Students Staff
University of Essex

August 8, 2012


Filed under: Newsletters — Dee Hardcastle @ 3:08 pm



It’s August already! The summer is flying by and there are still lots of opportunities for new graduates. In this issue we’ve got some tips on using your social networking skills to investigate employers and find opportunities, and we’re also highlighting the potential of considering less well known employers in your job hunting.

Job Spot

Are you a UK citizen or resident with fluent Arabic or Persian? An office of the US Embassy London is recruiting for Current Affairs Officers. Duties will include coverage of media developments and breaking news, production of translations and multimedia, web content management, research, and written analysis. The starting salary is at least £27,000. Closing date is 20 August. Interested? Full details on JobsOnline, search current affairs.

Don’t meet the criteria for the vacancy above? Check out JobsOnline anyway, there are lots of live graduate vacancies listed, with more being added daily.

For wider vacancies, check out graduate vacancy sites such as milkround, prospects and TARGETjobs as all still have live graduate vacancies, many with deadlines in August. There are opportunities GCHQ, Siemens, Deloitte, ITV, Rolls-Royce, Thales, Arcadia Group, Bloomberg, PwC, Abercrombie & Fitch, EDF Energy, Logica, BskyB, Heineken, Danone, Shell, Capital One, FDM, Majestic Wine, Next and many more.

Careers Adviser’s top tip

Make the most of social media

Networking can be the key to getting hired, taking advantage of people you know, contacts through family and friends and making a good impression at events such as careers fairs. But did you ever think you’d be using your social networks to look for a job?  Employers are increasingly using social media to recruit and there are constant developments enabling them to promote opportunities.

While there are new social media sites popping up all the time, indications are that LinkedIn and Twitter are the most effective for actual job hunting.

LinkedIn is a professional social network, allowing you to have a CV style profile and the potential to join groups related to your career area, connect and network with professionals and search for jobs. While it tends to work best for experienced professionals, it is also good for graduates to research companies and people, and is likely to be more widely used as more students and graduates engage.

Twitter is widely used by people both advertising and seeking vacancies. Where it excels is in terms of making connections, making a good impression and building relationships which can lead to finding opportunities. 

However, as with all job search options, there are do’s and don’ts! It’s important to keep your personal and professional networking separate. There’s a mine of information online to help you to use these resources effectively – here are some useful sources to help you get started:  

 Graduate guide to LinkedIn

 Getting a job through twitter

Remember, it’s not all about LinkedIn and Twitter. Facebook is increasingly used by organisations to promote their graduate opportunities and to engage with potential applicants, including providing advice and tips on their selection processes. You can also explore potential employers through other media such as relevant blogs, YouTube and Google + to name but a few. So get networking!

What’s new

Channel 4 launch PhD scholarship scheme

Channel 4’s Audience Technology and Insight department want to build a team of technical analysts to deeply mine the data they collect from viewers. The media industry is moving towards big data platforms with real time & predictive analytics.

They are looking to invest in upcoming talent and graduates that have the raw skills and technical training, but perhaps lack the practical experience in industry. Successful candidates will study part-time for a PhD/MPhil in Statistics at University College London alongside their role, on a salary of £30,000.

Diane Herbert, Director of HR at Channel 4 said: “We are incredibly passionate about providing opportunities for people enthusiastic about a career in the media industry, regardless of their experience or background. The Scholarship Programme is just one of Channel 4’s work related initiatives designed to help people into their desired career.”


They are looking for candidates with 1st class or 2.1 BSc degree, or an MSc with merit or distinction in mathematics, statistics, computer science, or a related quantitative discipline.


Don’t hang about if you’re interested, the deadline for applications is midnight on 15 August. See to apply.

Think it’s all about graduate schemes? Think SMEs 

You may, like many, be wondering, what SMEs are? That would be Small and Medium Enterprises, referring to all private businesses with fewer than 250 employees. Approximately 99.9% of all UK businesses are SMEs, and about 60% of private sector employees work in SMEs. The South East has the largest number of enterprises with 16.3% as compared to London’s 15.8%. If you are not already considering SMEs as potential employers, think about how much of the labour market you could be missing out on.

There are SMEs in most industries, and some sectors are dominated by SMEs. Some of the key areas include:

  • Advertising, sales, marketing and PR
  • Charity and not-for-profit
  • Construction and engineering
  • Fine arts, performing arts and design
  • Hospitality, leisure and tourism
  • Human resources and recruiting
  • Information Technology
  • Law
  • Logistics and transport
  • Management and consulting
  • Media and publishing
  • Science, research and development

Given the nature of a SME, it won’t come as a surprise that they don’t generally share the recruitment and advertising budgets of large employers, so you won’t find their opportunities on the big graduate recruitment sites like Prospects, Target Jobs and Milkround for example. Finding jobs with SMEs may require more effort on your part, but could lead to just the right opportunities for you, especially if you prefer the idea of being a big fish in a small pond, rather than the other way around, or if you’d just rather stay local to where you live.

So how can you go about finding a job with an SME?

Firstly, do some research. Find out what employers are based in your area or in the area you’d like to work. A quick start would be a search using an online directory e.g. Yell or try the Federation of Small Businesses directory. You could also try searching via your local authority, as most have information on local enterprises, such as a business directory. If the sector you’re interested in has a Sector Skills Council or an industry body, these could also be valuable sources of information and support.

Once you’ve found employers you think would interest you, check if they have a website to find out more about them, they may have a careers or jobs section. Also see if they are active on social media pages like facebook, twitter and LinkedIn. Other possible sources of vacancies with SMEs include specific job sites for their industries, or specialist publications for the sector. Recruitment agencies may also source talent on behalf of SMEs, but if you use this approach, it’s not enough just to register. You need to speak to your Recruitment Consultant regularly to let them know you’re actively seeking work so they keep you in mind when suitable opportunities come up.

The other approach you can take is to make a speculative application. Thoroughly research the employer you’d like to work for, think about what you could offer them and tailor your CV to emphasise this. Then in your covering letter, tell them why you are contacting them, why you are interested in working for them and what you think you could bring to their business. Even if they don’t have an immediate opportunity they may keep you in mind. You could also use the opportunity to inquire about work experience as well as job vacancies. See the Essex CV to make sure your  CV and covering letter make the best possible impression.

Don’t forget, employers can advertise free via the Employability and Careers Centre so keep an eye on Jobsonline. You can also access opportunities through our Internships team, these are usually with SMEs. If you identify an employer you’d like to work for, you could try getting a foot in the door to impress them through an internship. If you email your CV and details of the employer you’re interested in to they may be able to help you by contacting the employer on your behalf. For more information and current opportunities see their facebook page.

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