The School’s in-house Student Development Team, in partnership with the Central Career’s Service, kicked off the second semester with the fabulous Careers Boot Camp, 2015. This was an all day event open to postgraduates and undergraduates, and covered informational and interactive sessions such as Working in the UK, CV structuring and Mock Interviews and Assessment Centers.
Here’s 8 things we learnt at the Careers Boot Camp to boost your job hunting skills:
- When writing a CV, use it as a marketing tool. Don’t be afraid to sell yourself honestly to the potential employer.
- Times New Roman is now considered an out-dated font for your CV for many employers. Have a look at the Sans Serif fonts that are more modern and attractive.
- Ensure your CV is 1 to 2 pages at most. Don’t cheat on your borders!
- At assessment centres, be aware of your body language. Eyes are always on you – unfold those arms!
- When working in groups contributing does not mean leading. It is ok to be assertively passive.
- Be cognizant of the time allocated to do a task. Structure is key to avoiding delay.
- Although you may want to be the MVP at an assessment centre, be a team player. Lessen the ego.
The most challenging and gratifying part of the day was the Mock Assessment Centre.
For this exercise we were placed in groups of five and given a task to complete in 15 minutes while being observed and critiqued by both the Student Development and Careers Teams. On our first go we did not get a good result since we lacked structure, took too long to make decisions and did not cohesively work as a team.
On our second attempt at a different task we nailed it and our presentation went quite well. There were several lessons to take away from our journey from defeat to triumph, and we were asked to self-reflect on the ways we could improve our performance when in groups. One important lesson was to focus on the team’s goal rather than individual motives. We learnt that while employers look for leaders they also want team players and individuals that can adapt easily to sudden changes. It was a truly humbling learning experience for us all.
We also relished the opportunity to work with colleagues from different programmes. It facilitated inter-mingling, exchange of ideas and even networking: opportunities that can be neglected due to the hustle and bustle of academic life.
All in all the Careers Boot Camp event was a great way to start off 2015. It not only focused our minds on job applications but it also highlighted how much self-learning needs to be done to become an exceptional employee. The majority of us left the boot camp ready to face the many challenges ahead when job hunting. We sincerely thank the Student Development Team and the Central Careers Service for an awesome event and highly encourage students to attend their future events.
What are your top tips for standing out in the recruitment process?