How To Get A Summer Internship

You’ve landed on this webpage because you’d like to know how to get a summer internship! Well you’ve come to the right place!

The competition for graduate jobs in the UK is fierce. Statistics show that half the people graduating from university will never find work that is suitable for their level of education – a graduate job. Most will end up in jobs that they don’t even need a degree for.

There are thousands of applications for every graduate job advertised in the UK. Many people from other countries apply too, intensifying the competition.

Internships, paid or unpaid, or summer jobs, are a valuable way for graduates to gain crucial work experience, hone their skills and learn more about business and the marketplace.

They provide a foot in the door for future employment and help graduates to get to know themselves and their capabilities and find out which career will best suit them. This entry-level work will assist enormously when it comes to applying for and landing that dream graduate job.

Graduate Coach is a company founded by Chris Davies that specialises in helping graduates find employment. It has helped 500 graduates land great jobs so far. We offer a variety of services, from defining your skills set to helping you compile a professional CV to coaching for interviews and more.

The following video by Chris Davies will outline how to get a summer internship.

1. Write an achievement-based CV

Write an achievement-based CV This is the first and most important step. It is critical as employers, whether they are offering jobs or internships, receive hundreds of applications. Your CV is your introduction to them and it has to stand out. It must be properly organised, professional-looking and list all the attributes that will make you an asset to their company, even if you do not yet have formal work experience.

One of these attributes is your skills set. What are you good at? Skills such as getting on with people and being able to work in a team; communication; organisation; persistence; a good work ethic and a willingness to learn all count, even if you do not have work experience. You have been at school, taken part in sport and hobbies and graduated from university.

Along this path you inevitably proved that you are good at some things and acquired skills in learning to do them well. List these skills Many will make you eligible for a job or an internship.

If you are daunted by the prospect of compiling a good CV, get professional help from Graduate Coach. It’s worth it.

2. Write an outstanding cover letter

How to get a summer internship

This, with your CV, is your introduction to the company you are applying to and it is competing with hundreds of others. State who you are; what you are interested in and why you would like to work/intern at their company. Impress them with some knowledge about the company that you have researched. Show that you are keen to work there. Again, if you are not confident about doing this properly, Graduate Coach can help.

Do an internship search to find internship opportunities.  Thousands of companies in the UK advertise internships online. Doing a search, for instance, on UK companies offering internships, will produce a long list of firms and charities looking for interns and their contact details.

After adapting your CV and covering letter to make them appropriate for where you are applying to, send them off. The more companies you contact, the better your chances of getting an internship. You can also look at job listing websites such as indeed, jobisjob, totaljobs, jobrapido, trovit etc for more leads to help you find your dream internship.

Cold canvassing can also work. Call the companies you are interested in and ask to speak to someone in HR or whoever is in charge of hiring or internships. This is another way of introducing yourself which you can follow up by sending you CV and covering letter.

3. Go to job or career fairs or expos

Take your CV and a covering letter and hand it out to everyone. Speak to people. Network. Take their contact details and give them yours. Make sure they remember you so that you will be in their mind when they recruit.

4. Volunteer

Charities and other organisations working in welfare and even animal welfare are always looking for volunteers. It might not seem to make sense to work for nothing but it does. You can prove yourself as a volunteer and get letters of recommendation at the end of your stint, which will stand you in good stead when you apply for a job.

5. Employment rights and pay for interns

If an intern is classed as a worker, they should be paid the national minimum wage of £7.70 per hour if aged 21 to 24 or £8.21 per hour if aged 25 or older.

6. Prepare for your interview

If you get past the first step and are asked to go for an interview with the company or organisation offering the internship, be prepared. You would never have gone into an exam without preparation at university and an interview is just that – a test to see if you are the candidate they are looking for.

About 85% of graduates say they are nervous about being interviewed. This will be a huge stumbling block in landing a good job or an internship for that matter. You can build confidence by being prepared. Research the company.

Find out as much as you can bout its ethos, position in the marketplace, what it offers that is unique, for instance.

This will help you ask intelligent questions and impress the interviewer. The trick is to appear confident but not arrogant. Expert coaching will help you be successful in this critical part of any job or internship application. Graduate Coach can help you and remove any nervousness which will hamper your chances.

7. Visit internship websites

There are websites that direct people to available internships in all sorts of fields. Doing a simple search like Internship websites UK, for instance, leads to a listing of internships in fields as diverse as publishing, graphic design, website design, digital marketing and more. You can also find lists of companies offering internships or summer jobs. Get busy. Do your homework and start applying!

How To Get A Summer Internship

Thanks for reading our post on how to get a summer internship!

Our founder, Chris Davies, has published two books packed with invaluable information: The Student Book and The Graduate Book. Also visit our website where you will find a series of blog posts with more excellent advice, a list of the services they off and contact details.

Good luck!

6 Tips For Finding a Graduate Job

Congratulations! You’ve graduated. But what’s next? You probably want to turn your degree into a graduate career. If you need help finding a graduate job, you’ve come to the right place. 

Here at Graduate Coach, we have helped 500+ students and graduates to land the job of their dreams. They are now highly successful and are thriving in companies such as Google, Facebook, JP Morgan and many more, check out our successes

1. Get a Graduate Coach

Finding a graduate job can be difficult. Only 52% of graduates land themselves a graduate-level job the remaining 48% work in roles that do not require a degree. 

However, finding a graduate job is one thing, but finding the RIGHT graduate job is quite another. 50% of graduates that do land a graduate level job quit after 2 years after realising the job isn’t right for them. 

Our one-to-one coaching program will accelerate your journey of turning your degree into a graduate-level career. 

We are the only graduate career coaching company in the UK who can guarantee you a graduate job. 

2. Learn how to write an achievement-based CV

The aim of your graduate CV is to convince the employer to invite you in for an interview. 

Think of it as a sales pitch. 

Include the following sections on your graduate CV: 

  • Personal statement 
  • Key skills and achievements
  • Academic achievements 
  • Non-academic achievements 

For more information on how to write an achievement-based CV read the blog post that we wrote in collaboration with Chris Pennington from Your CV consultant on 4 of the best tips for writing a graduate CV.

If you are thinking of sending your CV to graduate recruitment agencies, make sure that your CV is the best it can be.

Along with an achievement-based CV, it is important that you learn how to write great covering letters. 

3. Optimise your Linkedin profile 

Graduate recruiters are increasingly using social media platforms such as Linkedin to look for suitable graduates to fill graduate-level positions. 

If you do not have a profile, or if your profile has not been completed you could be missing out on great opportunities and narrowing your chances of finding a graduate job.  

With an optimised LinkedIn profile more potential employers will visit your page and reach out to you directly if they feel you’d be a good fit for their company. 

Secondly, many graduate employers post ads on LinkedIn’s job board. Before applying to any of these jobs via the platform, it’s a good idea to improve your profile so that you give off the right impression. 

Here are some tips on how graduates can create an eye-catching LinkedIn profile

finding a graduate job

4. Work out what jobs are right for you 

Before you start job hunting, identify your career typology.

Graduate jobs can be divided into 3 broad categories: 

  • Specialists 
  • Knowledge architects 
  • Communicators 

Grads are hired into each of these categories for different reasons. 

Specialists such as doctors, nurses or pharmacists are hired for their expert knowledge in a particular field. 

Knowledge architects such as consultants for financial analysts are hired for their ability to interpret data and derive valuable insights from them. 

Communicators such as account managers and salespeople are hired for their ability to maintain profitable, long-term relationships with clients and to relay important information to other team members. 

Identifying which of these career typologies you identify with the most will help you to narrow down your job search so that you’ll be more likely to apply for jobs that are more aligned with your skill set. 

5. Brush up on your interview skills 

Here are 4 key points when it comes to graduate interviews: 

  •  You must prepare adequately for your graduate interviews if you want to boost your chances of successfully finding a graduate job.

    This sounds obvious, however, the average candidate spends on average 36 minutes preparing for their interviews. This is not enough time.

    Before your interview, make sure that you know everything that is humanly possible to know about the job description of the role that you are applying for, the company and the industry.

    It is a good idea to review all of the work placements and internships you have done in the past and write answers to common competency-based questions using the STAR format.

    The more prepared you are for the interview the more confident you’ll come across to the interviewer.

    Confidence is very important in interviews. If you are not confident in yourself and your ability to do the job really well, how will the interviewer be confident in you?

  •  You must demonstrate that you have the skills required to do the job really well.

    If you have adequately prepared for your interview, you’ll be able to confidently draw upon your work experience and skills to articulate why you should be selected for the job over other candidates.

  • You must show empathy to the interviewer.

    It is important to show the interviewer that you truly understand what they are looking for. It’s about showing the interviewer that you care about what truly matters to them.

    Again, your ability to understand your interviewer’s thoughts, motivations and feelings will depend on how prepared you are.

  •  You must ask for the job! 

The idea of asking for the job may seem daunting at first, but with practice, you’ll get the hang of it. 

You get a couple of minutes just before the end of an interview to ask questions. 

Use this time wisely. 

Reinstating why you really want the job and asking for it will help you to leave a lasting impression on the interviewer. 

Remember they may be interviewing several other candidates for the role. How you end the interview is vital. 

If you have been continually rejected after interviews, you probably have a good CV, but a poor interview technique. 

Our founder Chris Davies wrote a post for CV-library where he explained in detail the reasons why you’re failing your interviews

6. Embrace the process of Finding a graduate job 

Many graduates struggle to find a job after university

Sometimes the process of finding a graduate scheme or job can make candidates feel stressed. 

However, we encourage you to use this stage to gain some lifelong skills such as learning how to interview really well and how to write strong CVs. 

You’re not taught these skills at school. 

The chances are that you’ve never received proper careers advice. Many students do not visit their universities career service for help. 

That’s why we step in with our graduate coaching programmes and courses to help you to bridge the gap between your academic career and your graduate career. 

Want everything you need to know to find the graduate job you really want? Check out this book written by our founder Chris Davies.

HELP! I’m Struggling To Find A Job After University!

So you’ve finished your time at university, but it is taking longer than you’d have hoped to bag yourself a graduate-level job.

We’ve put together this actionable blog post to help graduates who are struggling to find a job after university.

We’ll first cover why some graduates struggle, before providing a step-by-step list of actions to take in order to help you to land your dream job.

Why graduates are struggling to find a job after university

struggling to find a job after university

If you’ve been struggling to find work in a graduate position or have been applying to several graduate schemes without success, the first thing to note is that you are not alone.

Whilst it is a distressing fact, 48% of graduates never land a graduate-level job and remain underemployed.  

That’s why it is our mission here at Graduate Coach to help students and graduates to turn their degrees into careers – and so far we have helped over 500 people to do so.

Over the past decade of offering career coaching to hundreds of graduates around the world, we have been able to pinpoint the main reasons why graduates struggle to find a job after university.

Here are the top 3 reasons:

1. They don’t know what graduate jobs are right for them

Many people start their job hunt by applying for jobs that they think will be right for them or they ‘panic apply’ for jobs.

The problem here is that there are around 1200 different graduate job titles out there so if you are unsure of what you want to do, it can be very overwhelming.

Here at Graduate Coach, we highly recommend that before you even send out a single application that you take some time to identify your transferable skills and career typology.

We help our candidates on our coaching program to do this with the help of our online course called “discover your career path”.

By the end of this course, candidates will be able to:

  • Confidently list their skills
  • Identify the experiences that have given them transferable skills
  • Explain the graduate job market and the key attributes all grad recruiters look for in candidates
  • Understand their career typology and know what jobs are suitable for them
    And more

By the end of this process, you’ll be able to pinpoint the graduate job titles/roles that are aligned to your skillset, interests and ambitions.

2. They haven’t put together an achievement-based CV

Writing your graduate CV can be quite tricky, especially if you haven’t yet gained much or any work experience.

Regardless of how much work experience you have, it is vital that you highlight the skills you have gained from the experiences you have had – even if this is from your academics, unpaid work experience or extracurricular activities.

The aim is to create a CV that ticks enough boxes so that the graduate recruiter simply must interview you.

We have put together a really useful document on how to create an achievement-based CV. It is available to download as a PDF from our website on the recourses page. We highly recommend that you read it! For even more guidance on how to write an achievement-based CV and to see several examples of excellent graduate CVs, read chapter 6 (page 69) of The Student Book.

As part of our full graduate career coaching program, we not only help candidates to create an excellent CV and cover letter, but we also teach them the art and science of doing so, as we recognise that knowing how to do so is a life-long skill.

3. They are not preparing for interviews adequately

Did you know that people only spend on average 36 minutes preparing for their interviews?

This is not enough.

We find that most of the graduates we coach are not confident about interviews unless they have done activities like drama or have been to theatre school.

The reason why most people are so unconfident about interviews is that they have never been taught the science and art of interviewing and have never refined their interview technique.

What We Offer Here At Graduate Coach

Unfortunately, many of the candidates who come to us after failing several interviews have started to lose confidence in themselves. This has a negative impact on their interview performance because being able to convey confidence to the interviewer is a must. Think of it this way – if you aren’t confident in yourself, why should the interviewer be?

That’s why we offer interview coaching as a stand-alone course and as part of our full one-to-one graduate coaching programme.

Like being able to write excellent CVs and cover letters, being able to perform well in interviews is a very important lifelong skill.

Being able to clearly articulate that you have the skills employers are looking for and confidently demonstrate your aptitude for the job is very important.  

These are the main 3 reasons why graduates struggle to find a job after university.

If you are in this situation, the key is to try not to beat yourself up about it. We find that many of the graduates who come to us have never received proper careers advice or that the support they got from using a career service in the past was not enough.

Whilst it may be disappointing that you put so much time and money into pursuing a degree with the hopes that it would help you to get a graduate job there are still several actions you can take to get yourself on the career ladder.

What to do if you are struggling to find a job after university

The short answer is to get help. There’s no need to struggle alone. Here at Graduate Coach, we have help available regardless of what you studied, where you studied and what your budget is.

If you are struggling to find a job after university there’s no point continually sending out applications and hoping that you’ll eventually get lucky.

The right help can accelerate your job search and help you to get the right job for you.

Next steps…

Book a FREE career consultation with us here at Graduate Coach and we will put together a bespoke career coaching plan and outline exactly how we can help you to get a graduate-level job.

Also, don’t forget to grab your copy of The Student Book and The Graduate Book!

The Future Graduate Job Market is Digital

In a month’s time, when 750,000 first degree and Masters’ graduates will emerge onto the job market ready to work, what will they discover? More importantly, will they understand how to make what they find out about the graduate job market work in their favour?

Despite the doom and gloom of a media obsessed with Brexit and predicting its negative effects, our UK job market is doing a fine job of remaining robust.

Those searching for a graduate job right now should feel encouraged to know that more people than ever before are employed in the UK. In fact, the nation is enjoying one of the lowest unemployment rates in Europe.

New graduates should, however, keep in mind that competition for graduate jobs remains as tough as ever. 

Over the past 12 months blue-chip companies have advertised 22,000 graduate level positions, and while that might sound like a lot, you should be aware that these employers receive upwards of 500 applications for every role.

What does this suggest about the competition?

That while graduates are encouraged to apply for the best jobs, what applicants are often not aware of is just how competitive the job market is. Not all recruiters will tell you that.

One recruiter for a major investment bank we spoke to recently informed us that for every 100 new entry-level vacancies they have, they receive well over 100,000 applications, from different parts of the world. What’s more, 85 of these 100 positions were filled from Summer 2018 Internships at the bank last September.

What does this mean for UK graduates?

  1. For every entry-level graduate job, there will be a huge number of applications from around the world (not just the UK).
  2. With so much choice of candidate, it’s an employers’ market.
  3. It explains why only 52% of graduates land a graduate level job.
  4. And it explains why anyone who has gone through the angst to invest all that money, time and effort needs to be clued up on the graduate job market, and how to navigate it. Otherwise, they will find it a total waste.

The baristas of the UK have never been so highly academically qualified as they are today, and this is quite possibly the reason why!

Employers have not been shy in telling us that they are just not interested in interviewing a graduate who lacks employment experience in the field they want to work in, and/or has not completed an internship.

That may seem like bad news, but it is not. Far from it. It’s an insight into what a graduate must do to land one of these highly sought-after positions. If you can see it for what it is, and run with it, you will be better off than most.

Those who enter the job market without the certainty of knowing which careers are best suited to them, or without the skills and confidence to handle interviews or without appropriate non-academic experience, have zero to little chance of succeeding on the graduate market.

How do you go about that?

Any graduate with the will and desire to land a graduate level job role can land one, particularly with the knowledge of a company like ourselves.

We believe the high level of insights we offer will help. One of these is about knowing where to look when searching for employment.

Start by reading this article by Douglas McWilliams the President of CEBR:

This is a wake-up call for government and opinion-formers alike, about the importance of the digital economy and its relevance in creating success for UK plc.

The article was prompted by his 2015 book, The Flat White Economy, which led to some further reflections.

(In case you were wondering, the immense amount of flat white coffee consumed in Shoreditch and other “digital hubs” is what gives the book its title!)

In discussions with Douglas, he said to us,

What actually mainly drives it (the growth of the digital economy) is the huge scale of online business – a much higher share in the UK than in any other major economy. The online activity drives massive amounts of online marketing. In addition we have a relatively large fintech sector.

Douglas McWilliams

It is predicted that 60% of all jobs will have digital elements by 2025.

Yet, we have discovered something interesting – that 60% of all new graduate entry level jobs are already digital in some way.

This information was gathered from insights about the jobs the graduates we’ve helped have been landing since January.

Take a look at this list:

  • 2 in Machine learning or Artificial intelligence (AI)
  • 4 in digital marketing
  • 2 in IT consultancy
  • 2 in app development

We have also been running daily checks on new graduate positions consistently over the past 8 weeks. We have used indeed.co.uk, which is recognised as one of the largest UK job sites.

They advertise 25,000 graduate jobs approximately on a daily basis, and 60% of these are prefaced with words such as (Graduate) Tech, IT or digital.

This is good news for every single graduate (and their parents)!

While some of these are coder jobs or require degrees in computer science, 85% simply require some interest in digital, as well as the determination to make a career in this fast-paced and future proof way of creating a career.

If I was to offer any advice to the parents and young people out there who are searching for a job right now, it would be this: look very carefully at the variety of tech and digital options available.

These companies vary in size and type yet the majority of them are willing and keen to train up their future employees in the role. There are simply not enough graduates out there with the digital skills required to do the job.

In addition to this, these companies simply seek the typical skills and competencies that employers usually look for…

master 6 employability skills

I think it is fitting to conclude with our spin on this well-known advertising slogan as it sums it up perfectly, “The future is bright; the future is digital”.

How we help

The Student Book & The Graduate Book: Get (& Thrive In) The Job You Really Want

Chris Davies is the author of The Student Book, All you need to know to get the job you really want and The Graduate Book, All you need to know to do really well at work. The Student Book has made it on to the Fupping.com list of the 21 books every 20-year-old should read!

One-to-One Coaching: Stages 1 to 6

If you’re a student or graduate looking for help, our 6 stage one-to-coaching includes learning about yourself, creating a career plan, creating your CV, cover letters and LinkedIn profile, applying for jobs, interview coaching and job coaching and mentoring.

Our coaching follows a six-stage process. You don’t have to do all six stages. You can simply choose the help you need most. But when you choose all six stages, we guarantee success.

Do you need help finding your dream graduate job?

You can book a FREE 15-minute coaching call with Chris Davies!

Why you may be more work ready than you think

The number one question a graduate looking for that first graduate level position tends to ask is whether or not they have enough relevant work experience to get the job they want. Am I work ready?

This is understandable. Work experience is very important because without it, it will be extremely difficult for you to find a job. However, if you have graduated and don’t have much relevant work experience then what should you do?

In such cases you might find it better to flip the question on its head and to ask yourself the following question instead:

“What work relevant experience do I have?”

They may seem like the same question, but they aren’t. There’s a world of difference between the two, as you shall shortly see.

Relevant work experience is what the employer lists as a requirement for doing the job. Whereas work relevant experience is what you currently have to offer. The difference between the two is perspective.

Change the way you see your work experience

When you change the way you look at your work experience you will realise that you have far more to offer than you at first thought. You will quit believing that you cannot apply for a job that interests you purely because you don’t have the relevant work skills and experience the employer asks for.

When an employer writes a job advert he or she will list it from the perspective of what the position needs, but you cannot look at it entirely that way. At least not at first. You must ALSO look at what YOU have done that is relevant to the job.

How do you do that?

How to change the way you see your work experience

In my role as a career coach I frequently come across graduates who sincerely believe they have nothing to offer. They read a job vacancy and see a mismatch between the experience they have and what the employer is asking for. They see the sparseness of their CV and their hearts sink. And, sadly, they often give up.

But I tell them the same thing I’m telling you now: if you want to succeed at getting your feet on the ladder you must to begin to look at your skills and experience differently.

What I usually do at this point is ask them, what have you done at university? What do you do in your spare time? Have you volunteered anywhere, travelled to any countries? Do you have any hobbies?

The answers I get back usually astounds me just as much as it astounds them. They begin to reel off a long list of activities they have been involved with.

As the graduate talks about what they have done, and realise what they have learnt as a result, their eyes begin to light up. They realise that they have a lot more to offer than they first believed.

Analysing your work ready skills and experience

Work relevant skills and experience are those that can be used by an employer. They may need to be unpacked and repackaged differently but that’s all.

I once coached a guy who up until starting college had never rowed before in his life.

Within four months he was rowing for his college. He started university and by Christmas he was on their rowing team, a team that did exceptionally well in the England finals.

To achieve all of this he had to get himself up at 6am seven days a week to row between 6:30am and 7:15am. He went to gym three times of week. And he got his rowing blue in just 12 months.

He hadn’t thought anything of all of this until we spoke about his experience.

I had to point out that he had learnt self-resilience, time management and teamwork as you’re only as good as the worse person on your team.

I met another guy who wasn’t the best cricket player by his own admission but excelled when he took over the running the team.

He did a lot of rugby coaching and had to put out four or five teams to play on a Saturday. Through this he learnt soft skills like organisation, fundraising and leadership.

I have numerous examples of people who threw themselves into university social life, such as running societies, and I can always tell the difference. You don’t have to do a formal work experience programme with a big employer to understand what employability skills are.

How to find your work ready skills and experience

Ok, so you should now have a better idea of what work relevant skills are. Work ready skills are those that you have developed from:

  • School
  • College
  • University
  • Voluntary work
  • Travelling
  • Hobbies, like sports and writing
  • Non-paid work (like work experience you had to do while at school or college)
  • Internships
  • Part or full time work, whether job-related or not
develop employability skills via activities at university, volunteering, hobbies, internships, paid work

Obviously, the closer related they are to the job you want to apply for the more recognisable and easier they are to sell to an employer.

But, for the purpose of this article, where you may not have lots of this type of experience, you need to be much more critical of what you’ve done if you are to identify skills you can sell on your CV or in a job interview.

Start by asking yourself the following sets of questions:

Business awareness

Have I ever

  • volunteered or done work experience in an office, retail outlet or other place where I had to deal with people I did not know (i.e. customers, clients, suppliers)?
  • had to work anywhere where I have had to work to fit in and behave professionally?
  • worked with people from different cultures, backgrounds and beliefs?
  • worked with people of different positions, either senior or subordinate to me?
  • read and understood a business or trade report, article or newspaper?
  • done any research on a company or organisation to understand what makes it successful?

Communication and literacy skills

Have I ever had to

  • speak or do a presentation before an audience?
  • carry out research and to produce a conclusion or summary of what I learnt?
  • persuade anyone to make a decision, such as to sign up to or support a project or event?
  • write a blog, report, article or other material that was to be published in print or online?

Entrepreneurship

Have I ever

  • been elected to represent my peers as a prefect, head boy/girl or in some other capacity?
  • had to lead others?
  • had to lead or manage a project?
  • had to convince people to sign up to a campaign or attend an event, like an open day?
  • had to show visitors around my school, college or university campus?

IT Skills

Have I ever used

  • a computer
  • Word, Excel, Photoshop, illustrator, SPSS, or other software?
  • WordPress, Joomla, Dreamweaver or other website building software?
  • social media to promote an event, product or information?

Numeracy

Have I ever had to

  • assess the outcome of an activity or situation and to provide feedback?
  • analyse figures, tables, statistics and other data and communicate them in a way that others could use?
  • handle money or budgets?

Problem Solving

Have I ever had to

  • help others solve a problem?
  • find my own ways to solve a problem?
  • ask others to help me solve a problem?

Resilience

Have I ever had to

  • motivate myself or others to achieve a goal?
  • keep going in the face of disappointment or difficulty?
  • perform under pressure and keep my head?
  • deal with difficult or negative people?

Self-management

Have I ever had to

  • organise my own time, workload, priorities or diary to get stuff done?
  • meet a deadline?
  • assume responsibility for others, a budget, a situation, event, outcome or anything else?

Teamwork

Have I ever had to

  • supervise others?
  • work as part of a team to achieve a goal?
  • find ways past problems so that I could achieve either of the above?
employability skills include business awareness, communication, entrepreneurship, IT skills, numeracy, problem solving, resilience, self-management, teamwork

There is no substitute for work experience gained from an employer. However, if you’ve graduated without having accumulated lots of relevant work experience then work relevant work experience will be the place for you to start. All is not lost. By answering the questions above you should be able to see that you still have something to offer.

Press

A degree is no longer enough – Aspect County

Young people graduate into a different world from that of twenty or thirty years ago when their parents went to university. The student population has doubled since 1992 and last year UCAS reported that a record number, almost half, were accepted into university. The problem is what happens when they leave. With 78% of students now achieving a 1st or 2:1, competition for graduate level employment is rife. Which is why, according to official data by the Office of National Statistics, almost half (47%) of graduates were in non-graduate jobs two years later.
Read Article

How we help

One-to-One Coaching: Stage 1

If you’re a student or graduate looking for help, stage one of our one-to-one coaching: Learning about yourself – Find your ideal career will help you learn about yourself, give you a better understanding of your preferences, strengths and skills and help you find your ideal career.

The Student Book & The Graduate Book: Get (& Thrive In) The Job You Really Want

Chris Davies is the author of The Student Book, All you need to know to get the job you really want and The Graduate Book, All you need to know to do really well at work. The Student book introduces the 9 Employability Skills, how and where to acquire them, ways to develop them, how to prove you have these skills and how to create a CV that highlights your achievements.

Nail That Interview Course with Chris Davies

Nail That Interview Online Course will teach you everything you need for interview success. Module 1 – I CAN do the job – contains the Graduate Coach Skills Audit and the 9 Employability Skills.

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Graduating this summer and worried about finding a job? Read this.

If you are graduating this summer and worried about finding a job, don’t. Here are some of the best things you can do to prepare yourself.

All those lectures over. No more course assignments. Hanging out with your buddies in the student bar is a thing of the past. Now you’ve got to find a job.

Graduating can feel scary.

You may feel alone and worried about how to find that first graduate job.

Well, the best thing you can do for yourself is to take a deep breath and stop panicking over…

…what job you should do…

If you already know what type of job you want to do that’s a good start but if not, you shouldn’t be too concerned about that either. During the first few years after graduating most people don’t know what they want to do or, if they do, end up changing their minds about their career choices. Use this time to learn more about yourself and to explore your skills in a work environment. One of the most important distinctions between university life and working life is to understand that the latter is much more self-determined. There are no programme leaders to set agendas for you or to lead you by the hand. You must decide what you will learn and how far it will take you.

…not having the right skills…

Don’t worry over whether or not you have the skills to do that job right now. What’s more important is to know how and where you are going to acquire those skills. The journey to building the skills you need is just as important as getting them as it gets you in the right frame of mind to make the most of this important stage of your life and career. What I mean by this is that if you know you are on the journey to building your skills then you’ll recognise opportunities as they come up and know what to do with them when you see them. And, besides, you’ll enjoy the journey much better.

…how and where to build the sort of skills you need…

Find an internship position where you can begin to develop, grow and build up your work experience. Look for an internship position in a field or industry that holds some interest for you. Internships opportunities are much better than they used to be in the past and will at least pay you something around an entry level wage. Once you land your internship seek to learn all you can about:

  • The company and how it ticks – what makes it stand out? Do you understand its branding, how it makes its money, what makes it different to its competitors?
  • The different departments in the company – how do these department work and fit interdependently with each other? Where does your own department fit?
  • Build networks – who is who and who does what? How does your own role help other people do their jobs well, and is there anything you can do (without stepping too far out of line) to improve that?

…about money or about not finding the type of internship you really want…

Counter this by finding a job. If you can’t find an internship in the area of your interest find any other job, full or part time, as long as you are working. I’m inclined to say find any job that helps you to build as many of the following skills as possible (and, by the way, these are skills you should also be looking to build during any internship):

  • Communication skills (written or verbal but preferably both) – writing articles or reports, doing presentations and speaking to members of the public, colleagues, suppliers… anyone in a professional context.
  • Business awareness – this also covers customer service skills and knowing how to be professional when working with clients, suppliers and colleagues. It also includes understanding and fitting in with the company’s culture.
  • Resilience – staying on task no matter how hard things become and being determined to learn whatever skills you need to master in order to do your job well. You must be sensible however not to do anything that jeopardises your long-term health and wellbeing.
  • Numeracy skills – yes, seeking out and using numbers, charts, statistics and other data for practical purposes, but also seeking opportunities develop your analytical, critical and creative thinking and skills. This includes good research skills.
  • IT skills – you must know how to use software packages to help you do your job better. You’ll also need awareness of online tools (social media, online marketing skills and basic coding or website building skills).
  • Entrepreneurship skills – an entrepreneur is resourceful, comes up with good workable ideas and knows how to motivate others to get on board to make those ideas work. Be a good leader.
  • Problem solving skills – never throw your hands up in the air when facing a problem at work but look for ways to solve them. This may include getting help from other people, but you should always present your need for help with at least some ideas of your own on how to solve the problem you’re facing.
  • Self-management – using your own initiative and managing your own time and work load are important skills if you want to get ahead in your graduate career. You must be a good organiser and planner.
  • Teamwork – whatever job you do it is likely that it will involve working with other people so get your teamwork skills up to scratch. Teamwork is about doing whatever is required to get the team objective done. It’s not just about you.
employability skills include business awareness, communication, entrepreneurship, IT skills, numeracy, problem solving, resilience, self-management, teamwork

…about what to do while waiting for any of the above to happen…

There are a few other things you can do to build your skills while you are looking for the right internship or job. You can:

  • Volunteer – another great way to develop the skills you need for your graduate career is to volunteer. Volunteering can open doors to valuable opportunities to develop the experience you need, and you can offer as many or as few hours as you have free. Again, seek to grow in the direction of the areas listed above.
  • Start a blog or online project / business – with WordPress it is easy to set up your own blog or website selling products online. This will give you the opportunity to develop many of the skills listed above and, who knows, you may even end up making lots of money or becoming famous! Ok, maybe not. But at least it will give you the opportunity to develop important skills in marketing, communication, customer service, problem solving, resilience and other important aptitudes you can list on your CV.

Remember, nothing happens by accident. You have to strategically create the opportunities you want to see in your life. Don’t spend the summer sitting on your laurels and bemoaning the fact that you can’t find the job you want. Keep yourself busy building valuable experience and confidence and the doors will open for you.

Press

A degree is no longer enough – Aspect County

Young people graduate into a different world from that of twenty or thirty years ago when their parents went to university. The student population has doubled since 1992 and last year UCAS reported that a record number, almost half, were accepted into university. The problem is what happens when they leave. With 78% of students now achieving a 1st or 2:1, competition for graduate level employment is rife. Which is why, according to official data by the Office of National Statistics, almost half (47%) of graduates were in non-graduate jobs two years later.
Read Article

How we help

One-to-One Coaching: Stage 1, Stage 2 and Stage 4

If you’re a student or graduate our one-to-one coaching can help. Stage one: Learning about yourself – Find your ideal career will help you learn about yourself, give you a better understanding of your preferences, strengths and skills and help you find your ideal career. Stage two: Career plan develops your career plan – what skills do you have and what do you need, establishes your current level on the 9 employability skills, discussions around Internships and work experience needed. Stage four: Applying for jobs includes how to find the right job opportunities and internships and how to network.

The Student Book & The Graduate Book: Get (& Thrive In) The Job You Really Want

Chris Davies is the author of The Student Book, All you need to know to get the job you really want and The Graduate Book, All you need to know to do really well at work. The Student book introduces the 9 Employability Skills, how and where to acquire them, ways to develop them, how to prove you have these skills, how to create a CV that highlights your achievements and things to consider before and during an interview.

Nail That Interview Course with Chris Davies

Nail That Interview Online Course will teach you everything you need for interview success. Module 1 – I CAN do the job – contains the Graduate Coach Skills Audit and the 9 Employability Skills.

Watch

Help to get a graduate job | Graduate interview coaching

The full career coaching programme with Chris Davies | Interview training

Tell me about yourself | Self introductions

Creating a career action plan | Developing career goals

Successful internships | Creating your own internships

How to find your first graduate job at an emotion-friendly workplace – Part 1

An emotion-friendly workplace is one where you feel happy at work. Wouldn’t you like to find your first graduate level job at a company just like that? Sure you would, so here’s how to go about it.

You want a job that makes you happy, one that will inspire you to spring out of bed each morning and leave you feeling satisfied at the close of the day. Trouble is, you have no idea how or where to find a job like that because as a recent graduate looking for your first graduate level job, you’re not even sure what that means.

What does it mean to be happy at work? Have you considered what sort of job would make your working life blissful? Or how to avoid ending up in a work environment that makes you pull the pillow over your head rather than get up for work each morning?

Or perhaps you’re taking a much more rational approach by looking at jobs that will pay you lots of money, offer great benefits and fast-track you to the top?

Nothing rational about happiness at work 

You may be surprised to know that the route to job happiness is not rational at all. It’s all about how we feel at work. To find a job that makes you happy you need to find work in an emotion-friendly environment. You may not have considered this as a valid factor in helping you to look for your first graduate job but if you want one that makes you happy, then that’s where you’ll find it.

As futurist Dr Patrick Dixon has said:

The future is not driven by economics, innovation or politics. It is emotional reactions to events that drive them, it is an emotional reaction that determines whether Nokia survives or iPhone, what brands you buy and don’t, and what government ideas are elected and not.

Dr Patrick Dixon

So, we’re not such rational beings after all. We’re driven by emotions. They matter, literally. Emotions don’t turn off when you leave home for work. They subconsciously guide your choices, including your career direction. Your emotions played a large part in how you came to be reading this blog: you’re here because you pine for a better future.

Happy workers make happy companies (and vice versa)

The more in tune you are with your feelings about what will make you happy at work the better decisions you will be able to make about your career. Not only will this help you decide on the sort of job you want to do, or the sort of company you want to work for, but (importantly) also how to recognise both when you come across them.

And here’s some really good news: employers, at least the top graduate employers, want to make you happy at work too. Happy people make better workers and better workers make better companies and organisations. So, whether you are happy at work or not has a much greater influence over the future of an organisation than they might let on.

The power of public wrath 

Companies, like Iceland, which became the first UK supermarket to remove artificial matter from its own-brand products, know the danger of choosing success factors like financial results and profit, or even performance management, above how people feel.

As a society, we hold businesses accountable and expect them to behave responsibly – or else we’ll let loose our wrath upon them via social media. Companies must therefore behave responsibly if they want to avoid muddying the public pool from which they must also attract, not just paying customers, but also the best talent.

This is good news for you because, realising that it is a sensible thing to do, the best organisations will take your happiness into consideration. So, what are the things that contribute to helping you to feel good at work? How would you recognise an emotion-friendly workplace if it stared you in the face?

Find out how in part 2 of this article.

How we help

One-to-One Coaching

If you’re a student or graduate our one-to-one coaching can help kick-start your career. Our coaching follows a six-stage process. Our professional coaches provide career advice and coaching to help you to achieve your full potential. We are experts in full career and interview coaching.

The Student Book & The Graduate Book: Get (& Thrive In) The Job You Really Want

Chris Davies is the author author of The Student Book, All you need to know to get the job you really want and The Graduate Book, All you need to know to do really well at work. The Student book introduces the 9 Employability Skills, how and where to acquire them, ways to develop them, how to prove you have these skills, how to create a CV that highlights your achievements and things to consider before and during an interview.

Nail That Interview Course with Chris Davies

Nail That Interview Online Course will teach you everything you need for interview success. will teach you everything you need for interview success! We have condensed our learning from over 20,000 hours of one-to-one coaching over 8 years to bring you this course. It is the next best thing to being personally coached by us.

Watch

The full career coaching programme with Chris Davies | Interview Training

How to choose a graduate career path to follow

The place most graduates begin when trying to decide on a career is with their academic qualifications, skills and talents. What can you do with these?

If your degree is in a general subject, like biology, history or English, then this may not be so obvious – which is perhaps why you’re feeling unsure. Or it may be that you did your degree with a specific career in mind but you’re now having second thoughts.

Graduates often come to me in this type of panic. After years of study, and now having graduated, they still have no idea what type of job they want to do.

It’s ok to be undecided on what graduate career path you want to follow

The first thing I tell them is, fear not. Career indecision is common for many of us. It’s normal to have second thoughts about what you’d like to do even after years of working in a job.

So, dear graduate, quit fretting. There’s nothing wrong with not knowing what you want to do. It’s early days yet. This isn’t going to make or break your career because lots of people try several jobs before finally settling for ‘the one’ – and, to be honest, rarely is there truly just one. Not nowadays. You’re a complex person, with lots of different interests, so it shouldn’t come as a big surprise that you struggle to decide which one of the many interests that make you up you want to pursue as a career.

The main thing is to make a start someplace. Don’t let career indecisiveness paralyse and make you feel miserable. Just start somewhere and trust that you’ll find the right path down the line. Here are a few suggestions to help you to do that.

Don’t think of your career path as a dead-end road

First, let me just say that if you look at choosing a career as a road that leads to other roads then you’ll be less worried about taking the wrong one. Each ‘interesting’ experience leads to another, which means your career choice is never a cul-de-sac but always through-road to somewhere else. And your direction will be determined by the experiences that interest you.

So, this is where to begin, with your strengths and interests. These will hold a clue to the kind of work you might enjoy doing, so start here. What do you enjoy doing and what are you good at?

To help you decide, seek the views of the people know you best. What do they think you’re really good at?

Aside from your strengths and weaknesses, get to know your values, soft skills and aptitudes. If you’ve a passion for saving the planet, for example, then a career that’s concerned with similar issues might suit you nicely.

What’s the future hold? 

Also think about the trends and key developments happening around you. What industry or type of jobs are there where demand is rapidly growing? Or look likely to grow in the near future? This can open up new opportunities for you.

Know what makes you tick. To do this you must engage in some serious self-reflection and analysis, and it takes time. Think about what inspires you. This will usually involve an activity where time seems to fly. Make a note of these activities, then ask yourself what it is about each item on your list that you enjoy.

Personality tests can help you work out what you might be good at. Choosing a job type will be easier if you know how you’re likely to behave in different scenarios, like working with a team, working alone or working in a pressured environment. You may be surprised by the new things you discover about yourself.

Choosing where to start

Okay, now take a look job adverts that interest you, and the skills you’ll need to do them. Note those that match the skills and interests you have. Don’t worry if you don’t have all that’s required to do those jobs as you can easily develop those later.

You’ll probably need to do a bit more probing before making a decision. To find out more information about the careers that spark your interest try to speak to people who are already working in those roles. If you don’t know anyone personally, try to join a couple of the social media groups set up to serve people in these jobs.

You should now at least have a better idea of where to start on your graduate career path.

And remember:

It’s never too late to be whatever you might have been.

George Eliot

Press

A degree is no longer enough – Aspect County

Young people graduate into a different world from that of twenty or thirty years ago when their parents went to university. The student population has doubled since 1992 and last year UCAS reported that a record number, almost half, were accepted into university. The problem is what happens when they leave. With 78% of students now achieving a 1st or 2:1, competition for graduate level employment is rife. Which is why, according to official data by the Office of National Statistics, almost half (47%) of graduates were in non-graduate jobs two years later.
Read Article

How we help

One-to-One Coaching: Stage 1 and Stage 2

If you’re a student or graduate our one-to-one coaching can help. Stage one: Learning about yourself – Find your ideal career will help you learn about yourself, give you a better understanding of your preferences, strengths and skills and help you find your ideal career. Stage two: Career plan develops your career plan to reach your goals, what skills do you have and what do you need, establishes your current level on the 9 employability skills, discussions around what career options will suit you, what industries are growing / failing, Internships and work experience needed.

The Student Book & The Graduate Book: Get (& Thrive In) The Job You Really Want

Chris Davies is the author of The Student Book, All you need to know to get the job you really want and The Graduate Book, All you need to know to do really well at work. The Student book introduces the 9 Employability Skills, how and where to acquire them, ways to develop them, how to prove you have these skills, how to create a CV that highlights your achievements and things to consider before and during an interview.

Nail That Interview Course with Chris Davies

Nail That Interview Online Course will teach you everything you need for interview success. Module 1 – I CAN do the job – contains the Graduate Coach Skills Audit and the 9 Employability Skills.

Watch

The full career coaching programme with Chris Davies | Interview training

Creating a career action plan | Developing career goals

Help to get a graduate job | Graduate interview coaching

Tell me about yourself | Self introductions

3 promising signs for the future of graduate employment

A hundred thousand 16- to 24-year-olds unemployed, 49 per cent of graduates never gaining a graduate level job, and half of employers saying that graduates lack vital work-ready skills – bleak reports abound and yet we see at least three signs that point to a promising future for graduate employment.

With employers keen to find ways to access to the widest possible talent pool and universities knowing that their survival depends on creating better employment outcomes for their graduates, this is quite possibly the best of times for graduates looking for work.

We have seen a noticeable shift in effort with both sides actively looking for ways to create better opportunities for vocational training. It places graduates in a favourable position to get the help they need.

Sign 1: More employers and universities are working together, better.

We have seen a renewed determination from employers to work more effectively with universities to help graduates develop the skills they need for employment. Universities and employers have been working together for years but with little progress and often with both sides feeling that the other should do more. Recent research from City & Guilds shows that more than half of the employers surveyed would like to be more involved in developing qualifications to build a stronger link between education and business needs, and almost 80 per cent of employers believe that work experience is essential to get young people ready for work.

Sign 2: More programmes to help graduates become work-ready.

This is leading to an increase in the number of programmes to help improve the quality and range of ways young people can acquire the skills they need. One of these is the Financial & Legal Skills Partnership’s (FLSP) Graduate Foundation College (GFC), aimed at those who have graduated but are still struggling to secure full time employment. The GFC gives initial training to graduates before a three-month internship at a financial advisory firm and is part funded by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES). There are also virtual programmes like GetInGetOn, a programme that enables young people to find out more about the financial services and to develop the skills and knowledge that employers want via e-career mentors. Another would be the University of East London whose careers centre are doing some rather innovative things to help Graduates into jobs.

Sign 3: More and better quality internship training programmes

Another promising sign is better quality internships. This week, the FLSP joined the call for companies to pay greater attention to the benefits that can be created by paid internships. They said more companies, including SMEs, are looking at creating internships opportunities. This is particularly good news for graduates and could change the face of internship training where this method gaining the experience you need to get a job is no longer looked upon as the poor cousin of the graduate programme. Just a few weeks ago during a gathering of universities and employers this question around quality paid internships was also raised. Employers and recruiters are saying that if we are serious about helping graduates to skill up then we need to create an internship culture that can meet their needs.

If every company took just one apprentice or intern, it would instantly address the youth unemployment level, which is still unacceptably high,

It would also help companies to adequately plan for growth in a recovering economy, buoyed by talented young people with sights set on success.

Liz Field, CEO of the FLSP

We are pretty confident that activity in these three areas will increase as firms and universities look for ways to solve the problem around graduate recruitment. It is in the interests of both sides to work together to create opportunities for graduates to develop the employability skills they need. This can only spell good news for the future of graduate employment.

How we help

One-to-One Coaching: Stage 4

If you’re a student or graduate looking for help, stage four of our one-to-one coaching: applying for jobs, includes how to find the right job opportunities and internships, how to build and manage a network.

Nail That Interview Course: I CAN do the job and I WANT the job.

Nail That Interview Online Course will teach you everything you need for interview success and help you go that extra mile to land your dream job. The Course Curriculum includes Module 1 – I CAN do the job and Module 2 – I WANT the job.

The Student Book & The Graduate Book: Get (& Thrive In) The Job You Really Want.

Chris Davies is the author of The Student Book, All you need to know to get the job you really want and The Graduate Book, All you need to know to do really well at work. The Student book discusses the 9 Employability Skills, how to create a CV that highlights your achievements and things to consider before and during an interview.

Watch

Successful internships | Creating your own internships

Help to get a graduate job | Graduate interview coaching

Creating a career action plan | Developing career goals

How to differentiate yourself from other job candidates | Stand out to recruiters