Careers Perspectives – from the Bath careers service

Focus on your future with expert advice from your careers advisers

Topic: Finding a Job

The Employers Are Coming – Get Prepared for The Careers Fair!

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📥  Advice, Career Choice, Careers Fairs, Finding a Job, Graduate Jobs, Tips & Hints

The Employers Are Coming – Get Prepared for The Careers Fair!


On Thursday and Friday 19th and 20th October the employers are coming to campus! We will have around 200 employers over the two days from a range of different sectors. This is a unique opportunity for Bath graduates, undergraduates and postgraduates of any year to meet a range of employers in one venue, and will give you the chance to ask questions and assess the types of jobs on offer in an informal setting. Remember this is not just for graduate roles, there are also employers offering summer internships and placements.

The 2017 fair will be held from 11am to 4pm both days, and will be at the Sports Training Village (Netball Courts).

So how do you prepare for the careers fair? Well here are few tips for you:

 

  • Research the employers coming to the fair. The leaflet is out and you can download it from our website.  There are employers from a range of sectors within business and engineering, but we also have charities and public sector represented by organisations such as Cancer Research UK, Department of Education, Welsh Government, Frontline and Teach First. A lot of commercial companies also recruit students from all disciplines so there is something here for anyone, whatever your degree.
  • Plan your visit! Which employers do you want to see and where are they? Make sure to target the employers and find out where they are by checking the Careers Fair map.
  • Prepare questions for the employers you are interested in. The answers may make you decide on what career pathways are best for you or may inspire you to apply for a summer internship or a graduate role. Questions may cover a range of subjects. Maybe you are curious about the day to day work activities, the culture of the workplace? Or maybe you would like to know what type of skills or experiences they are looking for so that you can tailor your job application or prepare for a future interview? Maybe you want to learn more about the industry or the sector, the current issues or developments?  Have a think about what you would like to know and prepare your questions beforehand. Avoid asking the companies what they do, researching the companies or organisations beforehand should help you with that! More ideas for questions to ask can be found here.
  • Wear something nice. No need to wear a suit or business attire, but avoid looking scruffy or avoid looking like you have just just come from the gym. First impressions counts, even at a careers fair.
  • Prepare your CV. You never know when an opportunity arises to give an employer your CV. If you would like some feedback on your CV, have a look at our excellent CV guide and come to one of our quick query appointments to have it looked over. You can book these appointments through MyFuture.

Finally, just be yourself and enjoy the day. We hope that you will come out of the fair with ideas, inspiration and knowledge that you can use further in  your career.

For more information, see our website for more details or on how to prepare for the Careers Fair, have a look at our Careers Fair Guide.

 

 

 

 

Careers in the Civil Service

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📥  Advice, Career Choice, Careers Resources, Commercial Awareness, Finding a Job, Graduate Jobs, Internships, Sector Insight

Careers in the Civil Service


This blog post was originally posted by Sue Briault, but has been updated to include current information and links. For up to date news and information about Civil Service Fast Stream and for the chance of interacting with current fast streamers, make sure to like Civil Service Fast Stream Careers on Facebook


About the Civil Service

The Civil Service does the practical and administrative work of government. More than half of all civil servants provide services direct to the public. If you want to know more about the Civil Service and it's purpose then go here. If you are interested in the work of the more than 60 government departments and over 100 agencies then these can easily be found on the GOV UK website where every department and agency has a space.

Jobs within the Civil Service can range from administrative positions within departments to embassy posts with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).  There are also a number of professions employed within the Civil Service including economists, statisticians and scientists . Staff may work anywhere in the United Kingdom and possibly overseas, although the majority involved in policy work are located in London. There are increasing numbers of opportunities within the devolved regions and some departments are based in locations such as Bristol, Leeds, Sheffield, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Cardiff.

When applying to jobs in the civil service it is important to research the Civil Service competencies, which sets out how the Civil Service want people to work. Research the competencies and write down examples from your academic background, work experiences and/or extra-curricular activities to see how they compare and fit with each competency.

Civil Service Fast Stream

This is the accelerated development programme for graduates. Applications opened in September and will close in October 2017, so if you are interested, apply now! This includes entry into the Diplomatic Service. It is also possible to apply to the Civil Service Fast Stream even though you are working within the Civil Service.  There are several different Fast Streams and you can find more information about the schemes on the Fast Stream website.

  • Analytical Options (AFS):

Government Economic Service (GES)
Government Operational Research Service (GORS)
Government Statistical Service (GSS)
Government Social Research Service (GSR)

  • Other Options:

Generalist
Human Resources
Diplomatic Service
Diplomatic Economic Scheme
Houses of Parliament
Science and Engineering (only open to postgraduates)
Commercial
Finance
Government Communication Service
Project Delivery
Digital, Data and Technology
Other Civil Service Graduate Schemes

Other Graduate Schemes

Graduate schemes run by individual departments can be hard to find out about so keeping an eye on the Civil Service Jobs website is important as not all have dedicated webpages available to see year round (see  section below).

It is also worth noting that many Civil Service graduate schemes make offers of jobs at the grade below to ‘near misses’. This happens in the Fast Stream too. Those that scored only a few points below the overall benchmark may be made an offer or an interview for a role at Executive Officer grade (the grade below the one Fast Streamers start on). This isn’t always well publicised because employers don’t want to raise candidate expectations but it is worth being aware that applications to the Fast Stream or other Graduate Scheme can be a good entry point into the Civil Service.

Other services who recruit graduates include MI5, MI6 and GCHQ.

Other Civil Service Jobs

The place to look for all Civil Service vacancies is https://www.civilservicejobs.service.gov.uk. Create an account and you can then set up some preferences and then receive regular job updates by email. You will need to click "Show more" to be able to select Job Grade as a preference. Why should you look here? Because there are many jobs that would be suitable for graduates within the Civil Service that are not part of the Fast Stream or other Graduate Schemes.

Frequently spotted on Civil Service Jobs :

HMRC Social Researchers
Temporary Statistical Officers
Temporary Assistant Economists
Various individual Scientist Posts suitable for both undergraduates and postgraduates
Graduate Internships at Executive Officer level

Work Experience

There are two schemes available:

You will find that placements are available through your placement office in some government departments and others may be advertised through the Civil Service Jobs website mentioned previously. There is not a strong expectation that you will have gained experience within the Civil Service before applying for a graduate job there. Think about the competencies that they recruit against and develop your experience to demonstrate these.

Nationality Requirements

There is strict criteria regarding nationality for entry to the Civil Service and comprehensive guidelines are available here. Any job in the Civil Service is open to applicants who are UK nationals or have dual nationality (with one being British). About 75% of Civil Service posts are also open to Commonwealth citizens and nationals of any of the member states of the European Economic Area (EEA), although at some point this latter group will have their status changed once the UK's exit from the EU is settled. I am advised that the Civil Service is not a Tier 2 sponsor.

 

International students and working in the UK

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📥  Advice, Careers Service Update, Finding a Job, International Students, Tips & Hints, Work Experience

It's that time of year when lots of newly-arrived international students are coming into the Careers Service and asking what sorts of jobs they can be doing while also studying, in order to maximise their employability.

Now, this is not as simple a question to answer as I might like. And the consequences for international students if they get things wrong as regards what work and when are severe.

Fortunately, the experts in international student affairs, UKCISA, recently published an excellent blog on the subject which I am reposting in full, as it is comprehensive and accurate. I encourage any international student readers to have a look.

The source blog, with links, can be found here:

https://www.ukcisa.org.uk/blog/6257/A-working-definition

This is, of course, different from the work you can do after your studies - for individualised advice on this please contact our Student Immigration Advisers

There are many potential work opportunities for students, but does the Tier 4 work restriction allow you to do them? Andrew Humphrey looks at the ever-evolving world of work and business opportunities -- and the almost-never-evolving Tier 4 work conditions.

The world of work is changing. Many of us who work in the education sector can choose to work remotely from home, and we have opportunities for self-employment and for voluntary work. Plus, the tools of entrepreneurship and e-commerce are at everyone's fingertips these days. For me personally, as well as my job as an adviser and trainer with UKCISA I do some voluntary English teaching for a refugee charity, I am an independent Manager for a direct sales company, and I help my friends' 12-year-old son with his food blog and related social media.

So that’s all great for me, but what about you?  

Most Tier 4 students can work up to 20 hours a week during term time, although some are restricted to 10 hours, and some have a work prohibition. Check your visa vignette or biometric residence permit for your work conditions, and see UKCISA's guide to working during your studies.

If you can work, I'm sure you are keen to maximise your opportunities for paid work, for gaining work experience, and for the other social and cultural benefits of working. But have the changes in technology, communications, business practice and work culture in the UK that benefit me also expanded the work you can do within the Tier 4 work restriction? 

Yes. And no.

If you need to check whether a specific activity is allowed under your Tier 4 work conditions, it all starts with paragraph 6 of the Immigration Rules which defines "employment" for all types of visa. It says that  “employment includes”:

paid and unpaid employment,
paid and unpaid work placements undertaken as part of a course or period of study
self employment
engaging in business or any professional activity
That word “includes” allows for other activities to be considered employment.  The specific types of employment that a Tier 4 migrant can take are listed in Paragraph 245ZW(c)(iii) of the Immigration Rules.  This says that you can take “No employment, except…”, followed by a list numbered (1) to (8) of what you can do. The list confirms that:

“Paid and unpaid employment” is fine, within your 20 (or 10) hours per week restriction during term-time, and with no time limit in vacations.
There is a prohibition on working as a Doctor or Dentist in training, in professional sports including coaching, and on working as an entertainer. 
“Paid and unpaid work placements undertaken as part of a course or period of study” are separate from "paid or unpaid employment", so you can do both at the same time.
Being “self-employed” or being “engaged in business activity” is not allowed. Being self-employed normally means you are not on the employer's payroll but rather you manage your own workload, pay and tax. There is guidance on the gov.uk website to help ascertain if you are self-employed. For "business activity" the Tier 4 policy guidance for applicants gives three examples, including setting up as a sole trader. The three examples are “not an exhaustive list” but rather “examples of the types of circumstance in which you will be considered to be engaged in business activity.” 
You can work as a student union sabbatical officer.
If you apply to switch to Tier 2, Tier 4 Doctorate Extension Scheme or Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur, you can start the specific work that is allowed under those schemes.
Neither the Immigration Rules nor any related immigration guidance go into any further detail. This means that if your proposed employment does not fit securely into this definition, or if it is a "grey area", doing the work would be risky.  And what are the risks exactly?  Well, the Home Office treats work conditions very seriously.  They can remove you from the UK if you work too many hours or if you do work that you are not allowed to do. If you are removed, you may face a ban on re-entry for a certain period of time. The employer also faces penalties. Strictly speaking, your university or college is also obliged to report to the Home Office any students who are working illegally.

As an international student adviser, I am obliged to warn you about these dangers of illegal working, but please do not panic. 

First, stay focused on your current main purpose in the UK: full-time study.  

Second, remember that a Tier 4 visa specifically and explicitly does provide opportunities for work, but in effect just the sort of part-time and vacation work that international students have done for many generations. While this can be frustrating, it is very important to not take risks. It may seem preposterous for me to warn you against trading on eBay or babysitting, as I do below, but that is because the Immigration Rules and guidance lack any nuance about work that does not fall fair and square into standard part-time and vacation work for an employer.

Third, beware of taking advice about working from other students or from people on internet message boards. For a professional student immigration adviser like me it is worrying and discouraging to see students asking anonymous strangers online for immigration advice when they have access to trained, professional and FREE immigration advice at their university.  Your international student adviser is always the best source of information about any aspect of student immigration and visas. See also UKCISA's detailed guide to working during your studies here on this website.

What follows are some types of work that students ask about, and my replies about whether it is safe to do them within the Tier 4 work conditions. In every case I am referring back to the definitions above. 

A quick note about income tax in the UK:  income tax is normally deducted by your employer from your wages or salary under the Pay As You Earn scheme. If you receive income from other sources, for example tips, rent from a property you own, or other one-off payments this income may be liable for income tax.  For more details see the UK government's guide to who needs to file a tax return.

 

Professional sport
You cannot work as a professional sportsperson. This is defined in paragraph 6 of the Immigration Rules, and it normally means someone who is working in professional or semi-professional sport (paid or unpaid). It does also include someone who “in the past derived … a living from playing or coaching, [and who] is providing services as a sportsperson or coach at any level of sport”. However there is an exception if the current activity is “solely for personal enjoyment and [you are] not seeking to derive a living from the activity”.  So a student with a background in professional sports can coach a sports team as long as it is unpaid. This unpaid work counts towards the weekly 10 or 20 hours limit.

Any other sporting activities you do would normally be amateur, not professional. This includes being on a local or university sports team, and taking part in more formal organised events like the London Marathon or the Great North Run where you can participate alongside professionals.  

Large international sporting events often recruit temporary staff but this would come under the normal rules for part-time work.

 

Entertainer
You cannot work (paid or unpaid) as an entertainer. “Entertainer” is not defined in the Immigration Rules, but the Home Office's Business Help desk has stated (in an email dated 3 September 2015) that "We take it to mean … taking part in entertainment in any way other than as an amateur".  "Amateur" is defined in the Immigration Rules at paragraph 6 and it means “solely for personal enjoyment and not seeking to derive a living from the activity”. Therefore acting or performing as an amateur or just as a hobby is not working as an entertainer, and you can do it.  

There is also an exception for any performance that is an assessed part of your course. This is a concession contained in the Tier 4 sponsor guidance only (paragraph 6.8), not in the Immigration Rules.

See the separate information below on performing in television talent shows.

 

Resident Warden “on call”
If your total number of hours on duty, including overnight, are within your weekly maximum 10 or 20 hours anyway (including any other paid or unpaid work you are doing), that is fine.

However if counting all the hours on call, including any when you are not actively working or even asleep, would take you over your weekly 10 or 20 hour maximum, we advise that you get individual advice from both the Housing Services and the Human Resources departments at the university before accepting the job. The university may consider the whole on-call period as your working hours and pay you accordingly, or they may not.

In 2016 the Human Resources magazine Personnel Today published an interesting article about this issue, including links to relevant Employment Appeal Tribunal cases.

 

Selling on eBay, Amazon, Etsy, etc.
You can do this as long as you are not “trading”. The UK government's guidance on working for yourself says that “you’re probably not trading if you sell some unwanted items occasionally or you don’t plan to make a profit.” 

However one of the specific examples of “trading” is if you sell or make items for profit or if you “sell online, at car boot sales or through classified adverts on a regular basis”.  The information says “If you start working for yourself, you’re classed as a sole trader. This means you’re self-employed - even if you haven’t yet told HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).”

 

Volunteering
Volunteering does not count towards your maximum 10 or 20 hours if it meets the definition of volunteering in the Tier 4 policy guidance (paragraph 315):

Students who are volunteering do not have a contract, they must not be a substitute for an employee and they must not be doing unpaid work – i.e. receiving payment in kind (although they are sometimes reimbursed for reasonable travel and subsistence expenses). Volunteers usually help a charity or voluntary or public sector organisation.

Any other kind of unpaid or voluntary work that does not meet this definition will count towards your weekly 10 or 20 hours maximum.
 

Online business, e-commerce
You cannot run a business at all while you are in the UK. The Immigration Rules give no exceptions for online businesses or for businesses where all the clients are outside the UK.
 

Passive income from affiliate marketing, clicks on your YouTube videos, etc.
While this is not one of the three named examples of “business activity” in the Tier 4 Policy Guidance (paragraph 308), it would reasonably be defined as a business activity, so best not do it while you are in the UK.

Someone who has become a YouTube celebrity after studying in the UK is Seong-jae Kong, known as Korean Billy. As part of our 2017 conference, Billy spoke to UKCISA about his time as an international student in the UK and how it has inspired his new career.
 

Working for an employer outside the UK
If you are physically outside the UK, your Tier 4 work conditions are irrelevant.  You need to check what are your work rights in the specific country where you are working.  However any work you do when you are physically in the UK, for example working for a non-UK employer remotely or doing a "virtual internship" with them counts towards your weekly 10 or 20 hour maximum. This is because the work restriction has no specific exception to not count work undertaken remotely for an employer who is outside the UK.

 

Digital nomad
A digital nomad is someone who harnesses technology, cyberspace and portals like Fiverr to create a freelance online working life that disregards international borders. They may spend time living in different countries, either making a living from freelance work conducted and sourced online, or through sources of "passive income".

This a very attractive idea in theory, and technology makes it perfectly feasible, but in reality it is only possible if your immigration status in the country where you are staying allows you to do freelance work. Your Tier 4 work conditions do not allow it, so you cannot be a digital nomad while you are living in the UK.

 

Owning or dealing in shares
You can buy and own shares, but if you own more than 10% of the shares in the company (including if they are held in trust for you) you cannot work for the company.  This is one of the specific examples of “business activity” in the Tier 4 Policy Guidance.

If you regularly buy and sell shares in order to make money, this is likely to be seen as “business activity”. If you make a dividend income from shares you own, you must pay income tax on this income.

 

Bitcoin mining
Neither the Immigration Rules nor any related guidance makes any specific provision for Bitcoin mining. It would be safest to assume that it is a “business activity”.

Separately, HMRC clarified in 2014 that any profits from Bitcoin mining are liable for income tax.

 

"Gig economy" jobs:  Uber, Deliveroo, DPD, MyHermes, etc.
This sort of work is self-employment so someone with Tier 4 leave cannot do it.

Some recent employment law tribunal cases have encouraged some of these companies to give their contractors some of the benefits of being employees. Uber is currently challenging this but whatever the outcome of the challenge, it seems likely that such work will still be seen as self-employment.

For more information about how gig economy jobs fit in the working regulations, see the May 2017 Department of Work and Pensions report on self-employment and the gig economy. 

 

Direct sales: Amway, Avon, Tupperware, Thermomix, etc.
You cannot do this because independent consultants for direct sales companies are self-employed.  The company will not check your right to work because they are not your employer:  it is up to the individual consultant to monitor their own self-employment and any attached responsibilities, including whether their immigration status allows them to do the work.

 

Incoming from owning a property
Owning a property and deriving an income from rent is not self-employment, but you must pay income tax on the income you receive from rent.

 

Television talent shows, media appearances and contests of skill
In this tabloid newspaper article about a Chinese couple who entered the "Britain's Got Talent" contest in 2017 the producers of that specific programme say that participating is not considered employment and that winning the cash prize is not payment for employment.

If you decide to enter a contest that involves skills or performing, whether it is televised or not, check at an early stage whether the organisers have the same view that it is not employment. Of course, you will also need to check whether your academic schedule allows you the time to participate. 

It is possible that a paid or compensated appearance on television or in other media may be seen as a business opportunity.  However students with Tier 4 visas do sometimes participate in the popular academic television quiz show University Challenge. A very popular contestant in the programme's recent season was Eric Monkman, a postgraduate student from Canada. Monkman later returned to the UK to do a journalism internship and during this time (presumably now with a work visa) he was able to work on the BBC Radio 4 programme Monkman and Seagull's Polymathic Adventure.

 

Writing and publishing
When you formally publish your writing, even self-publishing on Amazon, you are usually hoping that that people will buy it and that you will earn some money. Therefore it is highly likely to be seen as a business activity and you may not do it under a Tier 4 visa.

To avoid this, if you want to publish your writing or other work purely as an artistic expression or leisure activity, do it through a (non-monetised) blog or personal website. 

 

Focus groups, clinical trials
If you take part in a focus group, clinical trial or other similar experiment you are normally given some cash and usually some food and drink. The organisers will need to check your identity, usually your passport, but this is for their own statistical purposes not to check of your right to work because they do not consider it employment but "paid volunteering".

However, it would not meet the narrow definition of "volunteering" in the Tier 4 Policy Guidance (see above), so it does count towards your weekly maximum permitted working hours.

And while it is not self-employment, HMRC advises that payments for taking part in very well-paid clinical trials could be seen as income that is liable for tax:

There will be no tax or NIC liability arising on the individual if the sums received do no more than reimburse the individual’s reasonable costs of participating in the trial or research, including costs of travel and subsistence.

However should the sums paid exceed those reasonable expenses then the excess may fall to be chargeable to tax as Miscellaneous Income, potentially giving rise to personal tax liabilities of the individuals which should be notified to the Inland Revenue under Self Assessment.

 

Babysitting or dog-walking
Missing your young relatives? Wish you could have a pet in your student housing?

You can do dog-walking or babysitting while you are in the UK, but under the Tier 4 work restriction you can only do it unpaid.  This might seem overly strict, but remember that providing any service for payment, including babysitting, dog-walking or anything paid “cash in hand” is likely to be seen as self-employment or, at the very least, a "business activity".

My advice is treat these activities not as paid work but as a social opportunity and as a chance to experience aspects of the local culture different from your student life.

If you miss your young relatives, why not offer to babysit for free.  Think of the non-financial benefits: it's a fun and interesting opportunity to meet some local families and children and see how they live. Plus free WiFi and snacks usually come as standard.

Student housing normally does not normally allow pets, but the website BorrowMyDoggy.com connects you with local dogs who need walking and company, or where the owner just wants to give non-pet owners the chance to spend time with their dog. Walking a dog may give you an insight into the British public that you do not normally see, especially in cities: people will smile, stop to pet the dog, and ask you its name, breed, age, etc. Try it!   

 

Andrew Humphrey is an Advice and Training Officer at UKCISA. References to and quotes from the Immigration Rules and related guidance were correct at the time of publication, but they may change.

Graduate Fair Blog Series: Looking for work locally?

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📥  Advice, Careers Fairs, Careers Resources, Finding a Job, Graduate Jobs, Labour Market Intelligence, Tips & Hints

Bath3

This blog entry is a part of the Graduate Fair Blog Series introducing sectors and industries which will be present at the University of Bath Graduate Fair, Tuesday 25th April. Please go here for more information about the fair and the employers present.


So you are graduating soon and you want to stay in the local area, great! There may be many reasons for this, perhaps you are from here or have established family here? Perhaps you love the area so much you would like to stay (like I did 10 years ago)?  Whatever reason, Bath, Bristol and the rest of the South West are lovely places to live and work.

The disadvantages by looking in one region only

Be aware that looking in one region only may limit your job opportunities. In some towns and cities certain industries dominate, while others are under-represented. Limiting yourself geographically may not match with your particular career choices so you need to do your research. Ask yourself how long you are willing to commute? Bath and Bristol are commutable, but you may also want to consider towns like Cheltenham, Swindon and Reading or Newport in Wales. Work out how you will get to work, the costs and how far you are prepared to travel so you can look beyond the immediate locality.

Employers in the Bath area

Bath is not a big city so it is limited in terms of which sectors/industries are located here. The biggest employers in Bath are in the education and health sectors, i.e. the two Universities and the NHS. A wealth of software development firms base themselves in Bath and several internationally recognised architectural and engineering consultancies are found in Bath (source: Bath and North East Somerset Council). See our graduate jobs leaflet for more details on companies and organisations in Bath.

Major Industries in the South West

The major specialisms/growth areas in the SW:

  • Advanced Engineering which includes Aerospace (Bristol), Automotive (Swindon), measuring instruments and medical devices (Gloucestershire)
  • Biomedical and Healthcare (Bristol/Bath and Exeter/Plymouth)
  • Creative Industries (Bristol, Gloucestershire and Plymouth areas)
  • Environmental Technologies
  • Food and Drink (Devon, Cornwall, Somerset and Dorset)
  • Information Communication Technology (Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Bristol, Devon)
  • Leisure and Tourism
  • Marine (Devon, Cornwall and Dorset)

Source: www.gradsouthwest.com which includes more details about these sectors.


Gradsouthwest will be at the graduate fair, do go and ask them any question you may have about staying in the South West! In addition, CIMPA, Decision Analysis Services, Sword Apak and Rise Technical Recruitment have roles in Bristol and London and Country Mortgages has roles in Bath!  Research these employers and the roles they can offer in our Graduate Fair programme.


How to find local work as a graduate?

First, you should make a list of employers that you are interested in.

Find out what employers exist in the area that are in the sectors or industries you would like to work in. Our Find a Graduate job leaflet has some great tips for you:

  • Monitor local job adverts – senior posts will still alert you to potential employers
  • Ask local people which companies they know
  • Tap into local networks of relevant professional bodies or looking for local business groups
  • Look for news items, articles and annual reports in local newspapers and business magazines for potential job growth, e.g. new factories/offices, new product/service launches, organisations relocating, takeovers etc.
  • Keep your eyes open for businesses of interest
  • Building local contacts from your own recreational activities.

You can also find A-Z lists of employers that have been in contact with us on our website.

What are the typical job websites?

You are able to search for local jobs in MyFuture, but be aware that there will be many more jobs available that are not advertised on MyFuture. Bath Chronicle advertises jobs in the Bath area, Bristol Evening Post in the Bristol area. Duport business confidence reports details business performance trends in the city. There are many more local job sites for you to try, please go here for a comprehensive list.

Contacting employers speculatively

As you know, most jobs are not advertised! Therefore, you should be flexible and creative in your approach to employers. Can you apply speculatively? Use LinkedIn in your job search? Get ideas from friends and other contacts? Our Find a Graduate Job leaflet gives you an insight in to different strategies in job hunting.

What else is there to say but the best of luck in your search and maybe I will see you for lunch in Bath or Bristol soon!

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My story: working internationally - broadening your horizons

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📥  Advice, Career Choice, Finding a Job, Graduate Jobs, Uncategorized

Broadening your horizons – working internationally

international horizons

Working abroad can be an incredible experience. I have worked in three different countries; USA, UK and Norway (I am Norwegian) and I have volunteered teaching English in China and Argentina. I have had some amazing experiences which I don’t want to change for the world, but at the same time it is important to be prepared and realise that applying for jobs and working abroad may bring its own issues as well. This is my personal story on how working internationally has changed me, broadened my horizons and made me who I am today, but I will also share some important lessons as well.

 

Thinking about working internationally?

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You want to work overseas and have a real wish to explore the world? Then go for it! However, do consider any language, visa or work permit requirements of the country you are going to. Finding a job in Argentina without speaking Spanish will limit the job opportunities straight away. In addition, if you would like to work in Norway you are pretty much limited to bar and café work if you do not speak Norwegian. You may also have visa limitations. After going to University in the US, I had a year’s work permit, which I was sure I could extend. I was six months in to a job I loved, with colleagues I loved in a city I loved (Seattle), when I found out that the work permit could not be extended. I did not have a job that fit the visa requirements and had to leave the country within the next 4 weeks, saying goodbye to everyone in the process. My lesson to you is therefore to research as much as possible before you go!

 

Applying for jobs internationally?

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Be aware that applying for jobs and selection processes may be slightly different depending on which country you are looking to work in. After 15 years in the UK I moved back to Norway in 2014. Networking and who you know is very important with regards to applying for jobs in Norway and as I had not kept many social networks, I discovered that in the interview process many of the interview attendees already worked for the company or knew someone in the company. In addition, the interview questions were personality-based (similar to strength-based), as they did not care too much about your skills or experience but instead they wanted to figure out whether you, as a person, would fit in the company. The whole interview normally just turned into an informal chat. Being used to competency-based questions from the UK I must say it took a couple of interviews to adapt! Researching how different countries have different selection processes and also what websites to look at to find work, is therefore important.

We have some excellent links and resources on our website, also Prospects and TargetJobs have wonderful resources and country guides for you to look through,

 

Working internationally

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So you have researched where you want to go and have successfully applied for a job overseas. Well done, your year(s) ahead may be full of new adventures, new friendships, perhaps learning a new language and, of course, a new job. In my last job in the US I worked at a US-Asian NGO and I learnt so much in few months I was there (before my visa expired) and met some amazing people from the US as well as many Asian countries. In some ways it laid the basis for the person I am today, I learnt to work with people from different cultures and with different ways of communicating and working. For example, any decision whether small or large always had to be made together, so I attended lots and lots of meetings in this job with people from all levels of seniority. In addition, I learnt the importance of company health insurance in the US and the very limited number of holiday days you get! In Norway, on the other hand, I learnt that in addition to your normal sick days, as a mother (or father) you get additional sick days for your child. You learn quickly that there are different ways of working, of communicating or solving issues. These are just some of the charms of working abroad and will really benefit you in any jobs and teams in the future.

Apart from the job, you now have the opportunity to explore the city and the country you are in. Be a tourist, be a local, try new food, connect with people, learn new customs, find new activities, explore your new life! I still think that some of the best seafood I have ever had is from Seattle harbourside, the best food overall is from China, I have visited old castles and palaces, volcanoes and mountain ranges, learnt that I actually do like walking in nature and have met some wonderful people along the way.

 

After working internationally

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So, you have decided to come home again from working overseas.  I have learnt a lot from working abroad, but it is my ability to adapt to different circumstances and different people which I value the most. You learn different ways of working, different ways of applying for jobs and you get to know a different country, often getting to know the country “the local way” if you stay long enough. In addition, I have learnt a lot about myself in the process, increasing my self-confidence and awareness of myself and other people, whatever area of the world they are from.

Employers in the UK really look positively on people with international experience, as they bring back valuable skills, a creative outlook, different experiences, networks and the ability to adapt to any situation and communicate to people from a variety of backgrounds.  Maybe you can find a job in an international company that can take advantage of your expertise in a specific country? I have found that my international experience has interested employers, it is usually a topic of conversation in interviews and I have gained employment at least in some part owing to my experience overseas. Therefore, if you feel up to the challenge and think you will truly enjoy and thrive living in a different country, then go for it! It will be an adventure of a lifetime and you will change as a person.

Want to get to know other people who have worked abroad? Have a look at our international case studies.

So what happened to me?

I still work “overseas” as I have found my second home here in the UK, learning to live life “the local way”.  Now I can’t imagine to be anywhere else. I have lived here for nearly 16 years in total. So be aware that “a few years working abroad” may turn into a lifetime........

 

 

 

Your CV has 8.8 seconds to impress!

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📥  Advice, Careers Resources, Finding a Job, Tips & Hints

Research has shown that recruiters spend an average of just 9 seconds scanning your CV before deciding whether you are a potential fit for their vacancy. You might think this is unfair but as my grandmother always said, "if you want to catch a fish, think like a fish"

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Look at it from the employers pespective: you have an afternoon set aside to sift over 100 CV's whilst juggling your day-today work and a bulging inbox full of urgent emails. You simply won't have the time or inclination to read through every CV in detail; infact according to the Independent the process of reviewing CVs has become  ‘Tinderised’ with each CV given just a few seconds to stand out against the competition before being kept or cast aside.”

My colleague Aste Dahl wrote a fantastic post on five CV mistakes to avoid, which is really worth a read. What else can you do to ensure your CV grabs an employers attention?

  • Get the look right: choose the right font and make sure it is the right size! Use 14 font for your name and 11 font for the rest of your CV. Use Ariel or another clear font style (Times New Roman works) – most importantly, remember your CV needs to be accessible to the reader.
  • Use visual aids: bullet points, line breaks, bold formatting and tabs. These are all simple tools you use to make an impact.
  • Avoid ready made templates: CV's are an opportunity for you to demonstrate your personality and individuality to an employer. Where possible add a personal touch to your CV so you stand out from the competition. Please note, some employers specify specific templates, if this is the case then do as the employer asks!
  • Length matters: an employer potentially has another 99 CV's to look through. If your CV is too long, you'll loose the employer - the general rule is no more than two pages. However in some sectors such as Banking and Management Consulting, recruiters expect a 1-page CV.  Remember, a CV that is too short immediately suggests that you don't have enough experience, which could potentially put you out of the race.
  • Its all about consistency: make sure you are consistent in the use of bullet points, the font size and spacing on your CV. This projects professionalism and conveys strong attention to detail skills.
  • Get feedback: book a quick query with one of our careers advisers for constructive feedback.

 

Making full use of your gap year!

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📥  Finding a Job, inspire, Tips & Hints, Uncategorized

Making full use of your gap year!

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Before I took a year off to go travelling, I was worried that I would return to unemployment and worst of all, having to go back to living with my parents!! However, returning to the job market after a year away, I found myself with a whole new skillset, with new ideas and experiences and last but definitely not least, I returned with a sense of direction and passion which re-affirmed my career path in guidance and advice. So what did this year away teach me? How can what I learnt help you take full advantage of your gap year?

I learnt a new language - After a year in South America I was near fluent in conversational Spanish. I did a beginner’s course while in Buenos Aires, and this course taught me all the basics needed and gave me the opportunity to connect with the locals. In addition I practised my language skills as much as possible, whether that meant on the bus, in the hostel or on a night out.

Learning a new language can open up doors with regards to employment opportunities, not only in other countries but also in international jobs in the UK.

I volunteered teaching English - I had already taken a CELTA  course before I went travelling. With a CELTA I could have easily found a paid teaching job in Argentina but I decided to volunteer, teaching in disadvantaged communities.

Because of my teaching experiences abroad, I had a range of options teaching English when I returned to the UK, although most were low paid. With a CELTA qualification and teaching experience abroad, you will easier be able to teach English in the UK. Although I did not pursue a career in teaching, I continued volunteering teaching English when I returned to the UK.

I learnt that I had no problems travelling alone - I travelled alone almost the entire time and loved it. I found that I never ever got bored, was able to be social whenever I wanted to and had 100% trust in myself to find my way around.

Travelling alone was one of the skills that was highly valued by employers after my travels, and was one of the reasons I gained employment as an international student recruiter, working and travelling in the US for three months.

I learnt that I love people and their stories - What I loved most about travelling was meeting people of all different cultures. I made some intense friendships along the way. I also met random people on busses or ferries who would tell me their life stories. I cherished almost every human encounter and enjoyed listening to what they had to say, whether that was an American woman travelling the world to deal with the grief of losing her mum or listening to Inca women in Bolivia talking about the historical impact of Spanish imperialism.

Increasing my people skills and interpersonal skills re-affirmed my desire to work in guidance and advice. My travelling experience and my increased cultural awareness were also some of the reasons why I gained employment in international student support.

Travelling gave me new energy and direction - One of the reasons why I took a year out was to “find myself”, and I somewhat did! I came back full of ideas about what I wanted to do in both my life and my career, I came back with tons of self-confidence and with a belief that I could do whatever I wanted, as long as I put my mind to it.


So how can my learning experiences from my gap year help you take advantage of yours? Well, here are some pointers:

  •      Think about doing something else than just backpacking, such as learning a new language or volunteer, doing something you are interested in. Employers will look positively on using the year productively
  •      Really think about the different types of skills you acquire, such as people skills, organisational skills or increase in confidence. Show examples of them in an interview, employers will take them seriously!
  •      Think about what you learnt about yourself during your year away. How can this benefit the role or the company/organisation you are applying to?
  •      If you are applying to international jobs, show evidence to employers about your ability to travel, alone if you did that, make decisions, solve problems, communicate in a different language or manage different cultural encounters. These skills are highly valued. Perhaps some of the people you met along the way could help you gain employment abroad? Networking is key.

But most of all, fully immerse yourself in the travelling experience, meet people of all different cultures and enjoy the freedom and confidence that travelling gives you.

Bath Careers have more information about how to take advantage of your gap year: http://www.bath.ac.uk/students/careers/get-work-experience/gap-year/index.html

 

 

 

The Fast Stream and Beyond - some insights into Civil Service Recruitment

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📥  Careers Resources, Finding a Job, Graduate Jobs, Sector Insight, Subject Related Careers

Civil Service overview

The Civil Service does the practical and administrative work of government. More than half of all civil servants provide services direct to the public. If you want to know more about the Civil Service and it's purpose then go here: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/civil-service/about. If you are interested in the work of the more than 60 government departments and over 100 agencies then these can easily be found on the https://www.gov.uk/ website where every department and agency has a space.

Jobs within the Civil Service can range from administrative positions within departments to embassy posts with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).  There are also a number of professions employed within the Civil Service including economists, statisticians and scientists . Staff may work anywhere in the United Kingdom and possibly overseas, although the majority involved in policy work are located in London. There are increasing numbers of opportunities within the devolved regions and some departments are based in locations such as Bristol, Leeds, Sheffield, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Cardiff.

The ‘Professional Skills for Government’ framework ensures that all staff are able to operate effectively in operational, corporate services and policy roles. This is particularly true of the Fast Stream which can often be thought of as a purely policy role.  Increasingly special advisers and senior posts are filled from outside the ranks of existing civil servants.

The Civil Service is at its smallest size now the second world war and yet Brexit may mean more staff are required to carry out work previously done in Brussels. It is hard to know how this will play out. We know the 2016 Civil Service Fast Stream recruitment numbers were increased after the selection process had been completed.  After the selection process candidates hear whether they have got a job offer. They are given an overall score  out of 20 and then ranked with offers being made from the top down to the recruitment level for that year. We know of some good candidates who initially missed out but had an offer come through later as numbers were increased. We don't know if that can be attributed to Brexit or the change in government departments that Theresa May bought in when she became PM but this might bode well for the next round of recruitment.

Civil Service Fast Stream

This is the accelerated development programme for graduates which is open annually between end of September (29th in 2016) and end of  November (30th in 2016). This includes entry into the Diplomatic Service. It is also possible to apply to the Civil Service Fast Stream even though you are working within the Civil Service. See http://www.faststream.gov.uk/and follow their Facebook page. There are several different Fast Streams:

Analytical Options (AFS):

  • Government Economic Service (GES)
  • Government Operational Research Service (GORS)
  • Government Statistical Service (GSS)
  • Government Social Research Service (GSR)

Corporate Options:

  • Generalist (GFS)
    • Central Departments  (GD)
    • Diplomatic Service (DS)
    • Houses of Parliament (HoP)
    • Science and Engineering (SEFS) (only open to postgraduates)
  • European (EFS)
  • Northern Ireland (NIS)
  • Commercial (Commercial and Finance) (CFS)
  • Internal Audit (Commercial and Finance) (IAFS)
  • Finance (Commercial and Finance) (FIFS)
  • Human Resources (HRF)
  • Government Communication Service (GCFS)
  • Digital and Technology (DAT)

Other Civil Service Graduate Schemes

Graduate schemes run by individual departments can be hard to find out about so keeping an eye on the Civil Service Jobs website is important as not all have dedicated webpages available to see year round (see  section below).

It is also worth noting that many Civil Service graduate schemes make offers of jobs at the grade below to ‘near misses’. This happens in the Fast Stream too. Those that scored only a few points below the overall benchmark may be made an offer or an interview for a role at Executive Officer grade (the grade below the one Fast Streamers start on). This isn’t always well publicised because employers don’t want to raise candidate expectations but it is worth being aware that applications to the Fast Stream or other Graduate Scheme can be a good entry point into the Civil Service.

Other services who recruit graduates include MI5 https://www.mi5.gov.uk/careers/, MI6 https://www.sis.gov.uk/explore-careers.htmland GCHQ https://www.gchq-careers.co.uk/apply-now.html

Other Civil Service Jobs

The place to look for all Civil Service vacancies is https://www.civilservicejobs.service.gov.uk. Create an account and you can then set up some preferences and then receive regular job updates by email. You will need to click "Show more" to be able to select Job Grade as a preference. Why should you look here? Because there are many jobs that would be suitable for graduates within the Civil Service that are not part of the Fast Stream or other Graduate Schemes.

Frequently spotted on Civil Service Jobs :

  • HMRC Social Researchers
  • Temporary Statistical Officers
  • Temporary Assistant Economists
  • Various individual Scientist Posts suitable for both undergraduates and postgraduates
  • Graduate Internships at Executive Officer level

Work Experience

There are two schemes available:

  • Summer Diversity Internship Programme (SDIP) is only available to those in their final year at University, with an ethnic minority background, those with a disability or those from under-represented socio-economic backgrounds.
  • Early Diversity Internship Programme (EDIP)

You will find that placements are available through your placement office in some government departments and others may be advertised through the Civil Service Jobs website mentioned previously. There is not a strong expectation that you will have gained experience within the Civil Service before applying for a graduate job there. Think about the competencies that they recruit against and develop your experience to demonstrate these.

Understanding Grades in the Civil Service

I cannot guarantee this is accurate but it gives an idea.

Grade descriptions are used as follows in descending order:

Grade 6/7 £40,000 - £60,000

Senior Executive Officer/Higher Executive Officer £28,00 - 38,000 (this is where you enter the Fast Stream). Fast Streamers are expected to accelerate from HEO to Grade 7 quickly (3/4 years), whereas the climb to Grade 7 outside the fast stream is much slower.

Executive Officer c £20,000 - 28,000 (this could be a good entry level job for a graduate)

Administrative Officer/Administrative Assistant £16,00 to 24,000 (this could also be an entry point into the Civil Service but I would tend towards Administrative Officer level therefore at the higher end of this salary range.)

Nationality Requirements

There is strict criteria regarding nationality for entry to the Civil Service and comprehensive guidelines are available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/nationality-rules. Any job in the Civil Service is open to applicants who are UK nationals or have dual nationality (with one being British). About 75% of Civil Service posts are also open to Commonwealth citizens and nationals of any of the member states of the European Economic Area (EEA), although at some point this latter group will have their status changed once the UK's exit from the EU is settled. I am advised that the Civil Service is not a Tier 2 sponser.

Alternatives to Grad Schemes and Public Sector Grad Schemes

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📥  Finding a Job, Graduate Jobs, Sector Insight, Subject Related Careers

Just a quick note today in response to some comments from students that all the jobs being advertised are for business roles. It is not strictly true as MyFuture carries many opportunities with a wide range of employers.  We strongly recommend that you look our two job hunting guides:

Public Sector Graduate Schemes

There are some great public sector schemes either open or about to open some of which are already in MyFuture:

Civil Service Fast Stream (various different streams) open now closing date 30th November
National Graduate Development Programme (local government) opens 24 October 2016 and close on 11 January 2017
Frontline (working with vulnerable children and families) closes 21st November
NHS Graduate Scheme (four different schemes) Opens in around 11th October closes early December
Think Ahead ( fast track scheme for mental health social work) closes 1st December
Teach First (Teach First Leadership Development Programme) closes 30th June 2017
Imperial College London's Graduate Management Training Scheme closing date 30th October 2016
Ofcom Graduate Scheme 2017 closing date Jan 3rd 2017
Health and Social Care Information Centre Graduate Scheme ran in 2016 and opened in February, no information yet if the scheme is running this year.
IntoUniversity Trainee Graduate Education Worker closes 7th January 2017

Charity Sector

Check out Careers in the Charity Sector on Moodle for resources.

Two Grad schemes open at the moment:

EVENT: Working in the Not for Profit/Charity Sector - 2 Bath Alumina stories
1-Dec-2016 at 1:15 - 2.05 pm We have invited two Bath alumni to come and talk to you. One has a senior role in a national charity and the other is part of the CharityWorks Graduate Scheme.

Graduate Jobs other than Grad Schemes

Whilst many employers come to Bath to recruit our students there are many other areas of work that graduates can work in which have alternative or less visible ways of recruiting. Our Careers Advisers have produced a series of information sheets to help students with some of these areas. They can all be downloaded from the information resources section of our website:

  • Alternative careers in science
  •  Careers for modern linguists
  •  Careers for those studying economics
  • Careers in biosciences & pharmaceuticals
  • Careers in medicine, dentistry & allied health
  • Careers in scientific analysis and R&D
  • Careers in sport
  • International development, international organisations and international relations careers
  • Politics careers, including working in Westminster and Europe
  • Social policy, social sciences and sociology careers
  • Working in the charity sector

 

The Early career bird lands a job!

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📥  Advice, Applications, Finding a Job, Graduate Jobs

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I can picture the scenario, you've had a super summer and it can be a bit of a drag getting back into academic studies. This is even harder if you're a finalist and returning from placement as adjusting from the freedom of work (and earning money) to being a student is tough. Fear not, you have 9 months after which the big wide world beckons. So, what can you do to harness the career early bird and bag yourself a job before you graduate? Some of the big graduate schemes are already open for business, so there’s no time to waste if you want to get ahead of the pack.

  1. Make a list: yep, that old chestnut! However, making a list of the key employers you are interested in by application deadline will help you plan and prioritise your applications. The Careers Service's MyFuture site along with GradDiary are really useful. You can search by company and sort by application deadline. Key is to make a start and actually apply, especially as many employers recruit on a rolling basis.
  2. Haste makes waste: before you rush off to start writing your applications, just pause for a moment and put yourself in the shoes of a graduate recruiter.  Many employers will sift through thousands of applications - its a pretty monotonous task. Therefore they'll be looking for reasons to reject, not select, applicants and nearly all will carry out a rapid “first cut” to remove the worst offenders. Spelling, grammar and general attention to detail are key when writing applications.
  3. Get it checked: the best thing you can do is get a second opinion against your applications. A fresh pair of eyes will spot little mistakes that you didn't event notice. Simply, book a quick query with one of our careers advisers.
  4. Go to stuff: our employer team have been busy bees over the summer putting together an excellent programme of employer events. This includes a two-day careers fair, skills sessions and information presentations. Really worth attending as you'll pick up little tips and insights that will not only make your application stand out but will also help you articulate your motivation to future employers.
  5. Believe in yourself: Many of us watched Andy Murray win Wimbledon this year. He plainly believed in himself and his ability and was able to put his past disappointments to one side. The same personal confidence is essential to successful job hunting. If you don’t believe that you can do a good job, then you stand no chance of being able to convince an interview panel that this is the case!