How I got my job at Liverpool’s Growth Platform

About me:
My name is Jacob Sanderson, I completed a Business Management degree at Hope University between the period of 2016-2019. I am local to the Childwall area and stayed at home during my time at Hope. I completed my degree with a grade of a 2:1 and I am hoping to go back to complete a master’s at Hope in the future.

Who do I work for and what is my job role?

Growth PlatformI work for the organization Growth Platform; we are a non-profit organization with the aim to support people and businesses in the Liverpool City Region. Growth Platform has been established by the Liverpool City Region’s Combined Authority and Local Enterprise Partnership to simplify and strengthen the City Region’s business investment and growth landscape, making it easier for business to invest, grow and generate more and better jobs for our residents.

I work within the business growth team in as a Business Growth Executive, which is a graduate role. The purpose of my role is to support my team members with day to day work and projects which gives me a wide wealth of experience in different sectors. Regarding personal job tasks, I currently gather business intelligence from each Liverpool City Region borough on a weekly basis about issues that are affecting businesses (most recently leaving the EU and COVID-19). The intelligence I gather is constructed into a report that is sent into government. I am also currently working on a project surrounding Inclusive growth and Good/Ethical Business within the region.

The Journey to my Job Read More

How to make the perfect skills-based CV

During this blog we will discuss travel, philosophy, cooking, mirrors and back again! All of which will be about how to make the perfect CV…trust me.


For those of you who see a contrast between the title and quote above, firstly let me explain…some time ago a close friend of mine talked me out of an impulsive, expensive decision of a pretentious art trip to Paris to stay at home in Derby – believe me, even if you haven’t been there (Derby), there really is no contest! My friend recited the quote above, my initial response to her wasn’t repeatable for this blog but for one reason or another I decided not to go.

Some time later, I reflected back on the quote, which felt such a kop-out at the time, and realised its not about Paris or dreary Derby its about what’s inside me that matters. If I constantly search for external experiences to be perfect without addressing why I need them I will always fail.” Paris was never about enhancing my experience; it was about  me avoiding exploring myself first.

…if you’re still reading, what the hell does this have to do with CV writing? Actually a lot!

Answers are closer to home than you think!

The students we meet in search of the perfect CV template or worse still, have someone else write it for them miss the point…how can I best match myself to the opportunity. Only by drawing the best skills, knowledge and experience from yourself and being agile enough to adapt for each role will you succeed.

My point is this, external help is useful for inspiration and guidance but always in conjunction with the picture inside about how you will approach this.

Authenticity beats template!

What are your Skills, Knowledge and Experiences (SKE)?

Draft a list of these, perhaps five or six for each S.K.E. Try to include job/course-specific SKE and transferable (relevant to any occupation) SKE too. Include where you’ve acquired these and what they are?

it’s difficult isn’t it? Don’t let this put you off though because any new thinking feels uncomfortable first time round and this is the return home and find it stuff!

Be seen in the best light: skills-based CV

Specific beats generic!

Now, once you feel more informed of your SKE try comparing this to the type of opportunities you are interested in. What do you think are the three core requirements of the opportunity (or job functions)?

It’s like looking in the mirror

Can you find any strong connections between your SKE list and the core requirements? If the answer is yes then that means you are a suitable candidate to apply for the position. If the answer is no then perhaps it means going back to the drawing board and applying for an alternative and/or acquiring the required SKE for the job.

Back to the CV: convincing the reader is like baking a cake!

Now we have what I would call a CV-database what ingredients are required to make the perfect skills-based CV?


The proportions you use with your ingredients and how you present them in terms of the medium and appearance is entirely up to you and the type of impact that you want to make.

Enjoy your own CV journey!

We’re still here to help!

As always, the Careers and Employability is here to help, even in these difficult times. You can access us, via emailtelephone or video call by emailing as well as My Careers Centre.


Job-Searching 101

Under the current cloud of Covid-19, sourcing and securing employment is a whole new challenge, both in terms of available jobs and the recruitment process per se. The purpose of today’s blog is:

  • to help enhance your approach during the outbreak.
  • prepare you for accessing the labour market for the future…it might not seem like it right now but better times do lay ahead!

I will broadly outline the different types of job-search sources, searching technique and some practical tips on planning…I expect it will be of no surprise to you that our focus will be on online sources.

Treat it like an assessment!

I hear transferable skills thrown around by academics, students and employers without any grounding on a daily basis. However, I do see strong similarities between the skills you use for assessed work at university and in securing employment.

  • The techniques you use to find books, journals and other literature require the same skills as knowing where to access information about employment opportunities.
  • Structuring an argument is synonymous with convincing a recruiter you are the best match for a position.
  • Lastly, a CV, application and interview will be scored using the same techniques as your lecturers use when grading your work.

What job(s) are you looking for?

This is a pivotal question and in the long run will be most effective. Having a specified range of jobs saves time in terms of knowing where to look, what to use and in some cases you can recycle elements of previous research and applications.

The purpose of work is also important. Are you looking for part-time, full-time, casual or temporary? Is it a short-term job while you study, a stepping stone role or a longer-term ‘career job’?

Use more than Indeed!

Searching online

Every job-search engine has its usages, so does Indeed. However, Indeed isn’t a one-stop shop (I’m not convinced that there is one) and shouldn’t be used as one. Below is a list of search-engines alongside how I recommend you use them.

1 General (Sweep) search-engines


Find a job (GOV.UK)    Picture1



CV Library


Total Jobs

2 Graduate search-engines

My Careers Centre                                                           Prospects


Target Jobs                                                                        Milkround

All About Careers                                                            Rate My Placement

Glassdoor                                                                          The Guardian


3 Bespoke searches

Prospects: job profiles

At the bottom of each job profile you will find direct links to specialist recruitment sites and organisations. This is ideal for somebody with one profession in mind.


Company websites

If you are aware of the type of profession you would like to work in and know some of the leading organisations that recruit them, then this could also be an effective tactic.

Don’t be put off if the job has a slightly different name

Job vacancies can vary in title name and level so don’t limit yourself before you’ve even started. Be creative with your word-searches and keep an open-mind to entry-level and junior roles too – in the long-run this could be the quickest way to your primary goal and further progression.


The Hidden Job Market

Alternatives to search engines

The hidden job market describes recruitment that is typically not advertised and doesn’t usually follow the formal process of cv, application form and interview. Although there isn’t a fixed figure, at least 50% of all appointments to jobs are made this way. That can include:

Internal appointments                                                Friends and acquaintances

Head-hunted                                                                 Promotions

Experience workers                                                    Recruiters

Although I would certainly advocate for search-engines as your primary approach hidden jobs tell us that there are other techniques to consider such as:

Informal conversations and networking                 Incite days

Volunteering and shadowing                                     Training opportunities

Internships and placements                                       Recruiters

Internal jobs

Golden rule: have a clear aim and a plan of action

1. Be clear about the types of jobs that you are looking for. Use the most effective search platform or method for that.

2. Have a list of all possible differences in the job title name to avoid missing out.

3. Keep a job diary – this will come in handy when employers get back in touch with you regarding interviews. This is also a helpful way to determine how suitable you are for a type of job and if you are getting the most out of your CV and application form technique.

4. Maintain a consistent approach to your job search. For example, Monday could be your designated job-search day, Tuesday, networking and experience and the remainder of the week applying for jobs.

5. Make sure that you are suitable for the job you intend to apply for – check the person-specification for this.

6. Save all job descriptions, person specifications and application forms you’ve applied for, for the purpose of interview planning.

We’re still here to help!

As always, the Careers and Employability is here to help, even in these difficult times. You can access us, via emailtelephone or video call by emailing as well as My Careers Centre.


A student’s guide to networking

This week’s theme from Careers Steps to Success is all about student professional networking and has extracts taken from MilkRound by Matthew Galvin.

In today’s interconnected society, the phrase “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” has never been more true. While you are studying at university, you will be surrounded by people with similar interests. It’s important to take advantage of this opportunity to build relationships, which can be a great asset in your job hunt after you graduate.


Did you know that only around 40% of jobs are advertised? Promoting job vacancies is expensive and time consuming for businesses, resulting in many positions being promoted from within the organisation, or by employing people who have approached them directly.

Furthermore, networking isn’t just a great way to discover career opportunities, it is also a great way to learn about a particular career or industry. Acquiring this insider information will be invaluable in your job hunt, and you will be surprised how willing people are to share their experiences.

Where to start

First, get in contact with your existing network. Establishing who you know within your own network will help you understand what experience and knowledge is available to you in your own environment. Old friends, distant relatives and friends of your parents are a great way to begin to discover potential opportunities and resources. You don’t have to ask them about open positions at their company, simply talking to them about their experiences and listening to their advice will help point you in the right direction. They may even give you access to their contacts.

Where to look

Most universities will hold industry networking events or careers fairs. Use these opportunities to talk to students and recruiters about their company and ask about potential opportunities. If you have the time, take advantage of internships that are exclusive to students, where you can build relationships with students, mentors and employers, while improving your work experience. Additionally, joining student run organisations will also be a great opportunity to build your network with other students. Remember to get to know your lecturers too!

The importance of research

If you are attending a networking event, have a clear idea of who you want to talk to, why you are interested in the organisation, and why you are approaching them. Performing preliminary research on LinkedIn or Twitter will help you gain a better idea of this, and you can prepare some good questions to ask, such as their company application process or competencies you need to demonstrate. This will make you a more confident speaker, and give you further insight into their careers.

Tips on networking

Networking is all about communication, so when networking, it’s important to prepare what you want to say. Having a personal pitch that can be delivered quickly, and to the point, who you are, what you do, and what you want. Although networking may come more natural to you if you are an extrovert, if you are not, do not fear. Have a friend with you while you network to help keep the conversation running. At the start of a conversation, try and orientate the subject around a common interest, giving you confidence to ask questions. Don’t worry if it feels unnatural at first, just remember to listen carefully, be confident in your abilities, and to smile.

Social networking

Additionally, join business networking sites such as LinkedIn. These platforms are becoming an essential source of hiring, and are a crucial asset to networking. Start building a strong LinkedIn profile while you’re at university by adding your peers and lecturers as connections, and ensure that your profile is kept up to date and accurate. Use this opportunity to reflect on your image and online reputation, and tidy up any social media profiles that could be seen as “unprofessional”.

Use LinkedIn in to follow up people you meet, keep up to date with who you know, and track who you want to know. It can also be used to join industry groups, and keep updated on industry relevant information, to help in your networking.

Top tips

  • Try and leave a lasting impression
  • Consider creating business cards with all your contact information
  • Follow up people of interest
  • Don’t stop building your network

Finally, be friendly, be switched on, and don’t be afraid to join in.

Good luck!

Guest blog: What to Do Next – Careers Advice for New Graduates

Do What You Love text

After several years of hard work, you should now be armed with new skills, experiences and a drive to make your first steps into the working world as a graduate.

Transitioning from student to a graduate worker is by no means an easy process, but that’s OK. If you’re wondering what to do next, you’re not alone! While some people have their whole futures mapped out, others can come out of University feeling lost and overwhelmed.

Even if you don’t feel totally unprepared, we’ve put together a list of some quick tips on what to do next as a graduate.

Get writing those cover letters and CVs

Writing the perfect CV is a difficult skill to master, so much so that some Universities include it as part of the syllabus. As with all skills, it’s important you practice it often.

Your CV may even need to differ slightly, depending on the type of job you’re applying for. You may want to have a couple of CVs in your portfolio geared toward different industries – for example, one tailored to retail and another tailored to office work.

Remember, no CV should be sent off without a good covering letter. When it comes to writing cover letters, make sure these are tailored to the requirements of each job you apply for. While it can be a time consuming process, it’s very important that recruiters know you’re talking directly to them, and that this isn’t just a generic application.

These are the documents that tell prospective employers why you could be a good fit for the job. So tell them who you really are, rather than trying to second guess what they want to see!

Once you’ve perfected these, it’s definitely worth uploading them to job sites as a lot of recruiters will start their search there when looking for potential candidates.

Get on LinkedIn

If you’re not already on LinkedIn, it’s a great place to network with people and find opportunities. You can show off your knowledge and professionalism, and also interact with others. It’s also a great source for job adverts so it’s useful to keep on top of it.

Make sure you fill in your profile completely with all your qualifications and experience, even if it’s just volunteer work for now.

Clean up your social media

If you have social media, make sure that any potential recruiter who finds it won’t be horrified by what they see. Yes, it’s definitely impressive that you put away that many shots on a pub crawl, but prospective employers are likely to be worried about their clients seeing this side of you online.

It’s a good idea to lock up Facebook and Instagram like a fortress, and clean up where you can. If you want an idea of what recruiters can see, simply Google your name and see what comes up.

Find an internship

Internships are fairly common, and a useful way to get a foot in the door. While the ideal scenario is that you find a paid one, many businesses will expect you to work for free.

If you can avoid it, great, but if you’re really struggling, it might be worth accepting an unpaid internship and counting your losses. Just make sure you’re getting a lot of value out of it and learning as much as you can. Hopefully, if you impress, you’ll see a full-time job at the end of it.

Article by – The Accountancy Partnership

Inspiration for Active Career Decision-Making

This final instalment on career decision-making will provide you with two practical approaches to active career decision-making and hopefully give you some inspiration in your career journey too.

In this edition we will look at Emma Rosen’s radical sabbatical 25 before 25, where she tests out twenty-five different occupations in the pursuit of the ideal career, and, secondly, a practical instruction to active career decision-making from Carol Eikleberry who places experiential learning at the forefront of making career-decisions.

1. Emma Rosen the radical sabbatical 25 before 25


“When you were seven and someone told you that being a video game designer was a ridiculous idea and wasn’t a real job, you believed them and tried to forget about it. Or there might have always been two or three things that you have longed to do and, even though you may have picked one of those, not being able to explore the other two things has left you feeling unfulfilled in the career that you do have.

“I had a major quarter-life crisis. So major that I quit my job and spent a year trying out 25 different careers before my 25th birthday. The jobs I tried ranged from archaeology in Transylvania, tour guiding amid violent protests in Venezuela and investigative journalism with a national newspaper, to working as an extra in a major movie, alpaca farming in Cornwall and assisting a crisis team during the terror attack on Parliament in March 2017.

“I hadn’t given career advice a thought since I was 17 and even then I hadn’t given it much consideration, just always doing what I knew would enable me to enter the next stage in the game.

Picture1“There were plenty of more technical skills that I learned  too, like website design, social media management, SEO, building a brand and audience, press engagement and conducting interviews.

Picture1Emma added she also saw her softer people-focused skills improve.

“I could demonstrate that I could be very adaptable, quickly build relationships and embrace change – I could walk into a new team or situation and get on well with everyone (I had done the awkward ‘first day of work’ 25 times).

She said: “On the JOB TODAY hiring platform and instead of pursuing one, linear career path, we’re seeing more young Brits than ever before take on multiple freelance, part-time and casual roles to shape an exciting career that works for them.

“We recently commissioned new research with our job seekers and found that 40 per cent of Brits are already working in part time or freelance roles – a clear sign that today’s generation aren’t afraid of taking charge of their careers.”

Emma now works as a Writer and Speaker. Emma says that communication skills in both verbal and written form have been the most important by a large margin.

2. The Career Guide for Creative and Unconventional People (Carol Eikleberry 2001).

71rMNx1JCPLThis is a book I read during my early years in practice and found this particular section on active career decision-making a useful and sensible take on career development for others to follow – despite its name!

  1. Make a list of occupations that are most attractive to you. This should be between two-ten occupations, as this will help on research time. If you have more than ten rate them all in terms of preference and create a secondary list to come back to.
  2. Learn about them. Carry out online research in order to identify required skills, qualifications, availability of jobs and projected salary, inter alia.
  3. Talk to people who do that kind of work. Ask the questions that haven’t been answered by your reading. Your goal is to find out what the job is like, so that you can determine whether you like it. Talk to between two-three professionals from the same occupation.
  4. By now you should have narrowed your list down further. The next step is to get some first-hand experience for the final few contenders. This could be paid, volunteering or shadowing.
  5. When you are ready, take some time to think about the advantages and disadvantages of your remaining options. Your final career choice won’t be so much right or wrong as it will have positive and negative consequences.
  6. Make a choice. Now that you are informed about your options, reason, intuition, or a combination of both will help you decide.
  7. At the appropriate time, start looking for a job or the appropriate training

    We’re still here to help!

    As always, the Careers and Employability is here to help, even in these difficult times. You can access us, via emailtelephone or video call by emailing as well as My Careers Centre.

Career decisions: “I don’t know what to do after University, what do I do?”

This week’s theme for Careers Steps to Success is all about different techniques for effective career decision-making. The online presentation (see My Careers Centre: Techniques to Finding a Future Career) identifies five different approaches with useful tools to enhance the process:

5 approachesFirst and foremost, this is a decision that has to be made by you. You know yourself best and are most likely to adhere to your own choices. Secondly, we need to clear about what the question is and what it is asking in order to solve it.

A little bit about career decisions

A career decision is a commitment to do something, this could be the status quo or something different. It can be one big change or a series of smaller decisions. Try not to regard career decisions as life-long unless, you want them to be. This is because, we, as individuals, have changing preferences and needs coupled with living in a variable and dynamic world.

Careers Advice Online forecasts that the average worker will have between five to seven career changes in a lifetime and change jobs as frequently as every 12 months. The Financial Times produced an article informing readers to expect at least five career changes in a lifetime. Conversion Masters, in-house training and transition into other forms of employment will all contribute to these statistics.

“I don’t know what to do after University, what do I do?”

Providing an answer to the question “I don’t know what to do after university, what do I do?” is the holy grail of all Careers Advisers and most students that we meet.

First of all, don’t jump straight in, to answer the question directly ignores the premise of the question per se. Let’s break this question down:

(1) “I don’t know…”

When it comes to career I don’t know can mean something ranging between: I have absolutely no idea, right through to, I have a number of options and can’t decide, with, I have thought about profession X in the past somewhere in the middle. Where do you see yourself?

Being clear about this allows for more precise help around:

  • Career exploration from scratch
  • Understanding alternatives and suitability
  • Narrowing down your interests to the best choice

(2) “…what to do…”

Action CycleThis part is often a where do I start question. The most important thing is to take action. Action implies experience as a result so taking action. Action can be taken in the following ways:

What stage should you start at?

(3) “…after University (‘Graduation’),”

I have two perspectives on this. Firstly, post-graduate study will be a viable option for Graduates to continue developing by enhancing existing skills or learning another academic discipline.

Secondly, University is a place of growth and development, if you feel you require time for more development, give yourself more time! Treat your Graduation year as a growth year before making a bigger decision. You could try different jobs and/or trainee positions, volunteer, shadowing and internships to give you a taste of different types of occupations.

Thirdly, if you feel ready then start applying for roles.

What are your thoughts?

(4)  “…what do I do?”

Take action when you feel able to do. Thinking can quickly turn to worry or an impasse when new information and experiences are not added therefore it is critical to act. the commitments that you make should be proportionate to the stage you are at. For instance, if you are still exploring interests it would be disproportionate to invest large amounts of time and resources while you are still considering a number of other areas.

In summary, solving this question will require you to take action (i.e. what do I do?) and This will mean starting broad and becoming more focused as you narrow your options down. Consequently, be empowered by change and try not to place a life-sentence to any prospective career change. Plan for the short and medium term, and aspire over the long term. If you want to make a big decision have multiple steps and a back up plan. If you have lots of smaller decisions check regularly on the overall direction.

Lastly, reflect on your development periodically and talk through your ideas with a careers professional.

We’re still here to help!

As always, the Careers and Employability is here to help, even in these difficult times. You can access us, via emailtelephone or video call by emailing as well as My Careers Centre.

Career Thinking: the ultimate chicken and egg conundrum

Picture1Keeping in with the Easter theme. The more I’ve experienced, both as a student and a worker, the frequency of this analogy in my choices…how do we decide on a career options? or worse still, how do I even get started thinking about career?

If you have met me or read my previous blogs, you will know that I studied Law as an undergraduate and had a water-tight ambition to become a Solicitor. It was only when a Careers Adviser asked me why and how I’d come to that decision that I realised how flawed it was. Cutting a long story short, this led to a profound crisis of identity.

Why is this story important to you?

Two reasons:

  1. It took me some time to solve this problem but I solved it and continually do.
  2. Career thinking is a process and not just a feeling – sadly, we spend less time thinking about our long-term future than we do buying the latest phone or planning a night out with friends.

First thing first, don’t panic!

It doesn’t matter where you start whether it’s reading about career, networking, employment, volunteer work, talking to a Careers Adviser an Academic…just start!

There is a fine-line between thinking and worrying which is why, I think, that we spend less time thinking about our career than other things – answers don’t come easy.

Instinctively, the next people to connect with are peers because you’re all in the same boat right? Possibly family too? Then, last but not least do it tomorrow or stick with your gut feeling and what you know.

These are important factors to take into account but they need to be combined with crucial second opinions from professionals, i.e. Careers Advisers and professionals within your area of interest. Their views will be independent and offer practical steps for progression.

Remember, this is a process!

Be methodical about how you approach things. Some will find a lucrative and/or their dream career by chance, but for many, this process alone limits options and possibility too much.

Factor in some methodical approaches alongside and happen-stance and you will have a greater pool of options to pick from.


Don’t just stick to what you know because this approach often means less choice. A little exploration doesn’t harm your existing ideas if they are the right ones anyway. Secondly, start this process as soon as you can because knowing the bigger picture early leads to better career decisions and provides more time to act on the options available.

Prospects: what can I do with my subject and job profiles are great depositories of information on career options.

What do you want from career?

Knowing facts about jobs and professions is important but understanding what you want from career is critical. You don’t need to know what job you will have for the rest of your life but the small questions often help answer the bigger ones.

  1. What do you want work to look like?
  2. Who or what might this involve?
  3. What do you want from work?

Your current situation

This is something that is often overlooked until you hit a dead-end or you’re in over your head. Understand your situation first, get other opinions and listen to your gut instinct too.

Check finances, logistics and availability of an occupation in your area before possibly overcommitting. Do you have children or family commitments? Do you want to take some time out before jumping into the next big thing?

Strengths and preferences?

Strengths and preferences are a good guide to be an effective and happy worker. Anybody reading this who has had a job they hate will vouch for this.

List three strengths of yours in relation to things that you do and care about?

Additionally, identify the types of environment, people, duties and equipment you prefer to work in?

Critical check-list

  1. Research all available options
  2. Talk to relevant organisations and professions
  3. Try it out with some volunteer work, placement/internship or shadowing
  4. Reflect on its suitability to you – repeat if necessary

We’re still here to help!

As always, the Careers and Employability is here to help, even in these difficult times. You can access us, via emailtelephone or video call by emailing as well as My Careers Centre.

Have a happy and safe Easter from everybody at Hope






8 Tips for Masters Personal Statement Writing

a) Planning Stage

Tip 1: Read the information carefully

Does the description come with a brief or particular information to include in the statement? This could include emphasis part of your current studies, work experience or even a brief research proposal.

It is also common for there to be a word limit or character limit (always check with or without line-spacing).

Tip 2: Research

Effective research is important for two reasons:

  • One, to make sure that the course and university are a good match for you.
  • Two, that you can demonstrate to the reader that you have intentionally picked their university and course because it fits your needs and assures them that you have the credentials to study the course at Masters level.

Research the university, its age, specialisms, status and reputation.

Research the department and identify expertise, research and prominent staff that would benefit your study. Are the professional links to organisations and employers?

Research the course. What modules interest you? For instance, are there modules that will expand your knowledge or consolidate it? Does it have a placement or work experience opportunities? Will there be guest speakers? How might you want to shape your research?

Tip 3: Reflect

So far, all of the planning described has been about what the university does or it wants from you. The personal statement a chance to showcase what you have to offer. This might be the first time that you can talk with confidence about your journey and what your career plans are.

Reflect on the milestones in your academic career so far. Describe your academic interests currently and for the future. What is your skills-set, knowledge and experience to date? What are your career aspirations? What do you do outside of academics that you’re proud of?

b) Drafting

Tip 4: A clear and logical structure with a beginning, middle and ending

As with any good story or essay the ending always re-visits the beginning and the middle describes the areas for determination in greater detail.

Once you have planned your structure always draft in a word document first.

The beginning should be a clear outline of:

  • Who you are and where you study?
  • What you are applying for and where?
  • A short overview of why you think you are a strong candidate for the course?

The middle will be more detailed descriptions of your introduction, for example:

  • Why have you picked that particular university and course?
  • Information about your current studies and its relevance (where appropriate)
  • Relevant work experience, volunteering and part-time employment other skills and that you can handle multiple commitments.
  • Hobbies and interests outside of study are not an essential part of the statement although they do demonstrate personal qualities and, possibly, that your outside interests match your academic interests.
  • Be clear about what you want from your career and where do you think the course will take you?

The ending lets the reader know that you are concluding by reiterating your interest in the course and what makes you a suitable candidate.

Tip 5: Language

Be professional in your tone and avoid acronyms and abbreviations (without first using full name), slang and informal language. Try to be objective and factual as much as possible as this will determine if an offer is made.

The reader will be most interested in what you have done and what you think rather than what you feel. Avoid statements like, ‘I love’, ‘I enjoyed’, ‘I hate’, etc. The reader will interpret your passion from your descriptions and demonstration.

Try to be positive in phrasing your descriptions such as: ‘I demonstrated’, ’I can/have’, ‘I enhanced’, ‘I developed’, ‘this enabled me to’, etc. Contrastingly, avoid passive language wherever possible, such as: ‘I had to’we learnt’, ‘this made me’.

Tip 6: Proof-read

Firstly, check that the messages and points you are trying to convey get across and have a logical flow and structure. Don’t just rely on spell-checker. Read thoroughly for spelling and grammar issues and casing – names should always start with a capital letter.

c) Submission

Tip 7: Second opinion

By this point you should be able to tell the proof-reader what to look out for and give you professional feedback. This might mean some re-writes and updates.

Try to get feedback from people who regularly read and review personal statements. This should include a Careers Adviser and an academic where possible.

Tip 8: Submit…stop reading it!

If it is an online application, copy and paste the statement from a word document to the application. Contrastingly, if the application asks for an attachment document of your personal statement then save and submit as a pdf. Doing this will avoid formatting errors at and ensures that your document cannot be altered.

We’re still here to help!

As always, the Careers and Employability is here to help, even in these difficult times. You can access us, via email, telephone or video call by emailing as well as My Careers Centre.

Conversion Masters, Other Subjects and Career Change

photo-1499244571948-7ccddb3583f1At the start of my final year I decided that I didn’t have a professional interest in my subject anymore. Thinking and accepting this are two different things entirely. My inner voice would say:

 “This has taken three years so your stuck with it

             What will your family say?”

                          Everyone else seems fine about this

                                     …okay smart guy, what will you do instead!?!…stick with this!”

Ultimately, the only person who can make a decision on this is you, because it’s your future. But what I can confidently tell you is that there is life after the Bachelors for those who stick with their subject and those who don’t.

“Be brave about your future and try not to follow the crowd, they could be feeling the same as you”

If you do decide that you would like to study a Masters, but not in the same subject, there are a wealth of other subjects and conversion Masters that just may be the perfect fit for your tastes and careers aspirations.

What is a conversion Masters?

Conversion courses are intensive postgraduate programmes that allow individuals to pursue a career that their undergraduate degree or professional career hasn’t prepared them for. They’re usually vocational and last between a few months and several years, depending on the qualification and whether you choose fast-track, full-time or part-time study (per Prospects).

Conversion course information

Types of conversion Masters

MSc in Psychology: this is typically one year in duration (full-time) and provides Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) giving the student a British Psychological Society (BPS) accreditation and a rote to become a Chartered Psychologist.

LLM in Law: this is typically one year in duration (full time) gives eligibility for training to become a Solicitor (LPC or SQE from 2021) or a Barrister (BPTC).

Medicine: this is available as a four-year fast-track course (full time). Some courses will accept students from any degree disciple whilst others may require a relevant subject such as Biology or Chemistry. Relevant work experience is essential.

Nursing and Allied Health Masters (pre-registry): these courses are typically two-years in duration (full-time). In relation to Nursing, training is available in the following four areas: adult, children, learning disability or mental health.

Other Allied Health Masters include Dietetics, Physiotherapy and Occupational Health, inter alia. Either route will give you Health and Care Professions Council Registration (HCPC) in order to work with patients and clients.

Engineering: these can range from one to two years in duration (full-time). Many will come with an integrated industrial placement. Although some providers accept non-related degree candidates, numeracy and science-based skills are paramount.

Social Work: this will normally last two years in duration and is a combination of assessments, dissertation and integrated placements. Completing the course will qualify you as a Social Worker.

“As well as traditional conversion Masters there are a plethora of Masters subjects that consider graduates from most degree disciplines”

Teacher Training?

Teacher training could also be the career change that you want and with options to train in a university or a school-setting. The added value of teacher training is that the funding stream is separate from Masters so you could do both (but not at the same time). Teacher training is available in Early Years, Primary, Secondary and Further Education age-groups as well as specialisms and subject expertise.

Get into teaching

A second degree in Nursing?

There is also an exception to student finance allowing prospective graduates to study a second degree in Nursing with a second undergraduate loan (instead of a post-graduate loan). This is advantageous because the undergraduate loans are combined rather than separated and repayments are exactly the same with or without a second student loan. A degree in Nursing will take between three to four years to complete.

Financial support in healthcare careers

How much does it cost?

As with a traditional Masters, prices vary. Where the course runs for two years (full time) there are bursaries available or where the course is an Allied Health course it is possible to apply for a second undergraduate loan in order to cover the two years.

Masters loan information

Will a conversion course enhance my career?

Before committing to a conversion course, ask yourself:photo-1528716321680-815a8cdb8cbe

  • Is the qualification necessary for my (future) profession?
  • Is the qualification valued by employers?
  • How many graduates get jobs after doing this course?
  • Will it lead to a PhD or further study? (per Prospects)


“Knowing what you want, what it requires and what you need are the road to success”

Prospects provides to pages to aid your research regarding jobs related to your prospective Masters and a catalogue of job profile (see below). The Qualification section will give you clear information on the essential requirements of any occupation of interest.

What can I do with my subject?

Job profiles

How do I apply?

Most Masters are applied directly through the providing university (occasionally, this will be through UCAS). However, Masters in Nursing, Teaching and Social Work will require a UCAS application.


Prospects conversion courses

UCAS post-graduate

We’re still here to help!

As always, the Careers and Employability is here to help, even in these difficult times. You can access us, via email, telephone or video call by emailing as well as My Careers Centre.