Death of the CV?

London Technology Week took place a few months ago and I went along to some of the events to take the temperature of the recruitment market for graduates interested in the digital sector.

First up to talk on recruitment trends was John Ridpath, Head of Product at Decoded. John’s talk was particularly interesting as it highlighted the changing nature of recruitment into technology roles – particularly amongst Technology Start Ups and Small to Medium Enterprises – but also made me think about wider implications for the CV.

One of the key challenges I hear about from employers is how to get to the bottom of the technical skills of potential recruits. While a CV is still required for most roles there is an obvious need for graduates with digital skills to demonstrate their aptitude in different ways. Similar to how we know graduates who want to be journalists have to develop a portfolio of their writing, students who want to be developers or data scientists need to show how they work, and also how they communicate.

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A great example highlighted was a coder called ‘MrDoob’ who created the online portfolio Threejs and uses his Github extensively. This showcase of work and working out is a great way for a Chief Technical Officer, who is looking to hire seeing, what you are made of. In addition getting involved in communities like Stack Overflow is another good way to showcase, not only your technical skills, but also your communication skills. This article from Wired Magazine about the ‘Reputation Economy’ puts it a lot better than I can:

Shortly after the site launched, Atwood and Spolsky heard that programmers were putting their Stack Overflow reputation scores on their CVs, and headhunters were searching the platform for developers with specific skills. “A CV tells you what schools they went to, what companies they worked for and how well they did on a standardised test when they were teenagers,” Spolsky explains. “But if you read the writings of someone on Stack Overflow, you immediately know if they are a skilled programmer or not.”

So maybe I am being a bit ‘click bait’ with the “Death of the CV” headline, perhaps instead we are seeing a new type of CV that exists beyond two sheets of A4.

If you want some guidance about how to demonstrate your technical skills visit one of our Careers Consultants, and keep an eye out in October for our Focus on Technology programme of events which will cover this in more detail www.careers.qmul.ac.uk/events. Don’t forget you can also easily create an online portfolio with the Groups and Portfolios functionality on QMPlus which you can keep private until you are ready to share with employers or online.

James Weaver

Employer Engagement Manager

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Women in Science, Tech, Engineering and Maths

Take a look at this recent article in the Guardian about women working in Stem and the effects of Tim Hunt’s recent comments. I like the nice, positive aspect to it.

“…anyone considering a career in technology or science should be encouraged by the uproar that followed Tim Hunt’s comments that made one thing clear – stereotyping will not be tolerated in Stem any longer.”

Focus on Technology

 

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Starting on 3 November we have a range of events aimed at students looking to find out more about careers in technology and we’re also running practical workshops where you can find out key tips to help you get recruited.

1pm on 3 November – LinkedIn Lab – Led by Dr Maya Mendiratta, Careers Consultant to the School of Electronic Engineering & Computer Science.

LinkedIn is a powerful tool used by employers and recruiters to find good candidates for roles they have to fill. With content similar to a CV, it is a great way for you to have your skills and experience online to support your job hunting. You can also use it to network with former Queen Mary students, professional interest groups and employers.

In this workshop you will learn how to build or improve your LinkedIn profile and use it to find work experience or graduate jobs.

1pm on 4 November – IT Interviews and Presentations – Led by IBM

Technical interviews often involve challenging questions, and giving a presentation.

This session led by an IBM Consultant will go through the interview process and give you the chance to find out what makes a good presentation. At the end of this session attendees should have a clear idea of how best to prepare and deliver an interview and presentation under pressure.

5pm on 4 November – Careers in Technology Panel

This panel discussion featuring Clear Books, Google, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley and NET Builder will look at the vast range of roles available in technology focused organisations.

At the end of this session attendees will have a feel for what roles are available in organisations ranging from a start up to a multinational corporation.

2pm on 5 November – Women in Technology Panel

This panel discussion featuring Accenture, Buddybounce, CGI, Deloitte, EBay and Microsoft will look at misconceptions facing women in technology focused roles.

The panel will discuss their careers and also look at how the cultures of a range of organisations have changed.

2pm on 6 November – How to demonstrate technical skills in a job application – Led by RecWorks

Demonstrating your technical skills in a job application can be difficult. This session led by RecWorks will look at how you can maximise your experiences in a job application.

At the end of this session attendees should have an understanding of how best to write a job application.

6pm on 6 November – Start Up Stand Up – Technology Special!

Ever wondered what it was really like to work in a start-up, or how a tech entrepreneur came up with their initial idea?

If so, come along to this informal event run by Careers & Enterprise to hear local entrepreneurs speak open-mic style about how they set up their tech ventures.

Speakers include Simon Fox, CEO of Playlab, Parisia Louie, founder of Watchfit, and Uche Aniagwu and James Quigley, co-founders of Lychee.

Register for all these events via www.careers.qmul.ac.uk/events

Diversity in STEM Careers

There has been a wave of concern recently regarding the way in which women and girls are highly under-represented in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) careers. The lack of women within this sector has been the basis of contentious argument and many initiatives have been set up on the back of this. Nevertheless, it is also important that we continue to look at the bigger picture and remember that the lack of diversity within STEM careers exceeds further than a gender issue, since disabled people, ethnic minorities and socially disadvantaged groups are also marginalised in this industry – more significantly within the most senior roles within the sector.

A report conducted by the Campaign for Science and Engineering (CaSE) highlights some very insightful facts and figures in regards to the lack of diversity within STEM for example:

  • Only 8% of British engineers are women and only 13% of all STEM jobs are occupied by women
  • For STEM subjects, 94% of UK national physics, chemistry and mathematics academics are white
  • Physical and mathematical sciences degree courses show significantly low levels of socioeconomic diversity which has decreased since 2004.

Why is diversity in STEM important?

Other than the grounds of fairness and equal opportunity, there are many other reasons why diversity within STEM on a wider scale, is worth pursuing. For one thing, it is important that as a society, we develop and make use of the talents which can be found in different sections of our societies. This is especially if we are to continue to encourage the sciences to grow and excel on a global scale. In addition, the potential benefits to businesses cannot be undermined as a lack of diversity essentially can mean a loss of talent. With diversity comes a mix of ideas, skills and approaches and therefore it is important to have diversity if we would like to continue to have creative, innovative and effective working environments within STEM.

There is a long way to go before ensuring a fully diverse STEM sector but there are indeed steps that can be taken in the hopes of reaching this goal much sooner. In a climate where science and technology is used to improve lives and develop the economy, it is essential that barriers are broken down enabling the most capable candidates to shine.

The good news is that this issue is gaining increasingly more coverage in the media and in the popular conscience, hopefully making it more and more possible for barriers to be broken down. If you have a love for STEM subjects, don’t let your gender, race, religion, social background or physical capability stop you from pursuing a career in this sector. And remember, if you need advice on any issues you face with employment, you can always talk to one of our Careers Consultants.

The Future of Science and Technology

Science and technology is constantly developing, moving towards a world that would never have been taken seriously a few decades ago. With the rapid evolution of science and unprecedented technological changes, there also comes a wealth of new careers – great news all around!

A report by Fast Future looks into some of the careers that we could potentially be looking at in the next thirty years. Here are five of my favourites:

  1. Body part maker – those involved in the creation of high performing body parts given the advances in bio-tissues, robotics and plastics. It is envisioned for this role to consist of working with computer aided design, DNA modelling and biomechanical simulations.
  2. New science ethicist – with all these exciting innovations, we are going to need professionals to keep us in line and ensure that things are kept in control. New science ethicists will help society to make consistent choices about what developments to allow and what not to allow, from an ethical perspective. Much of what they do will involve study of the underlying disciplines and the arguments for and against developments in the relevant fields of science and technology.
  3. Pharmer – ever fancied yourself using your science degree to become a farmer? How about a pharmer? This is the new generation of farmers who will raise crops and livestock that have been genetically engineered to improve food yields and grow therapeutic proteins, pharmaceuticals and chemicals.
  4. Memory augmentation Surgeon – an innovative response to sensory shutdown and an overload of information in the course of one’s life. This new category of surgeons will have the capacity to add extra memory to people who want to increase their memory capacity.
  5. Avatar manager – using your skills in technology and programming to design and create holograms of virtual people.

Clearly, with all these advances being made it’s an exciting time for science and technology and although many of these developments are merely predictions, the prospect and potential for careers in science and technology are fascinating. Keep your eyes on the lookout for more of these exciting careers, one of them could be your dream job!

Novlet Levy

Information Assistant, Careers & Enterprise

Science is more fashionable than you think!

There is a popular misconception held about studying science and what potential careers you can go in to. Conducting experiments, clinical research, healthcare, and pharmaceuticals are all well-known areas that a degree in science can lead to. But there is more to science than this…fashion! Have you ever thought about the major role that science plays in the evolution of the fashion industry?  There is a place for science almost everywhere in the economy with scientists being able to use their skills to support industries in keeping up with science and technology; this includes within fashion!

 

 

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Science and fashion

Science and fashion come together when scientists work with fashion designers in a variety of different ways. Here are a few examples of the new and exciting ways in which science and fashion are coming together to make fascinating advances in fashion (some of this research being at very early stages):

 

  • The creation of eco-friendly clothing and textiles. More and more fashion houses are now taking an eco-friendly approach to design, using recycled materials and fabrics that have been grown organically.

 

  • Chemists and designers working together to create ‘catalytic clothing’ clothing that breaks down air pollutants into harmless chemicals.

 

 

  • Creating medicinal clothes that contribute to boosting health. This consists of inserting certain materials into clothes where thermal infrared is reflected and reabsorbed back into the body, creating more heat retention and penetration into joints. This can sooth sore muscles and limbs and could be very useful in sports gear.

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  • In recent years, Nano-science has inspired scientists and designers to create dresses that can charge iPhone’s and clothes that repel stains and fight off allergies.

 

  • There are scientists who carry out the quality testing of dyes and pigments in clothing to ensure that they are able to go on the shelves of stores. Testing the quality of dyes and pigments is a crucial element of the manufacturing of clothing and industrial sites have laboratories and scientists dedicated to ensuring that the quality and precision of a colour has been attained.

 

Be encouraged to think more creatively about what you can do with your science degree! Book an appointment with one of our Careers Consultant to discuss further possibilities.

Novlet Levy

Careers Information Assistant, Careers & Enterprise Centre

What I did with my Computer Science degree

‘My name is Ruby Javid, and I graduated from Computer Science at Queen Mary in 2012.

Last year I joined RecWorks as a Research Assistant, because although I studied Computer Science I didn’t want to be a software developer, yet still wanted to work in Tech/IT. The reason I didn’t want to be a software developer was because I was personally more interested in the designing of software, along with understanding/translating requirements and Human Computer Interaction. Writing code at Uni was fun but never my forte, as it required lots of patience combined with lots of Redbull and coffee! Having said, that it was always a proud moment for me when a piece of code written by me would compile and run without error.

After graduating it took me about five months of active job seeking to finally come across a role that I felt was made for me. I had been successfully interviewing at a lot of great places with tough multiple staged application processes including the likes of the Ministry of Defence and Siemens, but I never felt like I really wanted those jobs. One day I came across a recruitment email sent by QM’s very own Claire Revell about a Researcher role at RecWorks. The job title sounded appealing so I read the job description, had a look at the website and impulsively applied for this role.

I was lucky enough to get a prompt response regarding my application and was sent a challenge to complete. I managed to complete the challenge successfully as it was about Boolean logic (something I had studied in my first year at QM). I was subsequently called in for an interview and made an offer – which I accepted without hesitation and became part of the RecWorks family as a RecWorker.

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RecWorks is a recruitment agency that specialises in the tech industry. Our goal is to prove that recruiters can be a power of good in the tech industry, and we’re as passionate about building and helping tech communities as we are about developing our business. Whilst we generate 100% of our revenue from recruitment, we spend also 50% of our time on community-focused work; such as managing tech communities and building initiatives around mentoring tech graduates. As part of this, we have started a number of tech communities and groups in London over the last eight years and have ambitious plans for further development within the tech community scene in London. I love my role because it allows me to utilise my tech knowledge and remain updated with the latest tech trends through the events run by the London Java Community which has been founded by the director of RecWorks Barry Cranford.

The role itself requires you to be passionate about technology, possess great attention to detail and above all enjoy researching and reading. I work with a fantastic team of friendly and talented people. Since getting the job I have been lucky enough to be promoted three times (this included pay rises too!) in under a year. I was also recently given an award for consistency due to my consistent performance and level of understanding. I am now at that stage of my career where I am looking to manage people.

If you are looking for further advice or opportunities, feel free to get in touch with me at rj@recworks.co.uk – always happy to help fellow QM-ites.’