How to stay positive with your job hunt in the New Year

beautiful-day-1374434_640-1December has been and gone and the cold, hard reality of January is now upon us all. It is rarely an easy time of year, but throw in the added pressures of a graduate job hunt and it can be particularly hard to get motivated, to stay motivated and to remain positive.

Of course, everyone’s situation is going to be a little different – some of you be dealing with the results of pre-Christmas applications that you made, others may be starting to think seriously about applying for jobs for the first time – but your optimism may well be challenged. What, therefore, can you be doing to ensure that you remain upbeat through the months ahead?

Formulate a plan (and stick to it!)
Before anything else, take the time to work out the steps you need to take and plan them. Goals are much easier to achieve if you have a methodical way of working towards them and ticking items off the plan will help you feel that you are making progress. A Careers Consultant can help you identify your next steps and put together a plan if you are unsure how to get started.

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Guest blog: How to find work abroad

Businessman holding Earth globe - Globalization concept

In difficult economic times such as these, UK graduates could find themselves struggling to find a job. Consequently, working abroad might seem like a more attractive and viable option.

But before you get applying, there are a few things you might want to consider.

Choosing a country

From a casual browse of the internet, you will find that there is no shortage of opportunities for employment abroad.  Therefore, the onus will be on you to try and narrow down the results to find the jobs that best suit your preferences.

Are you looking for a long-term position that would see you living in another country permanently, or at least for an extended period? Maybe you might want something a little more casual, something that could be incorporated into your travel plans? If this is the case, it might be worth focusing on the region you most want to visit.

Whatever you decide, be sure to always check the visa requirements before you travel. While some countries are relatively relaxed on employing tourists, others are not quite so forthcoming. In such instances, applying for a visa can be a tricky process, without any definite guarantees.

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Guest blog: Fine tune your job search process with these active job search techniques

keyboard-417090_960_720 (1)The fire and enthusiasm you have at the beginning of a job search process can soon fizzle out, especially if every application you send fails to elicit the desired response.

Often it is a failure to understand what recruiters and hiring managers are looking for and how they go about sourcing suitable candidates that causes job seekers to submit a poorly-put-together application or fail to find available opportunities.

In order to find the best talent available, recruiters use a myriad of recruitment tools that help source the most suitable candidates for a successful hire. Knowing what these are and how to use them for maximum benefit allows you to position yourself as a desirable prospective employee.

There is more you can do today as a job seeker than just scour job sites for available opportunities and send off copies of your CV to the relevant hiring manager. The introduction of newer job search techniques into the industry, both on and off screen, proves to be much more effective in speaking for your capabilities and worth.

Types of recruitment tools used by recruiters

The recruitment industry is as dynamic as it is competitive. Hiring managers have one end goal – to hire the best talent available for their companies. To achieve this end, they make use of multiple recruitment tools:

  • Job boards and job portals
  • LinkedIn and other social networking sites
  • Newspaper advertisements
  • Employee referrals
  • Job fairs

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Using LinkedIn to develop your network – 4 templates to get you started

linkedin-911794_960_720LinkedIn is an amazing resource. It gives you access to the career history of millions of people around the world, many of whom have similar backgrounds or interests to you. It also makes real the possibility of actually communicating with these people to find out more about what they do now and their career journeys.

All that said, it can be scary and potentially awkward introducing yourself to people you don’t know online.

To help you get started here are 4 easy templates which you can adapt to reach out to people on LinkedIn or via email.

The key principles here are:

  1. Be clear what you’re asking
  2. Get straight to the point

People don’t owe you anything and people are busy but if you can be specific and gracious in your approach there are a lot of people who are happy to oblige (it’s a nice feeling to get asked for your expert opinion).

  1. Contacting Queen Mary alumni

Finding people on LinkedIn who studied the same thing as you (or were in the same clubs/societies as you) is a great basis upon which to strike up a conversation with someone. You automatically have something very concrete in common. So use that to your advantage as shown in this template:

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10 myths about graduate schemes

1.Graduate schemes are the most common form of graduate employment.

False – It’s been suggested that around 10% of graduate employment is in graduate schemes. Most are employed in graduate jobs in companies that do not offer graduate schemes.

2. Graduate schemes are a kind of training, rather than a job.

False – although a lot of graduate schemes have some training courses or induction processes, they are jobs – you will have responsibilities and tasks to do in return for the salary you earn, and will be expected to contribute to the company from day one.

3. Getting into a graduate scheme is easy because they take a lot of applicants in one go.

False – although most graduate schemes do take more than one applicant in each recruitment round, the high number of applicants for graduate schemes means that the selection process is very tough. Companies may regularly have over 1000 applicants for their graduate schemes, and will usually select the best through a lengthy recruitment process which may include online reasoning tests, application forms, video interviews and assessment centres.

4. Once you are on a graduate scheme, you are on a career path for life and don’t need to make any more major career decisions.

False – a lot of graduates who start with a company on their graduate scheme will choose to move to another company and/or change jobs within five years of starting their job. Even if you stay within the same company, you will continuously need to make career decisions as to what departments you work in, how much responsibility to take on, and whether you want to apply for promotions.

5. Graduate schemes are only for the private sector.

False – public, not-for-profit organisations such as the NHS, Metropolitan Police or Teach First also offer graduate schemes.

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How and why to get work experience

So why is work experience so important?

  • It means you can earn money during your studies
  • You’ll gain skills valued by future employers (e.g. commercial awareness, initiative, team work)
  • You can build relevant experience for your future career
  • You’ll find out what an industry / job role is like in reality
  • It helps to build your network / contacts

What can I do?

It can be challenging to find part-time work that is linked to your degree or the sector you would like to work in after graduation. Many students combine their part time job with some volunteering and work experience (e.g. internships and work shadowing) to earn money as well as gain valuable relevant work experience.

For a wide range of part-time, internship and work experience vacancies visit careers.qmul.ac.uk/jobs

Roles on campus and in the local area

There are many part-time opportunities on campus, from Student Ambassadors and Library Shelvers, to residential, café, and bar staff. See the work experience hub to explore the variety of ways (paid and voluntary) you can develop your experience on campus. For jobs within the Student’s Union see: www.qmsu.org/jobs/

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International Job Search Guides

Careers & Enterprise have produced five country-specific job search guides for international students from China, Malaysia, India, Pakistan and Russia. You will be able to find all the important aspects of job hunting in these countries, including how to market your QMUL degree to overseas employers, how to start your job search and what to include in your applications.

You can also find more information for international students on the Careers & Enterprise QMPlus page.