How social media can get you your dream job…

iStock-639782270.jpgWhen we asked our graduates and employers about social media usage we came up with a few differences of opinion that are worth sharing. Firstly, most of our employers are using Twitter and LinkedIn to look for new staff; whereas most of our students and graduates are using Facebook to look for jobs! If you’re not looking in the same place you won’t find each other… that’s why Gradsouthwest use all three 🙂

Both recruiters and job seekers now actively search out information on-line about the other… This is now a given, so clean up your profile and make it reflect how you’d want to be seen.

Preview This Course

Sort Out LinkedIn… Comprehensive Guide to LinkedIn in 2017 (New Look)

Employers are looking at LinkedIn and some are even using it so that you can apply for jobs directly with your profile.

So you really do need to sort yourself out a fine looking profile!

We have been working with Alastair Banks at Optix Solutions to provide high quality support in how to use LinkedIn to grow your network. In two months it’s had over 160 students from all over the world and is rated in the top 3 on that subject on Udemy.

At the end of the course you will be able to create a LinkedIn profile that gives you the edge over others. You will know how to build your network quickly and effectively. You will be able to use quick tips and tricks that Alastair has picked up in the last ten years of using this platform for generating opportunities and business for yourself.

If you are interested in finding out more – preview the course.

Now it’s time to tidy up Facebook. We know. We’ve looked!

We’ve been conducting a little experiment. Every time one of you lovely graduates likes our Facebook page, we click on your profile. Not to be nosy you understand, but to gauge how savvy graduate job seekers are about privacy on social media.

What have we learnt? Well, let’s just say you’re all having a cracking time out there!  Mostly we’re envious, occasionally we’re shocked and every now and then, we’re impressed. Impressed because we can’t see anything about you. Nothing. Zilch. Nada.

And with Facebook, that’s how it should be. It’s a social forum and while even serious graduate types are allowed to have fun, recruiters don’t need to see you dancing on tables, pouting in selfies or swapping risky anecdotes. They will look – probably before you even meet at interview – and you don’t want to lose out on a great job as a result.

So take these steps now to lock down your Facebook activities

Time invested now in tidying up your settings will be well worth it when you come to apply for jobs. But please, don’t stop having fun – just be more discreet online so that we don’t feel quite so envious.

https://www.instagram.com/Gradsouthwest/

What about Twitter, Instagram etc..?

Again – the message is the same… tidy them up so that you are showing employers either nothing, or the YOU they should employ!

Gradsouthwest Job e-alerts

And finally…

Now your social media accounts are sparkling don’t forget to give us a follow or connect so that we can make good on our promise to help you use social media to get the job of your dreams!

The key ones are our job e-alerts, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter – go on do it now!

Other social media tools, like instagram and snapchap, have yet to make it into recruitment mainstream, but with regular new social media arrivals we are always looking at how we can help you find the career of your dreams!

Give us a quick follow on our Instagram account to see what we are doing there!

 

Making students employable with Plymouth University

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June 2017 saw Gradsouthwest undertake a student project with Plymouth University.

Through Plymouth University’s Inspiring Futures team, we have been working with a group of BSc(Hons) Business Management students completing their 2nd year of study with a Project Management module. The students completed a 2 week business project that we set the brief for – reporting their findings back to us.

By engaging with students, as part of their courses, on real life business projects, we are helping the next generation of students become more business ready and immediately employable. Something our employers are always looking for in their new recruits.

Dr Deborah Watson, Director of Gradsouthwest said, “Here at Gradsouthwest, we very much believe in ‘walking the talk’ – we encourage employers to take the leap and work with their local Universities and Colleges – and so it is only right that we do so too!”

The students received a short written brief and a verbal briefing from Gradsouthwest on the project we wanted them to undertake – in this case a short competitor analysis. The students then took 2 weeks to project manage and research the brief, before reporting back to us.

“We were very pleased with the quality of the work presented to us by the students. They completed the brief, providing an electronic report and verbal feedback. Our challenge now is to use their insight to improve our service to both students and employers.”

Penny Hele, Inspiring Futures Project Officer at Plymouth University said: “Plymouth Business School students develop their employability and entrepreneurial skills whilst adding value to local business community by undertaking free, consultancy projects as part of their studies. Projects include creating a social media strategy, undertaking competitor analysis, conducting a website review and researching funding options.”

If you are interested in undertaking a project with Plymouth University, please contact penny.hele@plymouth.ac.uk for more information.

Key messages for attracting and retaining graduate talent in the South West

Following Gradsouthwest’s work with DCBC over the past few months, June 30th saw over 100 people gather at Plymouth University to discuss talent retention and attraction at the DCBC quarterly conference.

Charlie Ball, from Prospects, gave an overview of talent migration from a national perspective. We also heard from our partners Unlocking Potential with Nicky Luke speaking about ‘recruitment being like fishing’. Sharron Robbie, of Devon & Cornwall Training Network discussed the use of training for retention, and employer-led developments in the Building Plymouth project were provided by Julian Phillips of Midas.

Click HERE for the key messages from the sessions.

Graduating this summer and not got a job yet? Don’t panic!

 

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Graduating this summer and not got a job yet? Don’t panic!

 

The study and exams are finally over, and you are now thinking about your next steps. Whether that is postgraduate study, or a move into the jobs market, you know it is time to focus on the future.

Here are our top reasons you shouldn’t worry about not having a job lined up by graduation day.

  1. You have time to focus now

By waiting until after you finish to secure that job of your dreams you are now able to put proper energy into your job quest. Finding the right opportunities, crafting your applications and attending interviews all take time. Time you now have to focus on your job search.

  1. Graduate jobs are available all year round

The big ‘grad schemes’ may recruit each autumn for starts the following year – but the majority of employers recruit when a vacancy arises, and that can be at any time!

Just look at www.gradsouthwest.com to see jobs for recent graduates in the South West available right now!

  1. Many employers want immediate starts

Applying now that you are available for work, and being ready to start straight away is a positive for employers. They don’t have to wait on you finishing your studies.

  1. Get experience and test out ideas

If you’re not sure what to do, this time once you have finished your exams is perfect to explore your options: spend time volunteering; do part-time / temporary work in different fields or sectors; travel; learn what you want to do; and gain valuable experience to boost your CV. And then when you are ready to apply for positions on your chosen career path you will have the focus you need to secure your ideal role. (Don’t forget you can always change your mind… people have multiple portfolio careers nowadays!)

  1. Need a few pointers?

Have a look at our CV and covering letter advice to get you going!

 

Dr Deborah Watson

Director, Gradsouthwest

Careers Fair Top Tips for Students

We recently attended the University of Bath’s Careers Fair and it was fantastic event, with lots of different businesses and opportunities for students. Having a load of recruiters together under one roof can make things a lot easier for job-hunting grads, it’s like Gradsouthwest come to life in the real world. Great opportunities and a good chance to get some exposure to different companies, to put yourself out there and make yourself known, after chatting to the recruiters at the fair we’ve put together our top tips to make sure you make the most out of your day.

To find out what our top tips are, go to Our Careers Fair Top Tips for Students and make the most of your day!

 

Nick Crawley

Gradsouthwest

Invitation: Stakeholder Workshop for #TalentSW campaign – 26 April, from 10am-1pm, Plymouth Science Park

In 2016, the UK Commission for Employment and Skills found that there were over 70,000 job openings in the South West region and around 17,000 of them difficult to fill because of a lack of skilled recruits. The number of job vacancies going unfilled, is reported to be linked to candidates lacking appropriate skills, and the FSB (2015) found that this is the third biggest barrier to growth.

Devon and Cornwall Business Council are therefore developing a campaign in partnership with Gradsouthwest and the Western Morning News to promote the region as an excellent place to build a career, with the aim of attracting and retaining highly skilled people. This campaign will be aimed at both graduate skills, and individuals who have developed their skills base throughout their working history.

Thus, we would like to invite you to join us on Wednesday 26th April, from 10:00 till 13:00 at Plymouth Science Park for a stakeholder workshop. At this session, we will identify what’s currently being delivered in support of this agenda, what’s working well and what’s not, and where the gap’s are. We want to pinpoint the challenges that we face as a region, and develop innovative approaches working towards overcoming them, which will form the basis of our campaign activity.

We would really value your input at the event, to help to inform and focus our efforts.

If this is something that you would like to get involved with, please register your interest via our Eventbrite page – here.

We hope to see you there,

Ben Rhodes (CEO DCBC) and Deborah Watson (Director Gradsouthwest)

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Talented people needed to build careers in region

FindingWMN-Article-30Mar17-02 the right skills for the job is no easy task in the South West.

In 2016, the UK Commission for Employment and Skills found that there were over 70,000 job openings in the South West region and around 17,000 of them difficult to fill because of a lack of skilled recruits.[1]

The number of job vacancies going unfilled, is reported to be linked to candidates lacking appropriate skills, and the FSB (2015) found that this is the third biggest barrier to growth.

Devon and Cornwall Business Council are therefore partnering with Gradsouthwest and the Western Morning News to develop a campaign to promote the region as an excellent place to build a career, with the aim of attracting and retaining highly skilled people.

With unfilled vacancies, and untapped potential, business growth and our continued prosperity will require employers to retain and upgrade the skills they already have, and to attract more highly skilled people to work within the South West.

Aligned with the South West Growth Charter’s commitment to “invest in productive people and retain talent within our region”, our first job is to develop a strong and inclusive partnership of employers, educators and regional champions.

Launched at DCBC’s spring budget conference, our aim is to focus on the key industries in which we excel, where the potential for building a career here is assured.

Therefore, we want you to join us and showcase your opportunities in comparison to those in other major cities, with the added benefits of living and working in the South West. In return you will be part of a national campaign, and receive help to attract, retain and develop the talent that your business needs.

Ben Rhodes, CEO of DCBC said “This campaign will need to be different and innovative in its approach. We need to inspire talented people to build their careers in the SW and to do that we need inspiring companies. We aim to champion the best companies from across the SW, to highlight those who have already chosen to build their careers here and to seek out those who might”

Dr Deborah Watson, director of Gradsouthwest, the region’s specialist graduate job board said “retaining graduate skills in the area is crucial for future jobs and business growth and recent graduates are often unaware of the careers open to them here in the region. Our aim is to make businesses consider recruiting new talent, and to encourage students to work here.”

As well as graduate skills, we recognise employers are also keen to employ individuals who have developed their skills base throughout their working history.

If this sounds like something you want to get involved with, to begin to overcome the skills and productivity shortage not only in your business, but also here in the region, please get in touch via campaigns@dcbc.co.uk / admin@gradsouthwest.com or tag us with #TalentSW and we will contact you with a range of opportunities and a timetable of activities.

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[1] http://www.tbebathandsomerset.co.uk/skills-shortages-leave-17000-of-south-wests-jobs-unfilled/

 

 

Recruit, train and retain high-calibre IT talent in partnership with the University of Exeter and Gradsouthwest

It is widely acknowledged that businesses in the South West struggle when it comes to attracting and retaining young people to fill IT, digital and tech-heavy roles. From web development and app support to data analysis and cyber security, this skills gap is a barrier to productivity and growth, as graduates are pulled out of the region towards London and other major centres.

Degree apprenticeships are a central part of current Government policy to address this challenge, with an avowed target of three million apprentices working in the UK by 2020. In support of this, the Government’s new Apprenticeship Levy will cause any employer with a pay bill above £3m to pay 0.5% of this to fund apprenticeships. Smaller employers will of course not pay this Levy, but instead will be able to claim extremely generous government support, to the tune of 90% of tuition fees – up to 100% in certain circumstances – making this a very attractive recruitment and retention solution.

Apprentices are known to be extremely loyal and committed to their employers, and highly appreciative of the skills escalator that the programmes provide them with.  They receive the best of all worlds – a degree combined with extensive professional experience, a good salary, and no student debt as they kick-start their career.

Launched in September 2016 with employers including IBM, Renishaw and Beran Instruments, the University of Exeter’s Digital and Technology Solutions degree apprenticeship offers employers innovative high-quality IT training while building loyalty and business understanding in their staff.  The programme combines the technical aspects of a computer science degree with the professional skills required for business success.

Crucially, this is fundamentally a work-based programme, relating to real roles within a business.  The University of Exeter offers specialisms as Software Engineer, Data Analyst, IT Consultant and Cyber Security Analyst.  Apprentices are full-time employees, studying towards their degree over four years.

The programme is designed to minimise the impact upon their role through a blended learning programme based on short termly residentials in Exeter, flexible online learning and work-based projects that can be based on an apprentice’s day-to-day role.

The University of Exeter is proud to be a Russell Group University committed to degree apprenticeships as an innovative new approach to higher education, providing new opportunities to job seekers and businesses alike. As the highest-ranking institution in the country offering the Digital and Technology Solutions degree apprenticeship, the University offers superb value for money for the small investment required to recruit an apprentice on our programme.

Their dedicated partnerships team works closely with all employer partners, including crafting job adverts, supporting recruitment through campaigns, and seeking out opportunities with high-calibre organisations such as Gradsouthwest.

Employers who are interested in participating in the University of Exeter’s exciting programme can contact Jonnie Critchley (j.critchley@exeter.ac.uk) or call (01392) 724067.

For further information, see www.exeter.ac.uk/degreeapprenticeships/digitaltechnology.

For our student-facing programme page, see www.exeter.ac.uk/degreeapprentice.

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Grow your own graduate!

Gradsouthwest is pleased to announce the launch of a new service for businesses to advertise their higher and degree apprenticeship vacancies in South West England. Higher and degree apprenticeships help employers tailor graduate-potential candidates to their business needs through on-the-job and academic training. They also give people opportunities to study for a degree while they work.

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The Governments’ ambition to increase the number and quality of apprenticeships, and the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy, due to come into effect in April 2017, has led to growing interest in higher and degree level apprenticeships amongst employers. These apprenticeships are equivalent to Foundation, Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees and provide a route for employers to grow their own graduate by recruiting high-calibre candidates and training them to fill their higher-level skills gaps on-the-job.

Gradsouthwest is responding to this growing interest by delivering targeted recruitment support for businesses looking to recruit the best talent they can into their new higher and degree apprenticeship roles.

For students looking to find a higher or degree apprenticeship in the region, the service will offer a one-stop-shop for vacancies targeted specifically at those wanting to work in the South West.

Dr Deborah Watson, Director of Gradsouthwest, says:

“We are pleased to offer this new service to local businesses looking to grow their own graduate by training and developing higher and degree apprentices. For students, we offer a new way to work in the South West and to qualify as a graduate at the same time.”

To find out more about recruiting higher & degree apprenticeships or graduates visit www.gradsouthwest.com or call us on 01392 241302.

 

 

NOTE: Levels of apprenticeship

Apprenticeships have equivalent educational levels:

Name Level Equivalent educational level
Intermediate 2 5 GCSE passes at grades A* to C
Advanced 3 2 A level passes
Higher 4, 5, 6 and 7 Foundation degree and above
Degree 6 and 7 Bachelor’s or Master’s degree

 

Graduate Recruitment Partnership Reaches for the Skies!

Gradsouthwest, the south west graduate jobs board, is pleased to announce a new partnership with the West of England Aerospace Forum (WEAF) – bringing great graduate jobs in aerospace, defence and advanced engineering industries to graduates wanting to work in south west England.

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As a high tech, highly skilled industry, aerospace encompasses a broad range of high value disciplines such as engineering, science, project management, production, service, training and finance. It remains at the forefront of new research and development and requires a constant flow of high calibre graduates with expertise in robotics, autonomous systems, composites, ceramics, avionics and other high worth technologies.

With strong campus links, Gradsouthwest is well placed to assist, attracting candidates from a wide range of universities and disciplines who share a desire to work in the south west. The new partnership will provide WEAF members with a tried and tested way to access this talent pool at preferential rates.

Commenting on the partnership, Dr Deborah Watson, Director of Gradsouthwest, said:

“We are delighted to be working with WEAF. With a world-leading aerospace and defence sector here in south west England, it makes sense to ensure that companies have access to the best graduate talent available, and graduates are aware of what is on their doorstep – and here at Gradsouthwest we aim to do both.”

Simon Young, Chief Executive of WEAF, said:

“Graduate talent is vitally important to WEAF members and we are very pleased to be working with Gradsouthwest to support our members to recruit the graduate skills they need to grow.”

To find out more about recruiting graduates to the aerospace sector, visit www.gradsouthwest.com or contact WEAF via www.weaf.co.uk