Guest Blog: 5 New Year’s Career Resolutions to consider in 2019

Please note that the views expressed in this blog are those of the author and unless specifically stated are not those of SOAS Careers Service. If you consider this content to be in breach of the SOAS values, please alert careers@soas.ac.uk

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New Year, new start. If you are one of those students who is guilty of procrastinating on career progress (and even if you’re not) January can be a great time to start forging ahead with all the energy that the New Year brings.  And it is really important to remember that while the idea of career can feel huge and overwhelming, there are plenty of ways that we can break this down into short, manageable chunks that will allow us to feel that we are moving in the right direction. Consider whichever of the following may feel right for you:

  • Update your CV. Are you making the most of everything you can offer? (and remember that most recruiters will only spend 5 seconds reading it). Does your CV look professional and presentable? Have you refreshed it to include any new skills developed last term? Have you had it reviewed by a Careers Consultant?
  • Get started with LinkedIn. While this may feel like a platform for seasoned professionals, the smart kids are the ones who already have profiles created and are starting to make real life connections. Remember that LinkedIn can also be a great way to research interesting employers and the people working for them.
  • Research the possibilities. It’s a big wide world out there, with new careers being created all the time. The career landscape is never static which is why it is important to keep on top of the options through active research. MySOAS offers excellent information on a range of industry areas to get your started.
  • Attend events and start face-to-face networking. Getting talk-time with employers can be one of the best ways of finding out whether careers really feel exciting and intriguing to you. Visit some of the careers events put on at SOAS not only to hear about different employers and industries but to network with some of their key recruitment decision makers.
  • Upskill, upskill, upskill. From a graduate recruitment perspective it really is about being able to evidence a range of skills and competencies. Don’t forget that we can develop skills in all kinds of ways – through our studies, roles in societies, internships and extra-curricular activities. Volunteering can be another great way of gaining skills – the careers service offers a volunteering drop-in service every Friday between 2-4pm.

Ticking off a number of these career resolutions will ensure that you are not only making the best start possible to the New Year, but that you create the momentum to help you continue through the forthcoming months.

Hannah

Hannah is a Career Consultant

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Guest Blog: ‘Tis the season to be… proactive.

Please note that the views expressed in this blog are those of the author and unless specifically stated are not those of SOAS Careers Service. If you consider this content to be in breach of the SOAS values, please alert careers@soas.ac.uk

christmas home house light

With the festive season well and truly upon us, and the inevitable last minute scramble to meet course deadlines, the looming Christmas holidays may feel like a welcome opportunity to do little more than sleep, eat and rest. And yet, time away from the university environment can actually be the best time to start applying some gentle thinking to your career. The academic pressures, to an extent, will be lifted and this can clear the way to allow you both time and headspace to focus on the future.

So what kind of things can you be doing over the Christmas break to ensure you are making the most of this time?

  • Identify your best resources. While some of you may know exactly the direction your career is heading in, there will be plenty of you who will be coming up against that hurdle of ‘not knowing what types of careers exist’. Researching sites like propsects.ac.uk (for the Job Profiles or the Career Planner quiz) or https://targetjobs.ac.uk/career-sectors will help you navigate the career landscape and gain a better understanding of the industries that make up the job market. For those of you who already know what you want to do, this is about taking time to research the employers or the niche job boards that operate best within these industries. Take your research to that next level so that you are ready to access these opportunities when the time is right.

 

  • Speak to those around you and learn from their career journeys. The university break gives us a great chance to become reacquainted with a whole range of useful networks – family members and working friends, to name but some. Make a concerted effort to speak to these people to help you to find out more about the world of work. Ask them about their jobs, what they do and don’t like, and how their working day is made up. If it seems interesting to you, do they have any useful tips for breaking into this area? This is how successful networking starts and who knows where it could finish.

 

These tasks don’t have to be time consuming. They can be easily integrated into the Christmas break while still allowing you plenty of time for fun and good old fashioned rest. But, by moving forward with some of these exercises, you should be ready to approach the new term with an increased knowledge and renewed enthusiasm for life after your degree.

Hannah

Hannah is a Career Consultant

#MondayMotivation: Join us for Post-Graduate Study Week, DECEMBER 03, 2018 SOAS CAREERS

adult blur books close up

Acquire new knowledge whilst thinking over the old, and you may become a teacher of others.”Confucius


Hello SOAS and welcome to the penultimate week of term 1!

This week we are focusing on Post-Graduates and launching SOAS Connect, so do step in to the Careers Zone (SL62). We start the week with a CV clinic for Masters students, which is then followed by a workshop from the Career Thinking Series looking at how to enhance your employability whilst at university. On Wednesday we continue with the Career Thinking Series and focus on preparing you for successful applications and interviews.

On Thursday evening we launch SOAS Connect – a Graduate Network like no other – with access to dedicated information, events and resources for starting, developing, and progressing in your career after graduation! Join us for an evening of food, drinks, music and networking in Senate House on Thursday 6 December at 6pm

Not your palate? No worries – we’re open as normal every day and on-hand to give you advice about anything to do with your next steps after SOAS. Pop in!

Remember you can discover all of the week’s events and book-on with our online booking system CareersZONE. Just log in with your usual SOAS email and password.

Tuesday 04 Dec

Wednesday 05 Dec

Thursday 06 Dec

 

Don’t miss out – places are being booked out fast, so make sure you get involved by booking now!

Guest Blog: Applying for work in the charity sector – tips and advice

Please note that the views expressed in this blog are those of the author and unless specifically stated are not those of SOAS Careers Service. If you consider this content to be in breach of the SOAS values, please alert careers@soas.ac.uk

achievement blur charity collaboration

Writing a cover letter for the charity sector

When you are applying to work in the charity sector, a well-written cover letter can make all the difference. As well as presenting your skills and abilities, the cover letter is where you can show a little bit of who you are as a person and demonstrate your passion for charity work.

Here are our top tips for writing your charity sector cover letter:

  • Explain why you want to work for that particular charity – do your research about the organisation’s work, aims, approach and values, and how these differ from other charities in the same subsector. Show how these fit with your own beliefs.
  • After talking about what draws you to the organisation, explain why you are interested in the specific role you are applying for. What excites you about the role? You might want to mention specific projects you would be involved in as well as how the role fits with your career plans.
  • As well as showing your passion for charity work, your cover letter has to showcase your skills and personal abilities that make you a good fit for the role. Turn to the job description to see what the charity is looking for, and give examples from your past volunteer work, employment or studies to show how you have developed these skills.
  • Keep it concise – stick to one side of A4 for your cover letter. Use a clear font, avoid long sentences, and split up large paragraphs to make it easier for your potential employer to read. And don’t forget to spell check!

 

Tailoring your CV for the charity sector

Working in the charity or third sector can be both rewarding and challenging. Entry-level jobs in the charity sector are often very competitive and receive a great many applicants. If you’re thinking of applying for a role in a charity, here are some of our top tips for making your CV stand out from the crowd:

  • Tailor your CV to the specific role. While some entry-level charity roles are client facing or ‘in the field’, many more are office-based and require many of the same skills as similar roles in other sectors. Whether you are applying for a research, policy, communications, fundraising, campaigning or administrative role, use the job specification to understand what – and who – the charity is looking for.
  • Highlight your transferable skills. Even if your private sector work experience might not at first feel directly relevant to the charity role you are applying for, think about the skills you developed from your prior roles. Skills such as communication, leadership or project management can be developed in any sector and applied to charity work. Under each of your previous positions on your CV, focus on the skills you developed.
  • Voluntary experience can always give your CV a boost, and in the charity sector this type of work is particularly valued. Treat voluntary roles like employment experience and emphasise the skills you developed, whether that’s through fundraising for your favourite student society, or managing other volunteers in your local charity shop. Voluntary work can also demonstrate your commitment to the sector.
  • Do you speak another language? With many charities working internationally, language skills can be sought after. Remember to list your language abilities as well as your IT or digital skills that are crucial for many roles.
  • Finally, don’t forget to spell check and think about asking a friend to read your CV to find any errors.

 

Need more support?

Find some more advice on getting into the charity sector from CharityJob, take a look at the cover letter template provided by Charity Job or drop into the Careers Zone (SL62) between 1 and 3pm Monday to Friday to have your CV or cover letter checked by an Applications Adviser.

To view all of the Enterprise Events and to book, go to the online booking system CareersZONE.  Just log in with your usual SOAS email and password.

Shona

Shona is an Applications Adviser in the SOAS Careers Service

#MondayMotivation: Join us for Week 8 NOVEMBER 26, 2018 SOAS CAREERS

think outside of the box

Knowledge overcomes ignorance as sunlight darkness.”Indian proverb


Good morning SOAS, and welcome Week 8 of term 1!

Step in to the Careers Zone (SL62) this week and sharpen your productivity and creativity. Get active! This week we have the Haringey & Hackney Pirates, an innovative education charity supporting young people aged 9-13 to develop the literacy, confidence and perseverance, on campus in a recruitment drive. We also have a workshop on the Gold Model, an innovative task productivity tool which improves drastically the productivity and clarity of your daily tasks, the Career Thinking Series continues with a workshop on enhancing your employability whilst you are at university, and the award-winning Change 100 programme focusing on disability and the recruitment process.

Not your palate? No worries – we’re open as normal every day and on-hand to give you advice about anything to do with your next steps after SOAS. Pop in!

Remember you can discover all of the week’s events and book-on with our online booking system CareersZONE. Just log in with your usual SOAS email and password.

Tuesday 27 Nov

Wednesday 28 Nov

 

Don’t miss out – places are being booked out fast, so make sure you get involved by booking now!

Guest Blog: Enterprise Week!

Please note that the views expressed in this blog are those of the author and unless specifically stated are not those of SOAS Careers Service. If you consider this content to be in breach of the SOAS values, please alert careers@soas.ac.uk

three women and two men near suspension bridge

Enterprise skills for all

Enterprise events and workshops are a great way to understand how you can develop the skills needed to secure a job (any job), set up a business or social enterprise.  You don’t need to be the next Mark Zuckerberg to benefit from these skills.  Have you considered Social Enterprises?  They are a great way to combine your passions with generating profits to support a community or cause.

Being entrepreneurial will be an asset to your job search and future career, regardless of the sector or role.  Recruiters look for skills and qualities that set you apart from your peers, some of the key ones are listed below:

Commercial awareness

Understanding the sector that your employer operates within, is crucial, this could be development, finance or human rights. Focusing on the key issues that impact the sector.

Communication skills

Your ability to convey your ideas and thoughts clearly (and eloquently) is critical in most jobs.  Using communication skills to negotiate and persuade colleagues, clients, managers or funders is a strength.  Using these skills to network will add further benefits to you, including identifying potential recruiters,

Creativity

Have you ever completed a task where you have taken a different approach? If so, this demonstrates your resourcefulness. It also highlights to recruiters, clients or funders that you are able to find solutions to problems in innovative ways.

Get some experience

Have you thought about entering enterprise competitions?

The benefits include:

  • Working with new people
  • Adding new skills to your CV and additional experiences to share at interviews
  • Having mentors and getting advice from experts will help polish your skills and add to your network
  • Gaining insights into developing plans and pitching ideas

Give it a try!

Giving competitions a try, will help you to identify your strengths and help you to build skills where there are gaps.

Lookout for the events that will be running over the next couple of weeks, including:

  • From Idea to Business
  • Business Modelling
  • Enterprise Panel – former SOAS students share there experiences of setting up and running businesses
  • Writing a business plan

 

To view all of the Enterprise Events and to book, go to the online booking system CareersZONE.  Just log in with your usual SOAS email and password.

 

Seema

Seema is a Career Consultant in the SOAS Careers Service

#MondayMotivation: Join us for Enterprise Week NOVEMBER 19, 2018 SOAS CAREERS

four people holding smartphones and tablet

“Seize the day, and put the least possible trust in tomorrow.” – Horace


 

Hello there and welcome to Enterprise Week, SOAS!

Step in to the Careers Zone, SL62 this week  and enter world of enterprise and entrepreneurship! We are running some great events every day this week to give you a real sense of what running your own business is like and what it takes to create and run a successful business. Not your wheelhouse? No problemo – we’re open as normal every day and on-hand to give you advice about anything to do with your next steps after SOAS. Pop in!

Remember you can discover all of the week’s events and book-on with our online booking system CareersZONE. Just log in with your usual SOAS email and password.

Tuesday 20 Nov

Wednesday 21 Nov

Thursday 22 Nov

Friday 23 Nov

 

Don’t miss out – places are being booked out fast, so make sure you get involved by booking now!