New Year, New Goals!

Welcome back students!

Now, we know 2021 has not gone according plan already, but that should not stop you from making some New Year GOALS and taking full control of your career.

Graduation maybe round the corner for some of you, or it may be couple of years away, but one thing is for certain no matter when you Graduate you will want to get a JOB.

Why am I telling this your wondering? Well, I wanted to introduce you to the team that can make your employability journey an exciting one!

At Liverpool Hope University we have some of the best careers advisers across the HE Sector and some of the most experience staff. We can help you apply for jobs, give you information on placements, get you working on campus, we can check over your CV, give you hints and tips for interviews or applications. There is so much that the Careers Team at Liverpool Hope University can offer you and it starts with you getting in touch – careers@hope.ac.uk.

So, do not be shy. Drop us an email and see how we can help improve your career journey! (careers@hope.ac.uk.)

Check out the careers team today –  https://www.abintegro.com/u/zb7optig

So you’ve finished your studies. what’s next?

Firstly, Congratulations! We were sadly unable to personally congratulate graduates during a week of ceremonies in July, but we at Hope still celebrate your achievements and wish you the very best for your future!

Your relationship with Hope does not end now you’ve got your well-earned degree certificate. All graduates automatically become members of the Hope Alumni Association, which keeps you connected with the Hope community. We’ll send regular email bulletins advertising workshops, job opportunities, conferences and events. And we’d love to hear from you. Let us know what you’re doing by emailing alumni@hope.ac.uk.

Can we help you?

You have full access to the Careers & Employability Team for three years after you graduate, including the use of My Careers Centre (MCC) with its jobs board exclusive to Hope students and alumni. You will also find CV writing and interview tips, webinars and guest lectures. If you haven’t yet set up access to MCC, click reset password, then enter your University email address. You can also book a virtual appointment with one of our careers advisers, you’ll find the link on MCC.

Can you help us?

Our alumni are our greatest ambassadors and by sharing your skills and expertise you can make a real difference to the experiences and employability of our students and recent graduates. By volunteering to mentor a current student, write a career case study or deliver a careers talk to students you will be sharing your experience and advice to inspire others and helping them reach their full potential whilst developing your own personal and professional skills. If you would be interested in becoming involved and supporting students please contact alumni@hope.ac.uk.

Useful links for graduates

Network with fellow alumni
The Liverpool Hope University Alumni LinkedIn group is a growing network of former students. Join today and take advantage of the hundreds of members who may be able to give great advice from personal experience: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/3686858/

Library Membership
While it’s currently paused due to Covid-19 restrictions, Alumni can apply for a special membership of the Sheppard-Worlock Library for a yearly fee: https://www.hope.ac.uk/library/accessforexternalusers/alumni/

Certificates and transcripts
If you need an additional or replacement copy of your certificate or transcript, or require one to be sent directly to an employer you can request this from the Student Administration team. Find out how here: https://www.hope.ac.uk/gateway/students/studentadministration/certificatestranscripts/paststudents/

Wishing you the best of luck in whatever you do!

The Alumni Office

Work Experience

Well, we have all heard it before, from teachers, parents, lecturers those words “you need to gain work experience” – It actually is really vital to your future employment opportunities. I know it sounds like the last thing you want to do whilst studying for your three-year degree, I know I’ve been there. You just want to make it through these three crazy years and graduate. Well, you could do that, just “get by” or you could actually listen to those parents and teachers and believe that if you find work experience you will be the best person for the job, once you have your degree.

Having a degree is great but having the added bonus of work experience is even better. Why I hear you ask, well … according to UCAS “a recent survey showed two thirds of employers look for graduates with relevant work experience because it helps them prepare for work and develop general business awareness. Importantly, one third of employers felt that applicants did not have a satisfactory level of knowledge about their chosen career or job.”

The article goes onto say “to gain a better understanding of a career, organise some work experience for a few days, shadowing with an employer. It may not give you time to develop job specific skills, but it will give you and insight to work. It also shows you have motivation and commitment.”

Let me give you some stats to prove – According to the Independent, “Leading employers value work experience among graduates more than grades or the university they have been to, according to new research. Figures show that 58 per cent of employers rated work experience as THE MOST POPULAR QUALIFICATION AMONG THOSE PRESENTED. With Student personality coming second, with 48 per cent.

I know its valuable to find work experience, as I am living proof that it is. I was a Hope Student myself and gained work experience whilst studying my degree. This not only helped my CV stand out from the others, but it also benefitted me and my work at university. From doing work experience in a large media department at a Football Club motivated me to realise I needed to up my game in uni as well as outside of university.

Work experience opened my eyes to how competitive the job market is. That is why I’m writing this blog today! We are all having a crazy year, but let this be the chance to motivate you, to want to do better, to believe you can do better.

At Hope we have the best and most relatable careers team. You can speak to anyone from the team and I am sure we will have been in your position and felt how you are feeling at some point in our careers.

Check out the latest opportunities on My Careers Centre https://mycareerscentre.page.link/myjobs

By Rebecca McCoy (Hope Graduate now a Placement Officer for Liverpool Hope University)

Guest Blog: Search is on for 2021’s Future Legal Mind

Future Legal Mind 2020 winner Joseph Kelen.

The competition has just launched to find 2021’s Future Legal Mind.

A search for the most promising legal talent of 2021 is now underway.

The Future Legal Mind Award is run annually by National Accident Helpline to find the UK’s brightest legal prospect.

Now in its seventh year, the competition is open to law students and to legal trainees who are within the first two years of their careers.

This year’s winner will receive a £2,000 prize fund to support their career development and will take part in mentoring with experienced lawyers from the National Accident Helpline team.

Jonathan White, Legal Director of National Accident Helpline, said: “Running this competition shows us, year after year, that there are so many talented people across the UK pursuing careers in law, which is great news for the sector.

“Each year, we look forward to finding and championing that standout individual who shows us they’ve got what it takes to go far in the legal world.

“We’re always pleased and proud to see our past winners and finalists going on to make their mark in different areas of the law – and we look forward to finding this year’s most talented and promising lawyer-to-be.”

The winner of Future Legal Mind 2020 was Joseph Kelen, then a University of Cambridge student, who is now studying the Bar Vocational Course at The City Law School in London.

Joseph said: “Entering Future Legal Mind is great advocacy experience and great fun.

“It presents exactly the sort of challenge – advocating for a change in the law and for yourself, in a short amount of time and in plain, simple terms – that I definitely hadn’t had many opportunities to do before.”

To enter Future Legal Mind 2021, students and trainees are invited to write an essay response to a question about their legal passions and which area of the law they would like to see reformed.

The full essay question can be found at https://www.national-accident-helpline.co.uk/news/future-legal-mind

Essays must be submitted by midnight on Friday 26th February 2021 and will be reviewed by a panel, who will whittle the entries down to a shortlist of 10 people.

The shortlist of 10 will each be asked to submit a smartphone video to support their written entry, and the competition judges will review the essays and videos to decide who will be named Future Legal Mind 2021.

BACK TO BASICS…Assessment Centres

You’re probably familiar with most parts of a graduate scheme recruitment process. Application forms, CVs and interviews are commonplace and you possibly have some experience of these if you’ve had a part-time job but you’ve maybe not experienced an assessment centre. Asessment centres feature in placement year and graduate scheme recruitment processes so in this blog we’re going to explore assessment centres in more detail.

What is an assessment centre? Assessment centres can be anything from half a day to two full days of activities, usually consisting of a mixture of individual and group tasks all aimed at assessing your skill set and suitability for a role. For some activities you might be given the chance to plan and prepare in advance (e.g. prepare a presentation) or you might be given the task on the day will no previous preparation time (e.g. a role specific case study).

Pre-covid you would have been invited to an employer’s office for an assessment centre however, with social distance measures in place, you will probably find that assessment centres are currently running as online events.

How to prepare for an assessment centre Cover and prepare for as many eventualities as you can, as the saying goes ‘failing to prepare is preparing to fail’…

  • Read all the information you get sent. If anything is unclear be sure to ask and clarify the information
  • Revisit your CV, application and the job description – which skills are most relevant to the job? These are likely to be the competencies you’ll be assessed on
  • If you have a task to prepare in advance give yourself plenty of time to work on this
  • Check your technology setup (laptop charged, camera working, required software installed etc)
  • Familiarise yourself with the company’s website, paying attention to the ‘about us’ section, their core values, business/corporate strategy etc. Do further reading and research on news articles, competitors and sector trends as background knowledge may prove useful
  • Choose your outfit the day before and consider the background others may see – even if you’re not face to face you still need to dress appropriately (smart casual) and portray a professional image

Hints & Tips

  • Try to relax. The employer has invited you because they think you have potential. Be yourself (on a very good day!) and let your abilities shine rather than letting nerves take over
  • Carefully read and double-check instructions – there’s nothing worse than diving in to an activity and finding you’ve gone down the wrong track
  • Within group activities try to share your views and include others in any discussions. For group activities there’s not always a right or wrong answer, there are usually multiple approaches and possible outcomes from the task. You’re more likely to be assessed on competencies within the task rather than the final decision/outcome. Working collaboratively will allow you to demonstrate key skills like team-work, communication, planning, problem solving, data analysis etc.
  • Is somebody in the team time-keeping? Does somebody need to take notes? You might be working within a limited time-scale and the assessor is unlikely to break the task down for you so be sure that as a group you check the clock and keep an eye on time
  • Assessors will be looking at your performance over the full event and probably scoring you across a matrix so don’t dwell on errors and stay focused throughout

Mock assessment centres Careers and Employability at Hope and some employers run mock assessment centres which give you the ideal opportunity to trial the experience and gain feedback. To check our latest event listing click here.

You might also find these links useful

Back to Basics: Application forms

In this blog I am going to take you through some basic tips with using application forms to apply for jobs.  Here are some basic instructions to help:

  1. Read the instructions

This sounds so simple, but I have been supporting people with writing applications for nearly 20 years and you would be surprised at the amount of people who have not read the instructions.

If the recruiter has specifically asked to use their form and not a CV. Then do not attach your CV. Use their form. They have designed a recruitment process which uses the sections and assess the information in their form to create an interview shortlist. Including a CV does not support that process, so will not add any value in that process. It also suggests that you cannot follow instructions. I do not want people working for me who cannot follow instructions, do you?

2. Complete all the sections in the application form.

They are there for a purpose (explained above) so complete them. If you are struggling to understand a section or question, book in a career’s express appointment with one of our advisers and we will help. You can find the link to our booking system in My Career Centre:

Current students can use this link: https://mycareerscentre.page.link/StudentMCC

Use your My Hope login details to log in.

Alumni can use this one: https://mycareerscentre.page.link/eMCCAlumni

Use the details you entered to access the centre as an alumnus. If you did not complete that before you graduated, put your @hope.ac.uk email in the reset password section and a link will be sent to your university email account. Yes, it is still active.

3. If you are asked specific competency or behavioural questions in the form, answer them using the STAR framework. Situation, Task, Action, Result.

Using the STAR (situation, task, action and result) method to structure your answers is a useful way to communicate important points clearly and concisely. For every answer you give identify the:

Situation/task – describe the task that needed to be completed or the situation you were confronted with. For example, ‘I led a group of colleagues in a team presentation to potential clients’.

Action – Explain what you did and how and why you did it. For example, ‘We presented to around 20 big industry players in the hope of winning their business. I delegated sections of the presentation to each team member and we discussed our ideas in a series of meetings. After extensive research and practise sessions our group presentation went off without a hitch’.

Result – Describe the outcome of your actions. For example, ‘As a result of this hard work and team effort we won the business of 15 clients’.

Source: https://www.prospects.ac.uk/careers-advice/interview-tips/competency-based-interviews

5. If you are asked to write a personal statement – Use the Person Specification and Job Description as a guide for content.

People always come to me and say: “I don’t know how to sell myself; I am just not that type of person”. This is fine not many people are like this.

You do not need to show off about anything, I like to say be Messi more than Ronaldo. In football Ronaldo is brilliant, he knows he is brilliant and acts like he is brilliant on the pitch, he celebrates and loves it all. Messi is brilliant too, but Messi does not act it as much, he does his talking on the pitch. He just gets the ball on the halfway line glides past 5 players and scores a beautiful goal.

When writing your statement, you need to demonstrate that you have the skills, character and experiences which are required for the job. You do need to show off or use some brilliant sales pitch about yourself, you simply need to confidently show them that you have and if possible, exceed the requirements for that job.

My tip is to copy and paste all the criteria from the person specification into a word processing application, use each one as a subheading. Then write an example showing how you have used that skill to achieve an outcome or had that experience where you have achieved an outcome or used that behaviour / characteristic to achieve an outcome. For each one. Sometimes editing one example may cover more than one subheading, merging some subheadings together is fine. Then you decide to keep the subheadings in or to delete them and make the statement read good, with a start, middle and end.

If possible you could look at the criteria, let’s say it’s Communication Skills, then you could read through the job description and figure out what tasks you will be doing which require communication skills. You will then have a good understanding of the context in which you will need to use communication skills in that job. You will then be able to use an example which demonstrates communication skills in a similar context. E.g. You do not want to give an example of how well you write reports if you are applying for a job where you do not write any reports. If the job is face to face customer service, then give an example of that, If you can, if not then next best transferable example works.

Yes, I went from instruction 3 to instruction 5. I purposely missed out number 4. That’s to test you, if you noticed, Well done. If not, get better at reading instructions before applying for a job.

Also check out My Career Centre using the links in instruction 2. We have loads of resources about writing applications plus many more on there. You can also have a read this blog.

Chris Biggs

Senior Careers Adviser