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

Firstly, Congratulations! We aren’t able to congratulate you in person at Graduation just yet, but we at Hope still celebrate your achievements and wish you the very best for your future!

Your relationship with Hope does not end once you’ve got your well-earned degree. 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
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

Making the Most Of Your Time When Applying for a New Job

Applying for a job can be a time-consuming process. From the initial search to writing your CV, creating a carefully worded cover letter, and preparing for an interview, job-hunting can feel like a full-time job in its own right.

But with the proper planning in place, there are a few ways that you can make the job hunt far more efficient.

In an ideal scenario, you will seamlessly search online and quickly find those dream jobs that match your skills and experience.

Let’s find out how.

Step 1. Create a Job Search Plan

You may find that creating an action plan is a good way of organising your time.

Set aside a specific time each day (perhaps just an hour) where you can browse the job boards and make a note of the jobs that interest you.

You could schedule a particular time in your diary to ensure that you stay on track or set yourself SMART objectives such as applying for three jobs within a specific time frame.

You could allocate specific days for individual tasks (for example, Mondays for job searches, Wednesdays for writing cover letters, Fridays for chasing up applications, etc.).

Step 2. Use a Master Template

We all know that we need to tailor our cover letters/CVs to each application, but that doesn’t mean you have to start it from scratch each time.

Try to create a master template of your CV or cover letter that you can amend and adapt for each subsequent job application.

Make sure you pay close attention to the advertised job description and ensure that your final CV or cover letter highlights the attributes required by the employer.

Step 3. Search the Right Way

Many job titles are ambiguous and may bear no resemblance to the job you expect to do.

To speed up your job search, make a list of different ways to describe those jobs.

For example, someone working in marketing or PR could search for roles that embody social media, media relations, lobbying, marketing, content creation, community relations, spokesperson, crisis management, reputation management or public affairs.

If you know what role your experience relates to, you can search for those terms only, which will naturally filter out the results of the jobs you are over/underqualified for.

You can also choose to search for jobs based on specific qualifications/certifications that ensure you are making a good match.

Step 4. Search in the Right Places

Another helpful tip is to make sure you are searching online in the right places.

For example, most employers will use job boards to publicise any jobs that they are recruiting for.

Some job boards are devoted to specific industries, while others are more generic. So, pay close attention and do your due diligence.

For example, if you’re looking for a graduate/entry-level job, you should focus on job boards that specialise in these roles, rather than wasting time on sites such as LinkedIn, which may focus on more senior recruitment.

Step 5. Reach Out to Your Networks

We know that personal connections can be hugely important when it comes to a job search. If you have made professional connections with peers from your industry, why not contact them and ask them if they know of any available positions?

Many firms offer internal incentives to aid with recruitment, so you may find a job that isn’t yet advertised.

Similarly, try to attend some professional networking events. These can help you make new contacts, but conferences and workshops can also help you upskill yourself and make you more employable.

Step 6. Track Your Progress

To ensure that there is no duplication of job applications, you should track your progress.

First, make a list of jobs that you have applied for – not only can this prevent you from accidentally applying for the same job twice, but it can help you to learn what is or isn’t working. 

Next, please make a note of whether you have had to fill in an application form, whether it’s a CV/cover letter application, or whether you’ve been invited to an interview.

You may start to notice a pattern – perhaps you’re great at writing cover letters but struggle with application forms.

If so, you can then make better use of your time to improve your weaknesses.

Step 7. Only Apply For Jobs You Want

Sometimes the most straightforward advice is the best.

To avoid wasting your time (and that of the potential employer), only apply for the jobs you really want.

This way, you can focus your attention on making the application as strong as possible, rather than using a scattergun approach.

If you put all of your efforts into your application, you will be far more likely to succeed and achieve an interview.  

Conclusion

To make the most of your time searching for a job, focus on finding the right roles that fit your interests and skills.

These practical tips will help you streamline your job search, and it’s clear that spending more time on fewer applications is more likely to yield far better results.

This guest blog was brought to you courtesy of WikiJob you’ll find free aptitude tests, careers advice, jobs and more on their site.

Add to your CV with virtual experience

Looking to add to your CV this summer? Why not complete a virtual experience?

What is virtual experience?

Virtual experiences usually offer you an insight into a business or sector. You’ll complete the entire programme in your own time, accessing everything remotely. You’ll find a range of opportunities being advertised – some will take a couple of days while others can be completed in 5-6 hours. It’s a great way to learn more about a role and an organisation whilst adding to your CV.

What kind of roles can I explore?

With opportunities advertised in banking and finance, marketing, business, law, public sector, policy and charities there’s probably a virtual experience to suit you whatever your career interests or aspirations. If you’re not sure of your preferred career direction there’s nothing to stop you exploring a range of options by undertaking more than one virtual experience.

Is it a competitive process?

The advantage of a virtual experience is that there’s often unlimited capacity so in most cases the experiences are open to all.

Does that diminish the value of the experience?

No, while they’re open to all not everyone will undertake one so you’ll still stand out by signing up and participating. Some employers will also assess your progress or success on the virtual experience and may use it within their recruitment processes.

Where can I find opportunities?

The Bright Network Liverpool Hope University has partnered with The Bright Network to bring you a range of virtual experiences this summer. Each experience is a three day immersive programme with industry projects set by employers and a certificate of completion. Find out more and sign up here

Forage offers opportunities from big name firms from around the globe. Each experience is 5/6 hours in duration and you’ll earn a certificate upon completion. View all their opportunities here

Want to know more about virtual experiences? Check out the information on Prospects and Rate My Placement

If you still have questions about virtual experience why not speak to a member of our team? You can book an appointment via the ‘book a careers appointment’ tab on My Careers Centre

BACK TO BASICS … BUILDING YOUR NETWORK

“It’s not what you know but who you know.”

We’ve all heard that phrase before attributed to being the key factor in getting ahead in all walks of life, and whilst this cliché is not strictly true, making more connections with peers and contacts in your chosen industry will help you to advance your career, increase your knowledge and your exposure and make you feel more part of a community than an individual.

This blog outlines key tips and hints to building your network. Firstly, we’ll look at why it’s beneficial to network.

WHY NETWORK?

  • Academia/research. Many academics share their studies and publications at networking events and conferences and also online. Not only does this help to share their knowledge to benefit their field and the world we live in, but it also prompts those interested to discuss it and share it. If you are interested in pursuing academia networking is a great way to learn from and interact with those who are esteemed in your field or those at a similar stage to you.
  • Getting a job. To go back to the cliché that opened the blog many people are hired through personal recommendation or through knowing the employer. If you have two candidates with similar experiences and who both did well at interview, but the employer knows one of them either through networking or through their online presence, then the chances are they’ll hire the person they know more about especially if they think they are a good character.
  • Promoting yourself/your product. If you run a business, sell a product/service (I’ll use product as an umbrella term for rest of the blog) or work as a freelancer then it does not matter how good you are or how brilliant your product is, if no one knows about it then no one will see/buy/watch/invest in it.  Networking is a great tool for reaching new audiences, increasing exposure and for your recommendations. The more people that know about your product and value the more others will hear about it, or will trust their recommendation.
  • It’s fun … yes it can be! Whilst standing in a room with a bunch of strangers talking about work may be some people’s idea of hell, networking can be a lot of fun and does not always involve talking shop. Many conversations will start with ‘what do you do?’ but by the end of the conversation you may be talking about the Line of Duty finale, your new hobby you took up in lockdown or the best places to eat in town … and have secured a new client or whatever it is you were after. People are still … people. Whilst work or business may be the opener to the conversation, if you have shared interests or a chemistry with that person you’ll enjoy the conversation and making new connections nonetheless. Also, networking doesn’t have to be at a conference centre. Some networking events take place in bars and provide a complimentary drink and food, some networking can be more informal. For example, if you work in the creative arts industry there are plenty of bars in Liverpool such as Liverpool Arts Bar on Hope Street in which new plays, films, poetry nights, art exhibitions are blossoming out of two like-minded artists stood at the bar with a pint of Mahou talking about what type of art they love to create. Be creative and think about where and how can I network asides from official events.

Now that we’ve gone over why it’s valuable to network. Here’s a few tips on how to. I’ll split this into ‘real world’ and online sections.

HOW TO NETWORK

Real world

  • Depending on what sector/industry you’re looking to network in there’s plenty of resources to find events. Following events page and companies within your sector on social media is a great way to find these, Facebook in particular will be good for posting events pages as will LinkedIn. Eventbrite is also a great place to search. And there’s always good old word of mouth. Check out websites of companies and most importantly venues.
  • Don’t be nervous! Might be easier said than done but you’ve had conversations before, you are interesting … ask questions, listen to the answers, give positive and open body language and you’ll do great.
  • Sometimes the hardest part is finding a conversation to join, especially if like me you’re always late and everyone’s already in full flow. Best to join a bigger group in which it’s likely the conversation will be more shared and you’ll be welcomed in and asked to introduce yourself. If it’s two people having a discussion you may be interrupting them and they may not wish another person to join right at that moment.
  • Get business cards. They’re an easy way for connections you meet to get in touch and contact you and also to remember you after meeting lots of new people. It also widens your network. Say, for example, you’re a graphic designer and you hand your card to someoen at an event, they may not need your services but someone they know might and if your business card is there to hand it’s an easy way to gain a recommendation. It also gives you a greater air of professionalism that shows your serious about what you do. they’re also really handy if you’re bad with names! Some networking events also do prize draws if you throw your card into a hat. This lucky blogger won a free cocktail making class for them and their colleagues at a bar in Chavasse Park off the back of one of these.
  • Exiting a dead end. This will happen. You’ll be stuck in a boring conversation that’s neither stimulating conversation nor is it actually beneficial to your work/study/brand. Don’t be rude – this is important as word will travel fast … but simply find a natural break in the conversation, smile and tell them it’s been lovely chatting and that you’re going to mingle or ‘work the room some more.’ We all know what it means but no one’s feelings will be hurt.
  • Be respectful of everyone’s boundaries. As we move back into social gatherings and crowds many people will be feeling anxious either due to safety concerns or from not being used to social interactions and gatherings. Before 2020 it would be deemed rude not to shake someone’s hand, now I would say it would be rude and imposing to force that upon someone. Greet with a smile or offer a friendly elbow bump. You both may feel more inclined to shake hands or even hug later on, but for that first interaction be sure to respect boundaries and any rules or guidelines that either the government has imposed or the event runners have outlined.

Online

  • Create an online presence. In recent times we have had to take our work, studies, social lives and even our yoga classes into an online world. For many of us this has been a challenge but it’s also a great opportunity to broaden your network and connect with people you may not have come across at an in-person event. Whether this is on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram or even Tik Tok your ability to showcase your interests, ability, business model, product, knowledge and most importantly your personality will be key to gaining attention and finding new connections. Even on a site liked LinkedIn more and more users are posting content that not only promotes their product but also shows that they are fun, interesting and a ‘real person.’ Be creative with what you post, share articles that interest you, generate discussion and get talking!
  • Zoom. You probably don’t need many more tips on how to Zoom but here’s a couple for networking:
  • Practice your pitch. This goes for in person events too but it’s even more important online when the networking may be structured so that each person speaks to everyone on the call for say one minute. If your pitch is messy and not concise you won’t get your key points and message across.
  • Stay on mute. If someone else has the floor stay on mute. It’s respectful and you wouldn’t want the builders shouting over you when you pitch.
  • Share your contact info on the chat. Not everyone will stay on the call so this is a good way to write a quick blurb and post your email address, LinkedIn, Instragram, website etc so you can be remembered better and contacted. Also, simply due to the way zoom is you can’t guarantee everyone will be giving you their full attention. Whether it’s an important email that’s just popped up, a funny meme on twitter, the doorbell going or simply zoom attention fatigue.
  • Stay focused. On that point, if you are on a zoom networking call, try to keep the zoom on full screen if possible and do not multi task. One, it’s rude, and two you never know what you might miss.

Now that you have a greater understanding of why networking is vital and how to do it what’s stopping you? Whether it’s online or at an event make the most of the opportunity to connect, interact and engage with new clients, businesses and academic peers to advance your career prospects.

Back to basics – How to gain Work Experience by improving your CV.

What do I mean when I say ‘Back to basics? Well, I have a few points which could help brighten up your CV to make that work experience dream a reality.

For help and advice please contact the Careers and Employability team – careers@hope.ac.uk

  • Do not reinvent the wheel! At the beginning of your career. It is hard to when your CV is blank sheet of paper. My advice would be the check out some strong examples from your career’s advisers. The team would be happy to help and give you advice on how to make your CV stand out from the rest. Email careers@hope.ac.uk.
  • Include Keywords – Employers are attracted to this
  • Tailor your CV to each work experience or job opportunity
  • Do not forget to add all your achievements and internship, unpaid work experience etc. You need to show here the skills you must reach your dream job.
  • Keep it on one page!!
  • Do not get too creative with your CV. Keep it classy, nobody wants to see Bauhaus 93 text on rainbow coloured paper.
  • Do not title your CV document “CV.” This tip comes from Software Advice CEO Don Fornes writing on the Job Bound blog. “About a third of applicants name their resume document, ‘CV.doc.’” Don writes. “’CV’ may make sense on your computer, where you know it’s your resume. However, on my computer, it is one of many, many resumes with the same name…. By using such a generic file name, the applicant misses a great opportunity to brand themselves.
  • Get professional input – Get a family member or a friend to read over your CV. Its not shameful to ask for someone to proofread your CV. Be proud of your achievements, show them off!

For help and advice please contact the Careers and Employability team – careers@hope.ac.uk

Employer blog –

REDWIGWAM PARTNERS TO PROVIDE UPSKILL OPPORTUNITIES THROUGH THEIR NEW SUPERPOWER UP CAMPAIGN

As the Covid-19 pandemic begins to ease, the outlook for workers promises to be better soon.  As part of a workforce upskill initiative, flexible working platform, redwigwam has partnered with other organisations as a sponsor for the new Superpower Up campaign.  The campaign promises to provide needed resources to help flexible workers build their CV, tackle job interviews, and improve their profiles by learning new skills that employers demand of their workers. 

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redwigwam provides the UK with the country’s largest flexible working community.  It has been busy throughout the pandemic, providing labour exchange services to over 4,500 employers and to thousands of flexible workers so they can meet workforce demand and provide temporary relief for regular employees who were forced to quarantine due to the virus.  These companies included Coca-Cola, Tesco, Kellogg’s, Burton’s Biscuits, Morrison’s, Proper, Simply Cook, and the Snaffling Pig Company.

The latest labour force statistics are fascinating.  As we move into this new era, the concept of building new skills and new employment opportunities is starting to take shape. The UK’s workforce understands that the concept of work is changing.  Check out these statistics just out from a recent redwigwam survey:

  • Four out of five workers surveyed (82%) are excited about learning new skills that guarantees a successful work experience when the pandemic is finally over.
  • The skills and training most desired and most in demand by those surveyed includes digital capability (59%), followed by Microsoft Excel training (49%), entrepreneurialism (45%), writing a successful CV (32%), and best practices for nailing the job interview (31%).

The composition of UK’s workforce also seems to be changing. The redwigwam survey found that 43% of workers described themselves as working with no dependents, and 20% are working parents.  Many of these are what we identify as “flexible workers” who often meet the demands of large corporations who need workers on-demand and with varied scheduled availabilities.

These findings match the goal of the Liverpool-based company’s Superpower Up campaign.  redwigwam is partnering with some of UK’s leading business experts to provide upskilling webinars for workers who are desperate to learn new skills that will make them more in-demand in the new economy. 

Some of the subjects of these webinars will include digital skills, marketing, and personal branding.  On April 21, redwigwam provided a LinkedIn training by offering social media expert Alex Low, who offered the redwigwam community with tips on how to use LinkedIn to build a better profile and to use it as a dynamic recruiting tool.  Important webinars such as these will be part of redwigwam’s contributions to the Superpower Up campaign. 

These Superpower Up resources, will be available to over 150,000 flexible workers who are currently registered on the AI-powered redwigwam website.  Thousands of these workers will have new opportunities to learn the skills they need to improve their job marketability.  

Lorna Davidson, Founder and CEO of redwigwam, said: “We believe this is a totally unique campaign in which some of UK’s foremost experts, in partnership with redwigwam, will pass on their knowledge and skills free of charge. As a business, our purpose is to change work for good and as part of this we believe in the importance of giving back.

Lorna stated that redwigwam’s goal is for “workers to have the opportunity to upskill, something our survey made clear is a major requirement as we start to emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic, and hirers will also benefit as the workers they need to recruit will be better equipped to meet their needs.”

Dan Parker, Digital Marketing Executive at redwigwam, said: “I’m extremely excited to be involved with the Superpower Up initiative. It’s a fantastic opportunity for our wigwamers to learn some invaluable skills and increase employability for the future.  I can’t wait to give back to our hardworking wigwamer community.”

Rachael Johnston, redwigwam’s Community Manager, said: “I chat to our workers daily and there’s definitely a need for flexible working. The skills our wigwamer will take away from the webinars will really help empower them to have the work/life balance they want.”

Please come back often as our blogs provide additional information about the Superpower Up campaign in the coming months and plenty of student jobs available.