Along with Liverpool FC my biggest passion in life is music. When I was growing up music was always on in the house and I remember my dad use to tell me how song lyrics related to what I was going through. Whilst on the bus this morning flicking though my I Pod I started thinking about how lyrics in certain songs can actually double up as snippets of careers advice.
So I here I present to you my careers advice playlist. I’ve stuck to the music on I Pod so as you will see I like ‘dad music’ but hopefully you’ll be aware of the majority of the songs I’ve picked!
Frank Zappa ‘You know what you are, you are what you is’
Ok, so grammatical speaking this advice needs some work but the sentiment is there – You are an individual and cannot and should not try to be anyone you’re not. I think this relates to 2 areas in careers.
Before you start applying for vacancies it’s important to consider what you want out of a job (e.g. work/life balance or money) what jobs might suit you, what skills you have and where these skills might be required. There are a number of things you can do to help you find answers to these questions the best place to start would be the resources in our ‘I don’t know what I want to do guide’ along with the information our website. Don’t forget as a recent UoM graduate you may be eligible to book a careers appointment to talk this over with an careers consultant.
Secondly if an employer asks you to complete a personality questionnaire there is no point in trying to second guess what qualities they are looking for. Answer them truthfully. If you don’t get through this stage chances are you wouldn’t have been suited to the job and if you lie and get through you might not end up enjoying the job.
Rolling Stones ‘You can’t always get what you want but if you try sometimes you might find you get what you need’
Chances are you won’t walk into your dream job straight away but each internship or job you get may help you develop the skills you’ll need in order to eventually reach your career goals. If you’re a recent UoM graduate you may be eligible to book a careers guidance appointment to discuss how to reach your career goals.
Bob Dylan / Adele ‘Make you feel my Love’
Employers are just like everyone else – they love a bit of flattery! When writing a covering letter you need to make them feel your love for them. Demonstrate your enthusiasm by explaining what attracted you to apply and why that employer stands out above others to you. Our covering letter guide has some really useful advice on how to do this.
Ryan Adams ‘ Gonna make you love me’
Similarly you also need the employer to fall in love with you… well more precisely the skills and experiences that you have. You’ll need to highlight to the employer that you are the perfect fit for the role by demonstrating that you’ve got the skills and experiences listed on their job description. Both our CV and Covering Letter guides will help you make any employer fall for you.
Lou Reed ‘ Transformer’
I confess this is technically an album name not a song lyric but it follows on from my previous point quite nicely. Job descriptions will vary from job to job with employers looking for their own specific qualities in candidates. Therefore you’ll have to transform in each application you make to meet the individual employer’s criteria. Our CV and application form guides have advice on tailoring your application and you may also find our industry specific guidelines useful.
Fleetwood Mac ‘Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow’
We’ve all been there and know that job hunting can be pretty demoralising at times especially when you are not hearing anything back from employers. But please try not to disheartened instead refocus your efforts and keep thinking about that day when you get that job offer. You never know it could be tomorrow!
Journey also made a very similar point when they said ‘don’t stop believing’!
Lynyrd Skynyrd ‘I’m as free as a bird now’
As a graduate you can’t really afford to be picking about the location of your first job. Yes you’ll probably have a preferred location but if you have nothing tying you down there (e.g. a settled family) you may have to be more open minded to where you look for jobs. I always wanted to stay in York where I went to uni but I learnt I had to become free to move further afield to find the work I wanted.
Bob Marley ‘Don’t worry about a thing, coz every little thing is gonna be OK’
Interviews and assessment centres have the ability to strike fear in even the most confident of people. It’s completely natural to have apprehensions (I’d actually be more concerned if you didn’t) but try not to let your nerves get the better of you. If you make a mistake in a test or fluff an answer in the interview what’s the worse that will happen – you won’t be offered the job and that’s it. Keep things in perspective it’s not the end of the world and nobody will die so at the end of the day things will still be OK. Over on the undergraduate blog Mariana has written a really great post on managing and controlling interview nerves.
Beck ‘Get real paid’
Most jobs will have a defined salary but you may find some employers ask you what your salary expectation might be. It’s important that you get back to them with a real(istic) figure. To do this research companies in the same sector advertising similar opportunities. What salaries are they offering? If they are roughly in the same ball park this is the type of figure to suggest. If you find salaries vary widely you could play it safe and suggest a mid-range amount. The prospects website might be of use to you if you find yourself in this situation as it has a range of job descriptions which include information on salaries.
Gerry & the Pacemakers ‘You’ll never walk alone’
Well not a for a few years! Remember that the careers service is here for all recent graduates and you can check here to find out if you are still eligible to get advice from us / access CareersLink. Remember as a UoM graduate regardless of when you graduate you’ll always be able to access the Careers Service website and use the resources in the careers library.There are lots of other sources of careers information and advice including the National Careers Service, schemes & help nationwide for graduates and adult guidance providers in Manchester.
*** Please note that the Careers Service does not condone or agree with any of the other concepts / themes these songs may contain***