Our last guest speaker was Glenda Martin, career development consultant. She spoke with us about marketing ourselves, what to expect from placement and how it will benefit us.
“Employers expect to recruit people from university that have not only the relevant academic qualifications but also a wide range of skills and experiences”
She explained what employers look for and how its our responsibility to manage our own careers but to be warned that the market is forever changing, and in our industry it changes more constantly. According to Glenda the top ten skills employers want are;
1.Commercial awareness (or business acumen)
6.Accuracy & attention to detail
8.Perseverance and motivation
9.Ability to work under pressure
10.Negotiation and persuasion
Ways to enhance these skills are placement opportunities, extra curricular courses, volunteering etc. She offered us a wide range of extra help and sites for us to check out for more information on everything she was telling us for example;
She kept informing us that in the longterm we need to make ourselves stand out in the best light we can. Why are we best for the job? She went into further detail about writing cvs, cover letters etc. The more personalised the cv is for the company the better. Tailoring your application to their needs, selling your skills and always being positive.
She also gave us some advice on interviews, the usual showing enthusiasm, smiling and being positive where mentioned. Being a people person helps massively in any industry and communication skills are always key.
She then shared some possible interview for placement questions with us;
- Why did you choose your degree?
- Why did you apply for this placement?
- How do your qualifications and experience meet the requirements of this post?
- Outline to the panel your work experience to date and how this might relate to this position?
- Outline for the panel something you have worked on recently.
- Give us an example of when you have had to prioritise and really manage your time well
- Describe a situation when you had to work in a team to get a job or task done.
- What important trends do you see in our industry/business over the next 5 years?
- Why do you think we should choose you for this placement position?
Not only is communicating well in interview important but body language and confidence is also important. First impressions are big because the person or company will have never met you before.
Glenda was super helpful although some of what she shared with us was pretty obvious and we had been told a lot previously. Although she did share her contact details with us and told us where we could find her if we ever want help or even setting up mock interviews etc which I think would be super helpful! I’m grateful that all of these services are available within our university, it’s help on your doorstep all I have to do is open the door to it.