Christmas holidays: time to rest and time to move forward

IMGP2605Christmas holidays are finally here, a time to catch up with friends, family, as well as completing assignments and exam revision for the next term. But it is also an opportunity to do something to invest in yourself and your future, here are a few ideas:

Time to invest some time in yourself and explore options for your career:

–          Read our I don’t know what I want to do guide which has a number of exercises and ideas to help you reflect on what you want out of your career and your future

–          Register with Prospects and take their Career Planner questionnaire to help generate some job role ideas with job profiles to read in more detail.

–          Take the Profiling for Success online test to find out more about yourself including your aptitudes and learning styles.

–          Explore some job roles  or industry that interest you through our Career Sector pages and Prospects Types of Roles and Job Sector pages

–          Explore job roles as options you can do with your degree

–          Think about what skills you have from all your studies and experience. Use our Employability Skills Audit to help you (Knowing your skills will help later with applications and interviews with better self-awareness).

–          Discuss your future career options with a Careers Consultant. Book an appointment by contacting Careers at The Atrium for more details.

Time to research opportunities for your future and build up your commercial awareness:

–          Search for jobs on CareersLink as a University of Manchester student for work experience, internships, and graduate jobs to apply to over the Christmas vacation. There are still some opportunities available with bigger corporate employers with some closing dates early in the New Year.

–          Develop your job search skills and be proactive looking at different websites and sources for opportunities. This includes job websites specific to the industry including professional bodies and industry journals (see our Career Sector pages for help), as well as national and regional job websites and individual company websites

–          Apply to companies speculatively for a possible opportunity. Read about how to tailor your application when applying with a speculative approach in our Cover Letter and CV guides

–          Get your application checked before you send it to the company. See our information on booking an Applications Advice appointment if you are still in Manchester. (Careers in The Atrium will be open until Fri 20th Dec 2013 and reopens after Christmas from Thurs 2nd Jan 2014). If you are away from Manchester see options for checking applications.

–          Build up your commercial awareness about the company you have applied to and their industry sector and competitors, look at professional bodies, journals, and government websites and media sources. This will help you be ready for interview and also to find out about the industry to see if it the right area for you.

–          Looking to postgraduate study then use this time to research possible courses to apply to and research different postgraduate funding options. Some funding sources have early closing dates so apply in good time. See our online Postgraduate Study & Funding section.

–          If you want to work or study abroad then start researching early  the  possible universities, companies, cultural expectations, visas, funding, accommodation, travel needed etc. Look at our online information on Work & Study Abroad. (If it is study options during your course also contact the International programmes office for more details).

Time to prepare for interviews and recruitment

–          Read our Preparing for Interviews guide, look at our information on interviews online together with our video help on interviews

–          Discuss the possibility of booking a Mock Interview if you have been given a date for interview by contacting Careers at The Atrium.

–          You may get invited to do a Psychometric test or go to an Assessment Centre as part of the recruitment process. Look at our Psychometric test and Assessment Centre information online, as well as using the online practice test, Assessment Centre video and In-tray exercise guide  to start preparing now.

For further thoughts on helping yourself with improviong your job search, look at my colleague’s previous Christmas blog.

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