Monday, 4 January 2016

Seven Best Questions to Ask in Your Interview

We’re constantly asking graduates and businesses questions to make sure we can match them perfectly, so young people can get their ideal graduate job.

In an interview for a graduate job it is important to remember that asking the right questions can tell you a lot more about the company than googling, plus it highlights your thinking style and can act as an extension to the interview.

Seven of the best questions to ask at an interview to make sure you get the job:

What is the most important thing to be accomplished in the first 60 days in this role?
This shows your work style of focusing on the most important tasks, and helps you know what to focus on if you get the job/internship.

What are some challenges the person filling this position will face?
Asking this question highlights that you face challenges head on, rather than avoiding them. How the interviewer responds also tells you a lot; are they honest, or does it sound like they’re glossing over what the real challenges are?

What are your company’s values?
How they answer will indicate whether the company lives by their values, or just talks about them. Plus this question shows that you care about company values and whether it’s a fit with your own values.

How would you describe your company culture and management style?
Company culture is the most important thing for you to get a feel for. Good company culture will make your work life enjoyable, with possibilities for growth and collaboration in your role. Bad company culture, working in a negative and disempowering environment, will make you want to quit as soon as possible.

Can you tell me about the team I’d be working with?
This question tells you about the culture of your team, which can be more important than company culture.

Do you have any feedback or hesitations that I can address at this stage?
This question is gutsy, which is why it’s brilliant. It shows you’re confident in your skills and abilities, and secure enough to openly discuss your vulnerabilities. And it demonstrates that you’re coachable, which is very attractive to the interviewer.

What is the next step in the process?
Asking this is essential. It shows that you’re keen to be hired, and want to know what to expect next. It shows you follow up to find out next steps.

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Seven Best Questions to Ask in Your Interview

We caught up with Inspiring interns about the seven best questions to ask in an interview to score your ideal graduate job.

In an interview for a graduate job it is important to remember that asking the right questions can tell you a lot more about the company than googling, plus it highlights your thinking style and can act as an extension to the interview.

Seven of the best questions to ask at an interview to make sure you get the job:

What is the most important thing to be accomplished in the first 60 days in this role?
This shows your work style of focusing on the most important tasks, and helps you know what to focus on if you get the job/internship.

What are some challenges the person filling this position will face?
Asking this question highlights that you face challenges head on, rather than avoiding them. How the interviewer responds also tells you a lot; are they honest, or does it sound like they’re glossing over what the real challenges are?

What are your company’s values?
How they answer will indicate whether the company lives by their values, or just talks about them. Plus this question shows that you care about company values and whether it’s a fit with your own values.

How would you describe your company culture and management style?
Company culture is the most important thing for you to get a feel for. Good company culture will make your work life enjoyable, with possibilities for growth and collaboration in your role. Bad company culture, working in a negative and disempowering environment, will make you want to quit as soon as possible.

Can you tell me about the team I’d be working with?
This question tells you about the culture of your team, which can be more important than company culture.

Do you have any feedback or hesitations that I can address at this stage?
This question is gutsy, which is why it’s brilliant. It shows you’re confident in your skills and abilities, and secure enough to openly discuss your vulnerabilities. And it demonstrates that you’re coachable, which is very attractive to the interviewer.

What is the next step in the process?
Asking this is essential. It shows that you’re keen to be hired, and want to know what to expect next. It shows you follow up to find out next steps.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

How to Write the Ultimate CV

Your CV is the crucial first step to getting your desired graduate job. As a graduate in a competitive job market, you need to be thinking about how you can make your job applications stand out. Here are five tips to finding the right blend of professionalism and personality:

The key when writing your CV is to make sure it’s relevant to the roles you’re applying for. Essential information like your degree, university and work experience should be instantly accessible to the reader. A recruiter could look at your CV for a matter of seconds, so the information needs to be clear and easy to locate. There is no specific rule determining which should come first on your CV: experience or education. Consider which facts are most relevant. As a recent graduate, it’s likely that you will want to draw attention to your degree over your experience. However, if you do have relevant work experience, this needs to be brought to the reader’s attention. For example, if you did a humanities degree but are looking to get into marketing and have previous experience in CMS or social media management; your experience is more relevant so should feature above your degree. If you have done a placement as part of your degree, you should highlight this also. Don’t just write a list, explain the skills you have learnt and developed as a result.

In order to stand out from the crowd in the job hunt, it’s important to express personality in your applications. Use your CV as a platform to showcase your skills – whether that’s creating an infographic rather than a traditional CV as a graphic design graduate, or adding links to articles you’ve had published as an aspiring content creator. Avoid generic statements about being a “team player” with “good communication skills” and focus on facts you can support. As a volunteer or member of a university society for example, you can demonstrate how you honed these skills. This is also a good opportunity to emphasise success you might have had in these areas. Incorporate the use of numbers where possible when describing your achievements. By how much did you exceed your targets? How many hits did your blog accumulate?

Avoid errors
It seems simple enough to avoid basic errors in your CV, from spelling mistakes to dodgy grammar, but it isn’t something you can overlook. Check, check and check again, then send it to a parent or a friend to read it with a fresh pair of eyes. One mistake could halter your chances of reaching the interview stage, if your lack of attention to detail fails to back up those claims of “excellent written and spoken English”. Keep paragraphs short and text succinct. Beginning paragraphs with action words like “Presented to” rather than “I presented” gets straight to the point and avoids overuse of “I”. Bullet points can help break down information and make it easy for the reader to digest.

Layout and format
A clean, simple layout with each section clearly labelled is ideal. The use of links to websites, online portfolios, blogs or previous projects is welcomed by employers and increasingly popular as graduates look to build up a strong online presence. A CV longer than two pages is unnecessary, particularly if you are a recent graduate with limited experience. Save your document as a Word or PDF file, and remember to change the title each time you edit your CV. Avoid saving it as anything generic like ‘CV for internship applications’ and focus on quality over quantity.
Start with your name and contact details, followed by a short personal statement. Keep your experience and qualifications towards the beginning of the document and interests and achievements towards the end. Although less significant, your interests and achievements shouldn’t be overlooked. Highlight your passions and personal attributes, whether they set you apart from other candidates or offer a conversation starter in an interview. A company is looking to find a match for their culture and values, as much as they are keen to find the right skills.

Video CV
Finally, consider going digital. Check out Inspiring Interns – the pioneers of video CVs – to find out more about filming a video CV and how it can boost your employability.

Now you’ve got the ultimate graduate CV it’s time to start applying for graduate jobs and internships!

Or if you’re an employer looking to hire a graduate browse candidates here.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Enterprising Students Lack Support From Universities

On your own
Like it or not, at some point every graduate has to wave goodbye to the lie-ins and embrace the world of work. Boo. But it’s not all bad news. Graduates these days have more career options than ever. Taking the traditional full-time employment route isn’t necessarily the default choice any more – self-employment is increasingly popular and perfectly viable. Specifically, a new study shows that more students and graduates are turning to freelancing. Clearly it’s no longer considered exclusively for older, more experienced professionals. And while that’s a good thing, everyone has to start somewhere. So, if you’re at university and considering going solo after graduation, where do you start? Well, according to the same study, perhaps not your university’s careers department. You might find it offers rather less support than you’d like.

Room for improvement
Of the 1,000 or so recent graduates surveyed, 62% said freelancing wasn’t discussed by their careers department at all, with just under half (48%) disappointed with the level of support they got. This despite 80% saying they’d considered self-employment, and more than half dabbling in freelancing while studying. Not only that, but the type of university they went to made a difference too. Perhaps not surprisingly, bearing in mind their more modern outlook, post-1992 ex-polytechnics proved to be marginally more successful at engaging with potential entrepreneurs than their traditional Russell Group counterparts. But still not to any great extent – only 15% of post-1992 (and 7% of Russell Group) undergraduates were happy with the freelancing advice they got. With 700,000 more freelancers around today than in 2008, it seems universities generally are in danger of not keeping up with the way the job market is changing. Or rather, they’re in danger of not keeping up with the way students are changing the job market to suit their needs.

Time for change
So where are some universities going wrong? Will Calderbank, founder of software engineers Distorted Logic said: “The university careers support available to me was basic, and mainly focused on getting an internship in my third year. In my opinion, university careers departments need to think a little less about the one-size-fits-all approach, and help students and graduates consider all the options out there.” Luke Boobyer, of LSB Web Design, has a similar story: “Unfortunately, I never really received much support from my careers department regarding self-employment. Since my degree was focused on management roles, the careers department kept giving me advice and information that all pointed towards managerial positions within large companies.”
With this in mind, and with one eye on the entrepreneurial spirit, it seems most students will have to do the finding out themselves. But that’s OK because a little digging might unearth your uni’s enterprise officer. Or maybe you’ll discover your careers department’s links with local businesses, or find workshops and meet-ups designed to encourage potential entrepreneurs. Better still, perhaps you’ll come across a handy tool that answers the question ‘should I go freelance after graduating?’. Just make sure, if it turns out you should, you read this good advice about starting up alone from seasoned freelancers.

Written by:
Kerri-Ann Hockley from PolicyBee. PolicyBee is a business insurance broker with a knack for covering freelancers, sole traders and brand-new businesses.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Graduate Jobs in the Drink Industry

Globally, the drinks industry is huge, with $1.2 trillion turnover expected in 2015. In a period of recession, this is an industry that has grown globally, on average, 3% over each of the previous five years. Growth in demand is not slowing, and desire for new beverages is being driven by developing markets, especially those of India and China.

Julie Carling of brewing search and selection The Carling Partnership says ‘traditionally there was little focus on the role of graduate entry to the beer and distilling industries, let alone the drink industry generally. More often than not roles were filled on a local basis, with ‘brewing towns’ creating informal or formal apprenticeship processes’.

Increasingly though, brewing, distilling and drink production require a high number of graduates to fulfill the production and the distribution processes involved with a globalising industry.

The four main areas of graduate recruitment in the drink industry are:
  • Technology and operations 
  • Logistics 
  • Marketing 
  • Retail facing management

Each of these four areas has a different graduate recruitment focus, but each has a strong drive to find graduate level team members.

Technology, Production and Operations in the Drink Industry

Roles here include Product Design, Research and Development, Food Processing, Nutrition, Production Management and Quality Assurance. Graduate entry is usually via science related degrees although a science background is not essential except for certain highly specific jobs in this area of graduate recruitment. From brew masters to vintners, from nutritionists to product designers, this is an area of graduate recruitment that is highly rewarding both financially and in terms of job satisfaction.

Drink Industry Logistics and Graduate Recruitment

The global drink industry has a massive demand for graduates to assist in the complex process of product distribution. Transportation and distribution includes the meeting the requirements of international import/export and trans-border tariffs. Whether it’s raw ingredient sourcing or moving volumes of product in time to meet demand during major cultural events, mastering the logistical element is a major component in the success of any drink brand.

Marketing, Brand Identity and the Drink Industry

This is perhaps one of the largest growth areas of the drink and hospitality industries. Effective marketing, from packaging through to account management, is a vital process for a successful player in the drink industry. As a result, there are a wide range of graduate entry positions offering rapid opportunities to demonstrate creativity and engage with the fastest moving element of the drink industry, which includes social media engagement and brand management.

Retail Facing Management in the Drink Industry

The days when ‘bar work’ was the last resort of a college dropout are long gone. Graduate schemes in the retail drink sectors are a growth area. From sommelier to brand ambassador, from retail account manager to food and beverage manager, customer-facing graduate roles are growing throughout the drinks industry.

These positions are often available to graduates from a wide range of academic backgrounds and those who have experience in the industry - whether as weekend bar staff or from gap year work - are likely to find that they have directly relevant skills to bring to a substantial graduate role.

Graduate Recruitment and the Drink Industry

Given the wide range of skills and experience required by the drink industry, and the multiple entry routes into a satisfying graduate-level role within it, it is no surprise that many graduates are exploring the fulfilling opportunities available to them in this rapidly expanding and highly diverse area.

Monday, 22 June 2015

The Essential Guide to Volunteering

Do you want to volunteer this coming summer holiday?

If your answer is “Yes” or you would like to know more, this comprehensive guide is for you! It includes everything you need to know in order to successfully volunteer including where to start searching for Volunteering schemes, what will be expected of you and how you can ensure you are fully protected and safe when helping others (just to put your mum’s mind at ease!)

If you are reading this guide then there’s every chance you already know how rewarding volunteering can be. Not only are you helping others and doing a good turn, but you are also adding valuable experience to your CV and improving your own skills. In a survey by TimeBank, 80% of employers said that they valued volunteer work on an application and over 70% of employers believed that people that volunteered had a higher chance of gaining a promotion and being paid a higher salary.

So now you know that you want to volunteer, you need to know how to get started. It doesn’t have to be daunting, follow our steps and you will be ready to volunteer for any organisation in no time.

Which industry do you want to volunteer in?

Before you start applying, you need to be confident in your decision of what kind of industry you would like to help with. Note down which kind of organisations you would like to volunteer with; schools, care homes and charities are just a few, but there really are endless possibilities.

Additionally, make a list of the roles you would be happy to do within the organisation, as most offer a range of roles, from hands-on positions, to more administrative office work. Consider which skills you can bring to the table and which ones you would like to develop further.

Have you visited reputable volunteering sites?

Going online is the easiest way to browse and apply for hundreds of volunteering roles.

Do-It is a great place to start if you are looking to browse hundreds of volunteering roles across the UK, simply enter your interests and location and it will match you up with all the available roles. Volunteer Match is another simple website to match you with a role that is right for you, as is Volunteering England.

If you are looking to volunteer abroad, then Original Volunteers is a brilliant site to check out, providing short-term roles which would be ideal during the summer break. Projects Abroad is also a good site to find projects and Real Gap Experience has a useful volunteering section.

What is expected of a volunteer?

While specific industries will require different codes of conduct, there are universal rules to adhere to when volunteering. By volunteering you are agreeing to an organisation’s rules and it is your duty to respect them just as if you were a paid employee. Be polite, well organised, and most importantly show up with a positive attitude and you will get the most out of your placement.

Do you require a DBS check?

Don’t be deterred if you are asked to provide a DBS check, it’s nothing personal as many industries simply use it as a security procedure to ensure that they are taking on the right people. It shows that the company values the safety of its members of staff and the people that they work with. There are different levels of check, but in a nutshell, they are designed to highlight any past criminal activity, giving employers an opportunity to weed out any unsuitable job or volunteering role applicants.

In most cases, a standard DBS check will suffice, but if you are volunteering in an industry that works closely with vulnerable people then an enhanced DBS check will be required. For any further queries, advisory bodies like Personnel Checks are open to any questions you may have.

Do you need extra support if you are volunteering abroad?

If you are planning on volunteering abroad, ensure that you have done your homework.

You may require injections, or anti-viral medication to ensure that you are fully protected against disease. Your passport will need to be up-to-date and in addition to this, you may need a visa to stay in certain countries. Most voluntary placements require you to pay an upfront deposit, and while there are some organisations that will cover your flights and accommodation, you may have to cover the cost of these yourself, so it is essential that you do your research.

What if something goes wrong?

While volunteering is usually a very positive experience, if things do go wrong than your line manager should be your first port of call. As an unpaid volunteer, you haven’t signed an employee contract, but you still have certain rights. That’s why it is crucial to arrange your position through a reputable organisation, rather than just securing the placement on your own, so that you always have some external support. However, don’t let this put you off as it is extremely rare for the placement to be a negative experience, let alone result in any legal action.

So there you have it, all you need to know to start your Volunteering adventure! However, there is just one last thing to remember, which is more important than all of the above… remember to Have Fun!

Friday, 12 June 2015

A Simple Graduate Formula: Get Experience = Get a Job

One of the biggest obstacles to securing a graduate job is a lack of relevant experience. You may have earned a high grade for your degree and while that is certainly a great starting point, it will only get you so far before you have to prove yourself in the real world of work.

While being intelligent is important, you need to also demonstrate that you have the right kind of skills that employers are looking for in a business environment. Skills such as time management, leadership and problem solving are all somewhat generic traits that are important, but employers need more than this. They need to know you’re familiar with the technical intricacies of their business and industry.

It can be frustrating to hear that in order to get a foot on the career ladder you need to already have work experience, but there are numerous ways that you can enhance your CV before you graduate, including internships and interim work experience, which come with their own benefits.


Internships have garnered a somewhat dubious reputation, but they can be advantageous for employers and soon-to-be graduates alike. They are usually beneficial for young people who already know what type of job they want to go into, acting as a long-term training program so that they get to experience real aspects of the job. An internship allows you to gain real-life experience and insight into the sector and network with the relevant people.

Internships can last from a few weeks, up to a year depending on the industry and the employer. While many businesses offer unpaid internships for a short period of time, anything that requires full-time work for longer than a few weeks should be paid at least the national minimum wage. If your role is unpaid, you should be subsidised for travel and work expenses and what you won’t be receiving in monetary value, you will be regaining in knowledge and experience.

You can search and apply for thousands of internships in the UK online, or you could speak to your college or local youth centre to explore new opportunities. Take your time with your application; internships can be just as competitive as applying for a full-time job, as some industries only accept interns as a route to employment.

Temporary work experience

Temporary work is a fantastic way for students to gain real-life employment experience for a short period of time. As a temporary or interim worker, you will be working in the same role as a full-time member of staff but you will have a fixed contract that determines how long you will be at the organisation for. This provides a great opportunity for students who are looking to gain some work experience for a few weeks in the summer break, but can’t afford to work for free or for minimum wage.

Numerous organisations require temporary members of staff to ensure that their business operates well. In particular, the summer months require additional members of staff to cover annual leave that has been booked by permanent members of staff. Temporary positions can be for a number of sectors and if you register with a specialist recruitment agency you could find yourself gaining experience for multiple industries in the space of one summer.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Is your Energy Bill Devouring your Graduate Wage?

Despite the comfort of your hometown calling, there are plenty of grads who decide to up sticks in search of their next big career move. Whilst it’s tempting to move back in with your parents, nothing beats the freedom of living away from home. That is, until you realise the expense involved!

Having your bills included in with your rent and avoiding council tax completely is a luxury only known to students, yet you only really appreciate the difference to your bank account when you’re miles away from home and there’s no student loan waiting around the corner. Graduate life can often make you feel deflated, especially when your bills take up over 50% of your earnings. Is this what graduate life is all about?

No! There are plenty of ways you can take back control of your outgoings, all you need to do is start paying attention to your bills.

It’s easy to disregard the letters that drop through the door and submissively allow your energy and utility providers to take their chunk of your wages without questioning anything. In fact, a recent survey by energy comparison site Love Energy Savings found that 18 to 24-year-olds are extremely likely to ignore the fluctuating energy market, with 45.5% admitting it’s not something they think about when asked ‘Are you happy with your energy supplier?’

Even if you’ve spent all three years of university away from home, you can still fall into bad habits. There’s plenty of learning to be done and you can start by paying closer attention to those mounting bills.

Did you adopt a provider?
Plenty of people make the mistake of sticking to the same energy provider that previous tenants used, simply because it’s easy. However, you could be throwing your finances into disarray. Just because the previous tenant could afford the tariff, it doesn’t mean you can. Make sure your energy provider always matches your monthly budget!

Are you too loyal?
Unfortunately loyalty is not rewarded when it comes to your monthly bills, as providers often reserve their best deals to attract new customers. There are no medals for paying your bills on time for months on end, so if you’re not feeling valued as a customer, what’s the harm in checking out other options?

29% of 18 to 24-year-olds asked in the study said they were happy and loyal to their supplier, so perhaps they could be missing out on savings just as much as those who do not think about their monthly bills.

Did you take your parent’s advice?
Mother knows best, apparently! That’s why plenty of us ask our parents for help when we graduate and move away to find employment. If you simply went along with who your parents are signed up with, you may be in for a shock. The same provider doesn’t always mean the same tariff, so be careful when taking someone else’s advice when you move house or switch providers.

Are you with the ‘big 6’?
There are 6 main power providers who are at the top of the UK energy food chain. Their monopoly over the market has allowed them to dictate the prices in the past - with a market share of 92.4%, who would really tell them otherwise? However, people are now becoming more aware of smaller companies and breaking away from these conglomerates. Why not see if a smaller or lesser-known provider is right for you too?

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Head towards the Middle East for an MBA

According to the Association of MBAs research, the number of students enrolled in accredited MBAs (Master of Business Administration) in the Middle East has grown rapidly since 2008. UAE MBAs are ranked the best in the Arab countries in 2012, according to Forbes Middle East. The high quality MBA programme, business- friendly environment, strong spirit of entrepreneurship and status as a regional financial hub have attracted many students to pursue their studies in the UAE. The Executive Masters of Business Administration (EMBA) is also becoming a popular option among mid-career professionals.

Image by Danisabella, used under the Creative Commons license.

Read this article if you’re thinking about pursuing an EMBA programme and want to know what types of skills it provides, the benefits and the kinds of careers paths it can lead you down.

Acquisition of new skills

Graduates of EM of Business Administration will benefit from the wide range of skills it provides. The main focus of this programme is on management skills which will help graduates acquire leadership ability to move up the corporate ladder to become effective leaders in their current or future organisation.

Students choosing an EMBA in the UAE will benefit from the vast network within and beyond the classroom. Within the classroom, students bring the ir on-the-job knowledge and experience to the learning environment. Students can also take advantage of the school’s network of alumni and relationships with the local, regional and international business to build their contacts and networks. An EMBA in the UAE also provides students a diverse cultural experience and the chance to learn a new language.

Advancement in career path and attractive salary

Graduates of these programmes often go on to promising careers such as executive leadership and management positions. Unlike a traditional MBA, the critical thinking and strategic decision-making skills offered by an EMBA enable mangers to advance further in their career stage. Cities in the UAE such as Dubai offer many career and business opportunities for EMBA holders.

The 2013/14 Jobs & Salary Trends Report revealed that MBA salary and bonus levels have risen, with employers in every region except Central/Eastern Europe, compensating their hires more generously when salaries and bonuses were taken into account. In terms of return on investment, MBA remains one of the world’s leading qualifications. The salary that an MBA applicant receives is higher than the tuition fees, foregone salary and investment in books and accommodation. Looking beyond just the salary, the MBA is also a good qualification for those looking for a change in career, location and industry.

An EMBA is one of the world’s leading business qualifications. It will give graduates the knowledge and confidence to advance to the next professional level. Pursuing an EMBA in the UAE will open up your personal and professional life.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Studying for a Job in Financial Advice

Jobs in the finance industry can be rewarding and lucrative. As an advisor, you will deal with an array of different people, experience a range of challenges and you could earn more than £100,000 per year. It’s no wonder then that competition for roles in the industry is stiff. If you want to make your way in this field, you’ll need to ensure you gain the relevant skills and qualifications.

For example, you may benefit from taking advantage of the range courses offered by specialist training providers such as Simply Academy.

The Basics
As a financial advisor, you will provide your clients with advice covering a range of topics. These could include savings, investments, mortgages, insurance and more. To do this successfully, you’ll need to be able to not only understand complex information, but also explain this in a way that is clear and simple for your clients.

To help ensure you are competent in your role, you must take a qualification in financial planning that has been approved by the Financial Conduct Authority. Usually, this is done through an employer. However, this isn’t always the case.

It helps if you have GCSEs in maths and English, as well as some relevant work experience in areas such as sales, finance or customer service.

Choosing the Right Courses
Once you’ve set your mind on becoming a financial advisor, it’s important that you find the right course. A popular option is a CeMAP®. This stands for a Certificate in Mortgage Advice & Practice and it is recognised by the Financial Services Skills Council.

More than 80 per cent of mortgage advisors hold one of these qualifications and it can prove to be a vital step in getting your career off the ground.

A Study Solution that Suits You
Completing an in-depth course like this takes time and effort. To help ensure you stand the best possible chance of success, it’s important to find a method of studying that suits your requirements.

You might benefit from completing courses online. This will enable you to study at your own pace and it also means you can learn from your home, office or anywhere else where you have a web connection. Alternatively, you may find you are more disciplined if you decide to study at a set pace in a classroom environment.

Choosing the right style of learning is just as important as selecting the right course. As long as you put plenty of thought into this issue and make sure you pursue the most suitable qualifications, you should be able to get your career in health and safety off to the best possible start.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

How to write the Best Graduate CV

Finishing university and entering the working world is a daunting time for any graduate. Whatever your career ambitions, getting your foot on the career ladder can be difficult if you’re not prepared.

A CV is a chance for you to demonstrate your personal qualities, key competencies and technical skills. However, it’s important to remember that employers will receive dozens, or even hundreds of applications for one role, so it’s important to make your CV stand out. If you need professional help creating a CV, recruitment experts like Stem Graduates will be able to offer you tailored assistance.

To help get your started on writing an impressive CV, take a look at these useful tips:

Your education and qualifications should be a priority. Starting with your most recent qualifications, list your degree, A levels and GCSEs. Stating the number of GCSEs and general grades should be sufficient, unless the employer has requested for specific classifications.You may also want to highlight other qualifications or modules you have undertaken which are relevant to the job you are applying for.

Career history
As a graduate, it may be that you have little previous work experience. If this is the case, it’s best to keep this section fairly brief, including dates of employment, job title, the name of the organisation and a list of your key responsibilities. Rather than listing generic duties, try to provide examples that demonstrate your achievements, including any targets you have met.

It is also crucial that you tailor your CV to the job in question and try to avoid general descriptions that don’t add any value. If your work experience is irrelevant, leave it out.

Extra curricular
Whether you add an extra curricular section is up to you. If you feel that you have particular interests or hobbies that will support your application, feel free to include them. However, be careful to avoid anything that doesn’t add significant value, such as socialising with friends.

Other considerations
If you are going to add an introductory personal statement, make sure it is focused and relevant. It is always worthwhile researching the position and company before you write your CV to get a better idea of what they are looking for. Remember that employers may be scan-reading CVs, so it’s important to be concise and give them a reason to take your application to the next stage. As a general rule of thumb, focus on what you can offer and what makes you different from other candidates.You should also write a cover letter for each role you apply for to support your CV and highlight your assets.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Looking for Work as a Graduate in London

There are many ways to find work as a graduate in London and it's important that you use as many methods as possible to find that dream job of yours.
  • Recruitment agencies - sign up with a few of them in your specific industry, making sure you have a top-notch C.V to show them. The agent will then attempt to match your skills with any job vacancies that they have been hired to fill and put you forward for interview with the hiring company.
  • Apply directly for an advertised role either by looking on a company website or in newspapers or job search engines. If you're doing this you must ensure that you write an impressive cover letter to sit alongside your C.V. It is important that your cover letter isn't obviously a template and that you've really researched the hiring company and the role that they want to fill.
  • Sign up with a temping agency such as Office Angels and earn some money whilst you look for a permanent role. It's a fact that many vacant positions never end up being advertised to the public, as they're often only advertised internally. Get your foot in the door by doing some temp work and waiting for a more appropriate position to become available to you. Companies love taking on temps as they can spend more time sussing you out before committing to contracts. Work experience and internships are also good for this reason, although obviously you have to forego a wage until you are hired which isn't ideal.
  • Recruitment fairs such as the London Graduate Fair - these are often held over the summer months and feature loads of advice, speakers and of course dozens of graduate employers who are looking to hire. You may not always end up speaking to the people who do the hiring for the company, but it's still a great chance to make a favourable impression with the company representative.
  • Apply directly to a company - if you know who you want to work for, then research the company inside out and send a C.V and cover letter in describing why you think you'd fit in with the organisation. Even if there aren't any vacant positions available, then they may keep your details on file until an appropriate role comes up.
  • Networking networking networking - sometimes when it comes to getting hired, it's all about who you know. Companies don't really like giving thousands of pounds to a recruitment firm to find a candidate for them, when they can have someone recommended to them. So it makes sense to get your name out there as much as possible. Attend networking events such as conferences, or use social media like Linkedin.

Getting around
Cabs are expensive and the roads are jammed so even the wealthiest Londoners usually opt to use public transport to get around.

The first thing you'll want to do is get an Oyster card, which is London's smart-card system of getting around. You can use your Oyster on buses, the DLR, tram, the Overground services and of course the Tube. You can get your Oyster card online or at a train station, oyster ticket stop or at a London Travel Information Centre. The card can contain a certain amount of pre-paid credit which you can set to auto top-up from your debit card whenever the amount goes beneath a certain level (eg £10). You can also add travelcards and season tickets to the Oyster card that are longer than 1 day. Using an Oyster card is much more convenient and cheaper than using paper tickets.

If you're unfamiliar with getting around London, then it might be a good idea to download a London Transport app to assist you in the quickest way of getting from A to B.

Settling in and getting a social life
If you don't know anyone when you move to London, then it's important to get yourself set up with a social life asap, so that you don't feel isolated. There are many ways in which you can start to socialise.
  • Friends of your housemates - whether you've moved in with 'randoms' or existing friends, you can piggy back onto the social life of your housemates by getting to know their own friends. Throw a house party so you can all get to know each other.
  • Workmates - the workplace is a great place to make new friends. London is an incredibly sociable place and Friday night drinks (or any other night of the week) are the norm to let off some steam and find out more about the personal lives of your colleagues. Try not to overdo it though, or else Monday morning will be very awkward!
  • Come Play Sport - sports teams are a great way of making new friends in London - you don't need to be massively fit, you just need to want to have fun. Netball, dodgeball, softball, you name it, there will be a sports team in London that plays it. It's common to all congregate in the pub afterwards to replace all the calories you've just burned off with some well-earned pints.
Moving to London is a big step for most and there's a lot of information and new experiences to take in, so give yourself some time to adjust and it won't be long before you feel right at home.

Good luck with your move!  

Monday, 14 July 2014

5 Ways to smarten up your Facebook Profile for Prospective Employers

Applying for a job can be a long, daunting task involving resume writing, portfolio building, contacting companies and interviewing with prospective employers. In the midst of all this you also have your online social presence to worry about. What if your interviewer were to casually look you up? Will you look smart enough on Facebook?

Up to 94% of employers are using social media to recruit new talent and there are numerous job search tools and apps on Facebook that use information on your profile to find the best matches in the job market. It’s hard enough to land a job without having to agonize over how your Facebook profile is harming your reputation. But the real question is can you really use Facebook to attract potential employers?

Here’s how you can easily smarten up your FB profile while you’re on a job hunt:

1. Beef Up your Profile
Fill in all the details related to your school and college. Include relevant extra-curricular activities, clubs you might have joined and internships that were part of your course. Be specific about your past work experience; make sure you include what role you played in the organization, no matter how big or small. Taking yourself seriously can be the first indicator that you are job-ready.

2. Fan your Feathers
Boast about your professional accomplishments. Use milestones to show off when you complete an important project or complete a longer stint at a job. Each feather in your cap can be another reason for an employer to notice you. Make sure you don’t sound too arrogant though, it’s not all about you. Give credit where credit is due.

3. Be a Groupie
Post often in job related groups. Join the communities which talk about industry specific topics. Show off your hobbies by liking the right pages. For example if you love photography, be sure to participate in the photography contests online. Seek out influencers and follow them, share their updates, even try to engage with a few who are well-connected in your field.

4. Privacy Policy
Facebook has privacy control every single step of the way. Even while posting a status you can choose who is allowed to view it. So, choose wisely and better safe than sorry in cases where you’re skipping school and posting about your fun day at the movies. Make specific lists of friends and share accordingly. Pictures and videos from your spring break should be hidden from all scrutiny.

5. Best Foot Forward
Make sure your portfolio features strongly on your profile. If you have a blog or a website, share links to your latest posts often, encouraging friends to like what you do. This shows that you’re passionate about your work and you aren’t afraid of public attention. If you’re involved in any charitable activity or if you’ve ever volunteered at an NGO or a summer school, make sure you post about it.

Employers are interested in knowing who you are socially and how you would fit into the work culture at the new company. Any and all details that show you in a good light help in getting you on top of the recruiters list. All the best!

AUTHORSHIP: Aditya Singhal is the co-founder of, a leading online tutoring help for college students. Having graduated from prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), he worked briefly with American Consulting firm, Kurt Salmon Associates before taking the entrepreneurial route. Outside the work ambit, Aditya has a personal interest in helping students in their career aspiration and skill development. He is also actively involved in giving back to the society by contributing a part of the revenue towards education of poor students in India.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Flat Sharing Tips for London Living

According to the influential American opera singer, Beverley Sills "There are no short cuts to any place worth going to". This mantra will ring true to any graduate who has made his or her way through university, juggling study, finances and social life and holding down a part time job, or two or three in the process. Degree in hand, dissertation delivered, London comes calling. With the promise of a well-paid position, vibrant cosmopolitan vibe and a never-ending social life, it's no surprise that so many graduates choose to live in the great Metropolis.

But the truth is, hardly anyone can afford to live in the Capital, let alone graduates. The average price of private rental in London is more than double in the rest of the UK, with house prices being 61% higher than the National average and double those in the North East. According to Myrooms, if you want  to live in London and enjoy all it has to offer, flat-sharing is one of the best ways to achieve your dream!

You won't be alone, did you know that around 670,000 households in London, live in the private rented sector, a higher proportion than the national average of 14.2% (source).

Speed Sharing - Does it work? Computer says no, snap-decisions on how your prospective housemates look, dress and give it large, with a drink in them may not be the way to go. It takes time, properly thought out questions and the cold light of day (or a nicely- lit interior) to sort the wheat from the chaff.

Fancy That! Is it a good idea to choose a flat mate because you're attracted to them? Definitely not, what happens if it doesn't happen or worse still it does and then goes pear-shaped. Harmonious interaction when you cross on the stairs will be a thing of the past! Head over heart is the way to go on this one, think through what you want and what you don't, and plan accordingly.

What's the perfect number? There isn't one, just bear in mind that two may be company but what happens if you fall out? And, three may be a nice little crowd, but if you're all the same sex it could lead to pairing off and one flatmate feeling left out. Two girls and one boy or two boys and one girl could easily replicate a cosy family group and make for a chilled-out homely space while a larger group can offer flexibility and laid-back rapport. Saying that, size isn't everything, gut instinct and a clear head will ensure it all adds up to make your number a prime one.

Finding Flatmates You Can Really Click With: It's worth giving this one some thought, because life is not just about bricks and mortar and the perfect postcode. So what's important to you in a housemate? If you've shared before you might have an inkling, but if not make yourself a wish list. Do they smoke, what's their attitude to the cleaning roster, do they know the price of a loaf of bread; what time do they get up & go to bed; what are their hobbies, loves, hates and viewing habits; what music do they like, full-blast or nice and quiet! You get the picture.

Living with a stranger (s), can be a really exciting and beneficial bonanza, it can help you to:
  • Broaden your horizons
  • Learn new interests
  • Network
  • Expand your musical repertoire
  • Experience different cultures
  • Learn to negotiate, compromise, persuade and influence!

Learn how to live with your ideal housemates: Moving to a new location can be both exciting and daunting in equal measure; that's where Myrooms comes into its own. It's the fastest growing room-sharing service in London - for corporate and private individuals, young professionals and students. Myrooms consultants are highly-trained and knowledgeable on all aspects of living in London. Driven by passion and enthusiasm, their mission is to find the right room for you and your lifestyle. If you need a helping hand to negotiate these uncharted waters, Myrooms hands-on service will help with practical matters, objective advice and as much hand-holding as you need. So, if you're ready to take the plunge Myrooms are offering £100.00 off your first month's rent - what's not to like? 

Just quote GRGUBL01 when you contact Myrooms
Discount code must be redeemed by 31st July 2015.

Happy House Hunting!

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Join Team V

It can be difficult to know what to do after you graduate from uni and not everyone is lucky enough to fall straight into a job. But whatever you do, it’s important that you don’t just sit back and wait for opportunities to come to you. Taking up a volunteering role can be the perfect option to develop your workplace skills while you tackle important issues facing your community and help others.

vInspired’s nine month programme, Team v, offers 18-25 year olds the opportunity to do just that. They recruit enthusiastic and motivated young people to be the next generation of social leaders. So you get to make positive changes and defeat negative youth stereotypes by doing tons of good. It’s a win win.

It doesn’t matter if you don’t feel like a Leader already – the whole point of the programme is to equip you with everything you need. A passion for volunteering is what really counts.

You'll design, lead and deliver three campaigns in your community, tackling current social issues that matter to you. And at the same time you'll get loads of free expert training to help you gain the skills and confidence to lead a team of volunteers.

Here's the deal... 

You get:
  • To join a 130-strong force of Team v Leaders across the UK 
  • To learn all the skills you need – straight from the professionals 
  • To attend free training residentials 
  • vInspired's support, whenever you need it 
  • Your own budget to manage to help make your project a success

You need to be:
  • A motivated, enthusiastic 18-25 year old 
  • Able to commit at least three to five hours per week for nine months from September 2014 to May 2015 (around your existing commitments) 
  • Equipped with a passion for social change 

Why should I sign up?
  1. You’ll be able to put Team v on your CV to demonstrate to employers that you’re self-motivated, proactive in your community and you have a strong work ethic.
  1. You’ll receive training from top campaign experts and develop skills in project management, PR and budgeting.
  1. You’ll demonstrate your versatility and ability to juggle a busy workload from working across different campaign issues such as homelessness, healthy relationships and migration.
  1. By recruiting and coordinating your own volunteers you will learn to manage people so obviously your leadership skills are going to be top notch.
  1. Although you’ll have great support from dedicated vInspired staff you’ll be using your own initiative to solve problems.
  1. You’ll build your communication skills through campaign activities such as public speaking or drafting press releases to send to local media.
  1. You’ll show that that you’re a team player with a can-do attitude – after all you’ll work amongst 130 of the most community-minded young leaders in the country.
  1. Employers will be confident that you’re not lacking in any experience. You’ll have so many new skills to list that there won’t be any big gaps on your CV.

Where do I sign up?
Find out exactly what Team v is all about. Look at past campaigns, our recruitment Q&A and check out what some of our current Leaders on what Team v has been like for them.

If you like what you see, you can apply here or get in contact with any questions -

Spaces are limited so get your application in before it’s too late! 

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

London Calls...!

Many new graduates flock to London in the summer following their final year. The hope of a well-paid graduate job is perhaps the biggest draw, but there is also the appeal of a fast-paced city with a great social life and a wide variety of activities and entertainment options. London is an incredibly exciting place to live in, but it can seem overwhelming to some grads at first, so we've put together some tips to help get you started.

Which areas do graduates live in
Trying to decide where to live in London can be complicated as there are 118 areas in Inner London for graduates to choose from. Here are some of the most popular areas and their highlights:

Clapham - a huge area in South London (zones 2-3) which has a buzzing high street full of shops, bars and restaurants stretching down from Clapham North, through Clapham Common down to Clapham South. The Clapham Old Town is the posh bit with bakers, deli and shops such as Oliver Bonas. Summers are spent on the vast Clapham Common where open air concerts and lots of drinking take place.

Islington - a vibrant atmosphere can be found on Upper Street and Islington High Street. For delis and independent bric-a-brac shops head to Chapel Market which also houses a market on Sundays. The Kings Head is the first theatre pub founded since Shakespearean times. Transport is great as there are 2 tube stations at Angel, or Highbury & Islington both of which will get you into the West End or the City in just a few minutes. Buses and the Overground are also available. Highbury Fields is the nearest open space.

Herne Hill - is also located in South London near to Brixton. The area centres around the gorgeous Brockwell Park which has a lido, tennis courts and cafe. The main area is small with a villagey-feel and centres around Half Moon Lane and Herne Hill itself. It has a small selection of great pubs such as the Florence and the Half Moon and bakeries such as the Blackbird. Herne Hill doesn't have a tube, but it has great bus services and a rail station in zone 2 which will get you into London Victoria in 9 minutes, or London Blackfriars in 11 minutes.

Muswell Hill - located in North London, the main high street is the Broadway which houses smart shops and classic food chains such as Giraffe and Carluccios. It's a quiet area and popular with graduates, young professionals and families alike. Muswell Hill doesn't have a train or tube station, but don't let that put you off as it has excellent bus services and you can get to a central location such as Oxford Circus in about 35 minutes.

Other popular areas include Forest Hill, East Dulwich, Battersea, Highbury, Kennington, Shoreditch, Limehouse, Putney, Balham, Camden, Bow or Crystal Palace. Whilst all these areas are different from each other, what they all have in common is a good selection of local conveniences and amenities in the form of shops, bars, restaurants, parks, public transport links and of course rental accommodation. They are all also located reasonably near Central London within London Transport Zones 1-3.

Who to live with
It is usually best to have sorted out some accommodation before you move to London, just to give you one less thing to arrange when you arrive. If you need temporary accommodation before finding a more permanent solution, then your options could be:
  • staying with a friend or family member
  • staying at a hostel
  • using a travellers network such as Couchsurf
  • taking up a short-term rental from somewhere like Gumtree
When you're ready to commit to permanent accommodation, then you need to decide who you want to live with.

If you're young, free and single, then you can either live with existing friends or with 'randoms'. If you want to live with existing friends, then get a group of you together and approach local lettings agents or look online at Gumtree to find private lettings.

If you'd like to live with 'randoms', this means that you'll be moving into a room in an existing house share environment. In this scenario, you'd be better off using a flatshare service such as Easyroommate who have details of thousands of vacant rooms all over London - they also have lots of advice on how to protect yourself against scammers.

Of course if living with other people doesn't appeal to you, or if you're in a relationship, then you might be more tempted to either live by yourself, or as a couple, although these are both usually more expensive as you have more of a portion of the household bills to pay!

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

How to Turn a Great Idea into a Successful Business

Watch this video where some of the nation’s top entrepreneurs tell you how they went from having a great idea to turning it into a great business, with advice and tips on how to get started through to the best advice they received and the biggest mistakes they made…
Many of us at some point in our lives will have an idea or a lightbulb moment which we are convinced would make a profitable business.
But is simply having a great idea enough to let you become a successful entrepreneur and do you need a new one? Some of the best entrepreneurs have moulded and adapted existing ideas and made them even better or delivered them in a different way.
But, brand new idea or not – the recipe for success is still engrained in hard work, perseverance, trial and error seeking the right advice at the right time.
So how can budding entrepreneur turn their dream into a reality?
NACUE (the National Association of College and University Entrepreneurs) and Santander have joined with a number of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs to offer advice on all aspects of getting started regardless of business type - from music streaming to camping equipment to macaroon making social enterprises.
Watch the video below where Andy Hill from I Like Music, Jacob Hill who set up The Lazy Camper, Julia Gash from BIDBI and Rosie Ginday from Miss Macaroon CIC, talk about how they got started, the best advice they ever received and the mistakes they made along the way. 

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Win an Opportunity to Get Hands on Work Experience with a Global Company

Petroplan - a global oil and gas recruitment specialist - are offering students the chance for two people to win a day’s work experience at their London office, with £15 Amazon vouchers to go to four runners up.

To be in with a chance of winning, fill out the following survey:

Good luck!

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Six things new students should be thinking about when moving into Accommodation

So, now you’re a student. Congratulations. You’ve committed the next few years of your life to the pursuit of education. And possibly to drinking. But mainly education.

Yes. Education. That’s right.

Chances are you’re about to move into halls of residence. This is going to be a new and daunting experience for you. It’s exciting, but at the same time, you’ve not got the safety net of your parents around. What happens if things go….bad?

Really bad.

Here are few things to consider when moving into student accommodation….

Take only what you need.

You’re going to be doing a lot of 
packing. However, do you really need to take that waffle toaster? Chances are you’re going to be living in a smaller space than you are used to, so space is something you need to think about. Taking only the essentials (clothing, study materials etc.) is recommended. You can most likely purchase the rest online, at a much cheaper cost to you. Or checking out websites such as FreeCycle.

Traffic cones are optional.

Clean everything. 
And keep it clean.
You don’t know who lived in the room before you. They might have been hygienic. They might not. Do you really want to take that chance? Even though it looks clean, it’s highly recommended that you give your room a once over again. From top to bottom. What we’re saying is pull every piece of furniture up, clean inside, around under everything you possibly can.

You know, just in case.

Take pictures
The joy of modern technology means you’ll have access to a camera almost anytime. Like right now, there’s probably one on your phone next to you. When you arrive in your new digs, immediately take pictures of the entire room. Any scratch, burn, blemish or dent mustbe recorded with a time stamp. This way, if any officials come calling, you have all the proof to show you were not responsible for any damage.

Seriously. It was like that when I got here.

Check what you have to pay for. And what you don’t.
It’s always a good idea to scope out the financial situation when you arrive. Have a TV? Make sure you find out if you have to pay for a licence. You might think Halls have this covered. They don’t. Same with part time jobs. It’s prudent to find out your entitlements and tax allowances before you set up shop earning an income. For example, you must pay National Insurance if you earn over £149.00 per week. Research everything so you’re not biting the money bullet further down the line.

Whilst on the subject of finances, it’s highly recommended you invest some money into contents insurance. Think about it. You are sharing a house or halls with four other people. You’re out a lot meeting and socialising in the beginning. To thieves in the areas, you are like curry to a drunk person. Irresistible.
To them, they’ve potentially got an easy score consisting of:
Five laptops.
Five MP3 players.
Five games consoles.
You get the point. Basically, get some basic insurance to cover you in case of burglary.

But, but…he had trustworthy eyes!

Assert yourself, but not too much
When you arrive, people will be sizing other people up. Personality, sense of humour etc. Of course you want to be friendly, but you don’t want to be a walking doormat. It’s important that you assert yourself as a tough, but fair individual, especially in house sharing situations.Otherwise, you might find all the menial jobs (bill paying, communal space cleaning, landlord correspondence) falling squarely at your feet. Every time.
Establish that you’re willing to do your share, but that’s itearly. Otherwise you’ll be using up a lot of your time doing tasks whilst your housemates get to go and have fun.

Written by Mike Price on behalf of Boxes2Move, providing a selection of high quality, flat packed cardboard boxes for moving and storage.