In today’s post we bust five common myths around careers.
“The Careers Service is no use to me until my final year”
There are lots of reasons to use the Careers and Employment Service before your final year. Some of the things we can help you with include:
- Finding a part-time job
- Drawing up a strong CV, or a LinkedIn profile
- Finding summer work experience
- Meeting employers at one of our Careers Fairs
In fact this year so far, 60% of all appointments at the service have been made by students who are not in their final year.
“I can’t use the Careers Service until I know what I want to do”
We see lots of students who don’t know what they want to do – you are not alone! You can make a careers guidance appointment with a Careers Adviser, who will talk through with you what your ideas are, what your options might be, what you feel your strengths are, and what you would like out of a career. You might be surprised at how helpful it can be to talk these things through with someone who is impartial. Our aim is that you leave with a clearer idea of what your next steps might be.
“I’ve got my CV sorted. I’m going to send it out to as many vacancies as possible, the more I apply for the better chance I’ve got”
Employers tell us this is a big mistake – they want your application to be tailored to them and their vacancy. So think quality rather than quantity. It is FAR better to make fewer applications, but to make sure your application is tailored to the job. Make sure you have picked out what the employer is looking for, use their keywords and give evidence to demonstrate your skills. Research the company and the role, and show that you have done this. Have a look at our Careers Central pages on Applications and CVs then make an appointment with an adviser if you aren’t sure how to tailor an application.
“I am rubbish at interviews, there isn’t anything I can do to change that”
Everyone can improve their interview technique. It’s a matter of:
- Preparing – really read the person specification and job description, which will be full of clues to what you will be asked at interview. Make sure you can talk about yourself in relation to the skills, attributes and experience they are looking for – what evidence can you give to show you have them? Really think about the role – why are you applying?
- Practising – in front of a mirror. With a friend. Use our interview simulator package. Or book a Practice Interview at the Careers and Employment Service – we will tailor the interview to your needs, and give you detailed, confidence-building feedback.
“There’s no point thinking about my career in my first year, it’s too early to do anything”
Many first year students don’t know what they want to do, and that is very normal. However, there are steps that you can be taking that will really benefit you in the long run, and these can be summed up as “DO SOMETHING”! Such as:
- Get a part-time job
- Do some volunteering
- Try to get some work-experience/work-shadowing in an area you are interested in
- Join a club or society
- Become a student rep
- Learn a language or new skill
- Start a blog
WHY? Getting involved in some of these things will help you develop new skills, give you new experiences, meet new people, find things out about yourself, and develop your confidence. We know that employers really value the skills and experiences you can gain from activities outside of your degree.