Anna’s Career Tips: The employability New Year’s resolutions you can’t afford to break

Our Employability Officer Annmarie shares her top tips for starting the New Year off with some great employability habits studying at SPS.

Welcome back and Happy New Year!

We hope that you have all enjoyed a restful break and are looking forward to getting “stuck in”. Below are my “Employability and placements” hints and tips for those of you that are still looking. Spring term does not end until Friday the 3rd of April so there is still time to get some applications in.

Stage 0

Now that you have settled into the rhythm of things, I thought it worth reintroducing, myself. My name is Anna and I am the Employability and Placements Officer for the school of SPS.

In this second term of your foundation year, it is worth taking a little time to think about developing your skills outside of the curriculum too.  By participating in activities such as student volunteering or part time work and recording these through the Employability Points Scheme, you are giving yourself a head start when it comes to applying for summer opportunities in stage 1.  Pop by room G20 and ask for me if you have any questions, the only day that I do not work is a Friday.

Stage 1

I know that I go on about it but keep an eye on your inboxes, not doing so means that you may miss out on news and events that may be of real value to you. I will be running sessions this term aimed at preparing you to research, prepare and apply for placements and internships both in research and industry. These sessions will appear in your timetables. They are:

  • An Introduction to Placements and Internships
  • CVs, cover letters and applications
  • Interviews and assessments

Over the summer period I will run a CV, cover letter and application checking service via “Turn it In”.  There will be a four day turn around period from when you submit your documents and I will only check one CV, cover letter or application at a time. This service gives you an opportunity to apply early having had you documents looked over during the summer break.

 To submit a CV, cover letter or application please make sure: 

  • That you attach the job description, person specification and any other relevant information with your documents
  • Your documents must be submitted as Word document and not .pdfs
  • If submitting answers for an application form, please ensure to include the questions clearly marked

 I will remind you all again nearer the time.

Stages 2 and 3 (of 4-year programmes)

Still looking for a placement? Do not despair, there are still plenty more opportunities out there. Check the Gradcracker website for the latest opportunities by subject.

Be prepared to be flexible and to apply for a number of roles. You may not get your “ideal” or “dream” placement but you will get real life, graduate level experience. You will also learn more about yourself and what you are capable of and could even finish your placement with a solid job offer!

Finalists, Stages 3 and 4

At this stage you should have started applying for postgraduate opportunities or graduate jobs. Do come and see me or one of the Careers advisors in CES if you have not and feel that you need assistance.  Those of you who are really unsure can always book a guidance appointment with them to discuss your thoughts and start to make plans. There is a lot of help available so make sure that you use it.

To help you to think about labour markets have a look at Prospects Luminate newsletter, the five big graduate labour market predictions for 2020. The 2019 Edition of “What do Graduates Do?” is an interesting read too.

Whatever you do, do not worry and make sure that you ask for help.


Please keep an eye on your mailboxes, I will be sending out the date and time of the next postgraduate coffee morning soon.