Career Enhancement at Home Series: Utilising online learning opportunities

There are many things which you can be doing while in isolation which can enhance your career opportunities.  One of those is to make the most out of online learning opportunities.

man using laptop on table against white background
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The Careers and Employability Team at Hope will be putting on several live and recorded online career development sessions during the University’s temporary closure. You can visit the events page of my careers centre to see what is on here:  https://mycareerscentre.page.link/events .

Events

Here are some external organisations offering many different free online learning opportunities:

You can learn British Sign Language:https://www.bslcourses.co.uk/

The Google Digital Garage: https://learndigital.withgoogle.com/digitalgarage

Future Learn https://www.futurelearn.com/

Idea https://idea.org.uk/

The OU of some free online courses: https://www.open.edu/openlearn/free-courses

If you find anymore MOOC’s or online courses which are not listed here, let careers@hope.ac.uk  know so we can update our list.

Remeber all learning can count towards the SALA 3 task – Skills development events!

 

Job hunting amid Covid-19

We’re living through unprecedented times, with so much changing and so many uncertainties due to the global Coronavirus pandemic. In this blog we’ll look at some of the ways you may have been affected and aim to offer hints, tips, advice and support.

Graduate Recruitment

If you’re in your final year you will have received notification of the university’s decision to delay graduation ceremonies until December.  Liverpool Hope University will still endeavour to publish degree results in the early Summer for anyone who has completed their studies so you will still ‘graduate’ in the summer but the graduation ceremony will be later in the year.

You should continue to look for and apply for jobs. We’re still posting opportunities on our online jobs board. If you have applications being processed, or have already received a job offer, you should contact recruiters for their latest update (just bearing in mind this is a period of uncertainty and it might take longer for recruiters to get back to you).

If we receive updates directly from recruiters/employers we will post these on our social media channels – if you’re not already following us now might be a good time to start (all links in the tabs to the right of this blog).

Placement Year Recruitment

As above, we would recommend that you continue to look for and apply for jobs. We’re still posting opportunities on our online jobs board. If you have applications being processed, or have already received a job offer, you should contact recruiters for their latest update (just bearing in mind this is a period of uncertainty and it might take longer for recruiters to get back to you).

Overseas Opportunities

We’re still receiving job adverts for overseas opportunities and will continue to post these on our jobs listings. Please check FCO travel advice before applying, booking and travelling. You should also take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.

Part-time Work

We know a lot of our students work part-time and if you work in the leisure, entertainment or service sector you have probably been affected by the closures announced to combat the spread of coronavirus. The government are making regular announcements on support packages so stay in touch with your employer. This BBC news posts details more on wages, sick pay and time off.

If you’re looking for work the retail sector is recruiting as supermarkets faced unprecedented demand for their online and in-store services. Some supermarkets are fast-tracking applications so be quick to reply to job adverts. You can find jobs via a range of search engines like Indeed, TotalJobs or even putting keywords like ‘supermarket job Liverpool’ into Google

Volunteering

If you’ve been inspired to get involved in your local community and help others don’t forget you can count any hours spent volunteering towards SALA. We’ve got a SALA task manager online at My Careers Centre and you can get in touch if you have any questions.

Our Services

We’re still working and our services can be accessed online via My Careers Centre here you can access online support and book a careers appointment.

You’ll also find all the university’s Coronavirus advice and support online here.

Good luck & stay safe

Making job ‘Connex-ions’. Gaining experience to support my studies and my future employability

The graduate job market is a competitive place. What can you be doing whilst at university to stand out, gain experience and ensure you’re one step ahead of your peers when it comes to securing your dream job? In this student blog we hear from Sophie Chada, BA Primary Education with QTS, who is adding to her CV by gaining paid teaching experience via Connex Education.

Connex Education

I started working for Connex Education in January 2020, after being recommended by a friend who had also been working part-time for the supply agency during her studies at Liverpool Hope University. The recommendation was easy and took a matter of minutes to fill in personal details and what area of supply teaching I would like to work in.

The team at Connex Education contacted me quickly after this to fully sign up and come for an interview at the office. The interview process was very relaxed and the team put me at ease as soon as I entered the office with their friendly and welcoming atmosphere. The interview was more like an opportunity for me to find out about the opportunities the company could offer and for Connex to get to know me a bit better and so it was explained that I would be able to start work as soon as my DBS cleared me for work.

As I am in my third year studying to become a primary teacher, I decided to undertake supply teaching assistant work for Connex as a way to gain further experience in the sector of special educational needs during my days off university.

As I work every Friday the team at Connex will contact me early in the week with informational about where I will be working and support me in planning my route to the school. This gives me time to prepare and get organised for work prior to the morning and so it is beneficial to keep the team up to date with my availability to work.

On each working day, I arrive at the school with my DBS and one form of identification at 8:30 am and I’m greeted by staff and shown to the class in which I will be working that day. The school procedure will vary from school to school. However, each time I have arrived I have been welcomed by friendly staff who have been keen to support my professional development as well as providing me with all the information I will need for my role that day.

If I am returning to a school I have already worked in with Connex it is not necessary to bring a DBS or form of identification as the school will have the information required from previous visits. The work throughout the day includes getting to know the children who I will be working with, carry out the normal functions of the staff member for whom I am covering and taking initiative and supporting the staff I am working alongside.

The working day finishes at 3:30 pm and supply workers are not expected to stay beyond this time although other school staff may remain in school to prepare for the next day.

This has been a fantastic opportunity for developing my professional ability to work as a team to support learners and has given me further classroom experience to develop my practice. I have been able to support myself financially through my third year of study at university whilst at the same time gaining valuable experience that will positively impact on my classroom practice.

This experience will be beneficial when it comes to seeking further job opportunities after I graduate as I now have a range of schools I have experience in and contacts. Furthermore, I’m confident that Connex will be able to support me in completing my NQT year and help further my career either as a teaching assistant or as a qualified teacher.

If you’re looking for work experience or a job Careers & Employability advertise part-time roles, internships, graduate jobs and more on MyCareersCentre

Our Fairs and Events are also a great way to meet employers and develop your employability.

Connex Education recruit Exam Invigilators, Teaching Assistants, Cover Supervisors and Supply Teachers – if you’re training to be a teacher, or interested in teaching as a profession contact Connex to see if you too can gain experience with them like Sophie.

British Science 2020 at Liverpool Hope

Its that time of year again when we get celebrate everything science, technology, engineering and maths…its British Science Week 2020!

BSW 2020

At Liverpool Hope British Science Week 2020 runs from 9th-11th of March and is a great opportunity to take part in events and activities throughout the week. During British Science Week our academics from the Faculty of Science will explore Sport, Nutrition, Computer Science, Mathematics, Geography & Environmental Science and Psychology. This is a great chance to get involved and to learn something new, meeting experts within Science.

Here is the low-down of the various happenings and some personal choice picks all taking place exclusively at Liverpool Hope next week.

Click here to view the full British Science Week 2020 Programme.

Click here to view the full British Science Week – Guest Speakers

 

Monday 9th is sport-led, consisting of assessing sports performance and the role of science in sport, finishing off with a presentation exploring science more broadly, providing critique on scientific truths and their value in challenging accepted ideas.

BSW gs1

Tuesday 10th provides a broad offering of science applications featuring hands-on bio-science experiments in our laboratory, nutrition and health, with guest speakers during the afternoon. Lastly, David Park will share his experiences of entrepreneurships and running hi-tech start-ups.

BSW GS2

On Wednesday 11th Hope’s Psychology, Computer Science and Mathematics host a range of presentations to capture the imagination, starting with an introduction to visual illusions, as well as human perception in virtual reality, cryptography and an introduction to robotics.

The afternoon will bring the curtain down on British Science Week with two presentations exploring research on High Altitude Platform Stations (HAPS) and, lastly, a presentation on the Psychology of stalking.

bsw gs3

If experimenting in British Science Week wets your appetite about your own career interests then the Careers and Employability Team can help explore your ideas and inspirations, how you brand yourself online, networking on LinkedIn, getting that old CV up-to-date or just talking through what your next step might be.

Making a careers appointment couldn’t be easier. Please follow the link: https://careersbulletin.page.link/CareerBookingSystem

Second Year Placement Blog

A great blog from Hannah via @hopeuniblogs putting learning into practice on placement as part of her Primary Education degree

Liverpool Hope University Blogs

Back in university this week since the first week of December… you might be wondering why? I’ve been on teaching practice for 8 weeks! I’m Hannah, a Primary Education student here at LHU, and I’m in my second year. In first year, we had a 6-week long placement, and this year was the same teaching wise, however we had an induction week and a Professional Focus week. I was in a lovely Year 6 class at a school in Childwall, which is only a twenty-minute drive away from I live.

The first week was induction week, which is where you spend a week familiarising yourself with the school and the class that you’ll be working with, and you don’t have to do any teaching but act as a teaching assistant instead. I wanted to start teaching as soon as possible so during my induction week I did some team teaching…

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Guest Blog : How to make the most of your summer

You may think summer is a long time away, but it will be here before you know it and now is the time to start thinking about how to get the most out of it. This guest blog by Daniel Higgingbotham at Prospects gives some great advice on how to spend your summer to benefit your future whilst still having some fun.

There are many ways to increase your employability during the summer months, with most of these proving enjoyable as well as being something you can add to your CV

While recharging your batteries with a well-earned rest from study is important, spending three whole months relaxing could put you at a disadvantage when it comes to the jobs market, leaving you wishing that you’d done more during your university years.

Here are some suggestions on how you can greatly improve the student experience – and your personal development – by making the most of your summer.

Learn new skills

Acquiring relevant skills will strengthen your job applications, while demonstrating motivation and enthusiasm for the industry you’re hoping to enter once you graduate. For example, if you’re interested in digital marketing, starting a blog or developing your understanding of web analytics, shows that you’re taking your career seriously.

When choosing to learn a new skill, take time to look at job profiles for the roles that interest you, says Kirsti Burton, careers content and operations manager at Queen Mary University of London. This allows you to identify what recruiters look for, so you can focus on gaining the particular skills that impress them when it comes to making applications.

‘You could take a short course, study online or teach yourself,’ she adds. ‘Whether you’d like to get to grips with a piece of software used in the sector you’re looking to get into or take an introduction to accountancy or business course if you’re studying an unrelated degree, take the initiative to get the know-how that recruiters require.’

Sue Moseley, senior careers consultant at King’s College London, agrees that by finding a short course – either face-to-face or online – over the summer, ‘it can really boost your confidence and help you to make connections with people who share some of your interests, whether directly work related or not’. She recommends that you could try looking at courses offered by providers such as EdX or Coursera.

‘Employers are impressed when you’ve taken the initiative to learn something. A senior manager at a pharmaceutical company described how a student had excelled in an assessment centre because of what they’d learned while training to be a football referee.’

It’s also true that even generic activities such as honing your academic writing style are guaranteed to boost your CV. Attending language school or teaching English as a foreign language are always hugely beneficial, as both develop your communication skills while helping to clarify your future options.

Get work experience

Instead of sitting around during the summer holidays, you could choose to make the most of your valuable time off by organising some work experience. Sue champions how internships and part-time jobs, especially those matching your career preferences, offer countless benefits. They allow you to demonstrate the abilities, skills and motivation that recruiters look for, while providing them with quantitative and qualitative evidence of your attributes.

Despite this, she still adds a note of caution in striving for perfection. ‘Don’t worry too much about getting the best internship ever with your ideal employer. While that’s wonderful if it happens, the reality is you can gain a lot from part-time or temporary roles.’

For instance, you could help to run a summer activity camp for kids in your area, tutor students or take on shift work in the leisure, sport and tourism or hospitality and events management industries.

The key thing, Sue explains, is to always be curious. Working behind a bar may feel a long way from your plan to get an internship in management consulting, but by spending a short amount of time with the regional manager, you could possibly enquire as to how they track the performance of each outlet or ask about their current challenges. If you show a genuine interest, this is often the start to many career and networking opportunities – see how to find a job.

Apply for work experience with small businesses by contacting them speculatively, while exclusive work experience opportunities can usually be found through your university’s careers and employability service.

If you’re looking for work during the holidays, find out more about getting a summer job.

Pursue your hobbies

It may come as a surprise to hear this but even when relaxing and enjoying a hobby you can still seek to enhance your employability.

Kate Daubney, head of careers and employability at King’s College London, explains how hobbies can often feel like a complement to work, or even an escape from it – but the very passion and enthusiasm you have for your interest reveals a commitment to learning about something in depth.

‘That’s one of the reasons employers like graduates – because they’ve learned about a subject during their degree, while a passionate interest in something also demonstrates learning agility, the ability to keep on learning, which is fundamental to coping with an uncertain employment climate and technological change.’

By pursuing your extra-curricular activities and interests, this shows dedication and motivation, as well as letting employers see who you are as a person. This is important to the recruitment process, as recruiters are always on the lookout for well-rounded individuals who will fit into their company culture rather than simply judging you according to the achievements listed on a CV.

It’s also possible to combine your interests and hobbies with job hunting, claims Kirsti. ‘Remember that genuine interest in the industry or activity is valued by employers, as it demonstrates existing understanding of the product, market and audience.’

Finally, another great CV booster is volunteering. Voluntary roles are available in fields such as teaching, sports, festivals and performing arts, while travelling and gap years also throw up countless opportunities for personal development.

If you have a strong interest in wildlife, for instance, you could consider volunteering with animals during the summer, which may even lead to full-time work with an animal charity.

This blog was originally posted on Prospects

Guest Blog : 4 Alternatives to Grad Schemes

Trying to work out what you want to do after graduation is a notoriously difficult task. But, contrary to what some might tell you, it doesn’t have to be a commitment to a lifelong career path. Knowing your options is a good place to start, says Sophie Phillipson, co-founder of graduate and student support site HelloGrads, because grad schemes aren’t the only choice.

CBI/Pearson’s 2019 Education and Skills survey found employers felt young people lacked ‘work-readiness’, with two in five reporting they were dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with wider character, behaviours, and attributes and a third disappointed with the level of relevant work experience young people had.

Many will try to bridge the gap between the ‘real world’ and university with a grad scheme. But demand for grad scheme places is incredibly high. According to Oleeo’s 2019 student recruitment survey, acceptance rates onto graduate schemes for finance, advertising and professional services average at 1%, with public sector and engineering only slightly higher than this (2.5%), and retail showing the largest success rates (7%).

What that means is many people pursue other paths after university. Here are four alternatives:

Work for an SME

If working for a megacorp doesn’t appeal to you, then maybe small companies with big opportunities are more your style.

According to research by FSB, SMEs – small and medium-sized enterprises – make up 99.9% of the business population and three-fifths of all employment in the UK’s private sector. These include micro-businesses with fewer than 10 people, fledgling startups, long-established businesses well known in their sectors, and fast-growth companies who’ve won investment and have aspirations of being the next ‘unicorn’. 

So, focusing your job search on big and prestigious businesses is a real missed opportunity. Not all SMEs will have formal training programmes but you can get a lot more responsibility early on and be coached by senior members of the business. That means you’ll learn a lot and likely far quicker than you would on a graduate scheme.

Not all roles in smaller businesses are well advertised. You might have to look on their social media feeds or websites or do some cold approaches by phone or email to find out what roles are available.

Go it alone

If you have a desirable skill, freelancing can become a career, or it can help you build experience and money.

Self-employment offers hard-to-match perks like the freedom to make your own decisions, the flexibility to work when and how you want, and the recognition for everything you create or achieve. But it can be a lonely lifestyle, with unreliable income. 

There are lots of freelancing sites you can upload your portfolio to and find work through, but it’s advisable to start your own freelancing projects alongside more stable work, and to budget very carefully. Some months will be leaner than others, and you’ll need to invest in things like  equipment, business insurance and software subscriptions. You’ll also need to build up funds to cover yourself for time off: there is no paid holiday or sick leave in self-employment. 

Further education

You’ve finally graduated, packed all your textbooks into boxes in your parents’ garage and set your eyes on the future. So, why not do it all over again?!

According to the latest official figures from the Department for Education, the median postgraduate salary in 2018 was £6,000 higher than that of graduates, and the proportion of postgraduates employed in high-skilled roles in 2018 (76.5%) exceeded that of graduates (65.4%). 

Some professions, like law, healthcare and architecture, require further studies. But further education doesn’t always mean going back to uni. It may take the shape of short courses to develop expertise, such as learning how to use a certain software or gaining qualifications like a PGCE for teaching or an NCTJ for journalism. 

But a warning: what this option should never be is a stalling tactic to keep you busy until you can decide what you want to do for work. Postgraduate courses often involve considerable costs and simply aren’t necessary for a lot of professions, so you need to be clear on how the qualification will help you achieve your goal long before you enrol. 

(Career) gap year

After decades in the education system, many want to take a break before jumping headfirst into the ‘real world’ and getting tied down to a location and a job. According to Bright’s What Graduates Want Survey in 2018, only 58% of students surveyed expected to start a graduate job straight after university.

A post-uni gap gear that combines some work and travelling or volunteering roles that offer food and board can be an amazing way to do some good, experience new things and make friends while you do it.

Taking some time out is a lot more than just an excuse to party. You can develop new skills, explore industries you may want to work in, learn a language or even find a fantastic contact in line of work you’ve never considered before.

Also, you’ll get tonnes of stories that you can bring up to all your friends to annoy them. Oh, that reminds me of this one time when I was backpacking through the Andes… 

This article was originally featured on GradJobs

How to…find a placement year

With the option of a taking a placement year as part of your course now available to the majority of level I students here’s our guide to finding and applying for a placement year.

Your Placement Year Search

It’s hard to know where to start with online searches and jobs boards so here are our recommended starting points if you’re looking for a placement year.

My Careers Centre is Hope’s online resource. Here you’ll find graduate jobs alongside student placements and internships. A quick search for ‘placement year’ in ‘Liverpool’ returned 286 results whilst just clicking the ‘placements’ list returned 664 opportunities.

Rate My Placement is a great resource specifically aimed at placement year students. You’ll find national and international opportunities alongside student reviews so you can get a real insight into what it’s really like working at the company you’re applying to. The majority of opportunities are with well known, blue chip companies so those willing to relocate for a job will have a higher chance of finding a role on here.

Talk to a Careers Adviser our team of qualified advisers can help you find opportunities suited to your course or career aims. With a wealth of experience we can help to identify companies that might be recruiting, expand (or narrow down) your options if you’re finding it hard to identify the right role for you and we’re here, free of charge, to help you every step of the way.

Target Jobs national opportunities from large graduate recruiters. Useful for those looking for a structured placement year with a well known company.

Your Applications

Apply!

It can be easy to talk yourself out of applying for a role…but the 1 guarantee I can give you is that you definitely won’t get the job if you don’t apply. If you’ve looked at the job description and thought ‘I could do that’ and looked at the company and thought ‘sounds like an interesting place to work’ why not apply for the job?

Do 

  • spend time on your application.
  • make sure you’ve answered each question fully.
  • demonstrate how you fit the person specification (give examples to evidence what you’re saying).
  • do your research and detail why you want to work for that particular company.
  • get your application checked before you submit it (via Careers Express).

Don’t 

  • rush an application.
  • copy and paste from previous applications (it’s tempting but unless the question’s exactly the same you might not be fully answering the question posed to you. Even worse, you could be referencing the wrong company in your application!)
  • be put off if you don’t meet every single one of the criteria on a list – see it as a wish list… if you’re matching most & think you could do the job, give it a try.
  • leave an application until the deadline. Some roles will close ahead of an advertised closing date if they get a high volume of applications (an early application shows you’re organised and keen).

Final calls and new arrivals for The Careers Express

 

people standing and walking on stairs in mall

Career opportunities during the winter months, for students, has always reminded me of being at a train station at rush hour: that mad dash to catch a departing train or staring at the board, struggling to find which platform you need to be on in 5 minutes time or looking for a connection to get you there quicker when all you really want to do is get home and put your feet up!

Some of the best opportunities for career progression are very much like that over the festive period too! I’m here to explain the various comings and goings that you should consider before you take a well-earned Christmas break.

 

Final call for: Teacher Training

If you are Level H and would like to become a Teacher, places for teacher training are filling fast. In most cases, applying for teacher training before Christmas is an absolute must!

The majority of teacher training routes are provided by UCAS. However, providers like, Teach First, require you to apply directly to them.

If you would like advice about the existing routes into teaching or the application process you can still talk to us.

https://www.ucas.com/postgraduate/teacher-training/ucas-teacher-training-apply-and-track

 

Arriving shortly: Apply 2

Any applicants who have had the misfortune of not securing a place on all three of their options for teacher training will soon be able to apply for remaining teacher training courses through UCAS – this is called Apply 2.

https://www.ucas.com/postgraduate/teacher-training/apply-ucas-teacher-training/ucas-teacher-training-apply-2

 

Departing shortly: Graduate Schemes

If you are Level H, a graduate scheme could be the ideal first step after university into employment. Graduate schemes tend to pay at least as well as a typical graduate’s first employment and during the recruitment process place less emphasis on work experience and more on their potential and strengths.

If this is something you wish to consider, acting now is essential, as the number of graduate schemes available for next year are becoming fewer and generally most will close in or around the festive period.

https://www.prospects.ac.uk/careers-advice/getting-a-job/graduate-schemes

 

Departing shortly: Year in Industry Placement

Any Level I student even considering going on the Year in Industry Placement should source a vacancy and apply as son as possible.

Year in Industry can be a great way to:

  1. Build up your work experience;
  2. Make a career change; or,
  3. Simply to get a taste of graduate-level employment.

As with graduate schemes, large numbers of placements will close over the festive period.

https://www.ratemyplacement.co.uk/

 

The next option to arrive is: Masters Applications

Students regularly ask us when they should apply for Masters. Unfortunately, there is no universal answer. However, a large number of Masters will be open to apply for as early as now (or earlier) and could remain open as late as August (depending on spaces available). On the other hand, courses such as, Social Work, Psychology (in some cases), Pre-Registration Conversion courses, inter alia, can have earlier deadlines and are often more competitive.

Commonly, Masters are applied for directly through the university provider. However, the most sensible next step is to check with the institution and attend an open day. See below on for information on courses and student finance.

https://www.findamasters.com/

https://www.gov.uk/funding-for-postgraduate-study

 

Arriving shortly is: Vacation Schemes and Internships

These are typically appropriate for Level C and I students although this shouldn’t deter Level H students enquiring. Vacation schemes can range from a taster day with a company right through to a few days, week or even a month in training/employment. They are a good way to familiarise yourself with work and for the company to test your suitability for a future position with them such as a graduate scheme or year in industry placement.

https://targetjobs.co.uk/search/all/group_facet/Vacancies#path=opportunitytype/first-year-programme-7867/opportunitytype/insights-programme-7861/opportunitytype/internship-7863

 

Still planning your journey?

This is a great time to visit the Careers and Employability Service if you are feeling undecided about what career direction or how to plan for your future. We can also give great advice on finding work experience and shadowing, writing a CV, cover letter, application form, interview or just for a chat!

 

The Service will be open until 3pm on Friday 20th of December and then re-open on 6th of January.

Contact us: 0151 291 3246   or    careers@hope.ac.uk

5 reasons why you should join a club or a society

Join a club or society and develop a range of skills that can boost your CV and help you stand out from the crowd.

Liverpool Hope University Blogs

University is often one of the best experiences in a person’s life. Not only do you have the chance to learn and progress in your chosen field, but you’ll also meet some amazing people and you’ll grow as a person. There’s so much more to university than just studying, so whether you’re a first or a third year, joining a club or society can really make your experience unforgettable. If we haven’t already convinced you here’s 5 reasons why you should join one…

1. The social life

A huge part of being a member of a club or society is the social element. You’ll have so many opportunities to bond with people who share common interests, and before you know it you’ll be life-long friends! From weekly meetings and fixtures to end of term tours, being a member will bring about countless social events.

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2. Follow a passion

Joining a…

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