I am a fulltime Postgraduate Student here at Westminster, studying Public Relations. I graduated with my Undergraduate degree in 2018 and left not really knowing where I wanted my life to go. After spending the next two years working, I had gained a lot of ‘real world’ experience and realised what it was I did and did not want to do. Having this world experience has benefitted me as I now have a tangible goal of what I want to do after I complete my Master’s later this year. My approach to University is very different this time, and I am trying to make the most of the Careers support available as I can.
The Careers and Employability Service (CES) is a really useful asset. You can access it via the Student Hub under the ‘Employability’ tab at the top of the page. The CES service uses a different website called ‘Engage’ but it is very easy to click through to from the Student Hub. Through the CES there are opportunities to apply for paid and voluntary part-time work which you can fit around your studies. If you are struggling to write your CV to apply for these roles, don’t worry! There are resources available to you which explain how you should write your CV and Covering Letter.
CV and Covering Letter Help
I have been working for almost ten years now and have submitted applications for dozens of jobs, yet writing covering letters is something I still find tricky. Before I applied for my current position at the University, I looked at the CES guidance on how to write a covering letter and made sure to follow their advice. It was amazing how straightforward I found it to be once I actually knew how one was supposed to be written. The CES has targeted covering letter examples you can use which are aimed at jobs in different industries. For example, alongside having general advice on how to write a covering letter there are also resources available to help you target your application towards jobs in Law, Business and the Creative Industries.
Making an Appointment with a Careers Consultant
You can also make appointments with careers consultants to discuss specific areas you need help with. These sessions now take place online through video-call. There are a lot of different appointment types available so make sure that you book yourself into the right one!
Careers consultants are here to discuss with you any number of career-related queries you have. Sessions are between 20 and 45 minutes long, depending on how much you would like to talk about. In these appointments you can receive job application and interview advice, CV-writing guidance and discussing career choices. These are just suggested topics to cover, however, so it is open for you to ask for help with whatever it is you need.
If you are not a big interview fan, you can also book yourself in for a mock job interview workshop. If you have an interview coming up that you would like to prepare for, you can provide the careers consultants with the job description and as much other information about the job as you can and they will prepare a practice interview with you with potential questions you may be asked. This is a great way to help you prepare answers to possible questions, as well as receiving feedback on your performance and ways you could improve.
Accessing ‘Engage’ and Other Resources
Similarly, ‘Engage’ has an option for you to ask a careers-related question to a member of the CES team. ‘Engage’ has lots of useful careers information for you to look through in the ‘Resources’ section, but if you can’t find the answer you’re looking for then send in your query through the ‘Ask a Question’ tab. Someone working in the Careers department will try to get back to you as soon as they can.
As I just mentioned above – the ‘Resources’ section. ‘Resources’ can be found on ‘Engage’ and provides useful information on almost any careers-related topic you can think of. It ranges from explaining different Visa routes you can take after graduation to how to access PhD funding to advice on how to disclose your disability to employers. These are just three options available from ten pages worth of resources, so it is to your benefit to have a look through these pages and discover what helpful tips you can find.
I know from experience how quickly your time at University goes – that’s why I’m trying to get the most of it my second time around! I am encouraging all Undergraduate, and Postgraduate, students to have a look and get the most out of these Employability services. The time will fly by before you know it!