Careers Perspectives – from the Bath careers service

Focus on your future with expert advice from your careers advisers

Monthly Archives: January 2015

Enable: Careers Events to support Disabled Students

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📥  Advice, Diversity, Tips & Hints

The Enable Careers Events been developed by the Disability Advice Team, the Counselling & Wellbeing Service and the Careers Team at Bath to support students with a physical disability, mental health issue or a learning difficulty.  The programme is made up of webinars (which you can participate in remotely) and concludes with a practical workshop.

Webinar: To disclose or not to disclose your disability?
Wednesday 18 February 2015

This session will provide an opportunity for participants to consider the pros and cons of disclosing a disability to an employer. We will also discuss the different stages of the selection process and provide guidance on when to disclose. The session will conclude with tips and advice so you feel confident discussing your disability.

Webinar: Job hunting with a disability
Wednesday 25 February 2015

Making the transition from education into employment is a challenging process for anyone and with a disability, it can be even more daunting. This webinar will answer questions such as what reasonable adjustment should you expect in the selection process and within employment. We will also signpost you to relevant organisations and resources to help you identify friendly employers.

Webinar: Developing resilience in your job search
Wednesday 4 March 2015

Finding the right placement, internship or graduate role takes time. Along the way you may face knocks; therefore developing a degree of resilience is an essential coping ingredient. This webinar will provide guidance on how you can develop your resilience and manage negative thinking. This session will be delivered by the University's Wellbeing and Counselling team.

Workshop: Succeeding in assessment centres
Wednesday 11 March 2015

This ½ day training session is designed to help you understand what employers look for in the selection process. There will be short teaching sessions and opportunities to practice skills such as interviews, CV writing and participate in group discussions in a supportive environment. The trainer will provide plenty of opportunities to ask questions and discuss any concerns about the impact of your disability on recruitment.

For more information and to register please log into MyFuture.

The Careers Service at the Women in Leadership Conference!


📥  Diversity

We are absolutely thrilled to be delivering workshops during the Women in Leadership Conference which is being organised by the University of Bath Students Union. The Careers team will be leading the following workshops:

  • Networking with Purpose: this session will help participants think about how to develop supportive networks in leadership roles, and to reflect on the benefits of networking for personal and professional development.
  • Confident Communication – empowering yourself through positive language: this session will help participants unlock the power of positive language and will show how to create a confident and positive impression.
  • Effective Leadership: This session will introduce you to some ways to increase your self-awareness, and participants might use this knowledge to develop their leadership skills.

We will also offer 1:1 careers appointments to delegates. This is an excellent opportunity to discuss professional development needs, explore career ideas or take-away practical tips on managing your career.

Researching Career Sectors

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📥  Advice, Careers Resources, Labour Market Intelligence, Sector Insight, Tips & Hints

Here are our 5 top tips to research career sectors:

career sector


  1. Look at sector overviews:  Prospects, TARGETjobs and Inside Careers offer good sector overviews as well as example job profiles for multiple sectors.
  2. Talk to alumni: Log into Bath Connection and talk to Bath alumni working in a wide range of industries.
  3. Consult professional bodies:  find the professional body for the sector you are interested in and check out the latest news, developments and any detailed careers advice.
  4. Use library resources: current Bath students have access to tools such as Hoovers, MarketLine and Passport which provide sector overviews, detailed company information and links to relevant news. Do also check out the detailed information resources produced by the careers team.
  5. Engage with employers on-campus: keep an eye out for the Careers Service's spring programme, as always we will be inviting a wide range of employers who will talk about graduate opportunities, participate in careers fairs and deliver skills session.



Graduate Opportunities in the South West.....

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📥  Graduate Jobs, Internships, Labour Market Intelligence, Sector Insight

According to, the South West enjoys higher than average employment and was recently judged to be the happiest place to work. Good news so far. So what opportunities are available to you when you graduate? The following illustrates the range of employers based here:

  • Major employers are aero-industry companies such as Rolls-Royce, Airbus and BAE Systems.
  • Electronics, IT and civil engineering firms, numerous software companies and employers such as Orange and Hewlett Packard, as well as many of the large engineering consultancies have offices in the South West.
  • Bristol is emerging as an important financial center (outside of London), with companies such as AXA, Bristol and West, and Lloyds TSB being well represented, as are law, accountancy and other professional services.
  • Public sector employers include not just local councils and health service trusts but outposts of national government, including the MoD.
  • Some of the country's best Universities are located in the region and include Bath, Exeter, Bristol, Falmouth just to name a few.
  • The South West is recognised for its vibrant creative industries and companies such as Denham Productions, BBC South West and Aardman Animations all based in the region.

Explore opportunities available to you...

  1. Search for local employers on MyFuture, the Careers Services comprehensive jobs board.
  2. Graduate South West is an online vacancy service for all the universities in the South West of England, which collates job vacancies from all the higher education institutions in the region.
  3. GradCornwall vacancies in Cornwall for students and graduates
  4. Major employers in the South West comprehensive list produced by the University of Exeter careers service, lists employers by industry sector.

For more information do pop in for a 1:1 with a Careers Adviser.

The hard truth about soft skills

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📥  Advice, Graduate Jobs, Tips & Hints

Sometimes it seems as though the list of skills and attributes that employers want in their potential employees is getting longer and harder to attain. And, worst of all, it's full of unmeasurable, intangible 'soft skills'. Things like 'interpersonal skills', 'communication', 'team working' and the like.

You may also be sick of reading that the graduates of today are woefully lacking in skills and it is up to today's universities to help students develop such skills. And you have probably been to at least one careers  or placement-related talk where the importance of developing such skills has been mentioned.

I'm sure you get really fed up reading these articles....but think about it. For so many articles to be published along these lines, employers must be seeing something (or not seeing it, maybe).

Not just 'tell them about it'

We Careers Advisers know (we have seen your CVs and spoken to many of you) that you put a lot of effort into accumulating these skills. You play team sports, volunteer, take on leadership roles in societies - so what is going wrong here?

It is easy to fall into the way of thinking that it is your degree that is most important, and certainly employers do highly value your degrees. But when everyone who applies has a 2:1 and 320 UCAS points (becasue that is where the employer has set the bar) then it is only logical to assume that it is the 'extras' that are going to make the difference.

Yes, yes, yes, you may be thinking. We know that's the reason why we have to write the answers to those really annoying and tortuous questions on application forms. And we've done the activity, so we just need to tell them about it and that's the skill demonstrated.

Evidently something is missing in many students' answers, though, for employers to say they just can't see the skill demonstrated clearly enough.

How does it feel?

Here is a little trick that may help make this easier. Of course, you should still use your STAR*, or CAR*, or whichever acronym works for you as a means of evidencing your soft skills (more on that later). But before you do that, take a minute to think about what it feels like to be on the receiving end of that skill, really well demonstrated.

Let's take teamwork as an example. That's one of the skills we find students have a hard time demonstrating well. Leaving aside the overuse of 'we' when they need to be talking about 'I', there is an emphasis on process rather than rationale.

So, how do you know when you have been in a team that works really well? Or seen a team working well? Maybe you saw lots of supportive feedback on performance, or good listening to everyone's input, or letting everyone know what the progress towards the task is. Did that make you feel valued? That your contribution was important?

Then, think about a team experience you have observed or participated in that was not good teamwork. Possibly you saw, or heard, only one person's voice? No idea whether performances were as expected, or not? Tasks being handed out with no attention paid to who might be best at them, or prefer to do them? Then think about how that team felt.

Now, back to the employers' questions. If, in your answer, you only talk about the bare bones of the process and give no 'colour', an employer will not know anything about your approach to teamwork and can't guess at whether you show good or poor teamwork behaviours. So it is very important to tell them!

Include some R&R

I'd like to emphasise the importance of the R (&R) at the end of the STAR/CAR formula - Results (and Reflection). So, when crafting your evidence, reflect on what you learned about, say, the best way to distribute tasks, or to ensure a harmonious team performance. That way, an employer will be sure to see that you have considered the importance of teamwork and know how you will go about ensuring it in your teams in the future.

Run it past us

If you'd like to be certain your answers are hitting the spot, why not book a Quick Query appointment so a Careers Adviser can give you some constructive feedback?


* STAR: Situation - Task - Action - Result; CAR: Context - Action - Result. Common methods for answering competency/behaviour questions - for more detail see our Application, CV and cover letter guide.


Internship Programme for Students and Graduates with Disabilities or Long-term Health Conditions

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📥  Advice, Diversity, Graduate Jobs, Internships, Placements

Change 100 is a paid placement programme to match talented and ambitious students and recent graduates with disabilities or long-term health conditions with top UK companies. Disabilities or long-term health conditions could include physical, visual or hearing impairments, mental health conditions and learning disabilities like dyslexia and dyspraxia.

Successful applicants get mentoring and guidance throughout a paid three-month work placement.

Apply now - deadline is 30 January!


Find out facts not fiction about jobs


📥  Careers Resources, Networking, Tips & Hints

I was reading an article today on the BBC News website where people are griping about how their job is portrayed on TV. With the number of TV dramas that involve police, legal professionals, scientists, doctors, teachers and their like, you could expect to get a very clear idea about what it is to work in those professions. Indeed the CSI series is said to be single handedly responsible for the rise in Forensic Science degrees.  I recognise how these professionals may feel frustrated by other people's lack of understanding of what their jobs involve; I know I've been there myself. Correct fictional interpretation of a job should mean the writer does their research. Indeed some TV dramas may have a consultant who advises them on medical, legal or science matters and a quick look through the credits usually reveals if someone is in that role. However even where there is a relevant consultant the likelihood is that any advice will be overridden if a more dramatic effect can be achieved by a deviation from the facts.

Word Cloud Tv Dramas

If you have felt inspired to do a job because of fictional account you have read then make sure you look in more reliable places for information. Professional association websites are a good place to start. We have chosen a number of websites for various occupational areas that we think are most helpful to you and placed them in the catalogue on our website. We would also recommend looking at the job profiles you can find on the websites Prospects and TargetJobs. Once you have read what you can then the next step is to talk to people who are doing the job. Read the relevant pages about networking in our Finding a Graduate Job guide. Make sure you check out the Bath Connection to see if there are any Bath alumni who can help you. Remember you can talk to an Adviser at anytime, whether you have a clear idea or not about your future career plans.


Should you disclose your nationality on your CV?

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📥  Advice, Tips & Hints

Lately I have seen a number of International Students who have asked me the same question,“should I put my nationality on my CV?” and “will this affect how employers view my application?” My view is to be upfront about this… Remember an employer will read your CV and may well work out you are from overseas by simply looking at your previous education.

So if you are from outside the UK, be clear about your nationality on your CV whilst clarifying how this impacts your eligibility to work in the UK. For example, if applying for a part-time job whilst studying, put something like:

Nationality: Indian, eligible to work part-time in the UK for up to X hours.

(Make sure you know the current position by always keeping up to date with information on the UK Visas & Immigration website)

If you are looking for work in the UK after you have finished your studies, try something like:

Nationality: Indian, eligible to work in the UK with Tier 2 visa sponsorship

You can find  excellent guidance notes from UKCISA. For specific questions relating to your right to work in the UK make an appointment with one of our helpful International Student Advisers.


Democracy Day - Have you thought of a career in Politics?

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📥  Advice, Careers Resources, Labour Market Intelligence, Sector Insight, Work Experience

Today across the BBC, Democracy Day is marked with special programmes looking at democracy in the UK and across the globe. The 20th January 1265 is widely recognised as the day England's first parliament was held.  This year also sees the General Election in the UK in May and therefore we are shining a light on the wide range of career opportunities in politics. One thing's for sure, a career in politics is unlikely to be dull. There are opportunities to be on the front line, working as a politician in Westminster or in local government; or you can work behind the scenes as an activist, administrator or adviser. A career in politics also offers scope to work overseas.

So how do you get started?
If  you are at University, consider getting involved with the Student Union. There are opportunities to get involved with existing campaigns or run your own. Campaigns can range from supporting organ donation awareness on campus to pushing for a better transport system for students. You can also get involved with the many Clubs & Societies which provide opportunities to discuss all manner of topics and engage with other students who care about the same issues as you.

The range of roles within politics are varied, ranging from administration, research, campaigning to specialist roles such linguists working for the intelligence service. The best way to clarify the sorts of roles that might suit you is by gaining experience. With the general election round the corner, there are plenty of opportunities to volunteer and get involved with local government in your area. Work for an MP has a wealth of information on getting experience in parliament. Internships  in Brussels are advertised on EuroBrussels which also has a useful "Find a Job Guide".

Working in UK Government
There aren't as many opportunities for work experience / internships directly in Government departments and agencies; however a wide range of graduate careers do exist. The following are useful starting points:

Civil Service Careers: information on all opportunities in the Civil Service
Civil Service Fast Stream: for information on graduate entry for progress to senior positions
UK Parliament Jobs: listings of all parliamentary opportunities
National Graduate Development Programme: graduate opportunities in local government
Local Government Careers: the most comprehensive listing of local government jobs

Working in EU
Careers at the EU Institutions: a comprehensive guide to EU institutions and the wide range of opportunities.
Jobs in Brussels: a one stop-shop listing all EU affairs jobs on one portal
European Personnel Selection: for all jobs in the EU agencies.

There are also a number of graduate traineeships which include: The European Commission Traineeship and The European Economic & Social Committee Traineeship.

International Politics
Various UK (and other national) government departments work in very internationally focused ways, most obviously the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Department for International Development for example.

UN: a comprehensive website with employee profiles and job listings.
NATO: a number of opportunities aimed at postgraduate students working for NATO in Brussels.

This blog post only scratches the surface of the breadth of opportunities available in the sector. For more information please download this very helpful guide produced by one of the careers team.  You may also want to re-visit our blog post on Careers in  International Development.


MyFuture opportunities round up!

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📥  Graduate Jobs, Internships, Work Experience


There are currently over 1000 graduate jobs, internships and work experience opportunities on MyFuture - the Bath Careers Service's online jobs board. Here's a selection of opportunities:

MMC Sport - 3-9 month paid Editorial Internship based in Munich.
Google - Fulltime Software Engineer
Wynne Jones IP - Trainee Patent Attorney
NHS - Healthcare Scientist Training Programme
TK Maxx - Merchandising & Buying European Graduate Programme
Volterra Partners - Graduate Economic Consultant
Shell -  Graduate Programme in Engineering/Science for disabled students
Hang Seng Bank - Human Resources Placement