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Tips on finding a job after graduation from Cardiff Award Alumni

Amy, from the Cardiff Award Team, shares advice on finding a job after graduation from recent Cardiff Award Alumni.

Tips on finding a job from Cardiff Award Alumni

We asked some of our Cardiff Award Alumni to offer some advice on finding a job after graduation. They also talk about which parts of the Cardiff Award particularly helped them to prepare for the world of employment…

 

Elliot Howells- Cardiff Award Alumnus 2013

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What position are you in now and how long have you been in the role?

I am currently a Technology Consultant at London-based Bluefin Solutions. I have been in this role since September 2016 and my work focuses on delivering business consulting, technology strategy and implementation and change.

Next month, I am moving into a new role at Microsoft as a Technology Solutions Professional. I will be working with Microsoft’s Public Sector and Higher Education partners helping them become smarter in their decision-making through Microsoft’s technologies.

Do you have any tips for students graduating this year that might help them gain employment?

Find something you’re passionate about and demonstrate that passion throughout the recruitment process.

Employers are people and people buy people. You may think that you don’t have every single skill they’re looking for, but if you can show that you’re passionate about the industry you’re applying to, you’re going to be a good fit for the team and can add genuine value to the organisation, they are very likely to see beyond that.

It’s pretty easy to teach someone how to code, for example. What’s more difficult is to teach someone to be passionate, driven and ambitious. Walk into an interview and be the best version of you.

Were there any particular parts of the Cardiff Award programme that you think really helped you get into the position you are in now?

The biggest thing that I took away from completing the Cardiff Award was the ability to recognise and articulate the skills I was gaining and developing through the range of activities I was involved in. I had several part time jobs and positions of responsibility while at University but had never thought of how those experiences would add value in the “real world”. By completing the Cardiff Award, I learnt to turn those experiences into impressive stories of success that engaged potential employers throughout a recruitment process.

Make sure you do the same! Look back on your position on a society committee, for example, and recognise where you added value and were the best person for the job. Remember that story and share it when you’re looking for your next steps.

 

Gwenan Hughes- Cardiff Award Alumna 2014

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What position are you in now and how long have you been in the role?

I’m currently a Tax Specialist Trainee for HMRC. I graduated in July 2016, and started the role in September.

Do you have any tips for students graduating this year that might help them gain employment?

Take time to think about what kind of role you would like, and concentrate on applying for them. Don’t apply for any and all jobs that come up for graduates, only apply for the ones you really want. It’s better to pay full attention to a few job applications, than half-heartedly fill in lots. Also don’t underestimate any part time jobs, volunteering or societies you’ve been a part of, you will have gained numerous transferable skills from these, which you’ll be able to apply to most of the roles you go for.

Were there any particular parts of the Cardiff Award programme that you think really helped you get into the position you are in now?

Getting to practise the psychrometric tests really helped as I had to complete one in almost every job application I did, so that was very useful. However the part of the Award that really helped me was the exposure and networking with the sponsors, as through this I gained a year internship with one of the sponsors Enterprise Rent-A-Car. This year made me a much more rounded person, and helped me prepare for the role I’m in today. I’d also not be where I am without the constant help and support of the Cardiff Award team, who go out of their way to help any Award student who are willing to ask for a little help.

 

Hear from those who recently received their Cardiff Award

Silke and Lucy have recently completed the Cardiff Award this year. They share what they are doing do prepare themselves for graduate employment…

 

Silke Moxon-Riedlin, completed the Award in June 2017

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 What are you currently doing to prepare yourself for graduate employment?

Whilst I am planning on taking a year out following graduation, I believe that it is important to stay up to date with the field you are interested in. If the Cardiff Award has taught me anything it is the importance of commercial awareness. Knowing about the changes within your industry or the company you are interested in can really set you apart from the other applicants as it shows that you are interested and dedicated, but also that you are capable of individual research – all of which are skills that employers look for.

I personally would like to go into International Development upon completion of my Masters course and so have followed relevant pages on LinkedIn and Twitter. I have also begun several online courses including Amnesty International’s ‘Human Rights: The Rights of Refugees’.

Do you have any tips for students graduating this year that might help them gain employment?

Ensuring you have an up-to-date and relevant CV and covering letter is crucial when seeking to gain employment – you will also need to tailor your documentation to the requirements of the company and the job specification in order to stand out. One of the workshops the Cardiff Award held covered these areas and discussed the process companies went through when rooting out which individuals to pursue. The language you use and the examples you give need to be relevant and relatable to the job you are going for in order to pass the initial screening process.

Was there a particular activity that really stood out to you as part of the Cardiff Award programme that you think has really helped you to prepare for your next steps after graduation?

For me, getting involved in both the mock interviews and mock presentations proved to be the stand-out elements of the award. Presentations especially were something I loathed before coming to University, however, it became clear that they were going to be ever-present in post-graduate life. Some employers ask you to present as part of the interview stage, whilst for others, presentations form a large part of the job. The Cardiff Award gave me the opportunity to learn how to participate as an effective interviewee and how to give a quality presentation, as well as providing me with the opportunity to practice these skills in front of employers and members of staff. Whilst I am under no illusion that there is still a long way for me to go in terms of public speaking, I believe the award has built my confidence and ability to communicate clearly and concisely.

 

Lucy Furber, Completed the Cardiff Award in June 2017

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 What are you currently doing to prepare yourself for graduate employment?

As I am applying for a Masters course, I am focusing on improving my CV and personal statement for the application. I have also secured summer work experience to add to my CV and hopefully secure myself a paid position within the company after completing the masters.

Do you have any tips for students graduating this year that might help them gain employment?

Get as involved as you can with sports, societies and volunteering-and log that all on your Cardiff Award! Even get involved with the job shop or working at Open Days – any work experience helps develop vital skills for employment, team work and customer communication especially. Also, get LinkedIn! I secured work experience through this and have had companies approach me about graduate jobs through this platform which is amazing.

Was there a particular activity that really stood out to you as part of the Cardiff Award programme that you think has really helped you to prepare for your next steps after graduation?

The mock interview with an employer from Enterprise –Rent-a-Car really helped me. I completed it two days before an actual interview so it was really beneficial to get immediate feedback and confidence that I was on the right track with my interview technique. Even though I didn’t get the job, going to the interview was really useful as it made me realise that I should do a masters to open up more opportunities and make myself more employable. So always take the chance, even if you think it doesn’t have an immediate pay off.

 

Watch our Cardiff Award video!

 

Not graduating yet? Get involved with the Cardiff Award!

The Cardiff Award offers a structured opportunity for students to improve their employability and gain official recognition for their development. Find out more here, or get in touch by emailing cardiffaward@cardiff.ac.uk, or by telephone on 029 2087 6945.

 

Related posts

Before you graduate

Summer Careers Fair: Hear from employers first hand about the benefits of attending

“Have I left it too late?” and how the Summer Careers Fair can help you face ‘The Fear’

Thinking of postgraduate study?

The 4 week housing countdown

Online support all year round

Get work experience before you graduate with GO Wales

 

Your feedback and help please

Have you found this blog post useful?  Please help us by commenting in the comments bar below, and  if there is anything further you’d like to know ask your questions there too.

We’d also be grateful if you can share this information by re-tweeting or sharing with your fellow students who may find this useful – you can do this by using the share buttons or via twitter and facebook.

 

Good luck everyone! Pob lwc pawb!

 

Best wishes,

Amy, Cardiff Award Team. 

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Comments

  • Henry Morgan

    Just to pick up on the CV element.
    It’s so easy to store your CV nowadays I’d suggest regular tweaks and adjustments to tailor your resume to each job you apply for.

    As someone who writes a lot of proposals – which are essentially applications letters – I do just this, keep a core document and edit it to the organisation I’m addressing.

    Other than that, there’s some great advice in this post, thanks for sharing. I’ll be linking a few of our candidates in your direction.

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