LinkedIn is a social network for professionals so you might think it’s for after university rather than for students but think again! It’s never too early to start building networks and LinkedIn can help you get ahead when it comes to gaining work experience, researching companies, staying up to date with sector news and connecting with others. So here are 3 reasons why I believe every student should be on LinkedIn
1. For building networks
LinkedIn allows you to connect with people within your current network and beyond. As a student it’s great to start building networks. You can start to connect with friends on your course, academics, careers advisors and alumni.
Hope have a Placement Year Group for current students searching for a placement year and an Alumni Group for anyone who studied at Hope where we share jobs and news and you can connect with your university network.
Is there any truth in the phrase ‘it’s not what you know, but who you know’? Your network and connections probably can’t get you that dream job but they might share the job advert or be able to put you in touch with a mentor or friend who might share a few hints and tips that help you stand out in the recruitment process.
2. For job hunting
LinkedIn is a great place to find jobs – from internships to placement years, graduate jobs and beyond. You can even sign up to job alerts and let LinkedIn do some of the searching for you.
3. For research and information
Once you’re set up on LinkedIn your connections might share news, events, innovation and research so it’s a great way to get started with exploring careers and staying up to date with industry trends. You can also follow companies and join groups.
For anyone looking to learn a new skill there’s also LinkedIn Learning a paid feature with a free trial available.
A cover letter is a document sent alongside your CV when applying for jobs. It acts as a personal introduction and helps to sell your application. A cover letter is necessary as it gives you the chance to explain to an employer why you’re the best candidate for the job. You do this by highlighting relevant skills and experience; therefore you should always write your cover letter with the position you’re applying for in mind.
How to create a Cover Letter?
Keep your cover letter brief, while making sure it emphasises your suitability for the job. It can be broken down into the following sections:
First paragraph – The opening statement should set out why you’re writing the letter. Begin by stating the position you’re applying for, where you saw it advertised and when you are available to start.
Second paragraph – Cover why you’re suitable for the job, what attracted you to this type of work, why you’re interested in working for the company and what you can offer the organisation.
Third paragraph – Highlight relevant experience and demonstrate how your skills match the specific requirements of the job description. Summarise any additional strengths and explain how these could benefit the company.
Last paragraph – Use the closing paragraph to round up your letter. Reiterate your interest in the role and indicate your desire for a personal interview. Now is the time to mention any unavailable dates. Finish by thanking the employer and say how you are looking forward to receiving a response.
How to address a Cover Letter?
Always try and address your cover letter directly to the person who will be reading it. Bear in mind that you’re more likely to receive a reply if you send it to the right person.
Advertised positions usually include a contact name, but if not, it is worth taking the time to find out who the letter should be addressed to. You can do this by searching the company’s website for details of the hiring manager or alternatively you could call the organisation to ask who you should address your letter to. Don’t be afraid to do this, many employers appreciate you taking the time and initiative to do so.
If you’re struggling to find a named contact you can use a general greeting such as:
Dear Hiring manager
Dear Human resources director.
However, general greetings should only be used once you have exhausted methods of finding a named contact.
How you sign off your cover letter depends on how you addressed it. If you include a named contact, sign off ‘yours sincerely’. If you use a general greeting, finish with ‘yours faithfully’.
5 tips for the perfect Cover Letter
Tailor to the organisation – You should rewrite your cover letter every time you apply for a position in order to target the company. Sending out a generic letter for all applications rarely yields positive results and recruiters can spot your lack of time and effort from a mile away.
Proofread – Never rely on a computer spellcheck program to pick up every mistake. Print off your cover letter and double-check for spelling and grammar errors before passing it to a family member or friend to look over. Also make sure that your own contact details and the company name are correct.
Format – Presentation is important so you’ll need to format your cover letter properly. Make sure the document is as uncluttered as possible, use the same font and size as you use in your CV and if you’re sending it through the post or handing it in use good quality plain white paper to print it on.
Identify your USPs – They’re your unique selling points. Be positive about what you have to offer and clearly outline how your skills and experience meet those requested in the job description. Demonstrate why you’re the perfect candidate.
Include examples – Back up the claims in your cover letter with real evidence or examples that show how and when you’ve used your skills and experience.
If you’re considering a career in education this blog post’s for you. Whether you’re thinking of applying for a PGCE, already undertaking initial teacher training or thinking about forging a career in Higher Education, Further Education or any other education-related role here are our top resources for exploring your options and finding our more about a career in education.
Study at Hope postgraduate taught degree courses includes PGCE and PGDE options
Education Alternatives information about education-related careers other than teaching in mainstream schools. It is a particularly useful resource for students and recent graduates drawn towards an educational role but not sure that mainstream teaching is for them or trainee and qualified teachers seeking to move to a different role in education.
We’re also running a series of events for Hope trainee teachers in January/February – keep an eye on communication from your academics for more details.
We’re still here to help!
As always, the Careers and Employability team is here to help. You can contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org as well as book an online appointment or access resources via My Careers Centre.
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 – email@example.com.
So, do not be shy. Drop us an email and see how we can help improve your career journey! (firstname.lastname@example.org.)
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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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/
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.