Help! What are my strengths?

Ask someone what their strengths are and it’s likely they’ll give you a fair imitation of a rabbit caught in headlights. Although we know ourselves better than anyone, it’s not always easy to identify exactly what makes us special.  Employers will often ask you about your strengths at interview. To avoid responding with a glassy-eyed stare, you need to first get clear about what yours are, and then understand how best to articulate them.

So, what ARE my strengths?
A common interview question is, “how would a good friend describe you in three words?” Prepare for this by asking a friend ahead of time! (You can always return the favour). We ran an exercise a bit like this recently at the Careers Service. We all drew a representation of ourselves on a piece of A4 paper (it quickly emerged that most of us couldn’t list artistic talent amongst our finer qualities). Then we moved around adding words to the pictures. Where we agreed with a word someone had already written, we put a big tick against it.

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Who are the Faculty Employability Team?

Last week (12 June 2019) the Faculty Employability Team at the Careers Service won the ‘Enhancing the Student Learning Experience Award’ at the Bristol Teaching Awards. To celebrate this fantastic achievement we thought it was about time we introduced the team and explained a little more about what they do.

The Faculty Employability Team (Back row L to R: Peter, Ellen, Eilidh, Tim, Gareth. Front row L to R: Holly, Natalia, Hannah, and Jo.)

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10 ways to avoid being tricked by a job scam

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.

via GIPHY

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How I got my dream internship

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…)

How to be resilient while job hunting

Being at university can be exciting, fun and life-expanding – however for most people there are also a lot of challenges to be overcome and demands to balance.

These are some frequently heard concerns from students when starting their job or work experience search:

  • How can I make sure that I do well in my studies but also get extra-curricular experiences like volunteering, and work experience?
  • How do I get the confidence to even apply for opportunities that are so competitive? I don’t want to fail.
  • How can I deal positively with rejections from applications and interviews – so I learn from them and move on?

To move forward with any of the above, and to cope with other challenges in life that might come your way – we must develop resilience.

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Are You Set For Summer? Take our Careers Quiz

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!

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The PLUS showcases your efforts! Bristol Graduate Alex Yeates on how the award prepares you for interview

Alex secured a role with Selfridges as a Front End Developer after graduating in 2015 with a BSc Politics and the Bristol PLUS Award under his belt.

“The Bristol PLUS Award encouraged me to pursue hours of paid work which helped populate my CV and gave me experience of what to expect in an office. It also helped prepare me with examples that I could talk about in my interview, to help showcase various efforts I made in trying to gain employment.

 

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How social media can help or hurt you in your job search

LinkedIn is ideal for building a professional network and giving prospective employers a good view of who you are and is a popular medium for recruiting people. However, have you considered your other social media pages when it comes to job hunting?

Whether you’re looking for a part-time job, internship or a graduate role, social media can have a key part to play.

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