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Focus On Your Future ~ Developing an effective strategy for employment.

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1 Focus On Your Future ~ Developing an effective strategy for employment

2 ∂ 2 Today’s workshop will cover….  Case study exercise  A guide to developing a strategy for employment  Working on your skills audit to develop your own strategy  Resources available to help following graduation

3 ∂ 3 Case Study……. Peter is about to graduate after completing a degree in Combined Arts at Durham University. His primary areas of study were history and philosophy but he also undertook some modules in art history. The academic variety of the degree really appealed to Peter; he feels that the breadth of his degree evidences his ability to cope effectively with different challenges. He has enjoyed the opportunity to research information but also to present ideas and views in a compelling and creative way. His dissertation involved an assessment of the impact of propaganda during conflict. Outside of his academic studies, Peter has invested considerable time in a music society. He has established a society website and has actively promoted the society to ‘freshers’ through self-penned flyers and promotional work with university student papers and radio. He has been working part- time in call centre and was promoted to team leader, responsible for ten staff. Career Aspirations Peter is keen to use his communication skills in a persuasive and creative way. PR is one option that really appeals to him; particularly as the role encompasses contact with the full breadth of media. Ideally, he would like to work in PR for a music company but is open to other ideas and options. He is uncertain if the experience he has to date is relevant or sufficient; he is reluctant to undertake further full-time study.

4 ∂ 4 Your task……. How would you market Peter to potential employers? (consider the relevance of Peter’s skills and experience to PR) Is there a skills gap? How would you suggest Peter addresses the skills gap? How should Peter approach getting a job? (think about different job search strategies) Are there other careers/opportunities that Peter should consider?

5 5 Developing a strategy for employment David Henderson Jude Gowdy Careers, Employability & Enterprise Centre

6 ∂ Developing a strategy for employment Career focus - developing a clear understanding of what is that you want from a career Understanding the graduate job market Understanding how you fit into that market and what you can offer Effectively marketing yourself to employers Diversified approach to job search Pulling the strategy together 6 This session will cover….

7 ∂ Career focus If you have strong career focus this can make it easier to develop a strategy for employment It is not unusual to have no idea about which career path to follow therefore career focus can be considered in other ways: -Sector (e.g. retail, FMCG, media, property, IT) -Employer (e.g. Multinational vs SME) -Opportunity (e.g. structured graduate programme v’s entry level xxxxxposition) Other factors can also help you to develop career focus: -Location (geographically flexible or specific?) -Salary - Lifestyle 7 Essentially career focus is doing what you can to identify career priorities and develop an employment strategy accordingly

8 ∂ Career focus 8 Resources: Career management tools Destination information:

9 ∂ Understanding the graduate and non-graduate job market Competition for graduate places very high: 45 applications per graduate place (in some sectors it will be much higher than this). Graduate recruitment recovering but still short of pre-recession levels and increasing numbers of graduates being recruited following internships Exploring national and regional trends/skills shortages: e.g. in this region public sector is a major employer but significantly affected by recent spending cuts. In contrast chemical and pharmaceutical sector is strong in this region yet nationally graduate recruitment in this sector is half the 2007 level ( 9 1,200 PWC 1,000 Deloitte 900 KPMG 780 Teach First 740 Ernst & Young Understanding which employers and sectors are more actively recruiting: Top 5 recruiters Top 3 sectors for average graduate salary Law Firms £38kInvestment Banks £42kOil & Energy £32k

10 ∂ Understanding the graduate and non-graduate job market In terms of actual numbers of vacancies the biggest recruiters are accounting and professional service firms, investment banking, public sector, banking & finance and retail The majority of graduate vacancies within organisations exist in finance, IT, engineering, HR, general management and marketing. The fewest positions exist within sales, logistics, purchasing, R & D, law, consulting, media and investment banking (the last four tend to be the domain of specialist organisations) High Fliers – The Graduate Market in 2011 ( 10 banking & finance retailing public sector consulting, IT & telecommunications consumer goods 2007 - 2011 graduate vacancies accounting & professional services armed forces oil & energy law media investment banking engineering chemicals & pharmaceuticals

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12 ∂ Understanding how you fit into the job market place Employer expectations will vary hugely depending on the nature and level of the job role…you need to assess yourself against the specifics of the opportunity and identify gaps. Addressing those gaps will form a key part of your employment strategy 12 This is essentially about self-assessment but also an appreciation of what employers xxare looking for On a basic level you need to ask the question how employable am I in terms of both xxgeneral and specific requirements: General (common to the majority of graduate schemes Specific (common to the wider job market but also some graduate positions) Academic qualifications Personal qualities Transferable skills/competencies (leadership, communication, teamwork, xproblem solving, decision making etc) Relevant experience, skills & qualifications

13 ∂ Understanding how you fit into the job market place Addressing the gaps: Qualifications: postgraduate study but also explore shorter professional courses (usually accredited by relevant professional bodies), distance learning programmes (e.g. OU), on-the-job training, KTPs (Knowledge Transfer Partnerships - Skills/Qualities: Your key transferable skills and personal qualities can be improved by simply getting involved in a range of different things: temporary / p-t employment, volunteering, travelling etc If you have areas of weakness (e.g. presenting, debating) put yourself in positions where you have to put these skills into practice 13

14 ∂ Understanding how you fit into the job market place Experience: internships for graduates are becoming more common (e.g. Accenture ‘Navigator’ scheme, Endsleigh graduate internship, Carillion graduate internship) Graduate Step offers paid internship opportunities with SMEs (; Graduate Talent Pool (govt initiative that is being disbanded but still open to 2011 graduates)!ecaaefg Universities are now offering internships to graduates; you do not necessarily have to be an alumni of that institution Graduate job websites useful for graduate internships (Guardian Jobs, Prospects, Target Jobs, Milkround etc) but also try keyword search (graduate/internship) in jobsites specific to your own career interests many internships remain unpaid and organised through speculative approaches, networking and contacts alternative to an internship is to find non-graduate, entry level employment in the right sort of environment/employer: in-house training, relevant experience, networking opportunities, internal job vacancies 14

15 ∂ Effectively marketing yourself to employers 15 …this will help you to prioritise what you write and say during the job application process. Leave the employer in no doubt about your key selling points! Identify the key information that you want an employer to know about you major gripe of employers is the quality of applications ations ations Structure your CV, covering letter and application forms around those key selling points this is a key skill and can help you to research career options, source work experience and even get a job. Networking can be done informally in any situation but also more formally via career events and fairs (careers services, professional bodies, employers, alumni networks) Networking …Linked In, You Tube (video CVs), Facebook Explore the different marketing tools available to you

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17 ∂ 17 Effective Applications/Interviews must be individually tailored to the organisation and the opportunity CV and cover letters demonstrate your understanding of the job role through effective research (company reports, news stories, market reports, company newsletter, news section of website etc) Career and Employer motivation questions: relate to specific examples rather than general occasions e.g. As President of the Wine Society I demonstrated team work skillsX As President of the Wine Society I worked with the executive team to organise a series of lectures entitled ‘wines of the world’. My central role... √ Competency questions: critical to success in an interview situation be able to answer questions about key competencies, career motivation, commercial and technical issues…pre-plan key points that you want to convey to the interviewer Practise talking about yourself in a positive way: …this is the same irrespective of economic conditions e.g. Zurich received 1000 applications for the finance scheme but only made 5 offers: this was put down to the poor quality of candidates or more accurately, the poor self-marketing of candidates Quality of application and performance at interview that will get you a job

18 ∂ 18 STAR applications and interviews Describe Situation Outline the Task(s) What Action did you take? What was the Result?

19 ∂ Diversified approach to job search There are a lots of different approaches to job search…you do not have to adopt every approach to be successful but a diversified strategy will improve your prospects Online job sites – the most obvious means of finding vacancies but it is important to select those resources that are most appropriate to your career focus (e.g. graduate specific, job/sector specific, regional etc). Top tip – use the career/sector articles on to research the most relevant sources of vacancies; don’t rely on only one graduate job site! Professional bodies – usually advertise vacancies relevant to their organisation; also often provide a list of member employers (useful for speculative approaches) Recruitment agencies – can be a useful means of getting temporary experience but not always effective; some agencies very specific to particular sectors/professions. There are recruitment agencies that deal specifically with graduates including Matchtech, Discovery Graduates, Freshminds Talent, Pareto Law, Moloney Search, Graduate Recruitment Bureau 19

20 ∂ Diversified approach to job search Speculative – this approach can be frustrating but it does allow you to proactively contact the employers that really interest you. It is important to convey those key selling points within your CV and covering letter but also convey your specific interest in the employer! Social media – means of making key employability information about yourself available to employers but opportunities also advertised; giving yourself a strong online presence is becoming increasingly important. Brave New Talent - interesting example of a leading social recruitment platform Networks – hidden vacancies can often be accessed through networks including social media groups, professional bodies, regional/national employer groups and alumni Vacancies advertised by the Careers Centre ~ graduate vacancies but not necessarily graduate schemes; genuine variety of opportunities 20

21 ∂ Diversified approach to job search 21 If you are flexible about graduate employment, go where the jobs are… – organisations that are still actively recruiting graduates include: - Accenture (ongoing) -AXA Business Graduate Programme (23/6/2011) -Bloomberg (ongoing) -Britvic Finance scheme (24/6/2011) -CSC (ongoing) -Kent County Council – Management Programme (24/6/2011) -Nationwide (15/6/2011) -Zurich (19/6/2011) -Ofcom – Graduate Advisor (4/9/2011 – January start date) -Co-operative Group – Business Management programme (19/6/2011) -Peppermint PR – Trainee Account Executive (1/7/2011) Source: Milkround (, Graduate Jobs ( and Durham Careers Centre vacancies (

22 ∂ 22 Diversified approach to job search Research graduate recruiters outside of the top 100…it is surprising how many less well known ‘big’ companies there are out there (Hemscott & Kompass useful company research tools) Think carefully about levels of employment: a non-graduate role in the right type of organisation could be a very positive step forward. Approximately 20% of graduates will progress onto a ‘graduate scheme’ meaning that the vast majority have to find a different career pathway. Evaluate the options available to you carefully but don’t be too anxious about making the wrong career decision…your career will not be static!

23 ∂ 23 Pulling the strategy together Allow yourself the time to research different career options and begin to develop some degree of career focus Research the job market in respect of the career ideas that you have: some sectors are much more active at recruiting graduates than others Develop your understanding of what specific employers expect from graduates or simply employees; undertake a self-audit to identify the gaps Address the gaps! Key part of the strategy and could encompass a combination of further training & qualifications, networking, work experience, non-graduate employment Think carefully about what you want to market about yourself to employers; also consider how you want to do this (e.g. combination of traditional and online approaches) Specific career goals? Consider related careers or opportunities that will allow you to develop relevant skills/experience; this will also broaden the range of jobs that you can apply for. Look beyond the sector headings – e.g. challenging financial graduate jobs available in all large organisations not just banks; PR roles not confined to agencies and media consultancies Employ a range of job search techniques and critically be proactive…don’t wait for the vacancies to come you, go and find them ! Finally…set yourself achievable goals within a time framework. This will help you to set targets to address the gaps in your employability profile.

24 ∂ Additional help and support 24 Use Careers OnLine to find current opportunities Immediate start date (aimed at graduates) Future start date (aimed at finalists) Part- time/Term- time (aimed at all students) Internships / Vacation Work (aimed at penultimate year) Placements Gap Year Opportunities Register online to continue to receive our Vacancy Bulletin at Services to graduates: careers advice (via telephone if necessary) marketing yourself (CV, cover letter and application support; mock interviews; self-awareness) vacancies Vacancy Database

25 ∂ 25 Useful resources….. Graduate Recruitment Sites: Recruitment Agencies: Other resources: ~ Alumni ~ Postgraduate ~ Work ~ on ~ on ~ Gap ~ Gap ~ Knowledge Transfer

26 Focus On Your Future ~ Any Questions? Developing an effective strategy for employment

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