LinkedIn – from “I don’t know ” to Invitation to connect accepted!

Every Monday I return to my desk and sort through my emails. Standard stuff. Chances are I’ll have a few new LinkedIn connection requests from people. Goes with the territory of my job to an extent. I’m continually recommending students to utilize LinkedIn and am happy to accept connection requests. Almost all of the time. Apart from a few times. When I’m looking at the person’s profile and can see no connection whatsoever between us. No shared university. No shared friends. Not studying in a subject area I tend to specialize my careers advice in. And no message explaining why they have chosen me out of the million plus LinkedIn members. So I refuse the request and select “I don’t know <person’s name>” from the drop down.

A missed opportunity. Because if that person had taken the time to tailor their connect request to me I probably would have accepted it. I’m sure I’m not alone. Don’t endanger your chance of a successful connection request. Tailor the message.


City’s Law Fair … Not just for Law students!

Two down, one to go!

The City’s Law Careers Fair on Wednesday 21st October will mark the end of a very successful Careers Fair Season. After the Law Fair, around 100 organisations will have attended the Fairs at City, and some 1,800 students will have benefited from this networking opportunity with their potential future employers.20141015_150153

If you are a Law student, chances are you know about City’s Law Fair, and the reasons why you should consider attending are fairly obvious. But what is in it for you if you are studying for example Economics, Sociology, Politics, Journalism or Psychology? Continue Reading


Why is a 2:1 not enough and how can using social media help?

Interesting article here by Rod Ardehali about why a 2:1 is not enough to get a graduate job. What I found most interesting was the comment made by Kate Parkinson, Recruitment Director at Accenture  who stresses how students who use social media effectively can get an edge on the competition. She advises not only following companies, but also using social media to connect with individuals in companies. It’s a great way of getting an insider’s view and learning more about company culture. Doing this demonstrates initiative and  the good networking skills that employers expect.

Last term, I hosted an employer presentation for students delivered by Paul Roberts, Graduate Resourcing Partner at Axa. He advocated using social media to get in touch with companies as a way of making yourself stand out. He is impressed by students and grads who get in touch and introduce themselves using social media. Paul  said he remembered their names and looked forward to meeting them at fairs and other employer events.


Networking – “Is emailing an effective networking tool?”

Networking is useful when you are looking to get information beyond what’s written (e.g. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the employer’s website). It can also be utilise to promote you to employers and may lead onto work experience then potentially to a graduate opportunity. It is in essence a tool for tapping into a hidden job market.

Often when I speak to students …………… Continue Reading


Pushing at an open door

Here’s a tip to get smart with your graduate, internship or placement job hunt. Next time you’re talking to an employer (perhaps at today’s Engineering, Science and Technology careers fair) one question to ask could be “what roles do you find difficult to fill?”. Because every year without fail some of the largest and most popular employers have vacancies they fail to fill*. If you can find out which ones you can perhaps target these roles ahead of others, safe in the knowledge that you’re probably in a much shorter queue of applicants**.

*The Association of Graduate Recruiters Winter Survey of 2013 reported that a third of those companies that replied to the survey failed to fill all their vacancies in the previous recruitment campaign year.

**This post was inspired by a recent conversation with an engineering employer expressing their frustration that so many candidates ignored their Marine business opportunities.


Snapshot: Wake me up when September ends

If you thought that Green Day`s “Wake me up when September ends” song was all about love – you are right. But what you did not know is that this American rock band also meant: Keep an eye out for the opening for Snapshot applications, 2013 intake!

   This year, applications can be submitted online from the 23rd September 2013         (start    of    Welcome Week – hooray, hooray) till the 31st October 2013! This gives you a generous 5  weeks to write up the best, and most exciting application form, which will ultimately land      you an interview with us, the Employer Liaison team.

So who are we looking for this year?

Energetic, enthusiastic, interested, passionate, and engaged students who are currently  enrolled in an undergraduate or postgraduate course at City University London. Surely you  can find yourself in this description!

What should you expect during the selection process?

If you are successful at the interview stage and we are absolutely charmed by you, we will invite you to attend a training & assessment day in December – unfortunately, this will take place on City campus, and NOT at Winder Wonderland, but we do apologize for any inconvenience in advance! During this 2 hour session, we will tell you more about us, and expect you to show us what you are capable of! We don’t want to reveal all our secrets just yet, but you will participate in a variety of individual and group exercises.


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10 reasons why the autumn term is the greatest time ever

Buying textbooks…again. Choosing modules…again. Hating your timetable…again. Steadily rising number of coffees per day…again. Steadily rising number of hours spent in the library…again. Dreading deadlines and all-nighters…again. Looking for your warm jacket in the depths of your closet…again. Getting up before 10 (or even worse, 9!) in the morning…again. We could go on, couldn’t we?

The autumn term is about to start and we completely understand that you may find it a little difficult to switch from a summer mode to study mode…again. So, to ease your pain, I compiled a list of 10 reasons why, after all, the autumn term does not have to be so bad. Even better, 10 reasons why this autumn term can prove enjoyable!

  1. There are exciting Welcome Week careers events coming up…open to all, Freshers and non-Freshers are welcome to come along! Photobooth, Earn while you learn sessions (useful in case your finances post-summer need a bit of help…) and Lunch with Careers sessions – yes, free lunch every day, all week…plus you get a chance to meet us!
  2. Available on our web pages, there will be a brand new video giving you all the know how when it comes to booking in for events, searching for job and work experience opportunities and getting involved in various on-campus initiatives designed to equip you with top employability skills.
  3. Career Fairs are back – Banking, Finance & Consultancy Fair on 2nd October, Engineering, Science & Technology Fair on 9th October and, finally, the Law Fair on 16th October – come and meet all those employers who have been looking forward to meeting you! Continue Reading

Play your cards right

Recent weeks have seen City University London throwing open its doors to employers to events where our students can showcase just how innovative they are. And I’ve been lucky enough to be a fascinated observer. One example is the recent inaugural Made@City event, a showcase of technical innovation by our I.T., Engineering and Maths students.

Whilst the employers in attendance seemed to know they were going to see some very employable skills on display which made spending time there worth their while I get a feeling some of the students were a bit surprised that the employers might be so interested in them. One student in particular was being asked… Continue Reading


What’s new, pussycat?

It’s been a while since I posted my first blog post about the Snapshot: Your Insight into Industry Scheme, so here is a short update on what’s been going on with our lovely Snapshotters*!

For the past 4 months, our students have met several employers both on campus and off campus, and have learned more about the variety of industries out there: from Banking & Finance to working for an NGO.

There are so many things that I enjoyed about my first Snapshot meeting. Joanna was a very lovely person and was very insightful and it was clear just how passionate she was about the work she does. This really inspired me to have a career in a field that I was passionate about.” (Psychology student)

My work shadowing day at JP Morgan was a fantastic experience and I feel that I learnt a lot. The opportunity was exactly what I was hoping to get from the Scheme so I would like to say a huge thank you to you and the rest of the team who helped to organise the placement.” (Banking and International Finance student)

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