Welcome To ALL NEW And RETURNING Students!

By Gemma McCann,

Written by Gemma McCann

What is welcome week?

Welcome week is a fun time for students to get to know the university. Students can familiarise themselves with fellow students, university staff, supportive teams and the buildings and what they offer. Get to know your Student Union: www.staffsunion.com

Welcome week will be filled with lots of fun activities, and you will be able to find out about what societies and clubs are available around campus. Come and meet the Career Connect Team and have a go on Spin to Win.

Feeling nervous? 

If you are more of an introvert, then the thought of lots of people can be daunting. Don’t worry, you can join in with as much, or a little of the welcome week as you like; you can also interact with as many people as you like. This means that you can take full control and do whatever you feel most comfortable with. 

What do I need to bring? 

Yourself. You don’t need to worry about carrying lots of things around with you. Welcome week is a really calm and chilled so you can just take a stroll around the activities that are available. Similarly with the welcome talks, as long as you are present, you will get all of the information that you need. 

If you do need to bring anything for any of the events happening through welcome week, you will be told before hand. 

Top Tips for settling in:

  • Familiarise yourself with the campus and where to access everything you will need e.g. library, student union shops, student union and where to get food etc. 
  • Get to know some people, if you are staying at campus then you could get to know the people in and around your accommodation, if you don’t live near then you can get to know some people on your course – you may find some that live near you. Join your social groups. 
  • Have fun! Spend the first couple of weeks calm and finding your feet at university and focus on settling into university life. 
  • If you have any worries or concerns, make sure you speak to someone, whether it be peers, parents, or staff – don’t suffer in silence. 
  • Ask questions, if there is anything that you are unsure of then make sure to ask plenty of questions. 

Thinking about your finances?  Watch out for the Part Time Fair on October 5th in the LRV.  

Looking for a placement or Graduate Role get Connected Futures in your calendar, Starts on Monday 31st October. 

GET IN TOUCH 

Email: careers@staffs.ac.uk 

Twitter: @CareersAtStaffs 

Instagram: @CareersAtStaffs 

Facebook: Staffordshire University​ Career & Personal Development 

LinkedIn: @CareersAtStaffs 

Graduation

By Gemma McCann,

Written by Gemma McCann.

ConGRADulations to all of our students experiencing their graduation ceremonies. On behalf of the Career Connect staff, I would like to wish you all the best of luck with your future endeavors. #ProudToBeStaffs

Did you know?

Here at Career Connect we want to do our best to support you in your educational and career pathways to achieving your goals. This is why we offer you a promise of LIFETIME SUPPORT! That’s right… For all Staffordshire University graduates, if you ever need career advice, you can contact us or pop in and see us.

Next steps

Well done to those of you who have already secured jobs following your graduation… now is the time to relax!

To those of you who haven’t yet secured a job, there is no need to worry, you have plenty of time! However, if you are feeling anxious about it, or you don’t know where to start, then come and speak to one of our Career Advisors, or to a member of our Graduate Outcomes team, and they will help to get you on the right path.

Enjoy, Relax, and Rejuvenate

We all know how stressful university can be at times, and that is why it is so important for you to celebrate all that you have achieved throughout your time here. Soak in the glory of graduation, relax in the hot sun, and get yourself prepared for whatever your next steps are.

We love to hear about our student’s success stories, so please keep us updated on your upcoming adventures!

Well done… and congratulations!

To speak to one of our Career Coaches get in touch:

Email: careers@staffs.ac.uk

Twitter: @CareersAtStaffs

Instagram: @CareersAtStaffs

Facebook: Staffordshire University​ Career & Personal Development

LinkedIn: @CareersAtStaffs

Interview Advice… Top Tips!

By Gemma McCann,

Written by Gemma McCann

Interviews can be a nerve-wracking experience for a lot of people, so to try and take some of the stress and pressure away let’s have a look at some ways to prepare for an interview.

How to prepare for an interview:

Read the job role thoroughly to ensure you know what you are applying for. You can then re-read your cv so that your information is fresh in your mind. Once you are all set, try thinking about some questions that they may ask you.

Research the company – it is always good to get an idea of the kind of company you are looking to work for, so have a look through the website to get to know them a bit better (this might also give you some inspiration for any questions that you may want to ask them in the interview).

S.T.A.R – The interviewer may ask questions about your portfolio, previous experiences, or give you hypothetical case studies or scenarios. It can be extremely useful for you to answer these questions using the S.T.A.R technique:

S – Situation – set the stage for the anecdote and provide context

T – Task – provide information on what your role was in the situation

A – Action – tell the interviewer how you as an individual dealt with the situation or tackled the challenge

R – Response – what was the outcome of your actions

Remember to always check the date and time for your interview, along with what you need to wear, and anything you need to take.

What next?

At the end of the interview, you should be given a rough time frame for when to expect a response, however if you haven’t heard anything and it has been a few weeks, you can always contact the company for an update.

If you think of any more questions or there is any information that you need to know after the interview is over, you can contact the company.

For any further support or guidance, please feel free to contact Career Connect, who can offer you a mock interview, or can be there to support you through the process and answer any questions that you might have.

To speak to one of our Career Coaches get in touch:

Email: careers@staffs.ac.uk

Twitter: @CareersAtStaffs

Instagram: @CareersAtStaffs

Facebook: Staffordshire University​ Career & Personal Development

LinkedIn: @CareersAtStaffs

How Do I Become An Accountant?

By Gemma McCann,

Written by Tom Bilby, from The Accountancy Partnership

So, you think you might want to pursue a career as an accountant – but you’re not sure where to start? Keep reading as we explore what qualifications you’ll need and take you through a few other important things to consider if you want to become an accountant, including:

• What area you’d like to specialise in

• Graduate programmes and apprenticeships

• Other forms of work experience

Do you need qualifications to become an accountant?

A university degree in accounting will, naturally, stand you in great stead but it’s by no means compulsory. In fact, you can have a degree in another subject – or no degree at all – and still build a super successful career as a qualified accountant.

While a university degree is not a mandatory requirement for a career in accounting, there are other qualifications you’ll need to achieve in order to progress through the industry.

An Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) qualification is the minimum typically required of prospective accountants. To progress to chartered accountancy, you’ll also need to complete the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), Association of Chartered Accountants (ACA) and/or (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants) CIMA qualifications too. Accountancy does love an acronym, starting with its qualifications!

Other sought-after accounting qualifications you can pursue are the Association of International Accountants (AIA) professional qualification, and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales) chartered accountant status (ICAEW).

Good employers will take you on as a junior accountant with an AAT qualification, and then support you with training and study leave if you do decide to pursue additional learning.

Think about what area you’d like to specialise in

When embarking on a career in accounting, you might be wondering about areas that you could specialise in. This isn’t something you need to be sure about as soon as you leave education, and your specialism may very well change as your career evolves. However, it helps to have an idea of what direction you’d like to start off in, or what options might at least be available.

The typical path into the industry is down the financial accounting route, which includes tax and business finances. There are other areas too, such as forensic accounting, audit and business recovery and insolvency.

As time goes on, you’ll need to figure out whether you want to work in the private or public sector, such as for local government, a charity, or a business. There are other variations too, such as working ‘in practice’ for an accounting firm, or for a business in their finance department.

Research graduate programmes and apprenticeships

For those who do choose to study for a university degree, there is the option of graduate schemes or graduate roles. These initiatives are designed to enable people to obtain important qualifications, such as the ones outlined above, recognising that you might be able to ‘skip’ some modules already covered by your degree.

For those who don’t go down the university route, apprenticeships are a great alternative. There are a whole host of programmes run by leading professional bodies, such as the ICAEW and ACCA, that enable people to achieve the necessary qualifications even if they didn’t attend university

Consider other forms of work experience

Graduate programmes and apprenticeships aren’t the only options available to you, and there’s often a great deal of competition to get into these kinds of schemes. Another great way to gain invaluable experience and get your foot in the door is to request a work placement or internship.

Going down this route still means you get to shadow practising accountants and absorb relevant hard and soft skills. They’ll be an invaluable addition to your CV when it comes to landing a full-time position.

Contact local accounting firms and express your interest in a work placement or voluntary work directly, or take a look on jobs boards and professional platforms such as LinkedIn to find open vacancies.

You might also look at other routes into the industry, such as starting in a different discipline like bookkeeping, before moving to accountancy.

Now you know what you need to do to become an accountant, all that’s left to do is go out there and kickstart your career. Good luck!

Article written by The Accountancy Partnership (https://www.theaccountancy.co.uk/) – Providing online accountancy services nationwide for a low, fixed monthly fee.

To speak to one of our Career Coaches get in touch:

Email: careers@staffs.ac.uk

Twitter: @CareersAtStaffs

Instagram: @CareersAtStaffs

Facebook: Staffordshire University​ Career & Personal Development

LinkedIn: @CareersAtStaffs

How To Increase Your Employability

By Gemma McCann,

Written by Gemma McCann.

What is employability?

Put simply, employability is all about how employable you are. So to increase your employability, you need to begin thinking like an employer… What do they look for in a prospective employee?

Employability includes:

  • Transferable Skills
  • Technical Skills
  • Subject Knowledge
  • Work experience
  • Additional knowledge
  • Professionalism

Transferable Skills – These are the general skills that you can pick up from a variety of areas such as education and employment. Transferable skills can include:

  • Active Listener
  • Communication
  • Team Work
  • Time Management
  • Organisation
  • Critical Thinking

Technical Skills – These can include skills developed through your particular field. Technical Skills can include:

  • IT-based programming skills knowledge.
  • In-depth knowledge of your chosen subject and particular specific knowledge needed (this can be found through specific modules)

Subject Knowledge – You will learn a lot about your chosen field throughout your course; however, there is so much more you can learn by doing some independent research.

Work Experience – This is always a good area to work on as it can be so simple to find. Work experience can be developed through paid jobs, voluntary work, placements, and internships.

Additional Knowledge – This can be anything extra that you have gained that you believe to be relevant and useful e.g. dbs, first aid, driving license.

Professionalism – It is important to remember to stay professional in everything that you do for an employer; from your cv, to your presentation at interview level.

Remember: For any support or guidance regarding careers, contact us using the below information, or pop in and see us on campus!

To speak to one of our Career Coaches get in touch:

Email: careers@staffs.ac.uk

Twitter: @CareersAtStaffs

Instagram: @CareersAtStaffs

Facebook: Staffordshire University​ Career & Personal Development

LinkedIn: @CareersAtStaffs

Placements – What You Need To Know.

By Gemma McCann,

Written by Gemma McCann.

Is a placement right for you?

The answer is yes! Whether you are looking to do a full placement year, a placement as an optional module, or you are just looking to fill up some of your spare time in the summer; a placement is the perfect option.

Why are placements important?

Placements improve your employability. It’s great for employers to see that you have a degree and knowledge in a specific subject area, however, experience is an essential tool. Experience is important to employers because they can see that you have an understanding of the subject area and they can see that you know how to apply it. Why is this important? Because it increases your chances of success when applying for jobs. Placements are also an important opportunity for you because it gives you insight into what that job entails. You might find that you do a placement and don’t enjoy that particular job role, you then know that you can look for another role that will be more suited to you.

What type of placement should you look for?

There is no right or wrong answer here. As you begin to look through placement opportunities you will become alert to the type of placements that suit you. It is ideal to get a placement that relates in some way to; 1) the type of job or subject area that you are interested in, and/or 2) the employers/companies that you are interested in.

Where should I be looking for placement opportunities?

Some useful websites can be:

  • My Career (Accessible through the Staffordshire University website).
  • Rate My Placement.
  • Prospects
  • Total Jobs
  • Indeed
  • LinkedIn
  • Milkround
  • Gradcracker
  • Google (Search ‘Placements UK’ etc)

If you have a specific employer in mind then you can always look on the careers section of their website to see if they have any placement/internship/volunteering opportunities. You can also email companies directly with information on what you are looking for, to see if there is anything that they can offer you.

What should you do after securing a placement?

  • Keep your personal tutor informed, particularly if it is a placement directly for your course.
  • Keep a diary or an information sheet about what you did and learned throughout your placement (you might want to refer back to this for your future cv or in job interviews).
  • If you have looked to the Career Connect Hub for any guidance or advice then you can let them know about your achievement (We love to hear about our students’ successes!).

If you are struggling to find an appropriate placement or you are unsure of the application process, you can talk to your personal tutors/lecturers or you can book an appointment with, or pop down to the Career Connect Hub for any guidance and support.

To speak to one of our Career Coaches get in touch:

Email: careers@staffs.ac.uk

Twitter: @CareersAtStaffs

Instagram: @CareersAtStaffs

Facebook: Staffordshire University​ Career & Personal Development

LinkedIn: @CareersAtStaffs

How To Have A Productive Summer!

By Gemma McCann,

Written by Gemma McCann

Happy Summer!

Exams and assignments are coming to an end, and I know that many students will be preparing for summer; going home, having barbecues, and sun, sun, sun! This time of year however can be valuable in enhancing your employability and future prospects.

How can I make my summer productive?

  • Create/update your cv – Summer can be a great time to start thinking about creating or updating your placement/graduate cv. This is a task that can be done so easily, no matter where you are, and it could save you a lot of time in the future! To begin, it can be useful to gather your educational background and personal details, you can then move on to your work experience and then you can start to think about what skills you may have gained. You can then have a go at putting your information together in a professional-looking cv, or you can contact the Career Connect Hub to help you finalise it.
  • Work experience – This is the perfect opportunity to gain some experience in your chosen field of study. Whether it be paid or voluntary work, any kind of work experience you can get will be both productive and advantageous in enhancing your skillset, gaining some work-based knowledge, and building your cv. It can also keep you as busy or as free as you like… You can choose your availability. If you are interested in this, but you don’t know where to start then contact us and we can help!

Work, rest, play:

Although it can seem tempting to do absolutely everything you can to utilise your summer, it is important to remember that you are most efficient when you are feeling your best; so a balance between work, rest, and play is key to success.

Remember! The Career Connect Hub is still open throughout the summer, so if you are around and would like some support then pop in and see us, or if you are away from campus this summer then book a digital appointment, or for general queries email in.

To speak to one of our Career Coaches get in touch:

Email: careers@staffs.ac.uk

Twitter: @CareersAtStaffs

Instagram: @CareersAtStaffs

Facebook: Staffordshire University​ Career & Personal Development

LinkedIn: @CareersAtStaffs

Social Media – How To Network Right:

By Gemma McCann,

Written by Gemma McCann

Fact! 85% of jobs are filled via networking. Fact! 70% of jobs are NEVER advertised.

YOU WANT IT? YOU GET IT!… But How?

First thing’s first… Where to network? Many social media platforms can be used, depending on what you need them for. The most commonly used platforms for networking, however, are LinkedIn and Instagram. Why? They are professional and pleasant to view, and they are simple to use!

Top Tip! Keep your professional profile and your personal profile separate! Your potential employers want to see what you are capable of, your work, and your previous experience – not what you had for your lunch or who you are dating!

What should your profile include?

It depends on what platform you are using as to how much information you include; for example:

Instagram – As this is picture-based, it can be perfect for creating an online portfolio! However, it doesn’t give you much room for writing. Work, skills, and experience can be shown creatively throughout the pictures, with a bit of detail going into the caption. That leaves the ‘short but sweet’ bio for you to add who you are and the contact details that you would like potential employers to contact you on.

LinkedIn – This can be a useful place to host all of your relevant information, similarly to your cv. You can fit a lot of your important details in here – just remember to keep it relevant and to the point. If you ramble on, potential employers won’t want to read; this is why it is important to keep your beginning section short and punchy, much like your personal profile on your cv. You can then go into more detail further down, where the employers can choose to carry on reading but remember to keep it relevant!

Fact! At least 84% of organisations use social media for recruitment, and 9% of those who do not yet use it are planning to start.

What content should you consider including?

  • Skills.
  • Qualifications.
  • Keep it short, and relevant.
  • Be positive and enthusiastic.
  • Mention career goals/aspirations.
  • All contact information that you would be happy to be contacted on e.g. business cards, email address.

Top Tip! Post engaging content – only what you would like potential employers to see.

What contacts should you use/look for?

  • Former and current colleagues.
  • People you went to school/college/university with.
  • Contacts made through dedicated networking events.
  • Contacts made through conferences and career/employability fairs.

Top Tip! You can look for and interact with potential employers too!

Why is it important to network on social media?

  • Career support.
  • Useful information and to gain knowledge.
  • Company relations and speculative applications.

For any further information, or for support on how to set up/use your social media for career networking please feel free to contact the Career Connect Hub!

To speak to one of our Career Coaches get in touch:

Email: careers@staffs.ac.uk

Twitter: @CareersAtStaffs

Instagram: @CareersAtStaffs

Facebook: Staffordshire University​ Career & Personal Development

LinkedIn: @CareersAtStaffs

Job-Hunting… Where To Begin

By Gemma McCann,

Written by Sarah Hartley.

Students predominantly attend university with the goal of getting a job at the end of their degree, however, it’s sometimes a struggle to know where to start! Developing good job-hunting habits is essential to getting a job.

What to do when job-hunting:

1. Network:

Networking is one of the most effective tactics when it comes to job-hunting. When an opportunity arises, introduce yourself and start a conversation, and get to know new people. Where you are doesn’t matter; opportunities to network are everywhere, and you never know where the connection or conversation may lead.

2. Enhance your credentials:

What are your career goals? Once you know the answer to this question and know where you want to go, you can start looking into conferences, seminars, programs, etc. which will allow you to expand your knowledge and make you invaluable to potential employers.

3. Boost your CV:

It is imperative to have a good CV. You want to make a great first impression, and having a good CV allows you to do this. Your CV needs to make you stand out; ensuring you’re not overlooked by employers or recruiters. Before applying for jobs, fine-tune your CV, and ideally get it reviewed.

4. Practice interviewing:

If your CV is accepted and you are invited to an interview, make sure you’re ready. Interview skills can be perfected in several different ways:

· Roleplay with a friend/family, where they ask you interview questions

· Record yourself, and see where you could improve

· Use a mirror to see how you present yourself

5. Utilise what Staffordshire University has to offer:

The University has a team who are trained to aid you with all of the above, and more. Our skilled Career Coaches offer peer-to-peer support, regarding any career-related queries you may have. Appointments can be made through our website, MyCareer. As well as this, MyCareer shows all the roles available to students; with emphasis on graduate-level roles.

Hopefully this will help you when job-hunting! If you require any assistance, feel free to contact the Career Connect team!

To speak to one of our Career Coaches get in touch:

Email: careers@staffs.ac.uk

Twitter: @CareersAtStaffs

Instagram: @CareersAtStaffs

Facebook: Staffordshire University​ Career & Personal Development

LinkedIn: @CareersAtStaffs

Career Connect Hub – How Can We Help You?

By Gemma McCann,

Written by Gemma McCann

Career Connect - Current students - Staffordshire University

Hi, I’m Gemma! A level 4 Psychology and Criminology student, and career coach. I wanted to become a career coach because I love to help people. I have a lot of career-based knowledge and experience, and I would love to pass this on to make people feel more confident and relaxed in their own applications and career experiences.

Who Are We?

From career advisors to career coaches, from cv’s to graduate jobs; we’ve got you covered. At the career connect hub we strive to offer you a happy and helpful service, as a team of well-trained and knowledgeable individuals, we are here to support you. We are a team of friendly, dedicated, and reliable staff, who will always have your back.

Where Are We?

You can find us located – Room 1, Career Connect Hub, Science Centre, Leek Road. This can be accessed by going through the Career Connect Hub door which is located at the back of the Science Centre building. This can also be accessed by going through the front of the building and walking towards the back wall and then turning right down the corridor.

What Can We Offer You?

The Career Connect Hub can offer students a range of support in the following areas:

  • Cv
  • Cover letter
  • Personal statement
  • LinkedIn/Professional social media profiles
  • Application guidance
  • Psychometric tests
  • Mock interviews
  • Searching for and securing placements, voluntary and paid work experience, and jobs

When Are We Available?

Appointments can be booked with the career advisors and career coaches throughout the year (except Christmas holidays) Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm (depending on appointment availability), we try to be as flexible as possible to ensure that we meet the needs of everybody. Drop-in sessions are also available, along with selective digital appointments.

Our contact email address and phone line are also operational between these days and times, and we aim to respond as quickly and efficiently as possible.

My Career – How To Book Appointments:

Go to the Staffordshire University website (www.staffs.ac.uk), and find the student tab in the top right-hand corner. Seek careers, click the MyCareer tab and login by using your Staffordshire university email address and password.

To create a student profile, open the menu tab in the top right-hand corner and click on your name. Click on the ‘Edit Profile’ tab in the top right-hand corner and fill out your details and preferences.

Don’t forget to save the changes!

To book an appointment, scroll down the page to ‘Upcoming Bookings’, seek sub header, and select search appointments. From there, you can select the type of booking that you would like to make and then proceed to make the booking.

We look forward to seeing and hearing from you, and offering our expertise to support your pathway to achieving your goals!

To speak to one of our Career Coaches get in touch:

Email: careers@staffs.ac.uk

Twitter: @CareersAtStaffs

Instagram: @CareersAtStaffs

Facebook: Staffordshire University​ Career & Personal Development

LinkedIn: @CareersAtStaffs