Recruiting nurses in the post-Francis NHS

After high mortality rates were registered in Stafford hospital in 2008, a full investigation and public enquiry were carried out. The outcome of the latter, The Francis Report, was published earlier this year, telling a grim story of negligence and unaccountability. Of course the appalling standards of practice displayed by nurses then are not generalised. However, no-one can deny that the public eye is, more than ever, on the nursing profession, and that the Francis Report will have an impact on how nurses are recruited. Continue Reading


The early bird catches the worm! – For new final year students in the coming autumn term.

Often when you talk with employers they talk about those students who get organised early in terms of researching and focusing on their graduate opportunities.

Employers often have an expectation that the graduates they want (the pro-active current students) will be researching and looking to apply early for graduate schemes.

You may ask what is early? Well, if Continue Reading


How to NOT get hired – just follow these steps!

“There are no jobs out there” is a common belief among students and graduates nowadays.

But is that actually the case? Or is it that the quality of applications is rapidly decreasing?

Or maybe, because there really are no jobs out there, students rush to apply for anything that is made available and forget to double-check their applications?

In this blog post, I want to show you how you can definitely ruin your chances of getting a job, and provide you with some real examples of unsuccessful applications:

Step 1. Don`t check your grammar or spelling – the employer will understand you anyway.

“hey my name is ******** and i was wanting a career in audio recording. and i would like to get a job from you so i can get to know what i am doing in this career i have a little back ground in the recording section but that is at home and i am using sony tools.”

Step 2. “Keep it real” and get personal.

“I’m keeping this short ’cause I’m on my crackberry. OMG, The job looks dope, I’m in if you are”

Step 3. Don`t include your contact details – after all, the employers should put some effort into looking for ways to contact you.

Employer : “I recently received 3 emails for an internship position where the resumes included absolutely no contact information at all. Two of them didn’t even have their names on them!”

Continue Reading


The latest graduate jobs crystal ball

Every 3 months the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) surveys it members. These members are typically large organisations recruiting substantial numbers of undergrads onto their one year placement programs and grads onto their graduate schemes. The 2013 Summer Survey results, featuring responses from 209 organisations, has just been revealed. You might already have read about it, normally underneath a flurry of pessimisitic, emotive headlines!

Before I reveal some of the highlights I’d like to give you a health warning about both the survey itself and the articles that the newspapers then write. It’s a fact that only 5-10% of  grads end up on one of these graduate programs or schemes. The huge majority of grads in the UK find graduate level employment with Continue Reading


Temperatures rise as July is our hottest month yet!

Summer is upon us (finally!), and we have had a heated start to the month for our Snapshotters*!

Key words of the month: Snapshotters’ Challenges!

Unfamiliar with this phenomenon? Not to worry!

In a nutshell, our Snapshotters’ Challenges were designed to give a competitive edge to the Snapshot Scheme and allow the students to gain points for their commitment, enthusiasm, and overall engagement during the Scheme. These take form as sessions which challenge (hence the name!) our Snapshotters and help them develop and work on their employability skills. The person with the highest ranking will ultimately get a personalised reference from Gary, our Head of Careers – not too shabby, eh?


As part of our Snapshotters’ Challenge, the students on the Scheme attended some tailored sessions that aimed to develop their commercial awareness, presentation skills and interview skills, and that have given them exposure to a variety of selection tools used by employers in their recruitment.

Our final Challenge was a mock assessment centre, which was run in collaboration with Enterprise Rent-A-Car and FDM Group. Our guest employers were very impressed with the high calibre of students at City University London, and vowed to be back on campus in the next academic year for similar events!

Continue Reading


Peeking through the graduate recruiter’s curtains

Whilst we’re on a (blog) roll, also check out Claire Adams’ blog in our blog roll and the posts relating to the employer sector focus groups. Claire is the Ops Manager of the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR), the professional body that the recruiters belonging to the companies who are trying to recruit you are members of.

The employer sector focus groups happen every 3 months and involve recruiters in different sectors like Finance or the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) getting together to discuss the issues they are having recruiting you. It’s a real opportunity. A chance to spend time in their shoes and perhaps glean some insights to help your own approach with them. I try to attend in person or dial into the ones relating to Engineering.

Here’s a link to the post based on the Information Techology focus group from February 2013. For instance did you know some IT companies find it hard to fill roles outside London? Now you do, and if you know you are flexible on that it might be something you want to make clear to them in your applications to them and at interview. A true sign of inside knowledge giving you competitive advantage.


Great Podcasts to Develop your Commercial Awareness

Demonstrating commercial awareness is vital for whatever sector you are hoping to go into –  law, technology, politics, health, for example, not just business. Yet every year,  graduate recruiters frequently tell me that graduates  lack commercial awareness at interview or assessment centres. I find this too when I carry out mock interviews and assessment centres with students at City. Questions like“What do you think are some of the key issues affecting our sector at the moment”? or “Give me an example of an  article or programme which has interested you recently” (a typical question to test how you keep youself up to date with sector issues) are frequently met with blankness or hesitation with lots of ums and ers!

Of course an  internship, placement,  or voluntary work experience is the ideal way of gaining or dveloping commercial awarness, but a lot can be achieved by thoroughly researching specific organisations you are interested in and keeping up to date with the sector in general. There are lots of ways of doing this, but a good start can be finding out about  organisation’s culture, values and goals via their website and signing up for their newsfeeds. Some professional bodies also provide good resources to develop commercial awareness. The ACCA (Association of Certified Chartered Accountants) has excellent podcasts on its dedicated graduate website about how to develop your Continue Reading


Career blogging all over the world

Well, as far as America that is. Yes, if you look to the right of our blog home page you’ll find an item called the Blogroll. “What is it?” you may ask. Simply put it’s a list of blogs written by other people about all things to do with careers, employability skills and job finding which are as insightful, engaging and informative as we like to think our own blog is. We just thought we’d share them with you as well.

You might in particular want to check out the Widening Participation blog and a recent item on a City University London student who has used their time working for the Widening Participation team to add to their employability skill set whilst really making a difference to a young person’s life. Read Asiya’s story here. And if you’d like to get involved yourself in the activities that the Widening Participation team are running email wpteam@city.ac.uk to find out how it works.