Securing your Graduate Role

University – what a ride! First of all, a huge congratulations to you for graduating – get celebrating!


Now, whether you’re thinking of taking a well-deserved break for a while or whether you’re ready to keep pushing forward into your professional life, it’s never too early to start applying and securing your graduate role.

Read on to get the best tips and tricks, as well as getting to know your support system at Staffordshire University.


My Journey 

I secured my first full-time role recently in June 2021. When I submitted my final assignment, I felt an influx of emotions: relief, fear, excitement.

I first felt underwhelmed, because throughout my time at university, I had a few goals that I wanted to achieve. Unfortunately, obstacles flew in from all angles – personal, financial, and housing. It made focusing on these goals and studying extremely tough and unrewarding. I felt like I physically dragged myself to the finish line: 4pm, May the 4th (be with you).

I felt like I ran out of time to do the things I wanted to at university. I think I was also just so relieved that it was all over that I looked for more negatives than positives in my situation. 

Eventually, I “chillaxed”. There was a new obstacle to overcome – an exciting and new experience for me – getting a full-time job. After my final submission, I applied to over 200 jobs on all sites that I could think of. This kept me busy after university, which was exciting and nerve-wracking too.¬†

With my English Literature & Creative Writing degree, I heard these a LOT: 

  1. “So, you wanna be a teacher then?”
  2. “*Laughter*”¬†
  3. “Good luck getting a job with that degree!”¬†

But this didn’t put me off at all. Most of the time, these were jokey remarks, and I felt like I could prove them wrong.¬†

I was so grateful to have spoken with my personal tutor, Mark Brown. He told me to think outside the box and to look at what I have learned during my time at university. Now, my degree wasn’t a label, but an ocean of skills and experience that I could fish out and present at my job interview.¬†

I got out an A3 piece of paper and drew a mind map. After scribbling down my skills, work experience, volunteering, and extra-curricular activities. I realised I had more to offer than I thought. Eventually, I realised I could apply my skills to so many job titles I’d enjoy: copywriting, marketing, translation, freelancing, and graphic design.

I got my job as a Marketing Assistant & Creative Producer Assistant thanks to Unitemps. Lizzy was so supportive & she helped ease my nerves for the interview. She also encouraged me to get some certificates online to stand out from others. So I did!  


Target Keyword Searches

These are essentially the keywords you use in the search bar, whether that’d be on Google, Indeed, LinkedIn, and other job search websites to help refine your list of jobs. This makes job hunting easier because you will be matched with more roles that suit your level of expertise, as well as your interests.

It can be daunting to look at the list of irrelevant job roles without first refining your job needs. For example, on LinkedIn, you will see these filter options in the “Jobs” section:

At first, 24,000 jobs appear and it will take too much time trying to scroll through page after page of job titles for candidates with 25 years of experience! Filter through the following options: 

  • Remote: this is a preference. If you are a stay-at-home parent or you would love to work for a company but would like to stay in your jammies at home-sweet-home, then click on “Remote” button.
  • Date Posted: experiment with this. It helps to lower the number of searches and the earlier the job post, the better. This is because many job postings from earlier may have expired, so it would be a waste of time applying to those.
  • Experience Level: many graduates like myself would typically click on “entry-level” jobs, “internship” or “associate”

LinkedIn offers a free trial for their Premium Feature which can be helpful when seeing what the other applicants’ backgrounds are like, which job titles match your skills on your profile and who is viewing your profile.¬†


University & ‘Career Planning’

Did you know that Staffordshire University graduates have access to Career and Personal Development support for life? 

On their page, ‘Life after University‘, the Careers Team suggests that having a ‘Career Plan’ is useful to help you understand yourself and what options you have for careers moving forward. The list will ultimately help you understand the following:¬†

  • Your strengths, values and interests – as well as what you could work on to stand out from other candidates.¬†
  • The goals you need to work towards your career (long-term and short-term). This will help you stay motivated and organised, because job-hunting is no easy feat.¬†
  • Some ideas of which fields you can apply yourself to (what jobs could you do).¬†

If you would like to find out more about this, please visit HERE

 


MyCareer

“MyCareer is your career and personal development one-stop-shop and the first place to go to:

  • Look for jobs and experience
  • Book a place on career workshops and events
  • Ask quick career-related questions”.

Once you have graduated, you will have received an email asking you to register for a new graduate account. This will give you access to a variety of work, with exclusive access to you, the graduate! You can also register HERE if you haven’t received it or are visiting after years of graduating at Staffs.

As well as finding work, their Careers Team is on hand every day of the working week (Mon-Fri), virtually and in-person, to help you in the following: 

  • Writing a tailored CV
  • Writing the best cover letter for that particular role you’re applying for
  • Answering any career-related questions (or anything about student life; did you know that the Career Coaches are current students?)¬†
  • LinkedIn Assistance
  • Practice Interviews¬†

And a lot more to list… Visit the link above and contact them today!


Unitemps

Saving the best for last – kidding, we’re all useful in our own way; and it’s a lot more beneficial if you use all the services mentioned here regularly!

Unitemps offers new opportunities on the daily, whether that’d be a part-time role, a full-time graduate role, temporary or permanent roles, virtual or in-office roles, graduate schemes and more.¬†

We also offer placement opportunities if you decide to stay in education. Placements are a great way to get on-the-job experience within your subject area. These vary from 12-week projects such as SAMPID to full 12-month placements. Undertaking a placement can be beneficial to your subject area knowledge and employability after completion of your award. 

We have roles tailored to every need and with just a few clicks of a button, you can send out your best CV and Cover Letter after visiting the Careers Studio and registering with us HERE. 


Not only do we offer the opportunities above, but did you know that we are in partnership with Staffordshire University for the following schemes?:

1) SAMPID

As it was just Women’s Engineering Day a week ago today, you may have heard of SAMPID. But if you haven’t, that’s okay! SAMPID stands for the ‘Advanced Manufacturing, Prototyping and Innovation Demonstrator’ programme.¬†

The primary aim of SAMPID is to drive innovation in Advanced Manufacturing Sectors across the Staffordshire region. In just 12-months, you will develop skills in your STEM field.

Please read our previous blog to find out more about SAMPID HERE. 


2) SDIPs 

The Staffordshire Digital Innovation Partnerships (SDIPs) programme is a collaborative project between Staffordshire University and Staffordshire County Council to drive transformation through digital innovation in the region. The project is funded by Staffordshire University, Staffordshire County Council and the European Regional Development Fund 2014-2020 and will run until December 2021.

  • Digital Innovation Partnerships (DIPs)
  • Business Intelligence Partnerships (BIPs)
  • Social Challenge Innovation Partnerships (SCIPs)

Register with Unitemps Today:

https://www.unitemps.com/Register/Candidate

Follow Unitemps on Twitter for Regular Updates! @UnitempsStaffs

 

Placement Opportunities

Placements

Placements are a great way to get on-the-job experience within your subject area. These vary from 12-week projects such as SAMPID to full 12-month placements. Undertaking a placement can be beneficial to your subject area knowledge and employability after completion of your award. 

Unitemps’ Placement Opportunities

Unitemps offers many placement opportunities for Staffordshire University students wishing to get real hands-on experience, as well as great connections for when they graduate. Read on to find out the benefits of seizing this opportunity!


What type of placement can I do?

There are many placements available to students at Staffordshire University. The main year of industry placement is the most well-known. With many other project based placements also offered.

A Year in Industry

A year in Industry is usually based within an organisation in your subject area. These are usually started after the end of your studies in your second year. It is usually up to you to find a placement at the start of your second year of university, However, academic staff usually post relevant opportunities they find within your course’s teams group or blackboard area and are sure to assist you in finding one if necessary.

SAMPID

Staffordshire Advanced Manufacturing, Prototyping and Innovation Demonstrator is a scheme aimed to drive innovation in advanced manufacturing sectors across the region. The aim of the project is to support businesses to develop new to the market products or components utilising groundbreaking equipment. Funded by Staffordshire University and the European Regional Development Fund (2014-2020) these placements are offered on a paid basis lasting 12 weeks at 15 hours per week.

Throughout the placement, a dedicated academic will support one day per week.

This can be in any of the following areas:

  • Aero-auto
  • Energy
  • Agri-tech
  • Medical Technology
  • Applied Materials
  • Transport
  • Food and Drink

Within the placement, you would have the opportunity to utilise Staffordshire Universities Advanced Manufacturing Equipment, such as; Metal 3D printers (Solvent washable), Sinter oven (for metal 3D printers), Educational Robot, Collaborative Robot, Inspection Camera, Spin coater and Probe station.

SDIPS

Staffordshire Digital Innovation Partnerships, this programme is aimed at collaborating with small to medium enterprises to enable digital innovation within their organisation. These projects last for 24 weeks and are focussed on three areas:

  • Digital Innovation Partnerships‚ÄĒFocused on technological transformation to support the development of new processes, services or products and their accompanying transformational change within their business.
  • Business Intelligence Partnerships‚ÄĒFocused on supporting businesses to unlock the power of the data they collect, utilising a range of business intelligence tools and techniques.
  • Social Challenge Innovation Partnerships‚ÄĒStaffordshire County council priorities that a business can pitch to develop prototype solutions to.

These projects are all full time for the duration of 6 months, with the support of an academic for half a day per week.


Why a Placement? 

Instead of going into your third year of your degree, a student placement is an option to take a year out to work for an established industry relevant to your area of study. What’s the point of taking a year out when you could just finish that degree and get a job after?

Here’s a few reasons a placement may be the right option for you:

  • You will get real industry experience which will increase your employability and skills.
  • It will also help you apply what you have learnt in theory, so you will have a fantastic, competitive edge when entering the job market (and increased subject area knowledge!).
  • You will also figure out if the career you‚Äôre pursuing is really right for you and the different job roles within that sector that you may want to consider.
  • You may even be able to find a salaried placement.
  • And lastly, the obvious: you get great contacts! TopResume states that ‚Äė60 percent of jobs are found through networking.‚Äô, so being able to reach out and build relationships will be vital to your job-search in the future.
  • Many times, students have been offered guaranteed graduate roles whilst taking a placement (Wouldn’t you love to spend your third year at Uni knowing you have a job lined up, with a company you are already comfortable with straight afterwards?!).

What’s a Placement Like?

Different for every organization and sector, a placement will technically be a full-time role. You will get a chance to develop your knowledge and skills practically which you build your skill set; this will be a fantastic head start when entering your final year of your degree! You will also work alongside an experienced team too, which will be a great way to network and ask questions.  


Some Stats to Think About

  • According to ISE Development Survey, the importance of work experience is highlighted by the fact that 87% of respondents agreed that a student who had completed an internship had a more enhanced skill set – than those who did not.
  • They also found that employers rehired an average of 43% of their placement students.
  • It is estimated that the average salary of students who have completed sandwich placements is 8% higher than those that did not, six months after graduating.

Where does Unitemps Come In?

Register with us on www.Unitemps.com where you will regularly see placements being posted. So far, we have placed 15 students on a placement since 2021 and we are excited to give more students the opportunity to develop their skill set. We have 6 live placement opportunities in a variety of sectors.


Other ways to get a Placement with Staffordshire University

MyCareer (Online/Science Centre):

The Career Coaches are there for you all week to support your with tailoring a CV or cover letter, coaching you for your next placement with mock interviews and supporting you in building your portfolio. Placement opportunities are also advertised on MyCareer, so check regularly!

Contact them via online (MyCareer), going into a drop-in session at the Science Centre, or emailing them at careers@staffs.ac.uk.


Employability Hub (Microsoft Teams):

Students will be automatically enrolled onto this page, where there will be jobs and placement opportunities regularly updated on their files. All opportunities will relate to a specific degree area, so that all students have a good chance at securing employment.


Useful Resources:

  1. www.ratemyplacement.co.uk
  2. www.prospects.ac.uk
  3. https://www.studentjob.co.uk/placement
  4. LinkedIn
  5. Indeed
  6. TotalJobs
  7. Gradcracker
  8. unitemps.com
  9. mycareer.staffs.ac.uk
  10. Bright Network
  11. Google Jobs
  12. Reed
  13. TargetJobs
  14. SimplyHired

Register with Unitemps Today:

https://www.unitemps.com/Register/Candidate

Follow Unitemps on Twitter for Regular Updates! @UnitempsStaffs

 

Disability Support

Disability Support  

Unitemps are here for every student at Staffordshire University all year round. Working closely with the Student Support and Well-Being team, we employ Student Support Workers to work with students who may be facing difficulties while studying. Whether that be with their academic work or with their mental health, Unitemps are here to help.  

We offer students two main types of support whilst studying, working with a Specialist Mentor (ASC & Mental Health) or a Specialist Study Skills Tutor (ASC & SpLD) or both. 


Specialist Mentor (Mental Health & ASC) 

A Specialist Mentor will regularly support you with:  

  • Motivation and¬†setting¬†goals
  • Mindfulness and relaxation¬†
  • Managing expectations about appropriate levels of study¬†¬†
  • Creating appropriate study patterns¬†¬†
  • Finding the tools and mindset to achieve personal academic¬†goals¬†
  • Study-related stress or anxiety management¬†
  • Time management, organisational skills, and study/exam preparation skills¬†
  • Understanding your illness and managing symptoms, signs, and triggers


Specialist Study Skills Tutor (ASC & SpLD (Specific Learning Difficulties such as dyslexia, dyspraxia)) 

A Specialist Study Skills Tutor will regularly support you with:  

  • Structuring essays and other written work¬†¬†
  • Critical and reflective thinking and research skills¬†¬†
  • Comprehension, summarising, referencing and notetaking¬†¬†
  • Developing and implementing proofreading strategies¬†¬†
  • Assisting with time management and other academic-related organisational skills¬†
  • Examination preparation/revision techniques¬†¬†
  • Understanding and implementing feedback from academic staff¬†

After University?  

When coming to the end of their studies and entering the world of work, we aim to maximise the student’s opportunities by working with our Careers Service and Student Support Team, offering extra guidance to ensure that they are fully equipped when applying for jobs.  

 


 
Student Support:  

Health and Wellbeing at Staffs: 

https://www.staffs.ac.uk/student-life/student-support/health-and-wellbeing 

More on Dyslexia:  

https://www.staffs.ac.uk/students/support/access-ability-services/our-services/dyslexia-support 

 


Careers Studio:   

The Careers Team can help with:¬†‚ÄėCV Preparation, Interview Skills Practice, LinkedIn Assistance, Confidence Building, Advice on Where to look for Job Opportunities, Placement Advice, The Value of Volunteering and more‚Ķ.‚Äô¬†

https://www.staffs.ac.uk/students/careers/careers-studio 

 


 Register with us today:  

https://www.staffs.ac.uk/business-services/recruit-talent/next-role  

Follow us on social media for regular updates: 

Twitter: @UnitempsStaffs  

LinkedIn: Unitemps Staffordshire University 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/UnitempsStaffs