If you’re on Twitter, you might have seen this tweet blow up this week:
Using online recruitment agencies and websites is now the most common way that students and graduates find a job. While most jobs that you see advertised online are real, fraudsters make use of online advertisements to trick you into paying for something that doesn’t exist.
Scams come in many different forms, but the people who carry them out are always looking for new ways to make easy money. To detect a scam and avoid being tricked, here are 10 things to look out for:
1. Always do your research. Type ‘name of the company’ + ‘scam’ into Google and see what comes up. Are they registered with Companies House? For VAT? Are they on mycareer? Check student forums to see if anyone else is talking about them or has experienced problems.
Iona describes her experience of the SME Internship Schemes during her final year at the University of Bristol. If you’re inspired by her story, you can find out more about the schemes and how to get involved here.
Hi, I’m Iona. I graduated with a degree in Cellular and Molecular Medicine in July, and from March to June interned as an Assistant Editor at the leading events website in the city – 365bristol.com – through the Santander scheme. (more…)
Fourth year Economics student Pratik Popat writes for the Careers Service blog on his experiences of interviewing for Investment Banking firms and how learning from each application and networking ultimately helped him get his dream internship.
Since the start of my second year studying Economics, I have been applying for summer internships in the financial industry, specifically Investment Banking.
When I applied the first time, I felt very much out of my depth. Everyone I spoke to seemed to have much more of an idea of how to do interviews, and how to get to the interview stage in the first place. (more…)
1. Tailoring. This is not just for cover letters, every CV should be tailored to the job and organisation you’re applying for. Do this by reading through the job description and person specification and matching everything you say to what they want. Don’t have a job description? You can find an example on prospects.ac.uk.
2. Length. Your CV should be 1 or 2 full pages. No half pages: fill each page. Finance and management consultancy usually expect 1 page, however, this depends on the company so worth checking directly with them.
A personal statement is your chance to make a great first impression when applying for a postgraduate course. It provides a space for you to convince the admissions tutor(s) that you have the motivation, relevant knowledge and academic capability to successfully complete the course, and reflect well on the institution.
When writing your statement, always check whether the admissions team has written instructions on what to include and how much to write – and if they have then make sure you follow them! Often, however, you will be largely left to fill in the blank space yourself – and in that case we recommend you write about 500 words, which equates to approximately 1 A4 page.
June 4th sees the launch of Before You Go Week, an intensive week of events, talks and individual appointments to help you make the most of the summer months – whether you are graduating, or coming back to the University in September.
We’d love to support as many of you as possible. Take our quiz to find out if you could benefit from coming in to see us before you go!
If all products were the same, how would we choose between them?
A unique selling point – USP – is the attribute that makes a product different from and more attractive than its competitors.
Just as big brands need to hook buyers in with their USPs, job applicants need to find ways to catch the eye of recruiters. So, when applying for jobs, this means showing employers what makes you different, ensuring you stand out from the crowd.
The terms employers use to talk about their organisation and/or their recruitment process can be confusing. Get prepared for the autumn term employer events and your job applications with our jargon-buster.
Magic circle – Nothing to do with Harry Potter. This is the term sometimes used to describe the top 5 law firms in the UK: Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Linklaters and Slaughter & May.
Silver circle – Similar to the above, a group of top law firms that do not quite rank alongside the magic circle: Herbert Smith Freehills, Ashurst, Berwin Leighton Paisner, Macfarlanes and Travers Smith.
The big 4 – These are the 4 largest professional services networks in the world: Deloitte, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ernst & Young and KPMG. They offer audit, assurance, taxation, management consulting, advisory, actuarial, corporate finance and legal services.
SMEs – Small or medium-sized enterprises. In the European Union, these are defined as organisations that employ fewer than 250 employees and have an annual turnover of no more than 50 million euros.
Vacation scheme – This is not a holiday! A period of work experience with a law firm, usually running for 1 or 2 weeks.
Internship – These are often paid placements offered by firms who regularly recruit graduates. Most often in the summer, but there are also part-time, term-time and vacation opportunities.
Job Descriptions and Applications
Hidden jobs market – This is a term often used to describe jobs that aren’t advertised. You can tap into this by networking, making use of contacts and writing speculative applications.
Entry level job – A role that requires little prior experience in the field or profession.
Referees – These are the contacts (usually two) you put on CVs or application forms who can be contacted by an employer to verify the information you have provided or to give insight into your personality. The referee should know you well enough to be able to write positively about you.
Transferrable skills – Also known as ‘soft skills’ or ‘portable skills’, these are skills used in one job or career that can also be used in another, rather than relying on direct experience of the industry. For example, leadership, organisation and communication skills.
DOE – Think it’s a female deer? Think again! Abbreviation for ‘dependent on experience’. An employer will offer a salary within a given range but is willing to pay more for a candidate with more experience.
OTE – Abbreviation for on-target earnings. This is an estimate of actual earnings where pay is made up of both base salary and a variable bonus/commission. Particularly found in job descriptions for sales roles.
Graduate scheme – A structured programme for recent graduates that includes work and training. It can last up to 3 years, though some are much shorter. Completing the scheme successfully often secures a professional qualification as well as a permanent role in the organisation.
Psychometric test – Any activity and assessment that is conducted in order to evaluate candidate performance, including intelligence, skills and personality.
Assessment centre – Usually a day or half day at an employer’s office or training venue involving a combination of tasks and activities to find the right candidates. Involves working in groups and includes a variety of exercises such as role play, in-tray exercises and presentations.
Competency-based interview – This is an interview where situational or behavioural questions are asked. They aim to find out how you have used specific skills in your previous experience and how you approach problems, tasks and challenges.
Strengths-based interview – Type of interview style becoming increasingly popular amongst graduate recruiters. It aims to find out what you enjoy doing and hence what engages you the most.
Landing your dream job can feel like the stuff of fantasy, but it doesn’t have to if you take the right approach.
As an ex-lawyer turned career coach with experience in property, PR, teaching and copywriting, I know all too well how important finding the right job is and the frustrations of being in a role which doesn’t quite fit.
I also know how much you’ve invested in your studies, the time you spend thinking about your career and that fulfilment can hinge on more than a pay cheque.
So here are my top tips for securing a job which ticks all the boxes:
- Know Your Values
Knowing who you are and what you want is essential to positive change. Before considering what kind of company or organization you’d like to work for, ask yourself what gives your life purpose and meaning, in and outside work. Your values might range from money, work-life balance and family to meeting new people, travel or having fun.
If you’re unsure what drives you, ask yourself what you couldn’t do without in a dream day, what you’re doing when you’re happiest or what you’d love to be paid for. If you’re still struggling, ask yourself what you really dislike and turn this on its head. For example, if it’s working long hours with little time to socialize, it may be that work-life balance is top of your list.
Once you know what drives you, focus on organizations which meet these needs and maximize your chances of fulfilment.
- Harness Your Strengths In Your Search
If you’ve got into the University of Bristol, chances are you’ve got strong analytical and critical thinking skills – the perfect combination for identifying your dream job! The most fulfilled people are resourceful in harnessing their strengths, helping them narrow down their ideal workplace, prepare for interview and seal the deal.
If you’re struggling to find the time or perspective to research what kind of organization appeals, reach out to one of our career advisors. They’ll help you move from where you are now to where you want to be. Our applications advisor will also have top tips for how to craft a winning CV, covering letter or application form.
- Prepare For Interview
Whether you’re a rising star or a Mensa child, intellectual skill and charm are no substitute for interview preparation. The most common pitfalls are being unable to communicate what an organization does, why this appeals and how your experience and skillset set you apart.
Avoid this by thoroughly reading the organization’s website, articles published by key stakeholders and talking to any contacts you may have. Then identify questions you could be asked and practise your answers with a trusted friend or one of our careers advisors. Ensure you tailor your answers to the skills and experience required in the job and person specification. And if you’re asked a competency based question (tell me a time when…), structure your answer around the STAR acronym – check out this handy video for tips.
Finally, be sure to show-off commercial awareness by reading up on market and organizational developments.
- Trust Your Instincts
You can read all you want around the firm but there’s no substitute for face to face gut feeling. If you have a good gut feeling, trust it. If not, ask yourself which of your core values aren’t being met and if this is a deal-breaker. Good luck!