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Spring is here and so is our Spring Term Employability Newsletter.

When applying for jobs or placements abroad, do be aware that the style of applications may differ from that used in the UK. In France, Belgium and Germany it’s common to include a passport-sized photograph in the top right-hand corner of your CV, whereas in the UK and the USA, photographs are not commonplace. In France, CVs should be no more than two pages long. Include the dates and levels of your qualifications, giving the equivalent in the French education system if possible. You should include your reading, writing and oral levels in French.

Can you believe it – it’s less than four months until the start of the summer vacation! Are you trying to decide between earning money during the summer vacation, improving your career prospects or seeing the world? Why not do all three! If you're looking for a way to bump up your CV, you could always look into doing work experience abroad. This will not only help you develop a whole range of skills, but will give you something extra when applying to graduate recruiters. Casual jobs in retail, catering and tourism will be more significant when you do them abroad, giving evidence of your initiative, self-reliance,

adaptability and cultural awareness. These jobs can also help you to get experience that is directly relevant to your chosen career. If you want to go into teaching, for example, working at children’s summer camps or in language schools will give a real insight into understanding and motivating groups of children. If earning money is not a priority, you can also gain excellent experience through volunteering. Conservation, archaeology, development, healthcare and community work are all areas where you can get experience for a couple of weeks or for an entire summer vacation.


In Germany, a CV (called lebenslauf) is used more than application forms, and it’s common to sign your CV at the bottom. You also need a one page covering letter, copies of all qualifications from school onwards, evidence of any work experience you have, including certificates and references from universities and previous employers. In the USA a CV is known as a résumé and is short and concise: usually one page long. Résumés should have a few lines at the beginning on your aims and the skills you can offer. Give a summary of your experience and qualifications, list educational institutions attended and qualifications achieved (with associated dates). See the Careers and Employability Service CVs and covering letters page for more information, and the working abroad pages have countryspecific resources.

Kent’s award winning Employability Points Scheme was one of the exciting initiatives discussed at an international employability event, hosted by Kent in February 2013. The Careers and Employability Service, Kent Innovation and Enterprise, the Graduate School and Human Resources ran workshops during the week (organised by International Development) for 17 European universities. There were discussions on how higher education institutions can best support students in developing skills that will enhance their employability. Events such as the ‘Would you Employ You?’ conference, which will be held in May 2013, and the regular opportunities for students to meet alumni organised by the School of European Culture and Languages were heralded by participants as examples of best practice.

Most of the universities that took part in the event are Kent’s partners under the Erasmus programme, which gives students the opportunity to enhance their mobility by studying or working abroad. If you would like further information about Erasmus, please email

+44 (0)1227 823164



The School of Computing has a thriving Year in Industry Programme, with over 70% of students undertaking interesting and challenging placements each year, both in the UK and overseas. The School has had students working in a multitude of industries all over the world, from a media technology agency in Delhi, a bio-pharmaceutical company in Amsterdam and the World Trade Centre in Barcelona to placements with HSBC in Hong Kong.

MARCH 2013


The Careers and Employability Service have set up a collaborative agreement with Università Carlo Cattaneo (LIUC), a university in Castellanza, near Milan in Italy. Up to 10 Kent students per year who are interested in working in Italy can get feedback on their CV from an Italian Careers Adviser. Italian CVs have a different format to UK CVs so this is well worth doing – you can find a template for a typical Italian CV on the LIUC website. If you would like to take advantage of this offer then email your Italian CV to stating that you would like feedback from the Italian Careers Adviser.

One particular success story is a special arrangement with Cisco in Silicon Valley, California, where four Kent students worked last year. Through the success of these placements, Cisco currently employs 21 Kent students working on everything from cloud computing projects to web design. At least 20 more students are about to begin their adventures with Cisco this summer. The Year in Industry is designed to give students a valuable opportunity to apply their computing skills on business-critical projects, to build a professional network and to push personal boundaries.

Undertaking a placement overseas gives the students an additional edge that really boosts their employability. Students return more motivated, more focussed and more resilient. This international outlook positions students well for an increasingly global market. The placements are managed by a dedicated Placement Office within the School, who not only nurture existing links overseas, but provide students with the creative job-hunting skills to seek out placements with new companies in the UK and overseas.


Divya Shalini Beefeya (left) is currently undertaking a paid placement at a company in Mauritius as part of her BSc in Actuarial Science. She underwent full training, and works across two departments – Claims and Underwriting.

“I have not only started to get a taste of the insurance industry but I am also getting a better insight of the skills required in the workplace. I am getting invaluable hands-on experience and training. I am able to see the concepts that I have learnt from my course being applied to solve real business problems. I am also getting the unique opportunity to develop essential skills such as being an effective and productive team member, being a good communicator, managing my time, and analytical skills, which will be crucial for my future career as an Actuary.”


+44 (0)1227 823164


With so much going on, follow us on Twitter and ‘like’ our Facebook page to keep up-to-date with the latest advice, industry developments and events on- and off- campus.

Stay tuned for dates of talks hosted by advisers on interviews, CVs and options with your subject; employer presentations and top tips and opportunities to help you land that dream job.

Canterbury Campus

Medway Campus Remember also to check the employability blog Do you have an article you would like to include in the next issue? Please email

Main image (top left): Tris Linnell

Kent Employability Newsletter March 2013  
Kent Employability Newsletter March 2013  

Newsletter for Kent students, updating them on latest University initiatives to help develop their employability skills. This issue includes...