First and Foundation Year Guide 2020

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Your first year... Your first year at university is a fantastic time to try new things, meet new people, develop new skills and improve your confidence. They key to finding a job you’ll love after graduation is about taking advantage of the opportunities on offer to you. This will help to improve your employability and will make you a more attractive candidate to employers.

2 the new final year We can help you to identify opportunities which enhance your knowledge, contacts and experience. Start NOW and use the TIPS in here to: •

Get personalised one to one support

Find work experience

Meet employers

Get ahead with our tools for success

Create a personal career action plan

“You can’t wait until your final year to make your career decisions. To compete in today’s market you need to plan, find relevant work experience and get involved in extracurricular activities. And the earlier you start the better.” Andrew Haxell, Assistant Director, Graduate Futures.

“I feel more confident about my career pathway and applications for jobs”


Kickstart your career with our support Careers Guidance Appointments Speak to careers advisers to explore your options and to improve your applications and interview performance. Weekdays 9am-5pm. Digital and face to face appointments available. Go to northumbria. to book online. Careers Clinic Get support with your job search, help to improve your applications through company and role research and get your CV sorted. Weekdays, 9am-5am. Available digitally and face to face. Go to careers to book online. Student and Graduate Enterprise Appointments If you have a fantastic business idea, are interested in self-employment or would like to develop your enterprise skills, speak to the Student and Graduate Enterprise Team. Book an appointment by emailing nu.enterprise@


Support on your course Each course has a nominated adviser. Working with academics and personal tutors, they provide tailored sessions throughout the year.

Ask us about • Finding part-time jobs and voluntary work • Getting work experience which supports your career • Exploring your options • Improving your CV • Interview tips • Identifying your transferable skills • How to sell your skills to an employer • Writing a first year action plan • Impressing employers at interviews and assessment centres


Pack your CV with the skills employers demand


To compete in today’s job market you need employability skills. Communication

To express your ideas clearly and confidently whether verbally or in writing.


To work confidently in a group.

Problem solving

To overcome challenges and come up with solutions, be analytical and creative.

Time management

To prioritise tasks and work to deadlines.

Plan and organise

To plan activities and carry them out effectively.

Flexibility and resilience

To adapt successfully to changing situations and environments even when it gets hard.

Negotiate and persuade

To influence and convince others, to discuss and reach agreement.

Positive attitude

To give it your best, even if it’s challenging and it’s going to be hard work.

Commercial awareness

To understand the business and the industry which you are applying to.

Book an appointment with an adviser to discuss how to identify and present your skills to employers.


Get the skills and experience to impress employers


There’s a lot you can do to impress employers and there’s no time like the present to start! Part-time work

Earn extra cash and acquire a skill set valued by graduate employers. It can improve your confidence, team-working, communication and time management skills.


Employers often recruit based on volunteering experience. They recognise it takes initiative and commitment.

Societies and Academic Reps

Turn your passion into action; join a society or become an academic rep. Getting involved and making a difference impresses employers.

Work shadowing

Learn more about roles and working environments. It can help you decide what job would be right for you.

Open/Taster days

Visit employers to gain a greater insight into their organisation. This can look good on an application.


These are usually short periods of work experience of 6-12 weeks and can help you decide if a career area is right for you.


These are normally structured programmes which involve working for an organisation for a full academic year, usually your second year.

Come to the Careers Clinic to discuss the best opportunities for you. 9

Where to look for work experience JobsOnline Discover part-time jobs and volunteer roles. Search 1,000s of opportunities. Receive email alerts of new jobs which match your preferences. Go to: Careers Online Find links to sources of volunteering opportunities. Go to the Finding Voluntary Work Page. Social Media Follow organisations you’re interested in working for who may post their vacancies on their social media accounts. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram (search for NUGraduateFutures) for regular Job of the Day posts.


Your CV...your marketing tool Give your CV a competitive edge before employers see it. Get it checked at the Careers Clinic

YOUR NAME Full term address Telephone number and email

Keep it short

PROFILE (Optional) Make it strategic, highlight your current situation and career aim or your key skills and experience. WORK EXPERIENCE (If you have this, include before education section) Use the job advert/description to identify what the employer is looking for. Give specific examples. Start with your most recent and work back. Include start and end dates. Keep it clear, divide up into subheadings of relevant or other work experience. Summarise your responsibilities, skills, achievements and contributions.

Use bullet points to give impact

EDUCATION Include the dates, course title, institution and location. State your current course and work backwards. Only detail course titles at GCSE level if requested or relevant to the role. The number achieved and grade is usually sufficient. ADDITIONAL SKILLS / ACHIEVEMENTS Include any relevant such as IT (list software packages), driving licence and language skills. Add any certificates, e.g. first aid, sports coaching, awards and positions of responsibility, e.g. team captain. If particularly relevant to the role place above the education section. INTERESTS (optional) REFERENCES Include name, job title and work place for an academic and current/ recent employer. Get permission first. If you don’t have space just write ‘References available on request.’

Log in to Careers Online to find links to example CVs:


Meet employers

Many employers want to develop a relationship with you from your first year and o organisation. The experiences can help you decide on the right job for you and help applications. Careers workshops Find out more about different sectors and career options and develop your employability skills.

Employer presentations and drop-ins Get a step ahead in the recruitment market - connect with employers eager to meet Northumbria students. Find out about their opportunities and how you can impress them with your application.

Student and Graduate Enterprise Develop your enterprise skills at Enterprise Experience Weekends, workshops, competitions and other events throughout the year.


From September we run a information on what it’s like skills to secure a job. Many you’re an engineering stud and find out how.

offer opportunities to meet with them and learn more about their p you get ahead of the competition in your placement and graduate

programme of Careers Workshops designed to provide you with ke to work in different job roles and how you can improve your application y of these sessions are open to students of any degree discipline, so if dent and would like to know how you get a job in HR then come along

Go online to find out what’s on: 13

Careers Online


Your employability hub. Expand your career knowledge with our Top 5 things to read and do on Careers Online.

1. Use the CV Builder and Cover Letter Builder to create expert applications for part-time jobs and work experience opportunities. Once you’ve draft a CV use CV360 to check it for style and formatting errors. 2. Go to the Job Hunting section to get advice on how to find part-time jobs, work experience and voluntary opportunities to help you develop the skills that employers want. 3. Exploring career choices and learning more about the job sectors open to you will help you decide what you want to do in the future. Start at the Research Career Sectors section. 4. Take the Career Assessments to help you identify and understand your preferences, values and motivations. Knowing these can help you when considering future jobs roles. Find them in the My Career menu. 5. Access GoinGlobal via the Global Careers pages to find jobs, internships and work experience opportunities overseas as well as country specific careers information. Download the NU Careers App from your App Store to access these resources from your phone.

Log in at:


Your online brand...


Make social media work for you and get noticed by employers. Use it from your first year to help you stand out from the competition for placements and graduate jobs around the world. Social media do’s •

Set up and develop a LinkedIn profile.

Use the Northumbria alumni tool to investigate what graduates from your course have gone on to do.

Follow companies which interest you on Twitter to improve your commercial knowledge.

Check out Pinterest, Instagram and others, particularly if you study a more visual subject like graphic design or architecture.

Social media don’ts •

Don’t refer to yourself as a jobseeker online. Use key words and phrases which identify you as a professional.

Don’t forget that everything you put online stays online. Future employers may see it. Check your privacy settings.

Don’t start an account and never update it.

Come to the Careers Clinic or book a Careers Guidance Appointment to: •

Get advice on developing your online brand.

Have your LinkedIn profile checked.


Don’t forget, use us to help you... Come and speak to us Your career is unique to you. Our careers professionals offer confidential bespoke support. Whether it’s help with your career decisions, developing a career plan or learning how to stand out in your applications and interviews, with our insight into graduate recruitment we can help. Attend a careers event Employers target Northumbria students, they want to meet you! Speaking to employers at a fair or event is a great opportunity for you to find out if you would like to work for them and get an insight into the person they are looking for. “I hadn’t thought of applying to xxxx before but I really liked what I heard at the presentation, so sent off my application…..and out of the 1000s who applied I was successful in getting the only graduate scheme position in the North West” The workshop programme will help you make informed choices and compete in today’s job market. Go to: to find out what’s on. Access exclusive career resources Don’t spend hours trawling through jobs and careers websites on the internet. Our careers professionals have brought together key resources just for you. Save time by using your employability hub, Careers Online or visit the careers collection in the library basement, City Campus Library or ground floor, Coach Lane Campus Library.


Career action plan HAVE YOU...


Logged into Careers Online? Had your CV checked at the Careers Clinic? Received one to one support with your career plans at a Careers Guidance appointment? Looked for vacancies on JobsOnline? Set up a LinkedIn profile and had it checked by the Graduate Futures team? Organised voluntary work or joined a society? Arranged work experience (shadowing or paid?) Met with an employer on campus or virtually or a attended a workshop session? Organised summer vacation work?


Moving on to your second year


Things to consider when you approach your second year. As well as your academic achievements, employers value work experience and time abroad. By discovering your work preferences in first year, you can make some well informed choices. If you haven’t achieved everything on your action plan, there’s still the summer vacation. Speak to us before you leave or over the summer at the Careers Clinic. Get prepared for your second year and build on what you’ve already done. Placements With more than four-fifths of the UK’s leading graduate employers* offering paid work experience, these opportunities will provide excellent evidence for graduate job applications. Speak to us early in second year to find out what placement options are available on your course. Work and study abroad Demonstrates motivation, independence and research skills - all behaviours valued by employers. Find out what options are open to you on your course.

Book an appointment with an adviser at the end of your second year to identify your next steps and receive support with all your applications and interviews.

*The Graduate Market in 2015, High Fliers Research Limited 2015


Moving on to your final year


Things to consider when you approach your final year. With lots of career options to choose from it is often to difficult to know where to start. Students who start their career planning early, develop the skills and experience employers are looking for and gain an understanding of their strengths and motivations, will be in a better position to take advantage of the career options open to them in their final year. The graduate recruitment process will start early in the final year so consider the options open to you. Graduate schemes Offer a programme of training and are designed to fast-track you to a leadership position. Available across all sectors, from social work and teaching to finance and marketing, most enable graduates of any degree discipline to apply. Graduate level jobs Available in the private and public sector. The vast majority are small and medium sized companies. These roles often offer greater variety and responsibility. Further study For those who want to change direction or give their career an edge, or for those who have a burning passion for their area of study. Self-employment If you have an enterprising mind-set and would like to start your own business, the University Student and Graduate Enterprise team is here to help you.


Contact us: Graduate Futures Student Central, City Campus Library Email: Tel: 0191 227 4646

Enquire at one of the following Ask4Help points: At City Campus Student Central, City Campus Library Student Central, City Campus East At Coach Lane Campus Student Central, Coach Lane Library At London Campus Ground Floor At Amsterdam Campus Fraijlemaborg Building

Tel: 0191 227 4646 NUGraduateFutures


Northumbria University Graduate Futures