This quote may actually be right, but how do you do it? How do we successfully network with people and what makes the person you’re reaching out to want to help you find a job?
Read on to get our top 5 tips and tricks on networking successfully.
Start Using Social Media
For many, face-to-face contact is a daunting experience. With social media, it is a lot easier to get to know someone who shares the same background and interests as you. It also helps you know beforehand whether you would like to put in the time getting to know someone.
Start using the following platforms:
Engage with content that other people are sharing and liking. Comment your thoughts and opinions on a shared topic; this can be a great conversation starter and a point to refer back to if and when you meet this person face-to-face.
Also, get involved and spice up your profile with a profile picture, a biography and some interesting posts. Don’t forget to take some time to browse through your posting history and make sure you aren’t sharing or involving yourself with any offensive or controversial topics.
Quick tip: mass-requesting to follow people is not the right way to network. It is not about the numbers, but the quality of each connection you make.
Read below to find out how to form genuine relationships.
2. Arrive Early to Events
Events are a fantastic opportunity for you to cheerlead your skills and show off your best self. But it can be uncomfortable when you walk into the venue and see hundreds of people huddled in their own bubble. So arriving early to events can be beneficial because you can form a group with those who are just arriving. Everyone would love to talk to somebody, and this is a great way to introduce yourself.
3. It’s Give & Take
Many people forget that networking is a two-way street. When you approach someone, talk about yourself, and then ask for a favour, you are essentially coming across as selfish. And of course, it would be fantastic to just walk up to someone, ask for a CEO position and get it – just like that. I wish that was true…
But networking is all about building a rapport. When you meet someone, what can you offer them? What will they gain from talking to you? Knowing all of this and being able to share this across naturally will help the keep the other person engaged with the conversation and invested in you.
4. Be Kind and Be You!
Build genuine relationships. Just be yourself. In many comedic films, when the protagonist goes to an office party and tries to network by being self-aggrandising and pretentious, it always ends in a flop. I’m not sure if this was the old way to network, but in 2021, people are becoming more open to real people.
If you’re feeling anxious about the event, prepare some questions you’d like to know about someone beforehand. Have some cue-cards at hand, so you can drive the conversation. And know that awkward, silent moments happen. If you don’t click with someone, just thank them for their time and wish them well.
5. Listening is Just as Important…
Listening to others is so important, more so than the talking. People are so quick to talk about themselves that the conversation becomes one-sided.
Picking up on some of the things that they say can help you so much in the conversation. If you’re able to relate to someone’s experience and bringing it back to circulation in the conversation will reflect on you as a good listener.
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.
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:
“So, you wanna be a teacher then?”
“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 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?)
And a lot more to list… Visit the link above and contact them today!
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?:
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.
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:
Follow Unitemps on Twitter for Regular Updates! @UnitempsStaffs
With the academic year slowly coming to an end, many of you are starting to wonder, “What is the next step?”. For many, this is a daunting question and for others the prospects are exciting. But whether you are thinking of just taking a breather or jumping straight into your graduate role, here are our top tips when applying for first graduate role!
Map out your Hard & Soft Skills ?
It’s likely that employers require some hard skills, but soft skills are just as important and will also be needed for your role, so what is the difference between hard and soft skills?
Hard skills are technical abilities which are specific to the role. They are skills that are typically learned through training/education such as speaking a foreign language, coding, cleaning procedures and more.
Soft skills, on the other hand, are interpersonal/introspective abilities that can be more difficult to learn without real-life and hands-on experience. For example, leadership, creativity, compassion and more.
Create a brainstorm or jot down any volunteering, university or work experience you’ve done and list all the skills you have developed or gained from those. Perhaps a group presentation has taught you to be innovative, or you led a group to achieve a fantastic grade. These will all be useful for your interview, and particularly if you can present those skills in a SMART format.
As a graduate, employers know you may not have all the skills required, but if you are motivated and excited about the role, that may just be your ticket in! Be passionate.
Dedicate Time into Each Application ⏲
Each role will require a new CV and Cover Letter in order to show employers that you have read and understood the role. It also reflects you as a person who is detail-oriented and are keen on getting the job because you put effort into your application.
Make Time for Everything Else ???
It’s easy to get caught up with job applications and we sometimes may neglect things that are just as important such as taking time out for hobbies and socialising with friends. It’s easy to feel guilty if you’ve not applied for a certain number of roles in a day or even if you get a rejection email. But, taking care of yourself is important so you don’t get burnt out and can show your best self in an interview!
Consider every opportunity! ⭐
Everybody wants an ideal work-life with a fantastic salary and great hours, but the most important thing to do as a graduate is to get your foot in the door and consider all jobs out there. So, don’t just ignore temporary roles or jobs that pay minimum wage! Also, make sure these roles interest you, so that you’re able to progress and develop yourself in the long run. You want to love what you’re doing!
It’s something that we all experience at some point: rejection. Rejectionmay dent our confidence and lower our motivation to keep trying. But now is the best time to work over those feelings!
So, here are my top tips to help you keep trying, applying, and staying positive.
If it feels right, ask to be considered for other roles and thank the interviewer for their time. Whilst you may not have been the best fit for the role you have applied for, don’t burn those bridges.
Connect with your employer on LinkedIn and follow their page to see what other opportunities they have for you. It’s a fact that kindness goes a long way, so who knows what could happen? Perhaps another similar role will open within that company, so the employer would contact you first! Keep your options open.
Ask for Feedback
Follow-up the interview with an email asking for personal feedback.Not only will you get closure, but you may also find areas you need to work on. Whilst it is a bit uncomfortable to ask for feedback, their response could help you ace that next interview!
You can also access the Careers Studio at Staffordshire University. Career Coaches can support you in a variety of ways. They can support you with personalising your CVs and cover letter. You can also have 1-to-1 practice interviews, sessions on confidence–building, and so much more.
Talk to your family and peers. The worst thing to do after an interview is nothing; that would just eat you up! So, let it all out by talking to a trusted friend or family member. It will just ease the pressure, especially because they can relate on some level or another.
Keep Your Head Held High
Being unsuccessful does not mean that you have failed or are a failure. If you feel you were the perfect fit for the role, it’s important to note that the employer would’ve loved to have you on board, but another candidate just turned out to be stronger in one way or another.
Consider all the positives that have come from the interview itself. Were there any unexpected questions that came up? Did you feel confident and prepared for the interview? Everything that happens is an opportunity, so look at the brighter side and keep trying.
It’s the best news you could have heard that day, but it’s not over yet. There are still many things you can do to prepare for your new role and that you should try to do before you start!
So, here are our top tips to help you get into the groove of your new position and settle in as best you can!
First thing’s first
Now you have been accepted for the role you need to say yes, it would also be courteous to thank the interviewer and the Unitemps consultant for their time. Thankfully you were the best fit for the role, now is the time to create a connection (you never know when you may need to find employment again!). If you haven’t updated your LinkedIn for a while this is the perfect opportunity (with a great profile picture too!)
Connect with your new employer on LinkedIn and follow the company pages if you haven’t already to give a good first impression. This is also an opportunity to have another look at the company and who you will be working with.
Follow-up the interview with an email asking for personal feedback. Even though you got the role, they may have some valuable feedback to find areas you need to work on (and might also highlight the areas where you shine). Try not to be uncomfortable when asking for feedback, as you did get the role and their response could help you further improve for a future interview.
Getting ready for your role
Discuss the news with your family and peers, they may have supported you through your application so make sure to show your appreciation for this. Celebrate your successes and think about what you did that caught their eye. Discuss what the role entails and when you are likely to be working and how much. Make sure to not get snowed under as soon as you start and manage your time well. If you used the career studio then make sure to thank them for their support too!
Now you have been successful and thanked anybody who supported your application it’s time to prepare for work.
A few key things to make sure you do before starting work
Accept the role – make sure you have contacted your Unitemps consultant or new employer to accept the role!
Research the company – make sure you know what they do and where they provide their services the more you know about them on your first day the more prepared you will look.
Update your Account – ensure your Unitemps account has all your most recent information on such as emergency contacts and bank details (so you can get paid!)
Find out how to submit timesheets – ensure you know how to submit timesheets, your consultant should send you a document showing how to do this or you can visit here for more information.
Update your calendar – make notes of key dates in your calendar, for example timesheet approval deadlines, pay days, days you are due to work and employment start and end dates.
Ensure you know how to submit holiday pay requests – whilst working through Unitemps you will likely accrue holiday pay at an hourly rate, this can be requested at the “Claim holiday pay” tab in your Unitemps account, take a look to make sure you know where this is.
Ensure you know how to get to work – plan the bus route or work out how much traffic there will be if you drive (you don’t want to be late for your first shift!)
Prepare to Dress to impress – Make sure to make a great first impression by dressing to impress.
Are you #Readyforwork?
Now you should be ready to start work, make sure you have confirmed your start date with both your new employer and the Unitemps consultant.
Good luck in your new role and don’t forget to follow our social media so you can share our opportunities to your connections too!
Since the pandemic, the UK government has advised us to stay at home and to work from home if we can. Now that we must adjust to fresh ways of learning and working, it may seem overwhelming. Even if you were working remotely before, lockdown has brought everyone unique hurdles, so here are our top five life hacks to help boost productivity at home.
Dedicate a Workspace. ?️
In this study, 80% of young professionals admit to working from bed—who can blame them? But just think about this: why would you want your cosy, warm bed to be associated with work? It is a shudder-inducing thought indeed.
Choose an area, ideally not in the bedroom, where you can study and work. Perhaps there is a room with a lot of good artificial light and warmth? It may even be the living room or kitchen, but it is important that you have a place where you can focus and associate with productivity.
Set Some Boundaries! ❌
Talk with your family or roommates about your schedule, so that they can respect the time you need to focus. If you are not able to work in a quiet room, invest in some sound-cancelling headphones or listen to some white noise to help you stay focused.
Not only is it important to set boundaries within your household, but also at work. It is easy to get carried away with work at home, especially if you are having to squeeze in deadlines or take on new tasks. Try to log off when your workday is over so that you can spend some quality time with your loved ones.
To-Do Lists. ?️
It will be difficult to focus on work whilst distractions are looming. I, for one, just had to log out of social media because I would be on autopilot, scrolling through dog videos until who knows when.
One of the best ways to combat procrastination is to set a to-do list. One way that you can do this is to set reminders on your Google calendar or notebook and dedicate each hour to an important task. If you complete the task within the timeframe given, you can reward yourself with a break!
Take regular Breaks. ?♀️
We are exposed to so much artificial light now. We are in a virtual meeting, replying to texts, whilst a lamp blares in our eyes. That is not good for us, is it? Not only does that affect our sleep patterns, but it will also affect our mood.
Get outside, even if it is in your garden or balcony, and reap the natural benefits from the sunlight. Not only is it good for your eyes, but 15 minutes of natural light also boosts your serotonin intake, produces vitamin D, increases creativity, and more.
Also, do your best not to work virtually an hour or two before bed. Looking at bright screens reduces the melatonin in your body that you need to fall asleep. When your sleep schedule is out of whack, not only will you have a poor quality of sleep, but you will also be less productive than the day before.
Be Kind. ?
Working from home is new, challenging, and it can overwhelm us. Every day is a new day to do the best you can, and every evening is the time to switch off from work, relax, love yourself and others around you.
Stay connected with colleagues, family and friends and remember that we are not superhuman. Acknowledge that we may not get everything that we hoped to get done that day, and that is okay. Be pragmatic about what you can do for the day ahead instead.
Since the pandemic, we have all had to adapt to newer ways of communicating—with family, friends, and potential employers. For landing a new job, first impressions have always been important, but it is now even more important to show your best self through your digital screen. So, how do you do that? Here are the top 5 tips to ensure that you are ready to ace your next virtual interview!
1: Prep your Tech. ⚙️
While you may be fully prepared to talk about your qualifications and work experience, what good would that be if your connection cut-out midway during a great conversation? Here are some things to look out for before your interview:
Have an ethernet cable plugged in to avoid any unwanted disruptions.
Rehearse the interview with a friend to ensure your camera, microphone, and connection are working sufficiently.
Before your interview, silence your phone, close irrelevant tabs, and try to reschedule any deliveries for a later time.
Add your interview’s time and date into your calendar so that you are ready on time.
2: Dress the Part. ?
Whilst the interview may take place in your bedroom, make sure you have taken the steps to dress out of your comfy pyjamas and into something more formal and appropriate.
There are usually one of three main types of dress-code suggested for the interview (research the company’s dress-code beforehand):
Making this effort will show that you care for the role, whilst bringing a sense of normality to the virtual interview. There is also a science to it: researchers have found that dressing the part improves your focus, productivity, and performance, so it is a win-win situation for both you and the employer!
3: Look Around You! ?
Working from home has brought about memorable and viral videos and news articles, but whilst it is funny and relatable, it is best to remove those distractions for your interview. Not only will a quiet and clean background look professional, but it will also show the employer that you have an environment where you can work well in and will not be distracted by.
Look around your space and ask yourself these questions:
Are there any offensive or inappropriate objects in the background?
How would I feel if I saw my that in my interviewer’s background?
If you can add a ‘background filter’ which looks professional in your interview, use it if you feel you cannot alter your space yourself. The ‘blur’ effect or a simple office background effect will be appropriate. Do not put any inappropriate filters on your camera.
Also, whilst it is hard to control background noise, do your best to find a quiet space with a good connection. Invest in some soundproof headphones, so that you can focus on the interview. The headphones will also reduce any feedback sound.
4: The “Virtual” Handshake ?
During your interview, it will be tricky for your interviewer to read your body language, so it is important to recreate an authentic experience as best you can. In an in-person interview, it is important to maintain eye contact, so look up at the camera to show that you are attentive, approachable, and friendly. Also, show that you are passionate about the position by smiling and sitting up straight.
After your interview, send a quick ‘thank you’ email to your interviewer to show that you appreciate them giving you their time. You could also ask a quick question about the role that you forgot to ask during your interview to show more interest in the position.
5: Be Prepared!?
Now that you have the right space, outfit and technology for your interview, the best tip is saved for last: be prepared!
Thoroughly research the company you would like to work for. The interviewer would love to see that you care about the company and that you took the time and effort to decide that the job is right for you too.
Write some notes that would be useful for the interview. Also, prepare any documents or relevant portfolio required for the interview beforehand.
Let your lovely personality shine through. Do not be too scripted, so that it hinders your character and wonderful qualities. Your interviewer wants to see how well you will gel with the team, so stay professional and friendly.