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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Advice to international students looking to work in the UK after graduation

This is a tough time of year for international graduates. Many have enjoyed their time living and studying in the UK, making new friends and connections as well as achieving the necessary academic results to earn their degrees. The next step is often to explore how to extend this academic experience by applying for jobs.

The UK job market is difficult enough for recent Masters graduates to find employment, but with a four-month time limit before student visas expire in the January after graduating this can seem like an impossible task for international students.

Here are some suggestions to help prepare for this challenge:

  1. What visa do I need to apply for?

Any international student who wants to work in the UK after completing their studies will need to apply for a Tier 2 visa that is supported by a registered UK employer sponsor.

The QMUL Advice & Counselling website contains lots of information on the options for international students who want to remain in the UK to work after their studies, or who want to return to the UK in future for work. Make sure you are aware of the latest salary requirements and conditions of the Tier 2 visa. For further information, Advice & Counselling are based in Geography Square on the Mile End campus.

For graduates with a genuine and credible business idea, see our website for information on the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa.

  1. How can I find a job in a company that offers tier 2 visas?

You can check if an employer is on the Home Office list of registered UK employer sponsors:

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Our QMentoring Success Story – The End of the Road


Sandeep Saib, QMentor (pictured right)

During the six month mentoring process, both my mentee, Iqra Bari, and I have had a fantastic journey, which has indeed gone by so quick! I would only love to have more meet-ups and continue this relationship for years to come, come rain or shine!

Overall, my main motive for undertaking and participating in my University’s mentoring scheme is to give something back and teach the QMUL students that there is definitely more to life than just education, it is you and your life. However, to really know yourself and understand your needs and requirements, mentoring provides that necessary reflective time and space to work on yourself as much as possible, to be listened to and respected, and for that to be reciprocated.

It was also great going back to my educational roots, reminiscing of the good times at QMUL, and lovely hearing and learning from current students. Therefore, it was key for me to listen to Iqra and the meeting was really all about her needs, goals and aspirations in life, and how I can do anything in my power to help and support her and be there for her.

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Student story: Networking success

AnisaHi, I’m Ani!

I have been a student at Queen Mary for five years and officially almost ready to leave with two degrees this August. I look forward to completing my MA in English studies: English Literature degree and looking especially forward to my first ever winter graduation!

I have always been interested in working in education ever since I knew that academia was for me. The pursuit of research and education as well as having conversations about the future of education is something I have always been passionate about. Hence my decision to experience first-hand tutoring professionally. The QMUL Careers & Enterprise Centre have helped me find the right job whilst studying my postgraduate degree to gain some experience in teaching part-time. I was working as a paid English Tutor and tutoring English Literature to post 16 year olds. I was really pleased to hear how much students enjoyed my sessions and personally found the experience to be so rewarding.

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How to make your LinkedIn profile stand out


While waiting in an airport over Christmas I got chatting to a man who was relocating to Australia for a new job. He now works for a large Australian software development company who, he told me, only recruit through LinkedIn. They never advertise roles, instead finding suitable candidates by searching for key skills on their LinkedIn profile.

Having a LinkedIn account can be a great way to build up contacts while at QMUL, and find work experience opportunities alongside your studies and the example above shows just how important it is to get your profile right! Take a look at our top tips below to increase your chances of your LinkedIn profile being seen by a potential employer:

  • Make sure you upload a professional picture of yourself – this is definitely not the place for a Facebook-style selfie! Your photo will be the first thing a recruiter will notice, so a professional headshot is recommended – see this LinkedIn article for detailed tips on getting the perfect profile pic.
  • Include a headline – this sits beneath your name at the top of your profile, and will be visible in search results, so make it count! This headline section should reflect your current situation – e.g. your career goal, current work status, preferred industry or current job title.
  • Keep your profile up to date – update LinkedIn regularly with any new skills you develop (new software, language skills, blogging etc) and anything relevant from your degree such as achievements, grades and involvement in societies.
  • Don’t forget the volunteering section – LinkedIn has a specific area for including any voluntary work you have been involved in – this could be charity work, or helping at a local sports club for example. It’s all great experience which employers will be keen to see.

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Graduate story: From lecture theatres to that dream job …

Tips and tricks to make yourself more employable

Emma Biliri, LLM Graduate

emma-biliriAsk yourself this; would you employ you? If the answer is yes, no need to read any further (but don’t say we didn’t warn you!). For me, the answer was a no – I had the grades, I was passionate, but who isn’t in our generation?

It has been 3 years since I graduated with an LLB degree from QMUL and 2 years since completing my LLM.  I have since worked in numerous firms as a contractor and for the past year I am an Assistant Vice President of Information Security at Barclays.

What my journey from starting at QMUL to where I am now has taught me is that you are not the only one competing for that dream job – there are hundreds out there! Getting it, however, is not as hard as you think … 

Network, Network, Network

You are probably already tired of receiving emails inviting you to different networking, panel or career events. Do not ignore them; invest in a nice suit, polish your shoes, do some research and go to as many as you can. Listening to what people of the field have to say is priceless. It gives you a perspective of the ever changing corporate world, and gives you the rare chance to shake hands with the people who could one day be reviewing your CV. Talk to them, ask them questions and tips. Don’t worry about looking over zealous – they were in the same position. When you graduate, having the card or the LinkedIn connection of the firm’s associate you met at one of these events could take your application a long way.

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