Students Staff
University of Essex

September 6, 2012


Filed under: Newsletters — Dee Hardcastle @ 3:53 pm



As we highlighted in the last newsletter, many organisations with graduate schemes have already started accepting applications for 2013 starts. You’ll be competing with new final year students, as well as other graduates from this year, and even the last few years, so apply early if you’re interested! Check the websites of employers that interest you, or check Prospects, Milkround and TARGETjobs.

Job Spot

Scottish Widows Investment Partnership re-opens graduate scheme

Scottish Widows Investment Partnership (SWIP) has revived its graduate investment manager programme. The two-year programme, which was cancelled for 2012, will be based in SWIP’s Edinburgh office and will train four graduates to become investment managers. A graduate position is available in each of the investment departments – Global Equities, Fixed Income, Investment Solutions and Real Estate – for a September 2013 start.

As part of their role, graduates will get involved in company analysis; research and portfolio construction; risk; and desk support. They will also be supported to study towards professional qualifications: for the Equities, Fixed Income and Investment solutions programmes, the Investment Management Certificate and the Chartered Financial Analyst program; for the Real Estate programme,  Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) for the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors accreditation.

A minimum 2.1 degree is required, but SWIP does say it will consider those with a 2.2 if they have relevant experience and/or further qualifications. Candidates will also need impressive problem-solving and communication skills. The application closing date is 1 November, apply online.

Careers Adviser’s top tip

Do your research!

If there’s one way to frustrate a potential employer, it’s sending an application, CV or covering letter that shows no insight whatsoever into who they are, or any knowledge of the industry they work in. Put yourself in their shoes: if you were advertising a job opportunity, and you received a CV and covering letter that were obviously the exact same CV and covering letter the applicant had sent to loads of other employers, would you be impressed? No? Well neither would they.

Employers want to know that you are attracted to working for them specifically, that you know what they’re all about and that you understand what’s happening in their industry and who their competitors are. your application needs to have that personal element, giving the impression that you really want that job, that you’re right for it and that you would fit in. Don’t forget, the Essex CV pack takes you right through this process. Researching an employer is just as important from your perspective – if you can’t relate to what they do and what their values and goals are, then are they really the right employer for you?

If the employer does impress you and you are genuinely interested in the job, this background knowledge should help you make a good application, and hopefully get you invited for interview. At that stage, research is just as important, if not more so. Be prepared to talk about why you want the job, why you want to work for them in particular and anticipate questions they might ask you based on what they’re looking for, having examples ready to demonstrate you have the knowledge, skills and experience they require. Good luck!

What’s new?

Tech firms looking to expand

UK technology firms could create a host of new IT roles, a recent survey has found. Data collected by Intellect, the trade association for the technology industry, shows over two-thirds of companies were looking to expand, with 43% ‘very likely’ to hire staff in the near future. This is potentially great news for graduates who are looking to enter the IT industry.

Kick start your graduate career with an internship

Opportunities are still being added regularly by our internships team, keep an eye on  their facebook page and email to register. How can you stand out from the crowd?

How can you stand out from the crowd?

Heard about the “Jobless Paddy” billboard? Seen the innovative CV of Graeme Anthony? As you’re probably sick of hearing, it’s a competitive job market out there, and in response, savvy graduates are trying to stand out from the crowd. From ‘message in a bottle’ applications to social media appeals, the good, the bad and the ugly of approaches have been showcased in the media in the past couple of years.

Graduates attempting to stand out from the crowd have been creating infographic CVs, resorting to colourful stationery and glittery envelopes, or even sending items with notes, such as the graduate who sent a Kit Kat to a marketing company with a post it note saying “have a break…then give me one” with a link to his online CV.

While creative approaches are best left to candidates applying for creative roles, it highlights the point that it’s important to stand out from the crowd!  A designer CV may impress in media, marketing and advertising for example, but is unlikely to have the same impact in science, finance or technology. So if you feel the traditional black and white approach is best for you, what can you do to shine?

The simple answer is be yourself, or if ‘yourself’ isn’t quite impressive enough yet, then work on it. You should know by now that a degree alone is not enough, and that work experience is essential, but surely there is more to you than that? What do you do in your free time? What interests you? If you’re unemployed, what are you doing while you are job hunting? Show an employer that you’re not just sitting around waiting for a job to come to you. Get active! Hobbies, interests and voluntary work are all ways you can demonstrate that you’ve got more to offer. Think about the skills and qualities you’ve developed and actively use through these activities, and take examples from them to sell yourself to potential employers. Demonstrating that you’ve got the skills an employer wants in your CV or an application doesn’t need to be evidenced from your academic and employment experiences alone.

Another way to impress is to show the employer in your application or covering letter that you fully understand the job you’re applying for and can see how you would fit in with this. It’s also a big plus if you tell the employer why you want to work for them specifically – as advised in the ‘top tip’ above, demonstrate that you’ve done some research into their organisation and tell them what impresses you about them and what it is about them that you can relate to.

In a week with news that graduate recruitment is likely to grow this year, and that graduate starting salaries could be set to rise for the first time since the recession hit, it’s important to keep trying and to put the effort into really emphasising what you have to offer. Remember that the Employability & Careers Centre is open throughout the summer, and available to you for up to three years after your graduation from Essex, so you can contact us if you need help.

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