Your essential guide to enterprise and employability

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Your essential guide to Enterprise & Employability

Nurturing Talent, Accelerating Careers Work Ready Graduates helps students to develop core skills such as leadership, confidence and personal branding. Skills which will enable you to secure employment and thrive in your chosen careers. Our Online Modules Feature: 1. Content written by corporate trainers 2. Interviews with companies such as Facebook, Disney, LinkedIn and many more 3. Interactive quizzing 4. CPD certification Work Ready is partnering with Teesside University Students’ Union to provide you with free skills training! You can access our modules, along with interviews, articles and job opportunities, via the Teesside SU Skills Hub: teessidesu


Welcome to the Essential Enterprise and Employability Guide. My name is Amy Preston your Vice President (VP) Activities. I am the Student Officer responsible for ensuring that the Students’ Union has a strategy to help you to enhance your enterprising and employability skills. We work closely with Teesside University and its partners to deliver an engaging and impactful range of opportunities that you’ll enjoy and want to do more. We start your time at Teesside by introducing you to all the services here to help you with all your enterprising and employability needs. Firstly, there is the Freshers’ Fair Enterprise and Employability Zone, the Essential Enterprise and Employability Guide and then our virtual Enterprise and Employability Zone I also organise a number of events throughout the academic year to connect you with Students’ Union, Teesside University services and partners. These are fun events with plenty of freebies including food. Each semester I run an Enterprise and Employability Campaign Day. You can find out more and keep up to date with events organised by the Students’ Union Activities by visiting our facebook page TUSUActivities. So please take the time to look through the Guide and keep it handy for further reference and do checkout all the services here to help you to make your time at Teesside

What the SU Does to Enhance Your Enterprising and Employability Skills We are the largest employer of students in the Tees Valley and provide flexible part-time working that fits around your academic studies. We have a staff appraisal and development scheme which ensures you maximise your enterprising and employability skills learning whilst earning. For information on vacancies see We also advertise jobs by other local employers who are student friendly. We provide a range of entrepreneurial societies, learning community societies as well as social societies. If you don’t see one you like why not start up your own. Leading one of our societies is a great way of developing your leadership and management skills. For more information see societies/. Societies can also get involved in our Stripes Scheme and gain even more enterprising and employability skills as well as earning extra funds for your society to hold events throughout the year. Getting involved in one of our Sports Clubs is a great way to keep fit, meet new people, and gain vital enterprising and employability skills. All our Sports Clubs are student led and all the operational tasks are carried out by students. It’s not just about turning up and playing the game. For more information see You can also get involved as a school or course representative. Representing your follow students to university staff, supporting them by connecting them with support services, and just being a friendly ear when they need a little bit of help is another great way to increase your enterprise and employability skills. For more information see


You can even stand for election as a Student Officer and lead the Students’ Union or get involved with other voluntary democratic offices that lead the Students’ Union. We also have our own dedicated Enterprise and Employability Co-ordinator Peter Russell-Wilson who is available throughout the academic year to support you. Contact him via enterprise.

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What is enterprise and employability? There are many definitions of employability, but the one we use here at the SU is...

“Employability is a set of attributes, skills and knowledge that all labour market participants should possess to ensure they have the capability of being effective in the workplace - to the benefit of themselves, their employer and the wider economy.� (Source: CBI) So whatever the future holds for you we have the opportunities for you to develop your employability and enterprising skills. So get involve now in all the great opportunities your future is here.

A Degree is Not Enough! You will have learned a lot from your degree and it is an important part the enhancement of your enterprise and employability. However, students increasingly see the need to add value to their degree in order to gain an advantage in the job market or the commercial market place. Your degree will lead the way, but you’ll need the right mix of skills, abilities and personal qualities in order to reach your chosen destination. In a recent survey on employability conducted by the Institute of Directors, directors who employed recent graduates were asked to rate the importance of employability skills against specific technical or academic knowledge and skills associated with their degree:

36% said that employability skills are much more important. 29% said that they were a little more important. 23% said that they were the same level of importance. 5

As you read this guide, many of you will be working alongside your studies, you might be taking part in extracurricular activities and some of you may be involved in some sort of volunteering... that’s really great! You may be doing this just to keep your head above the water or reduce your future student debt. But have you thought about what skills you are developing, what experience you’ve gained, how you could use these in your intended future job and how you will communicate this to potential employers or venture capitalists. Therefore the question is, what difference do these opportunities make and how can you ensure you use them correctly in order to help meet the needs of graduate employers? You should use this guide to find out what you can do as a member of the Students’ Union and a student of the university.

So what are employability skills? Employability skills are those basic skills necessary for getting, keeping, and doing well in a job. These are the skills, attitudes and actions that enable workers to get along with their fellow workers and supervisors and to make sound, critical decisions.

1 Time management & Organisation What Managing time effectively and efficiently, prioritising tasks and ability to work to deadlines. Why It’s important that you develop effective strategies for managing your time to balance the conflicting demands of a busy workload, long-term and short term tasks/projects and work/life balance. Example Getting involved in a club or society whilst managing commitments to a part time job and your academic course.


2 Communication What Speaking and listening, reading and writing and using communications technology. It’s about being clear, concise and focused whilst also being able to tailor your message for the audience and listening to the views of others. Why Communication is seen by employers, as one of the top skills that graduates need to improve. The ability to communicate using an appropriate vocabulary, maintaining good eye contact, writing clearly and persuasively tailored to the needs of a wide variety of people are all essential skills that employers seek out. Similarly, active listening skills involve not only hearing but gaining an understanding information. Listening is a basic requirement leading to fewer mistakes and a greater understanding of the needs of employer and client. Example • Part time jobs such as the SU Welcome Desk assistant where you are constantly interacting with different students, staff and external stakeholders. •

Student ambassador who assists on university open days by taking large groups of prospective students and their parents on a detailed tour of The University.

Join the University’s student radio Click Teesside.

School & Course Reps are constantly representing their fellow students to the senior management teams of their school.


3 Team work What Teamwork involves working confidently within a group, contributing your own ideas effectively, taking a share of the responsibility, being assertive - rather than passive or aggressive, accepting and learning from constructive criticism and giving positive, constructive feedback to others. Why Teamwork is one of the fundamental skills employers look for and it’s on the graduate recruiters’ high priority list. You’ll need to prove that you’re a team player but also have the ability to manage and delegate to others and take on responsibility. It’s about building positive working relationships that help everyone to achieve goals and business objectives. Example • Joining a sports team or society such as Enactus where you get the chance to work as a team. • Volunteering as a committee member also requires all members to work together in order to ensure their club or society works efficiently. • Part-time jobs in the SU such as bar & venue staff are all good places to develop teamwork skills. • If you become a School Representative you have to ensure you are working and communicating well with other members of your team.


Student & Library Services contributes to Teesside University’s outstanding student experience by inspiring and empowering success for learning and life. Information, advice and guidance Help available to manage your learning including library, information, IT and account enquiries. Specialist staff to assist with research and writing, workshops covering skills to achieve success in learning and in life. Information on counselling, funding, disability, autism, mental health, LGBT and specific learning difficulties. Enhance your student life Get the most from your time at Teesside by getting involved in activities to improve your body and mind. Sport and Wellbeing offer a range of opportunities in the Olympia and the health & fitness centre including campus sport, health advice and volunteering. Library resources The University Library is a key element of the student experience at Teesside and the refurbishment investment provides an on-campus space which is a focus for learning, research, academic collaboration and contemplation. Access to 145 million learning resources, with specialist help available to help you find the services, support and learning resources your need. Development opportunities Graduate skills are more than a qualification. A variety of opportunities are available to inspire development of additional skills to enhance your CV, including coaching, volunteering, counselling, the Learning Hub, specialist mentoring and study skills tuition. Library T: 01642 342100 E:

Student Centre T: 01642 342277 E:


Sport T: 01642 342267 E:

4 Leadership What Having ability to motivate and direct others. Why You may not be a manager straight away, but graduates need to show potential to motivate teams and other colleagues that may work for them. It’s about assigning and delegating tasks well, setting deadlines and leading by good example. Example • Become a team captain in a sports team, during a match you are the person with the authority. •

Volunteering as a committee member can be a good way to gain leadership skills, particularly if you are the Chair. This is also true for other Students’ Union positions such as Athletics Union (AU) & Societies Federation (SocFed) Chair.

Put yourself forward for one of the full time, paid Officer roles in the Students’ Union and lead the whole student body. It’s a really great way to learn and show your leadership potential.

5 Initiative & Self-motivation What Able to act on own initiative, identify opportunities & be proactive in putting forward ideas & solutions Why You may not be a manager straight away, but graduates need to show potential to motivate teams and other colleagues that may work for them. It’s about assigning and delegating tasks well, setting deadlines and leading by good example.


Example • Use initiative to act on opportunities, run for any Students’ Union election: School Representative, Course Representative , club or society committee, AU Chair, SocFed Chair, Scrutiny Committee, School Representative Forum Chair, NUS delegates and finally Officer positions leading the SU. • Develop your ideas by running campaigns or charity events. • Set up and and run your own society or EEP.


6 Problem Solving What The ability to take a logical and analytical approach to solving problems and resolving issues. It’s also good to show that you can approach problems from different angles. Why Employers don’t like hiring graduates who will come running every time they’re out of their depth. If you can step up with a solution, you’ll stand a better chance. Example • SU bar & venue staff dealing with a difficult customer • Volunteering as a committee member could mean that you often have to overcome unforeseen difficulties, for example turning round the finances, recruiting members and organising a charity events.


7 Adaptability & Flexiblility What Adapt successfully to changing situations & environments whilst still being enthusiastic about your work and always learning from your mistakes for your benefit as well as the employer. Why The world of work is changing at an ever increasing pace so employers actively seek out graduates who can adapt to changing circumstances and environments, and embrace new ideas. Example Simply being a student, you are constantly adapting not only to the demands of academic work, such as meeting essay deadlines, but to fitting this in around part-time work and extracurricular activities. Don’t forget to head over to the SU’s Employability Zone where you can complete our free micro-learning modules which are video-based and will provide you with short bursts of specialised content!

Tips on getting the job Below you will find tips on how to tackle applying for jobs, from writing the application to interview skills.

1 Application Forms Application forms are irritating, endlessly filling in dates and grades can be a drag. Keeping your CV up to date helps greatly with this. They ask difficult questions, but these are usually the sections in which you can really sell yourself and show employers that you’re perfectly suited to the role and deserve to be shortlisted for an interview.


Make sure you research the company before you start…. • What skills are they seeking? • What skills do you obtain that are relevant to the job? What part-time work, volunteering or extracurricular activities provided you with the opportunity to demonstrate that you have these skills.

• What attracts you to the role? • What can you bring to the role which will benefit your future employer that they wouldn’t expect – your added value!

golden rules No spelling mistakes No grammatical errors No lying

It is usual these days to include competency questions which seek evidence of skills such as teamwork, organising, supervising or managing, problem solving, communicating, initiative and others. This is the place for you to use examples to demonstrate that you possess all the characteristics required. Most job applications include a general question asking applicants to describe the skills and experience they have and why they would be suitable for the role. This is an opportunity for you to use examples to demonstrate that you possess all the characteristics required and to evidence the skills you possess such as teamwork, organising, supervising or managing, problem solving, communicating, initiative and others.


Top Tips for Application Forms

The STARR (situation, task, action, results and reflection) method is the best way to answer competency questions.

S describe a situation. T tell them what your task or role was. A say what action you took. R always mention the result; employers like results driven employees. it is appropriate to say that you reflected on what R sometimes happened and decided how you would tackle the problem next time.

If your answer includes at least the first four of these points you will be providing what they want.


2 CV’s CV stands for curriculum vitae, it’s a summary of your experience, skills and education. Your CV should demonstrate to any potential employer why they should hire you above any of the other skilled candidates who have presented themselves for employment. A standard CV in the UK should ideally be no longer than two sides of A4. Never, ever submit a CV instead of an application form. What should I include in my CV? Your CV needs to be packed with relevant information to help an employer make the decision to hire you. It should include: •

A personal statement- a concise summary of your personal qualities that demonstrates your skills, experience and aspirations.

Contact details - include full name, address, mobile phone number and email address.

Education - list and date all previous education, placing the most recent highest up the page. Include any professional qualifications.

Skills - for example, the ability to work in a team, manage people, customer service skills, or specific IT skills.

Work experience - this can be internships, voluntary roles or previous jobs. Add the most recent/relevant positions and examples of tasks.

Referees - two people who can provide positive comments on your previous employment or experiences.




AT TEESSIDE UNIVERSITY, HELP IS AVAILABLE WITH ALL ASPECTS OF YOUR ACADEMIC WRITING. Royal Literary Fellows, Kitty Fitzgerald and Carol Clewlow are professional writers based in Room M407, Middlesbrough Tower.

Whatever your degree subject or query: structuring essays, longer pieces of writing, developing a fluent and articulate style, the requirements of critical analysis, sharpening up your grammar, punctuation and sentence structure, they can advise you. Why not book a time for a one to one session? Kitty works Mondays & Thursdays. Contact her at: Carol works Wednesdays. Contact her at: All sessions are free, confidential and independent of Teesside University. FB:

3 Covering Letter While the CV is an objective record of your experience, the covering letter is a great opportunity to show your personality and writing ability. It’s also a chance to expand your strengths and achievements and show the employer that you’re serious about the position you’re applying for.

golden rule Your covering letter must be tailored to the sector, to the employer, and to the job. You cannot cut and paste successfully from a previous application, so don’t try. Your covering letter needs to demonstrate that you understand the needs of this company, and this particular post, so it has to be written with the job in mind.


4 Interviews You have received an invitation to interview for a new job... congratulations! If you’re going to impress at interview, you need to prepare thoroughly. The most important thing to remember about any interview is that it is a two-way process. It is as much about you finding out whether you want to work for the company as them finding out whether they want you. This means it is important to present yourself as you really are, not pretend to be something you’re not.

golden rule Answer the questions that are asked, using relevant examples where at all possible- Fully explain yourself, and use the STARr technique described earlier when answering your questions.



SU Job Zone TUSU helps thousands of students find rewarding and appropriate part-time work every year through our jobs service based in the SU Student Support (SUSS) on the first floor. The SU employ, on average, over 150 students a year working across our various services while most local employers who are looking for student staff advertise their vacancies with us. Check out the latest opportunities by visiting or take a look at vacancy boards on the first floor opposite SU Student Support. Tel: 01642 342247 or e-mail: to speak with staff.

SU Societies & Clubs TUSU funds hundreds of clubs and societies which give students the opportunity to develop their leadership, budget and project management skills. This includes Enactus, Food CoOp, Tees Racer, Literacy and more. They’re a great way to improve employability and of course a fantastic chance to meet new people, make new friends and have fun alongside studying! As we’re all about students taking the lead, most clubs and societies exist because students told us they wanted to start them and worked with our activities staff to get them off the ground…you could do the same if you have an idea for a new club and society just check out for more info.



Student Futures Student Futures teams are committed to enabling you to develop and maximise your career potential to ensure that you stand out from the crowd. We will support you throughout your time at University and beyond, as you develop the professional skills that are highly valued and actively sought by employers across all industries. Student Futures teams: • The University’s Careers Service • Student enterprise • Graduate Enterprise, (Teesside Launchpad) • Volun-tees The University is committed to enhancing our students’ employability. Every School and Department offers opportunities outside of the curriculum for students to broaden their skills and experience. Check out the following link:


Your Careers Service “The careers service has helped me as much in finding employment as my entire degree has.” Preparing for your future career during your time at University is an excellent investment and really pays off. The Careers team can help you: • Decide on the career you want and advise on how to get there. A Careers Adviser will be able to tell you about a wide range of different options with your degree • Meet employers to find out about sectors, companies and their selection procedures • Get experience through volunteering, internships and placements • Produce an effective CV and covering letter • Write winning applications • Perform well at assessment centres and in interviews • Search for jobs, including those never advertised • Research options for further study • Develop your professional contacts You’ll meet your Careers Adviser during your course. You can book onto additional workshops and get 1:1 help at a drop-in, appointment or by email. We help to put yourself in your future employer’s shoes so you can present your strengths and achievements that match theirs.

“The careers service gave me help and ideas when filling in my application forms. I recognised skills I could use on application forms which I never really thought I had. It was really helpful to go in to depth with my previous employment to find skills and knowledge I had used there and at university.” Jonathan Griffiths, BSc (Hons)


Volun-tees Welcome to Volun-tees - the University programme to help you make the most out of volunteering whilst at University. We are here to support current University students, recent graduates and members of staff to get involved in volunteering. We offer many ways to get involved through one-off opportunities (with our Make a Difference Days and Projects) as well as short and long term opportunities – both University and community based. There are many reasons why people choose to volunteer - to get an insight into future career options, to gain skills and experience or just to have fun and meet people. Whatever your reason, we’ll show you how to make the most of your time and make sure you enjoy your volunteering experience. You’ll have the opportunity to gain recognition through our Volun-tees awards, as well as the Volun-tees Plus Award which helps to recognise the valuable skills based through volunteering. You’ll also be invited to our annual Volun-cheers Awards – to celebrate your achievements through volunteering. To find out more, visit our website or email volunteering@


Student Futures Enterprise Teesside University is a great place for students to get involved in a wide range of enterprising experiences that will really ‘give you wings’! Whether it’s Teesside Enactus, Teesside University Student Food Co-op or Teesside University Technology and Enterprise Club there is something for everyone. Meet real entrepreneurs at one of our regular Tuesday evening events. This year we have guests speakers lined up from The Silicon Valley Bank, Digital City, Moon Jet Group, Snatch Mobile Gaming and many more! Come along on a Wednesday afternoon to one of our Enterprise skills sessions. This year we will be coving topics like developing an entrepreneurial mind-set, confidence building, motivation, persuasion and decisionmaking. These sessions are open to all students and are fun, interactive workshops. If you want to make a difference to the world and want to use business skills to improve people’s lives, you might want to join Teesside Enactus our award winning student social enterprise team. If you would like more information about any of these activities or would like to talk about an enterprise idea you have then email then Andy Price a.price@ for a chat and a coffee. And when you are ready to get your business off the ground Teesside Launchpad is here to make it fly!

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Introducing Teesside Launchpad’s Microbiz Academy From selling on ebay and etsy, to freelance writing, graphic design and photography, to personal training and vlogging it seems like everyone has a side hustle. If you’ve ever thought about starting your own business we’ll help you get started (or if you already have one we’ll help take it to the next level). Teesside Launchpad is the University’s business start-up and support hub. A wonderful place to make friends and even meet potential future business partners, we’re a growing community of student, graduates, entrepreneurs and innovators. Top 5 reasons to join Launchpad and get your side hustle up and running 1. Earn extra cash – a great way to pay your way while studying. 2. Get the right skills - you’ll get real world understanding of how businesses run, putting you ahead of the competition at job interviews. 3. Get well connected – the opportunity to connect with our community of students, graduates, coaches, mentors and business people opens a whole world of possibilities. 4. Workshops – free access to our specialist workshops packed with practical hints and tips ranging from accounting, marketing, social media and SEO. 5. Have fun and meet other students – earning extra cash doesn’t have to be a chore, get the flexibility to earn some money without impacting your studies or your social life. @startupteesside


Graduate Recruitment Specialists!


Specialist support to make your CV three times more likely to be shortlisted!

LIVE VACANCIES! Access to current, live graduate-level job vacancies!


We know what employers want, come and practice with us!


Find the graduate job you’re looking for!

Book an appointment or sign up to a Workshop, just visit The Student Centre or contact the team TODAY!

FIND OUT MORE! Chris Roberts

Email: Tel: 01642 738 702

Yasmin Hajim

Email: Tel: 01642 738 615

REED NCFE Graduate Recruitment Team 1st Floor The Student Centre Clarendon Building Teesside University TS1 3BX


 Teesside SU

 Teesside SU

Peter - Enterprise and Employability Stephen - Societies Martin - Clubs SUSS 01642 342247