5 tips for finding the perfect outfit for your office Christmas party

Your work Christmas party is a fantastic opportunity to get dressed up and have a great time with your colleagues but finding the perfect outfit can be a difficult feat. Here, Steve Cochrane, Managing Director of designer clothing retailer Psyche, shares his top tips for dressing for the office Christmas party this year.

The festive season is almost upon us! And, as everybody begins to get into the Christmas spirit, your company is sure to have announced their plans for the office Christmas party.

Whether you’re headed to a formal sit-down dinner or your employers want to make the most of the impressive company office space with a party in the office, you’ll want to be dressed to impress. 

Here, I will be sharing my tips for putting together a Christmas office party outfit that’ll get heads turning. 

1. Refer to your invite

Before you begin planning your outfit, it’ll be important to consider your Christmas party invite. Some employers will set a dress code which will be included on the invite, but if not, knowing the details of where you’re going can help you to plan the most suitable outfit.

After all, nobody wants to be the person who is blindingly obviously under- or over-dressed for the occasion. 

As well as the location, you should take the time of day into account. If your office Christmas party is going to take place during lunchtime, it probably isn’t appropriate to be dressed in your best suit or your most dazzling high heels.

So, pay attention to the details sent over by your employer, even if no dress code has been mentioned. 

Pair of Brown Leather Casual Shoes on Table

2. Dressing for a formal festive dinner

If your company are hosting a formal sit-down dinner to celebrate the end of a successful year working together, your outfit should match the setting. 

For posher occasions, men should consider a well-fitting blazer which is complemented by a crisp shirt and tailored trousers.

When it comes to footwear, dress shoes can nicely tie together your sophisticated aesthetic, but if the occasion is slightly more relaxed than this, a polished pair of brogues can have the same effect. Finish off your outfit with a designer belt and pair of cufflinks to add little touches of luxury to your look. 

For women, I’d suggest opting for a slightly longer cocktail dress than usual, perhaps in a midi style. Alternatively, a quality maxi dress will look beautiful and suit the occasion perfectly.

As you’ll be sat down, you can consider wearing higher heels than if the party involved a lot of dancing. However, if heels aren’t your style, a sparkling pair of ballet pumps can help to tie together your festive look. And, don’t forget a stunning bag to match your outfit.

A luxury clutch can perfect your look and will serve as an investment piece you’ll be able to wear time and time again. 

Black Framed Eyeglasses On White Jacket And Blue Denim Bottoms

3. Dressing for a lunchtime Christmas party

A lunchtime Christmas party is likely to be a more casual occasion than a formal sit-down meal, as it’s traditionally a more relaxed mealtime than dinner. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun with your outfit and dress to impress — just check the website of the place you’ll be eating to figure out the vibe before you plan your outfit. 

For both men and women, a quality, well-fitting pair of jeans teamed with a shirt or a blouse will look great and tick the unwritten smart-casual dress code that most lunch places have. If it’s a little chilly outside, you can even layer a stylish knitted jumper over the top to keep warm.

You can never go wrong with a leather jacket, and investing in a high-quality, designer one can certainly add to your look. 

Shoes can be tricky when dressing for a lunchtime Christmas party, as you want something comfortable and appropriate for the daytime, but nothing that’s too casual. For this reason, I’d advise against athleisure trainers, and instead suggest opting for fashion trainers that don’t look as sporty.

Alternatively, loafers or casual brogues can be a good option for men, while ballet pumps or court shoes with a smaller heel can nicely finish a woman’s outfit.

Woman Wearing Peach Dress and Black Jacket's Left Hand Closeup Photography

4. Dressing for an after-work pub party

Knowing what to pack for an after-work party can be unnerving, but when you’re just headed to the pub, it’s likely that you can go in some of your best casual wear. 

Men should stick with a quality pair of jeans and team it with a long-sleeved T-shirt or casual shirt along with some fashion trainers or brogues. Although your outfit should be a bit more pared down than it would be at a formal dinner, don’t let it put you off from wearing patterns and prints to show your personality. 

Similarly, women can wear jeans teamed with an embellished or satin top and some court shoes. However, if you’re looking to dress a tad smarter, a woollen skirt with tights with a polo neck tucked in can look great at this time of year.

For accessories, I’d suggest a mini shoulder bag to hold your essentials and add detail to your look — especially if you pick a statement one in a bold pattern. 

Pair of Brown Leather Wingtip Shoes Beside Gray Apparel on Wooden Surface

5. Dressing for an office party in the office

If your office party is actually being held in the office, you can wear whatever you’d like! However, as it’s your place of work, you may prefer to dress a little smarter.

For men, this can mean teaming a relaxed shirt with some tapered trousers and smart brogues, while women may choose to wear a midi-length dress with a smart jacket or cardigan over the top. 

No matter where your Christmas party is going to be held this year, you’re going to want to look the part. Follow my top tips for dressing to impress for the work’s office party and make it an evening to remember!

If you enjoyed this post, check out our post on ways to look more professional in your new job.

Looking for a new job in the new year?

Here at Graduate Coach, we have helped 500+ students, graduates and career changers to land their ideal jobs at great companies.

A Beginner’s Guide to Marketing your First Business

Need help getting the word out about your new business? Jonathan Birch is Creative Director at the digital marketing agency Glass Digital. Along with his team, he’s overseen successful marketing campaigns for countless businesses, from small start-ups to major household names. Plus, as a co-founder of the company, he knows exactly what it’s like in those hectic early days. In this article, he explains what you need to do to start marketing your new business venture. 

If you’ve taken the plunge and started your own business fresh out of uni, then congratulations! You’ve just taken the first step towards forging a rewarding career as your own boss.

Of course, the hard work isn’t over just yet: the first few years are almost always the most challenging for any business, and your decisions during this key period can often make — or break — your company.

Plus, with so much competition out there, it can be very challenging to stir up a buzz and get your name out there. So, it’s essential that you come up with a great marketing strategy as soon as you can. 

In this article, I’ll share the basic principles of creating a successful marketing campaign, so you can get your business off to a flying start.  

Create a detailed strategy 

Work out a detailed marketing strategy before you get started.

This should cover exactly what you want to do and when including how you’re going to prioritise your time and spending as your business grows.

Leave no stone unturned: you want to explore every plan, idea, and goal you have for your marketing in as much depth as possible. It can help to create quantifiable, time-sensitive objectives (e.g. ‘we will have 500 followers on Instagram by the final quarter’) as these will give you a clearer idea of what you need to be doing and when.

It will also make it easier to measure the success of your strategy later on. 

I’d strongly recommend setting out clear guidelines for your branding at this stage. For instance, what tone of voice will you use in your marketing materials and on-site content? What sort of colours, fonts, and design details best fit the ethos and attitude of your company?

Making these decisions now will help to keep your branding consistent further down the line. 

Set a budget and prioritise your spending 

Student life means living on a tight budget, and running a start-up is very similar. You’re probably going to be counting every penny during your first year or two of trading, so you need to work out a budget for your marketing, and make sure you don’t overspend.

Once you’ve got your marketing strategy sorted, create a list all of your focus areas, and do a bit of research to create some cost estimates for each area of your plan (like your website, social media, online ads, and so on). This should give you an idea of which tactics and ideas are financially feasible for your company.

It may be that some of your goals are a little ambitious for you just yet, but you may be able to achieve them as your revenue increases. 

When you’ve narrowed your budget down to your essentials, you can create sub-budgets for every aspect of your marketing, which should help you to avoid overspending. You can always scale up your plans if revenue increases faster than you first estimated. 

Get your site sorted 

Whatever industry you specialise in, it’s likely that your website will be the first port of call for prospective customers, so you need to make sure it makes a great impression.

Your site will also be the foundation for a number of other marketing techniques as your company grows, so it makes sense to get it shipshape from the outset. 

Ideally, you want your site to load quickly and look great, with consistent branding. And, make sure it’s mobile-friendly: nearly half of all web page views take place on smartphones these days (Statista), so you want to make sure you can capture that traffic.

All of these points are also essential for search engine optimisation so, if you want to add an e-commerce element to your business, this will be particularly important further down the line. 

Make the most of free tools 

You don’t necessarily need to spend a fortune to market your business, and there are plenty of free online tools you can take advantage of.

Blogging and email newsletters are both free, and you can put those skills you learned writing essays at uni to good use, which is great for those early days when you’re running on a shoestring budget.

If you have a brick and mortar premises, you’ll also want to fill out your Google My Business profile, as this will help you to get listed on Google Maps, so you appear for local searches. 

A social media presence is a must-have for any business nowadays: it allows you to showcase your products or services, keep in touch with your customers, and strengthen your brand identity.

So, you’ll definitely want to set up Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook profiles for your company if you haven’t already. Remember to stick to the branding guidelines I mentioned earlier when creating your profiles to ensure consistency, and try to update them as often as you can. 

As the co-founder of a business, I know what a big step it can be to strike out on your own, especially for a recent graduate. But, with a great marketing strategy under your belt, and plenty of passion and determination for good measure, you should stand every chance of success.

Jonathan Birch, co-founder of Glass Digital

If you need any help making decisions after university, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us here at Graduate Coach.

Applying for a Masters in the UK? Everything you need to know

We’ve put this guide together for international students who have made the decision to study for their Masters in the UK. 

This guide will help you to gain a better understanding of postgraduate qualifications in the UK. By the end of this post, you’ll be able to make more informed decisions about studying in the UK. 

1: You can apply to as many Master’s courses as you like 

It is vital that you conduct in-depth research into the courses that you wish to study. 

Create a spreadsheet listing all the courses that you wish to apply for. 

You can apply to as many postgraduate degree courses as you wish when you are applying to do a Masters in the UK. 

It’s a good idea to submit more than one applications to “spread the risk”, rather than putting all of your eggs in one basket. 

Bear in mind that some universities will have an application fee which will vary across institutions. 

As some will require you to pay a fee to submit your application, it is very important that you conduct thorough research to ensure that you meet the entry requirements. 

The fee will be stated on the websites for the universities you wish to apply for. 

To apply to do a Masters in the UK you will submit your application directly to the university.

The tuition fees for international students will usually be listed on the course pages. If you can’t find the information regarding the fees do not hesitate to contact the admissions department. 

2. You’ll need to meet the academic entry requirements 

Most of the Master’s degrees at the top universities in the UK will require that you have a 2:1 (upper second class) in your Bachelor’s degree.

This is equivalent to getting a 3.0 to 3.5 GPA score. 

Some universities will accept applications if you have lower academic grades and if you experienced mitigating circumstances they will take this into account if you inform them.

The admissions team will also take into account any relevant work experiences that you have gained. 

Undergraduate degree classifications in the UK 

1:1 (First class) 70% and above

2:1 (Upper second class) 60 – 69%

2:2 (Lower second class) 50-59% 

3 (Thrid class) below 49% 

You’ll need to work out what you got in your Bachelors, to see if you meet the entry requirements for a Masters in the UK. 

3. There are different types of Masters degree in the UK 

  •  Master of Arts MA 
  •  Master of Sciences MSc
  •  Master of Philosophy MPhil
  •  Masters of Research MRes
  • Masters of Business Administration MBA

There are also a number of other postgraduate qualifications such as a postgraduate certificate or a postgraduate diploma.  

4. There will be English Language requirements 

Applying for a masters in the UK

If you wish to study for your Masters in the UK, your course will be taught in English. 

Therefore, as well as meeting the academic requirements of your course, you will also need to meet the English language requirements. 

If English is not your first language, or if you’re not from a majority English speaking country, you’ll need to provide evidence of your English Language skills. 

You’ll be able to demonstrate evidence of your English Language skills if you have: 

  • Completed a minimum of twelve months of academic education in a majority English speaking country. 
  • Undertaken a minimum of eighteen months of work experience in the United Kingdom. 
  • Completed a English language certification. 

It is important that you check the English Language requirements for every university as the requirements will vary. 

There are a wide variety of English Language qualifications that you can take in order to prove your English language skills. Some examples include:

  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) 
  • Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL) iBT
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English

It is important to check the required scores required by the universities you are interested in applying to. 

5: You’ll need to submit a personal statement and your CV 

Your CV (resume) will outline your education and your academic history. 

It is important that you tailor your CV for the course that you are applying for. Ensure that your CV is 1-2 pages long. 

Your personal statement needs to convince the admissions team that you will excel on the course. 

It must also explain your motivations for deciding to pursue higher education. 

6: All universities will have different tuition fees. 

Master’s degrees are not capped at a specific price in the UK. 

Therefore, the tuition fees will vary across institutions and courses. 

You may find that the more prestigious universities have higher fees. 

Most universities offer scholarships, therefore, be sure to check with each of the universities you are interested in to see if you are eligible. 

7: You do not need to study a Masters in the same subject as your undergraduate degree. 

When applying for your Masters, it is a good idea to include your career plans in your personal statement. 

You do not need to do a Masters in the same subject as your undergraduate degree. 

For example, if you studied Geography for your undergraduate studies, you could study Accounting and Finance for your Masters. 

It is important that you demonstrate a genuine interest in the course that you are applying for. 

Students studying Masters degrees get the opportunity to specialise in an area of interest. 

Whilst studying for your Masters it is a good idea to also work on improving your employability skills. 

8: Masters courses usually last 1 year 

There are different modes of study for Masters degrees in the UK. 

You can either study full time for 1 year or part-time for 2 years. 

If you are studying for a PhD, MBA or a DBA, the course duration will be longer. 

We hope this guide comes in handy if you have decided to study in the UK. 

If you are still considering if a master’s degree is the right decision for you, read our post called: “should I do a master’s?

For some help to secure a job in the UK after you graduate, get in touch with our graduate coaches here at Graduate Coach. 

We offer one to one coaching to help you to find the right graduate-level career.

Useful videos if you are considering studying for your Masters in the UK

A Third of UK Graduates Are Overqualified

With university students across the country now, or soon to be, taking their exams, many will be looking ahead for when they enter the job market. The hope that many graduates have is that they will be able to find a job that allows them to use their degree.

Unfortunately, this often isn’t the case with The Week reporting that a third of UK graduates are over qualified for their job.

The Numbers

The number of overqualified graduates has been steadily increasing for a long time with the figure at 22% in 1992 and 34% in 2007. 

Current figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show that “London had the highest proportion of overeducated workers in the UK”. Graduates from an art and humanities background are the most likely to be under-utilising their education. This is despite the fact that UCAS reports that 78% of graduates now achieve a first or a 2:1. With more students going to university than ever before and getting higher grades, the issue of overqualification is only going to increase. 

Negative Psychological Effect on Employees

So what does this mean for graduates who aren’t using their education to the best of their ability? A study published on the Metro explains how employees that are overqualified for their jobs are more likely to experience ‘psychological strain’. Workers who feel they aren’t using their qualifications can feel deprived and undervalued. This, in the long run, is detrimental to the workers’ mental wellbeing and can cause a decrease in overall productivity. Workers who spent time underemployed are also more likely to earn less than their peers, even after finding a job that fits their academic credentials. This is because they will have started much later.

Are University Degrees Still Worth It?

The answer is yes. The Department for Education published statistics which show that graduates are still paid 30% more, on average, than those who don’t have a degree. It’s also worth noting that most employers require a degree as a bare minimum when applying for a job. Not having a degree puts prospective job seekers at a much greater disadvantage. 

The State of the Job Market 

While a third of students are overqualified for their job, the good news is that the UK labour market is currently strong. The ONS reported that unemployment fell to a low of 3.9% between January and March this year. However, there are still many factors that could change that figure with the economic calendar on FXCM showing high volatility for the ILO Unemployment Rate. Much of this is partly due to the ambiguity over Brexit and its potential effects on the job market. Graduates need to be aware that the job market could change and get a lot worse in the near future. This is something they need to take into consideration when applying for jobs. 

With record-high student enrolment figures in universities this year, coupled with progressively competitive industries, this issue is unlikely to go away anytime soon. While it may make for hard reading, this is a reality that graduates have to face. 

4 Of the Best Tips for Writing a Winning Graduate CV from Your CV Consultant

An excellent graduate CV is the difference between getting a positive response from prospective employers and no response at all.

We’ll take you through 4 of the best tips for writing a graduate CV that demonstrates what you’ve accomplished in the past and indicates what you are capable of achieving in the future.

So if you need to write an accomplishments-based CV that makes you stand out from other candidates, keep reading!

➡️ Editor’s comments: For this post, we’ve collaborated with Chris Pennington, the Director at Your CV Consultant.

#1: Identify your Career Typology

Leaving University can be an exciting but also daunting time. After studying hard and taking your exams, entering the job market can feel like a large leap into a new world.

During this time, many graduates panic and apply for multiple jobs without taking the time to first assess their skills and work out what graduate job roles are right for them.

Chris Davies from Graduate Coach always advises candidates to do two key things before writing their graduate CV.

The first thing is to identify your career typology, as graduate jobs can be categorised into the following 3 groups:

  • Specialist: This category includes roles within fields such as engineering, science and medicine. These graduates are hired for their core expertise within a particular area.
  • Knowledge Architect: This category includes roles within consultancy, logistics, marketing, finance etc. Graduates are employed in these roles due to their ability to interpret data and deliver insights from them.
  • Communicator: Graduate roles within this category include account managers, salespeople and hospitality.

➡️ Action point: from this list, identify which of the three categories describes you best.

#2: Complete a Skills Audit

Once you’ve identified what career typology suits you best you’ll be able to identify suitable graduate roles.

With this knowledge, you can then perform a tailored skills audit.

➡️ Action point: Identify the job role that is suited to you. Then using job descriptions online compile all the skills and competencies you need to demonstrate in order to be successful in that role.

In a table format, list out the required skills and competencies in one column, and in the column next to it, using the STAR format, give an example of how you have demonstrated that skill in the past.

The STAR format

  • Situation – What was the situation that you or your employer faced?
  • Task – What tasks were involved in that situation?
  • Action – What actions did you take?
  • Result – What were the results of those actions?

Your completed skills audit will provide a solid foundation for you to write your achievements-based graduate CV.

#3: Writing your Achievement-based CV

The next step is to write your graduate CV. Your CV must convince the employer that you should be given the job that you are applying for. Think of it like a sales pitch.

You’ll want to include:

A Personal Statement – this is the first section the interviewer will see. Use it to attract attention. In a few short sentences, tell the employer who you are, what you are looking for and what you can offer in return.

Key skills and achievements – Try using powerful opening action verbs to describe each achievement you have completed in relation to your roles, and more importantly University experience.

Then follow up with impressive results or outcomes so your achievements can be measured, An example could be ‘Successfully transformed’ or ‘Inspired fellow classmates’.

These openings can then form the start of a bullet point where you can go on to state what was achieved. Think about writing your University experience like you would a job role.

This style can really help when entering the job market and it also shows the reader you have thought through what is needed from the CV.

Academic achievements – in this section you’ll need to include your degree grade.

You can also include other achievements that you gained whilst at university. Many graduates omit achievements from activities such as volunteering, marketing for the student union or organising an event for a society or club.

Non-academic achievements – Once you have your University and College experience on page one of the CV, then add any employment experience you have.

This can include placements you may have undertaken and also part-time or summer jobs.

Again, highlight what skills and achievements you have made and pick ones that would help in the role applied for.

As your career develops your work history will eventually move to page one above your education; so remember to keep your CV updated and change its style as you become more experienced.

4: Review the structure and formatting of your CV

How your CV looks on paper is very important.

Ensure that the typeface (font) and the font that you are using is consistent throughout your CV.

Conventional typefaces such as Times New Roman or Arial are best when it comes to writing your CV. Avoid using informal fonts such as Comic Sans.

When it comes to font size, you’ll want your name at the top to be larger than the rest of the text so that it stands out. You may also use a slightly larger font size for headings. The remaining body text should all be the same size and no smaller than size 11.

Final Thoughts From Chris Pennington, Founder of Your CV consultant

Once you have completed the steps above, review your finished CV. Then review it again!

It’s really important there are no spelling or grammatical errors as that can lessen the impact of the document.

You should now have a well designed, thought-provoking, and professional looking CV that showcases your skills and shows how you can benefit the company and role applied for.

If this is done correctly it can really help you stand out from the crowd and your University peers.

Your CV can then give you the edge so you can get those important interviews and all your University experience will have added depth to your history.

It may also have given you an advantage over more experienced applicants making YOU the ideal candidate for the role!

About Chris Pennington

Your CV Consultant was founded by Chris Pennington who has had a successful 15-year career within Financial Solutions Management and as a Personal Insolvency Specialist. Within this time he has built up experience within CV Assessment, Recruitment, Interviewing Candidates, and Career Coaching.

Nail That Interview Online Course

Once you have a winning CV, the next stage will be ‘the interview’. A CV is all about getting a candidate to this part of the process. Not everyone though is a natural or experienced at them. Interviews can be improved by practice. However, sometimes that is not enough. Your CV Consultant have therefore teamed up with Graduate Coach. Using their expertise, they offer a ‘Nail That Interview‘ course. We believe this course can make all the difference in getting offered the job you are looking for. Module 1 – I CAN do the job – contains the Graduate Coach Skills Audit and the 9 Employability Skills.

How to ensure your son or daughter lands a Graduate job!

Most of the parents we speak to believe that if their son or daughter gets a 1st or 2:1 from a good university, then it will guarantee a graduate job after University.

Sadly this is no longer the case.

With 78% of students now achieving a 1st or 2:1 with honours, a good grade no longer helps you stand out from the crowd. Many students work hard on their studies but neglect building the employability skills employers look for in graduates.

With 500,000 students graduating each year, how can you ensure your son/daughter gets ahead of the competition?

This article outlines how to help them land a great job, all is not lost!

But first of all, here’s a bit about Graduate Coach.

Who are we?

Over the past 9 years, the team here at Graduate Coach have helped students and graduates to transform their degrees into careers. We’ve helped 400+ people to land opportunities at great companies such as JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Google, Facebook, Walt Disney, Amazon The NHS, and many more.

How to help your son / daughter get a graduate job

1) Encourage them to get work experience

Why is work experience so essential to career success?

There are far too many graduates competing for too few graduate jobs. Some vacancies receive over 100 applications. For roles at Blue Chip companies, it can be well over 500.

As a result, employers only consider employing Graduates who can hit the ground running from day one. To hit the ground running you need extensive, demonstrable work or work-related experience.

  • 85% of graduate employers automatically reject candidates with no work experience
  • 91% of employers believe work experience is more important than a degree.

Work experience is vital for two reasons;

  1. It teaches graduates vital employability skills
  2. It helps graduates understand what they WANT to do as a career.

1.2) Employability skills

The infographic below shows you the nine key CBI employability skills that employers look for in Graduates.

You must encourage your son or daughter to acquire these life skills via work, volunteering, any other form of experience. Anything that enables them to demonstrate to employers that they are work ready.

But what happens if they have already graduated and don’t have these skills?

Essentially, they need to acquire these skills via a graduate level internship or any other form of employability/work skill acquisition. It’s quite acceptable to do a short stint as an intern after University.

1.3) What the Graduate WANTS to do

Graduate employers’ biggest frustration is that most Graduates do not know what they want.

How many of us went into a job blindly at the start of our career, only to realise that it didn’t suit us at all?

Years can be wasted, confidence lost, potential earnings lowered – the negative impact on our well being of working in the wrong job can be astounding. We have seen examples of these symptoms time and time again in the Graduates we coach.

The more work experience that a student/graduate has, the better they understand their preferences and values and thus; what their ideal career is.

They can, therefore, be clear with employers about their wants and desires for their career. The employer can have confidence that the graduate will put 100% into the role and are likely to commit to the job and stay for a number of years.

This is a huge area that most people overlook.

For these reasons, work experience is vital for your son and daughter.

2) How else can you help?

  • Encourage your son or daughter to find work experience that is related to their areas of interest and passions.
  • Consider your network, who could help them in these areas?
  • Encourage your son or daughter to activate and build their own network, former teachers, lecturers, re-contacting old acquaintances.
  • Contacting companies with a carefully prepared cover letter which highlights the skills they will bring to the company.

3) Hire a graduate coach

As your son or daughter grew up, they will have undertaken extracurricular activities such as learning a musical instrument or playing a sport. To help them learn the violin, you’d get them a music teacher, to excel as a tennis player, you would hire a tennis coach. More recently, to learn to drive, your son or daughter will have utilised a driving instructor.

Graduate coaching is no different. 

To land their dream graduate job, it makes sense to get them a graduate coach to help write excellent CVs, perform well in interviews, navigate their early career and more.

We are the UK’s leading Graduate Coaching company. Please schedule a call with our Head Coach and founder, Chris Davies at a convenient time for you.

Graduate Coach: What We Do

We help Graduates who struggle to secure a graduate-level job. We have seen countless examples of Graduates who have failed a couple of job applications and as a result, are now working in bars and coffee shops. This is a tragic waste of talent and ability.

Our mission is to help Graduates find the jobs that their education deserves.

We help Graduates to understand their unique strengths, skills and values and to select graduate job types that suit them best.

We also help guide students who are currently at university to build a career plan to increase their chances of securing a Graduate level job after graduation.

We offer a wide range of services to suit every budget from ebooks to 1-2-1 career coaching sessions. We invite you to check out our website for more information.

Our mission is to help as many students and graduates as possible. No matter what your son or daughter’s situation is, we are here to help.

Our Resources

  • Check out, and share our blog with your son or daughter. We share careers advice specifically tailored to students and graduates.
  • Encourage your son or daughter to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more tips on interviews and other career advice.
  • Our founder and Head Graduate Coach Chris has published 2 books. The Student Book is designed to tell your son or daughter everything they need to know to get a job. The Graduate Book helps Graduates to thrive in their career.
  • We offer a range or Online courses and 1-2-1 coaching as part of our core services.

Contact us via email or call 02070 149547 to find out more.

Top Tips for Getting an Internship at Rainbow Trust

If you’re currently at university or have recently graduated, getting an internship is a great way to build your skills and gain valuable experience.

Getting an internship can give you the skills that employers are looking for, including;

-Communication skills
-Business Acumen
-Prioritising skills.

So how can you boost your chances of landing an internship?

➡️Editor’s comments: Gemma Melhuish, The Director of Human Resources at Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity has collaborated with Graduate Coach, the UK’s No.1 Graduate Coaching Company, to share top tips including;
-how to get an internship
-how to maximise your chances of converting your internship into a graduate position.

Without further ado, let’s get started. 🤗

So Why Choose Rainbow Trust? 🌈

Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity supports over 2,500 families with a seriously ill child.
With eight care teams across England and a Head Office in Surrey, the charity is proud of its varied and successful internship programme.
It offers unpaid work placement opportunities to students and recent graduates, which offer an introduction to a particular field of work, supports learning and enhances employability.

Opportunities at Rainbow Trust

Interns are as important to Rainbow Trust as a member of staff or regular volunteers.
We provide work placements in all areas of work both front line in our care teams, working with our Family Support Workers, who support families with a seriously ill child and in our Head Office in all support functions.
These range from opportunities in:
-PR
-HR
-Fundraising
-Engagement
-Finance

The internships typically last three months with interns working at least three days a week.

We are open to supporting interns in all aspects of what we do. 😃

Converting your internship at Rainbow Trust into a graduate role

If you’re looking to get into a graduate programme at Rainbow Trust my advice would be to:
-Work hard
-Be open to try new things 💯
-Don’t be afraid- Everyone at Rainbow Trust is always willing to help where they can.
-When applying, show passion in your area of expertise and Rainbow Trust as an organisation.

➡️Key Employer Insight: You will have a varied skill set from University or College, identify how these are transferable to the role you are applying for and what you can offer and how you stand out.We will be looking for professionals who show versatility and capacity for growth. Rainbow Trust will work with you and will support you to be the best you can be.

➡️Graduate Coach’s comments: For even more tips and advice on how to thrive in the workplace, check out The Graduate Book, written by head Graduate Coach, Chris Davies. 😎

Benefits of interning with Rainbow Trust

It can sometimes be difficult to see the immediate benefit of working in an unpaid role. However, the long-term gain can be the difference between gaining paid employment in your “perfect” role, pipping your competitor to the post! 💪

Your internship will give you a competitive advantage in terms of; gaining experience, developing skills, making connections, strengthening your CV’s and learning about a particular field or the Charity sector more widely.

Case studies

One of our previous interns Max joined Rainbow Trust as part of the digital team after his second year of university.
His experience with us clearly outlines some of the tangible benefits you can get interning at Rainbow Trust.

“Working an unpaid internship as a twenty year old was always going to be a challenge, and sometimes it was tough. However, when you hear the feedback from families saying “your work is invaluable” and “we wouldn’t have been able to cope without you” it feels very worthwhile and gives you an immense sense of pride to know that you are making the lives of families with a seriously ill child, easier. I know that Rainbow Trust will continue to grow and help more families across the country who need their support, as their work is truly remarkable. The experience I have gained from working at Rainbow Trust has given me invaluable experience, which I have thoroughly enjoyed. I can now go into interviews knowing that I have the transferable skills employers are looking for.”

Sophia was an intern working with our PR Team:

“As my internship was in the PR department, I wanted to develop my writing skills and begin a portfolio of work that I could showcase to potential employers. This worked a treat! My supportive team helped and encouraged me the whole way and I was delighted when I received coverage from lots of different publications.”

How do you apply?

If you’re interested in developing your skills with us at Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity and interning at a fantastic Charity, please see our current internships here.

➡️Editor’s comments: That’s all folks! Thanks for reading this blog post. Do let us know if you decide to apply for an internship at Rainbow Trust, and we’ll be more than happy to review your CV!

5 Top Tips for Making A Successful Grad Scheme Application From Randstad

The UK graduate market is competitive, standing out as an attractive graduate to employers has never been so important.

As a graduate, you’ll have;

  • A degree 🎓
  • A decent bunch of A-Levels, or similar 📝
  • and (hopefully) some work experience. 👔

So how can you stand out from the crowd? 🤔

➡️Editor’s comments: Amanda Akien, Senior Marketing Manager at Randstad, (the largest recruitment agency in the world) has collaborated with Graduate Coach, the UK’s No.1 Graduate Coaching Company, to outline to students and recent graduates five key areas that can help to make your graduate job applications a success!

So let’s get started! 😀

#1: Express your passion for the industry, company and role

Put as much attention to detail into your applications as you do your Instagram account! 💯

It doesn’t matter if your CV is printed on the finest Conqueror paper or if the job you are applying for was your childhood dream; if you’re not able to explain your passion for the job and the organisation, you don’t stand a chance.

➡️Employer Insight: Graduate recruiters are experts in identifying motivation and are looking for candidates with real desire to get the job and work for the organisation.

➡️Graduate Coach’s comments: To be able to confidently articulate why you are the perfect fit for the job, first you need to ensure that the job is aligned with your skills, interests and ambitions.

Here at Graduate Coach, we conduct a ‘skills audit’ to help students and recent graduates identify what type of role is best suited to them.

Caption: Chris Davies, the founder of Graduate Coach conducting a 1-2-1 coaching session with a recent graduate. Find out more about Chris here

Based on the results of the skills audit, we then determine if you are:

  1. A communicator.
  1. A specialist.
  1. A knowledge Architect.

Based upon the results we then advise candidates on the types of role that is best suited to them.

Then we provide comprehensive interview coaching so that the candidate stands the best chance of nailing the interview!

#2: Conduct adequate research 

Whether you spent a week or a year researching for your dissertation, graduate employers expect candidates to be good at research. 🤓 They’ll also expect you to spend a significant amount of time researching the organisation (not just reading the website) and the roles available.

You need to look at:

  • The key issues the industry is facing and what that might mean for the organisation.
  • Who the competitors are and how do they beat the competition!

If you don’t know what’s happening in the industry, you’re at a disadvantage.

➡️Action Point: Read relevant articles/blogs from key industry experts on LinkedIn. The more you build your knowledge on these issues, the more chance you have of a successful application.

➡️Graduate Coach’s Comments: According to CV library, candidates spend 36 minutes on average preparing for an interview. This is simply not enough time. We find taking a strategic approach to interview prep is most effective. Take a look at our interview preparation documents

#3: Take your time with each grad scheme application

Graduate applications can be tiresome especially with a busy social life and plenty of assignment deadlines.😴 However, do not rush your applications.

Treat each one like a final year assessment. Pay attention to spelling and grammar as well as writing the best answers and personal statements you can.

➡️Employer Insight: Put the time in and you might only need to submit a couple of applications as opposed to dozens.

➡️Graduate Coach’s Comments: Once you have completed a skills audit and have identified which roles suit you, you’ll find it easier to compile a shortlist of companies you wish to apply for.

Then you’ll need to create an achievement based CV. One that demonstrates to the employer that you would thrive in the position. Here you’ll find a comprehensive guide to creating a strong graduate CV.

#4 Know what the graduate recruiters are looking for

Obtaining that all important graduate role (you know, the one that will be the envy of classmates and will put a smile on your parent’s faces for the next three months 😜), is not just about your qualifications or whether you get a 1st, a 2:1 or a 2:2.

It is about the other skills and characteristics you have developed throughout your studies, work experience, voluntary work, or hobbies and how you’ll apply those attributes to thrive in your graduate role. 😀

The application procedures of major graduate employers will cover:

  • Motivation
  • Company fit
  • Competency
  • Personality profile or aptitude tests

➡️Employer Insight: Be prepared with detailed examples of competencies such as ‘teamwork’ or ‘problem-solving’ on an application form or during an interview.

➡️Graduate Coach’s Comments: Students and graduates that work with us tend to be worried about the types of interview questions they’ll be asked and fear not being able to answer them on the spot.

Therefore, we put together an essential guide to interview questions! It gives model answers to 40+ graduate interview questions. Email us to request a free copy of the guide!

#5 Brush up your commercial awareness skills

Whichever sector your graduate job falls under, graduate employers like graduates who are commercially aware. 

This is an insight into how organisations operate, what is happening in the business world and the impact this could have on their business and industry.

➡️Employer Insight: leverage your linguistic skills! A second language can be useful for global organisations especially if you would like to work internationally in the future. 🌍

➡️Graduate Coach’s comments: When preparing answers to the interview questions you are most likely to be asked, demonstrate your level of commercial awareness by referencing facts and figures about the company or industry.

➡️Editor’s comments: That’s all folks! Thanks for reading this blog post. We really hope you’ll be able to apply these insights to your graduate applications!

Before you go…. 🤗

Randstad has a number of graduate-level vacancies on their website so check those out if you are looking for your dream graduate job.

They also recruit on behalf of a number of graduate employers including Ford and Ford Credit:

  • Ford: Current graduate roles available include: marketing, sales and IT coming soon.
  • Ford Credit: has current roles in business, finance and IT.

Also…

If you are a career-driven student or recent graduate who wants to land the graduate job of your dreams, check out Chris Davies’ (the founder of Graduate Coach) eBooks on Amazon.

And last but not least…

Share this post with all your friends on Twitter (because sharing is caring!😍)

Why you should consider getting a graduate coach

No-one aims to win at sports, master a musical instrument or learn to drive a car without first getting some kind of coaching or mentoring, do they?

Then why do so many graduates not think the same when it comes to building their equally important graduate careers?

A career or graduate coach may seem alien to some but in actual fact you will have enjoyed exactly this kind of help from the moment you started school (if not sooner). You will have called these people teachers and tutors, but these are the people who coached you to get you where you are today.

Now that they have done their part, what about the rest of the way? Surely you need the same type of support to help you get ahead in your career – at least if you expect to land a graduate level job.

Career coaching helps you to prepare for what’s ahead

Coaching is about getting somewhere or achieving something. Someone who has been there, or somewhere similar, is in a very good position to show you how. They can point out the fast lanes to take and pitfalls to avoid. A graduate coach or mentor can help you set smart career goals and keep you accountable to them. They will help you do the work required to move your career forward.

Coaching, whether it’s for sports, business, singing, health or fitness, is especially important wherever achieving your goal means facing competition or resistance (whether external or internal). When that resistance comes, as it will do when going for a graduate level job, your graduate coach will be there to keep you motivated, focused and on track. A coach or mentor can act as a cheerleader to cheer you along the way.

Career coaching – a common misconception

According to Richard Branson one of the main reasons why people don’t seek out a coach or mentor is because they think it is a sign of weakness. This is a common misconception. Asking for help when you need it is a sign of strength not weakness. It shows wisdom and good self-awareness. You understand that no successful person, no matter who they are, gets to the top of their game on their own. The person who thinks they can is in for an unnecessarily long and bumpy ride.

Graduate coaching brings out your strengths

A graduate coach will help you to bring out your strengths. For a start, a coach can give you useful feedback and critique. They can help a graduate realise skills they never knew they had. Take Mark, a graduate we coached recently. He wanted a career as an accountant and, after many failed interviews, came to us for help. Through working with us he realised that he much preferred digital marketing as the career suited him better. Pretty soon Mark landed his first interview, got the job and has since been promoted. Mark is in fact typical of the many graduates who come to us with one career idea in mind and end up with something that suits them far better. Coaching can open your eyes to a better job for you.

Not only can a coach open your eyes to latent skills, they can also help you understand what areas to work on. You cannot develop your skills all at once. There will be skills that need to be developed first before you can work on others. It’s all about learning the right things at the right time so you’re always growing.

 

What should you look for in a graduate coach?

In my book, The Graduate Book, finding a coach or mentor is the twelve key to success for anyone who wants to do well in their career. In that book I share some advice on what to look for in a coach, and where to find one.

If you want to find a graduate coach look out for the following:

  • Someone who will tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear. A person that’s too nice or too soft will not help you grow.
  • Someone you respect, admire and hold in high esteem. This is likely to be someone accomplished in their field, who you can look up to.
  • Someone who inspires you. This person should make you feel encouraged and energised. After a session you should feel ready and inspired to act on your goals.
  • Someone who has gone before you. This will likely be someone who is older than you, at least in your early career. We tend to refer to a coach as someone who has already achieved some mastery in the same thing you want to do, and a mentor as anyone who has the life skills to guide you in your own life.
  • Someone who can communicate clearly. You need a coach or mentor who can explain what they mean in simple language you can understand, who isn’t long winded but gets to the point to tell you want you need to know and do.
  • Someone who believes in you. This person should be able to see your gifts and talents, even if you can’t, so they can point them out to you. They should be someone who roots for you and is committed to seeing you through to the end goal. Another person’s belief, expectation and confidence in you will create a miraculous field of energy that will help you to also believe and have confidence in yourself.

 

How to find a graduate coach

To find a coach you must first know what you want to achieve. There must be a goal and objective before you can ask anyone to help you – otherwise how will they know how to help?

Next, look around you for people who inspire you. Who do you admire and look up to? These can be teachers or lecturers; bosses at places where you’ve done paid or unpaid work; neighbours or family friends; or speakers you’ve met at career fairs, societies, clubs, networking events and other events you’ve attended.

Don’t overlook people you’ve met online – but do be wise. For example, choose someone you have taken the time to get to know. Observe them for a while. Follow and listen to what they have to say. Research them thoroughly. What do they stand for? Are they consistent? Do they have good morals, such as integrity, honesty, reliability and respect for others? These may be old-fashioned but they still work!

Finally, get in touch with them and ask for the help you need!

If you’ve been inspired by the whole idea of finding a graduate coach why not speak to us? We offer a range of support to help you become the best version of yourself you can be, including courses, workshops, one-to-one coaching and, of course, two very great books to help you find and get ahead in your graduate career.