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Kick Start Your Career through City’s Graduate Boot Camp this Monday, 27 June 2016

Graduate-Boot-Camp-graphic-2016

Places are still available for our one-day Graduate Boot Camp on Monday 27th June!

Graduating this summer?  Join us for a full jam-packed day of careers sessions ranging from how to identify your career direction to how to find graduate level opportunities across different industries, through to succeeding with your job applications and interviews.  The day is open to all final year and Masters students across all courses.

Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

Register to attend on CareersHub.

The day will include the following sessions:

 9:00 – 9:30 Introduction
 9:30 – 10:15 The graduate job picture in the summer of 2016 and changing recruitment methods
 10:15 – 10:25 Personal Values
 10:30 – 11:15 Choice of sessions: Making Applications, Handling Interviews or Career Planning
 11:30 – 12:15 Effective Networking in Person and Online
 12:15 – 13:00 Alumni and Employer Panel Q&A
 13:00 – 13:45 Lunch
 13:45 – 14:30 Hot tips for job hunting success
 14:30 – 14:40 Personal Skills Audit
 14:45 – 15:15 Personal Action Planning and Ongoing Support
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Secure a 2017 graduate scheme with one of the ‘Big 4’ before your final year even starts

So have I got your attention? I’m pretty sure the headline has peaked your interest. KPMG have teamed up with recruitment agency Sanctuary Graduates to allow you to do just this. And in graduate recruitment terms a rubicon has been crossed. Yes, this is the first instance I have come across of one of the big name graduate recruiters giving you the chance to apply to their grad scheme even before July. In their words:

Want to secure a 2017 Audit graduate scheme with one of the ‘Big 4’ before your final year even starts? Get ahead of the competition and apply now for KPMG’s Audit Graduate scheme, exclusively through Sanctuary Graduates. Follow the link below to upload your CV and we’ll be in touch to progress your application. You can choose from office locations across England and Scotland.

How to apply:
Upload your CV to: http://bit.ly/1TWo9WV using the referral code ‘DEPT’. Deadline is the 27th June 2016. Sanctuary Graduates will then be in touch to provide further information about the scheme and the company, and guide you through the KPMG recruitment process well before applications open to the general public in a few weeks’ time. Sanctuary Graduates offers a free service to all students.

Other important things to think about are as follows: Continue Reading

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The benefits of crafting a career in the NHS

This is a guest blog post from GoToJobBoard.

When people talk about a career in the NHS, many can’t help but think about stethoscopes, scrubs and x-rays. Contrary to this image, over 49% of NHS workers have a non-medical role. There are so many brilliant opportunities outside the role of doctor or nurse, yet the NHS is often overlooked by students and recent graduates as a career option.

What types of careers are available in the NHS?

Over 1.7 million people work for the NHS, and it’s the 5th biggest employer in the world.

There are so many different paths available in the organisation, including:

  • Administrators
  • Clinical coders
  • IT Contractors
  • Caterers
  • HR Advisers
  • Accountants
  • Medical secretaries

These are just a few of the options graduates have open to them in the NHS.

Each day, the NHS is faced with 835,000 people visiting their GP practice, 94,000 people being admitted to hospital as an emergency decision and 50,000 people being admitted to A&E, as well as the thousands of people in hospital for pre-planned treatments and out of hospital consultations.

There are over 300 different roles available throughout the NHS, and each one is paramount in ensuring the thousands of people who are seen to each day are looked after in the correct way, from accountants who ensure funding is spent wisely, to medical secretaries who support doctors, nurses and patients day to day.

Such a large organisation that does such an important job needs the best people working for them, and the NHS can be a brilliant career path for graduates with a wide variety of different skills.

Benefits offered

When a person begins working for the NHS, they will become part of a committed and passionate team who are dedicated to providing the best possible care to patients. Even though each non-medical job is different with it’s own set of challenges, all teams will be filled with people who are devoted to providing the best patient care.

Passionate team members are not the only benefits that graduates will receive when they start their career in the NHS. The pay system for the organisation, Agenda for Change, applies to all NHS staff who are not doctors or senior managers, and offer benefits including:

  • A 37.5 hour working week
  • 27 days holiday, excluding bank holidays, which rises to 33 days after 10 years service
  • Pay enhancements that reward overtime, out of hours and shift work
  • Great career progression and support

The NHS is great for supporting graduates with training and development opportunities. As they are such a large employer, there will always be areas for employees to advance, and employees will have annual personnel reviews and developments to support them.

Improving Working Lives initiative

Introduced in 2000, the Improving Working Lives initiative was created to help NHS employees strike a good work/life balance. The initiative introduced a number of of changes, including:

  • Employee access to occupational services such as counselling
  • Assistance with combining work and studying for a qualification or raising a family
  • Help with childcare, including nursery care, after school clubs and emergency care

Excellent pension scheme

The NHS has one of the best pension schemes in the UK. Every new employee automatically becomes a member and it comes with an excellent range of pension benefits, fully protected against inflation and guaranteed by the government.

So, if you are graduating soon, why not consider a career in the NHS? You will have a wide variety of benefits, lots of room for growth and would be safe in the knowledge that what you are doing is really making a difference to people’s lives.

Mark Cherry is the Operations Manager at GoToJobBoard, which specialises in non-medical roles within the National Health Service.

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Guest Blog: How to Ace Your Graduate Telephone Interview

This is a guest blog post from Inspiring Interns

Many graduate recruiters are now choosing to do a first round of interviews over the telephone. Why? Well, particularly for businesses that might have received 100s of applications for a small number of graduate roles or internships, phone interviews are the quickest and most effective way to shortlist candidates.

By and large, this means that phone interviews are partly about ticking some boxes and partly showing that you can communicate effectively and have a spark.

The key is to make sure that you’re prepared; if the call is unscheduled and they catch you off guard, let the phone go to answerphone and prepare yourself before calling back. If you do happen to get caught out, explain that you’re unable to talk freely and tell them when you can call them back. That way you can make sure you’re physically and mentally ready to go into the phone interview and present the best case for yourself. Don’t just wing it!

Now, about those preparations…

The Prep

The most important thing for acing your phone interview is the strength of your preparation. As we’ve said, the interviews tend to be a bit lighter and so, aside from some more logistical questions, normally the interview will focus on the same key areas:

  • Your CV
  • Your thoughts on the company and sector
  • Some competency questions
  • One or two off-the-wall questions

Your CV

Ordinarily, the interview will start with some discussion about your CV. They may ask you to explain what parts of your CV make you right for the role, or more specific questions explaining gaps, what you learnt in your course or asking you to provide some experience to back up your stated qualities.

In essence it’s all about knowing your CV back to front and considering what they might ask you about it; do you have examples ready for why you’re a team player, or how you’ve been an innovative thinker in the past?

Give your CV to someone and get them to ask you random questions about it. Practice always makes perfect!

The company & sector

Another big focus of the interview will be to test how much you know about the company and area they work in. Before any interview make sure that, if asked, you could explain the company and role to anyone. The reason companies do this is they want to test your understanding, but also your commitment by seeing how much research you’ve done.

Start off with their website, particularly ‘about us’ sections and their blog. Try and find some news stories about the company too as this may give a slightly more impartial insight into how they operate. Try to get hold of a sector magazine, or take a look at leading websites and blogs so that you’ll have an understanding of what’s going on in the industry at the moment. Have a glossary of keywords ready to check too, it could save your interview!

Competency questions

Competency questions are all about finding out about how you might deal with certain situations at work and whether your personal attributes are in line with what the company expect when looking to hire a graduate. Glassdoor recently released the country’s top 50 interview questions, and many of them are competency based. Think about how you’d answer questions like, ‘What’s your biggest weakness’, ’How have you dealt with a challenging situation’, or ‘Tell me about your biggest failure’.

Try to be honest, and consider what the company are looking for in their employees. If you’ve done your research properly, you should know!

Off-the-wall?

Occasionally interviewers will use the phone interview as a chance to flex their creative muscles and ask you a strange question. What type of biscuit would you be and why? What would you do if you found a penguin in a freezer? How many golf balls could you fit in a bus?

Generally, these questions are intended to put you on the back foot and see how you respond. Questions like the first two are essentially trying to find out about your personality and how you respond to a challenge, but in a roundabout way so that they get a more genuine answer. The final question is more about your ability to work under pressure and work out mathematical problems.

The Interview

Now that you’re all set, it’s time to go. Make sure that you’re in a comfortable environment where you’ll be free from interruptions. Try to get a working headphone set– you want to be able to hear them clearly and be able to have your hands free to write notes. Double check on a call with someone first that this works!

It’s not just what you say…

It’s how you say it too! When you’re sat at home in a comfortable situation it can be easy to forget the effect of your body language on how you sound. You want to sound calm, but enthusiastic and the key to sounding energetic is to sit up straight, or even stand up, and make sure you’re smiling. It’s really difficult to sound bored when you’re smiling, try it!

Another good tip is to make sure that you take your time before each question. This not only allows you some thinking time, but will make you appear as though you’re giving each question careful consideration. It will also help to relax your tone of voice as you feel more prepared.

Listen & react

The most important skill you need to utilise in phone interviews is your ability to listen, and respond. Make sure you pay really close attention to everything that’s being said, and try to work out what the interviewer is really getting at with their questions. Practice picking up on cues from friends and family, and make sure you’ve got a catalogue of answers to react to what’s asked of you.

This is where having a cheat sheet of terms and answers to standard questions comes in handy. If you panic, then you’ll have something to refer to that might just jog your memory. Of course, make sure you’re not fitting square pegs into round holes; sometimes you might just have to think on your feet!

Questions & Follow Up

You’ll usually be asked if you have any questions at the end of the interview. Like any interview situation, you want to have something ready; saying that you have no questions can make you come across as disinterested.

Avoid things like pay and more personal topics at this point and instead focus on the company. Ask them how the company is planning on growing over the next 5 years, or maybe enquire about the work environment. You’ll get relevant, interesting answers and will come across as attentive.

Finally make sure you give them a few hours and drop them a quick email note explaining that it was great to talk over the phone and that you’re looking forward to hearing back. Don’t be afraid to follow-up your follow-up a week or so later in case you’ve just slipped through the net. It may be that extra follow up that jogs their memory and highlights you as the right candidate for the role!

You can practice your telephone interviews with the Careers Service.  Book an appointment on CareersHub.

Matt Arnerich works as a content writer over at graduate recruitment agency Inspiring Interns. If you’re looking for graduate jobs in London, or graduate jobs in Manchester, apply today! For more graduate careers advice, check out our blog.