use our blog to showcase the life of an intern here at the university, and give you a unique insight into the service and group of people who help you to find employment.

Watch this space for future posts. It was nice meeting you!

Facebook – /YorkCareers

Twitter – @UoYCareers

Instagram –uoycareers

 

GUEST BLOG: Being a brand manager


 Guest blog written by Rebecca Lawes (English & Philosophy), Frontline Brand Manager

What appealed to you about being a Frontline Brand Manager? 

Being able to promote a really influential charity appealed to me because I really wanted a part time job that made a real difference, but that was still well paid and flexible. The opportunity to speak to students who are really passionate about changing the lives of vulnerable children also appealed to me, as I really liked the idea of my part time university job being rewarding and interesting. There are lots of brand ambassador opportunities available, but to me just promoting a big company or product seemed like a very hard sales kind of role that I would just not have been as passionate about. Working for a prestigious charity that is completely unique in what it does is much more exciting! It also appealed to me because the hours are flexible and I can completely set my own timetable and workload but I get paid National Living Wage, which is often hard to find in the third sector.

What have you learnt from being a Brand Manager?

Continue reading