In a competitive labour market, it’s more important than ever that graduates looking for employment stand out from their fellow applicants. At University of Kent, you have access to a range of opportunities to build employability skills that will set you apart in the world of work.
As an International Foundation Programme (IFP) student, you’re a full member of the Kent community from day one. That means that Kent’s undergraduate Career and Employability initiatives are open and available to you as a way to supplement your studies and build your career development skills.
If you’re looking to boost your CV and gain a competitive edge in future job applications, here are 8 top tips to get you started:
Visit University of Kent’s Careers Advisers
Discuss what options are available to you after you graduate and how your skills fit within the current labour market by booking an appointment with Kent’s highly trained Careers Advisers. Their advice is impartial, confidential and supportive and offers a great starting point for planning your future graduate career choices. Kent’s Careers and Employability Service also offers mock job interviews, CV feedback and free careers assessments if you’re looking for part-time employment.
Take the University of Kent Careers Award Pathway
Launched in September of this year, the Kent Careers Award offers you the opportunity to consider your skills and experience, identify potential career options and learn how to market yourself effectively to employers. Completing the award signposts that you’re serious about developing your skills so that you’ll be successful in the workplace. Open to both undergraduate and postgraduate students in all subjects, the award is split into sections that you can work through at your own pace.
Go along to Kent Employability Events
Kent’s Careers and Employability Service runs a series of events throughout the year. For instance, the Kent Employability Festival 2022 was a cross-campus programme of events which ran in the Autumn term, offering students and recent graduates the opportunity to gain valuable insights from guest speakers, industry experts, Kent alumni and staff. It offered a jam-packed schedule of workshops, lectures and seminars, including valuable practical advice like how to answer interview questions and how to manage stress, alongside talks from industry experts from legal firms, charities, teaching programmes, project management firms, financial services consultancies, tech and eCommerce companies, investment management organisations, retailers, travel companies and the NHS.
They also ran Destination Success Bootcamp, offered to students in early November this year. It offered an interactive 3-day in-person highly participatory programme designed to help participants map their journey to career success and build confidence in their abilities. The course was a significant investment in professional development and included self-study tasks and activities, course materials to read and follow-up support.
Plus, this year, University of Kent partnered with leading employers to create The Southeast Virtual Careers Fair 2022 offering networking opportunities with top graduate recruiters. Taking place in October, the fair provided professional networking sessions, top tips on interviews and applications, and access to exclusive content. Exhibitors included organisations from a range of sectors, including science, retail, business and commercial, engineering, HR, banking, insurance and financial services, medical and healthcare, creative arts and design, hospitality, charities, law firms, property and construction, technology and accounting.
Take Part in the Employability Points Scheme
Through the Employability Points Scheme, enterprising Kent students can earn points for every co-curricular activity they participate in, from creating a LinkedIn account or attending an open lecture to volunteering for university roles like Student Ambassador or Unibuddy. Accumulated points can be redeemed at the end of the year for internships, project placements, work experience, training, work shadowing and skills development sessions.
Participate in Sector Focus Weeks
Kent’s Careers and Employability Service holds regular events in weeks throughout the year designed to enable you to explore a range of different career pathways. So far this year they have held Volunteering Week, Public Sector Week, Inspiring Women Week, Creative Careers Week, Science and Data Week, Life After Uni Week and Postgraduate Week. Events included alumni panels, talks, online chats, information sessions, workshops and presentations.
Join the GOLD Programme
The Global Officers Leadership Development (GOLD) programme offers undergraduate students the opportunity to develop leadership skills, global citizenship and cultural awareness through training workshops, student engagement tasks, projects, event management and review activities. The programme can be taken as a 15-credit elective module that takes place across the year (GOLD5000) or as a non-credit bearing activity. Once you have progressed to undergraduate level, why not consider taking part to build your global leadership skills?
Consider A Year in Industry When You Progress to Your Undergraduate Degree
Many of our IFP pathways come with a Year in Industry, or Placement Year. During this time, usually taken between the second and final year of your undergraduate degree, you’ll spend up to a year in employment, undertaking graduate level tasks. A placement is a great way of gaining work experience alongside your degree, providing useful insight into the real world and a chance to develop your skills. For more information about which IFP pathways offer a Year in Industry, check out our IFP Careers Information Page.
Take a Study Plus Course
Study Plus is a scheme available to all University of Kent students, providing short-term courses and workshops designed to help you boost your CV and develop your graduate employability skills. Courses include one-off sessions, bootcamps, workplace preparation sessions, bitesize video workshops and professional development programmes run by external consultants who are experts in their field.
These events, programmes and initiatives showcase Kent’s commitment to supporting students in achieving their career ambitions in a competitive economy. Keep an eye out for more like them on the Careers and Employability Service website.