There's a wealth of career support available

Top tips for using the Career Zone

Recent alumna Marie Johns (Sociology, 2017) writes about how pleased she was to discover that the Career Zone is available to graduates, and therefore the wider alumni community, forever! She outlines how these resources have supported her in her career so far and shares her Top Tips for using them.

I was recently pleased to discover that the Career Zone is available to graduates forever! I have been taking advantage of Career Zone services, such as appointments with Careers Consultants, ever since I graduated. Now, I feel even more supported by the University with the knowledge that I can continue to benefit from these services for as long as I like. As well as one-to-one appointments, online resources from My Career Zone Digital have been extremely useful. At first, they helped me to understand what I want from a job, make successful applications, and secure employment. Since starting my career, I have enjoyed browsing the resources available for graduates who have entered the workplace. Below, I have compiled a list of my favourite resources from My Career Zone Digital, for graduates at any stage of their career journey.

 

1. The Elevator Pitch Builder is a great tool that teaches you how to create an effective professional summary. Not only does this help you to develop self-awareness of your strengths and ambitions, but it will help you to talk confidently about yourself at networking events, in job applications and at interviews.

2. The Employer Advice section of My Career Zone Digital contains a number of useful videos covering a range of topics. I found the Job Hunting videos well worth watching. As a recent graduate, I was new to job-hunting and the world of full-time work. It was therefore interesting to hear experienced employers talk informally about which attributes they look for in a new employee and think about how I could demonstrate these to make a good impression.

3. I found the Interview Simulator to be a really useful tool for interview preparation as it includes many examples of questions you might be asked, grouped into categories. The fact that it allows you to record yourself giving answers enables self-evaluation and improvement and also helps you to build confidence in answering a variety of questions. I also like that there is a way of testing yourself and rehearsing a real interview by having a mock interview which you can either take without knowing the questions beforehand, or create yourself.

4. The IT Skills Courses are a great way to brush up on your Microsoft Office skills. You can set the course to fit your preferred level of ability (beginner or intermediate) and you have the choice to either actively participate in the tutorials, or to simply watch videos of someone else performing the tasks. My first graduate role involved a lot of work on Excel, which I’d not used extensively before, and I found this course was the ideal way to increase my confidence for the tasks required of me.

5. The Career Skills Section is great for those, like me, who are in work. There are lots of resources available under sub-headings such as Balancing Work and Life, Being More Productive and Improving Workplace Skills which I have often drawn upon to help me adjust to everyday workplace challenges. It is great to know that these resources are available to me as my career progresses.

The Career Zone is there to support you whatever you’re doing now or hope to be doing in the future. There is a weekly My Career Zone Digital newsletter you can sign up to which means you can keep up-to-date with new content that’s added. I fully recommend that you take advantage of the wealth of resources available to you, just as I have. Good luck!

By Marie Johns, BA Philosophy and Sociology graduate

Date: 15 May 2019

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