The latest posts from all our blogs

Use your Easter vacation to get work experience for summer

If you've not found work experience ( paid, voluntary or work shadowing) over summer yet - it's time to get on it! Many of you will go home over Easter or visit friends & family - it's time to use those networks to help you.  Yes really... these people are your network, where do they work, who do they know, who are their neighbours, friends etc and where do they work?  You'd be surprised who knows whom! You don't have to give them the hard … [read more...]

Self-employment alongside studying: top tips

Guest blog post written by Lucy Eliza Davis, Management, Leadership and Leisure student running her own fitness website.  Increasingly, we're seeing that some graduates want to work for themselves or start their own business after university. Self-employment can offer a more flexible way to live and earn – but isn't without its challenges! Some of you may even be thinking about running a business alongside your studies. One of our undergraduate … [read more...]

Writing a personal statement for a Masters course

Unless you are applying for Teaching or Medicine through UCAS this will be a completely different process for you. There are some universities which use the UKPASS system but most require a direct application to the postgraduate admissions contact for the course you are applying to. (You will find this on the university website when you search for the course details.) What does the application look like? For some it's an application form, … [read more...]

Have you got the right skills for the job? Think hard before you say no!

Faced with a job advert it is easy to give up, shrug and say I can't do that I don't have what they are looking for. It may not even be that clear what they are looking for! Don't give up quite so easily - print out that job description, have a good rummage on their website and get yourself a highlighter pen. Now let's do this... To make a good application you need to be clear: Why you want to do the job? You need to be able to write … [read more...]

How to do your research for a covering letter or personal statement

Employers want to be sure that not only do you have the relevant skills for a particular job but you also understand what the organisation does, how this role fits in and what it involves.  They want people who are making informed decisions and have a genuine passion for the job. You may always have wanted to work for Virgin, KPMG, Rolls Royce etc. But now it's time to put that onto paper and it's not that easy! Lets break it down: In any cover … [read more...]

Why generic CVs and cover letters end up in the bin!

You've just sent me a CV & cover letter for a job.  You and possibly several hundred others so I'm going to spend just a few seconds skimming over it to see which pile you fit in.  Yes, No or Maybe. I have a check-list of all the skills & qualifications I'm looking for and if you don't tick any boxes you'll be going in the No pile. Why generic CVs fail. They often talk about duties you performed not the skills involved. The skills … [read more...]

Presentation or death?

“According to most studies, people's number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you're better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.” (attributed to Jerry Seinfeld) Most of us dread public speaking of any sort and yet it is something we can’t avoid as often we’re required to make presentations to our peers or even to a … [read more...]

February News and Updates for Masters students

The work of the Careers Service is designed and delivered to give you control over your career (= job + life). None of us can ever have 100% control but through self-awareness and other skills of career management, you become more able to adapt and overcome adversities that are out of your immediate control, and able to seek guidance for support and advice for dealing with things both in and out of your control. With this in mind, I’ll be … [read more...]

Are you a Global Graduate?

Global Graduates is an exclusive programme for University of Manchester students, offering the opportunity to meet with alumni in host cities across the world (thanks to the generous funding of donors). This year's programme will take 32 lucky applicants to Hong Kong, London, Paris, New York, San Francisco, Singapore and Toronto - an amazing opportunity! The 2017 programme is now open for applications from eligible undergrads (not in the final … [read more...]

Explore your interests at My Future Fest

February is one of the coldest, darkest and wettest months of the year. January exams are over, semester two has just begun and summer feels like a very long way off. But that magical time of the year without exams or assignment deadlines will come around sooner than you think, and it’s also the ideal time to do something a bit different and build your skills away from the University. Which is why we’re bringing you My Future Fest – a day packed … [read more...]

January News and Updates for PGRs

A big welcome to all the new PGR students who’ve just arrived at the University of Manchester! Spring is in the air. It’s true. Leaving work in the evening, I’ve detected a glimmer of sunlight lingering in the western sky.  More significantly, snowdrops, that well known harbinger of British Spring, have appeared in our garden (we live 200 m higher than Manchester, so I come into work to get warm). Anne Bradstreet (1612-1672) was an early English … [read more...]

Help! I need to ring or email an employer, what do I do?

As part of your job search it is inevitable that you will have to write to or ring employers.  You may be applying speculatively for work experience, asking for more information about a job or have a query about the application process or interview. Employers are not ogres but they are busy and will have expectations about how you should communicate with them. Some employers will put their name and contact details on a job description. They … [read more...]

Applying for the NHS Scientist Training Programme, 2017

2017 STP - opened 16th January, closes Monday 13th February at 5pm The NHS Scientist Training Programme (STP) is open for applications! Thousands of scientists and engineers of all disciplines work for the NHS, and the STP is how they recruit most of their Clinical Science trainees each year. Many Manchester students and postgrads apply to the STP, so we update this blog post each year to help you navigate the process.  We will also update this … [read more...]

Do you need career goals or are they a waste of time?

I saw this article  saying career goals are a waste of time, while it was written from the point of view of someone with a job, I think it does hold some truths. First it really depends on the type of person you are whether you are motivated by goals at all. If you regularly set yourself targets and deadlines and never stick to them, (diets and exam revision spring to mind at this time of year) then perhaps this is not what your mind needs to … [read more...]

Paid work experience opportunities for PhDs in January – invigilation

  University of Manchester Examination Invigilation opportunity for PhD students Semester 1 2017 exams – Monday 16th January 2017 – Friday 27th January 2017  Completed application forms received by: 12noon Monday 19th December 2016 Notification of shortlisting: Tuesday 20th December 2016 Interview: Wednesday 4th January 2017 Training: Monday 9thth January 2017 … [read more...]

10 Career lessons from Buddy the Elf

For me Christmas movies fall into 3 categories – the classics (A Christmas Carol, It’s a Wonderful Life & Miracle on 34th Street), family faves (Elf, Home Alone & The Grinch) and the Channel 5s (I can’t think of any off the top of my head which says a lot).  However I also feel that one film and in particular one character could fall into the genre of careers advice. The film is Elf and the character the one and only Buddy! Perhaps not he … [read more...]

Keep your cool this Christmas

So that’s it, semester one is almost over and many of you are getting ready to head home (or elsewhere) for the winter break. Whether you’re a first year student that’s just made it through your first ever semester at uni, or a seasoned postgrad that knows these winter breaks like the back of your hand, there can be so much going on at this time of year that your future career probably won’t be at the front of your mind. Which is fine… you've got … [read more...]

Five tips for getting work experience in TV

There are no two ways about it – getting into the media is difficult. As somebody who’s been trying to get into TV for a while now, it can feel almost impossible to get that first break. So when work experience opportunities pop up – especially with the really big names out there – hundreds of eager students and graduates flood the inbox of a poor unsuspecting work experience manager, vying to get their foot in the door. Last month, I undertook … [read more...]

What are the ways of staying in the UK as an International Student?

Today I was asked what are the ways I can stay in the UK as an international student? Here are all the ways I know but see our website for more details as well as an immigration lawyer!!!!! Bear in mind this is a general overview of your options with visas and not meant as visa advice. Seek professional advice. 1. Take on further study and stay on a Tier 4 visa 2. If you progress to a PhD you can request from the university a 12 month … [read more...]

December news and updates for Masters students

December is the month of optimism.  Although the solstice on December 21st may be the shortest day of the year, it’s the gateway to better things – from then on, days only get longer and brighter (notice I didn’t say ‘sunnier’). This has nothing to do with careers, but as a bit of fun, you can participate in the winter solstice in Orkney, an archipelago of islands off the far north coast of Scotland. Every year, local photographer Charles Tait, … [read more...]

5 popular employer selection tests for students, and strategies for handling them!

Written by Amanda Conway, Careers Consultant You open the email, it’s from the employer and (yes!) you’ve been invited for interview. But wait, you have to sit a test first? Is it time to panic, or are there any top tips for acing these tests and fast-tracking yourself onto the “selected” pile? We think so.  The “does your brain melt when the clock is ticking?” test AKA: The verbal, numerical or logical reasoning tests Still a firm … [read more...]

November News and Updates for PGRs

“In November, the smell of food is different. It is an orange smell. A squash and pumpkin smell. It tastes like cinnamon and can fill up a house in the morning, can pull everyone from bed in a fog. Food is better in November than any other time of the year.”  Cynthia Rylant And what better food than food for thought? This month we've got career opportunities with Researchers in Schools and the Civil Service Fast Stream (but that's not all, … [read more...]

Presentations – My Recent Experience and Top Tips

By Hannah Watson It's that time of year when you may be getting called to assessment centres and interviews. What if someone asks you to give a presentation? In my Psychology degree I didn’t deliver presentations often. In three years I gave two presentations as part of coursework modules to a few classmates and tutors. A year later, in my MGP role at the Careers Service, the day arrived - I was asked to create and deliver an hour long … [read more...]

3 Things to do before & after the Law Fair

Guest blog post written by Avni Devgan, Law student at the University of Manchester The Law Fair is now less than a week away and for those who are interested in attending it, here is a list of things you should do before and after the fair to get as much out of it as you can. Before the Fair: Go through the list of exhibitors on the Careers Service website and try and get an idea of who you would be interested to interact with. Every … [read more...]

November News and Updates for Masters Students – focus on PhD funding

“In November, the smell of food is different. It is an orange smell. A squash and pumpkin smell. It tastes like cinnamon and can fill up a house in the morning, can pull everyone from bed in a fog. Food is better in November than any other time of the year.”  Cynthia Rylant And what better food than food for thought? There’s plenty of that in this month’s newsletter if you’re thinking about doing a PhD after you graduate, because it’s all about … [read more...]

How to prepare for interview success.

Whether you have had an interview before or not it's always nerve racking when you get the call / email inviting you to come along.  The more you want the job the more daunting it feels! Interviews can be: Competency based, Strength based, Technical, By Phone, Video or Skype, Panel, 1-1, a chat over a coffee or incredibly formal. There are lots of different ways to interview but essentially the employer is always looking for the same … [read more...]

Accessing CareersLink as a graduate

Congratulations on completing your degree! Enjoy your success and your big day if you are coming to your graduation ceremony. You can continue to use full services at the Careers Service for 2 years after the end of your course including CareersLink which advertises job vacancies. Accessing CareersLink while you are still have student status You will be able to carry on using your CareersLink student log in in the ‘Current Students’ box … [read more...]

Internships; a competitive advantage

Guest blog post written by Todd Davies, Computer Science graduate from The University of Manchester Imagine an opportunity where you spend a summer travelling around, meeting amazing, clever and inspiring people on a daily basis, get to work on interesting and impactful projects, yet all the while getting paid for your trouble. In case you hadn't guessed from the title of the post, I’m talking about internships. On being asked to write a post … [read more...]

Considering postgraduate study? Dates for your diary

Are you thinking about furthering your studies with a postgraduate degree? You may be considering further study to develop your subject expertise, demonstrate intellectual independence or to acquire a qualification to help you on your way to your dream job - but it can be difficult to know where to start. Whether you’re an undergraduate student thinking about what you want to do next, a master’s student considering carrying on to complete a … [read more...]

The 1 page vs 2 page CV / resume dilemma. What should my CV look like?

In the UK the normal format for a CV is 2 pages.  There are some good reasons to use this format but we know there are also some exceptions. Why use a 2 page CV? Most employers will expect it. It gives you enough space to effectively talk about your skills. If you have a lot of experience you have space to convey this. Mainly the reverse chronological CV is used because it is easy to read, create and update. Sometimes a skills based CV may … [read more...]

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