Have a look at our frequently asked questions:
What are the opening hours of the Careers and Employability Service?
The service is available every day of the week from 9.00am to 5.00pm at our Lancaster and Fusehill Street campuses. Staff are also available at Ambleside and Brampton Road – contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for further details. We are available during vacations, including over the summer. Follow us on Twitter to be notified of any changes @UoCCareers.
What is 'Employability'?
Employability is all the different ‘stuff’ that makes you more likely to get a job – for example, the skills and experience you have, the knowledge you have and your personality traits. All of these come together to make you more employable i.e. more attractive to an employer.
What do the Careers and Employability Service staff do?
Loads! We work with all students and graduates at the University of Cumbria, individually and in groups, to develop your employability skills. We run workshops and events throughout the academic year, and we work with employers to help students gain graduate jobs.
I'm not sure what I want to do after my course – can you help?
Yes of course. A good place to start is this page on our website: Explore Your Options. Our Blackboard site also offers a number of activities which take you through some key aspects of Career Planning, finding and getting a job, volunteering and being your own boss.
In addition, the website TargetJobs.co.uk has useful sections on career options with your specific degree. There is also a guidance tool called Prospects Planner which can help you work out what jobs will suit you.
Can I still access the Careers & Employability Service after I graduate?
Graduates of the University of Cumbria can use the service for 3 years after they graduate.
Accessing the service
How can I request an Careers appointment?
We offer 30-minute face-to-face appointments at our Ambleside, Carlisle (Fusehill Street and Brampton Road) and Lancaster campuses. We also offer appointments by phone or Skype for students at other campuses and graduates. To request an appointment please complete this short questionnaire: Appointment Request Form.
If you have any issues in completing the questionnaire, you can email email@example.com for support.
What will happen at an appointment?
The session is driven by you - it focuses on your ideas, needs and any potential barriers you may be experiencing. We will discuss your requirements and what you want to focus on in the appointment and work on your career direction, goals and plans. It is practical and confidence-building.
Can I get help by email?
The Careers and Employability Service offers advice and guidance via email as well at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will get back to you within 5 working days so make sure you leave some time for us to reply. Occasionally, at busy times or during public holidays, it may take more than 5 working days to reply; however a message will let you know if this is the case.
Can I get feedback on my CV, application or personal statement?
Yes, you can email your CV, cover letter, application form and/or personal statement (for a job or further study) to email@example.com. It’s a good idea to send the job description, person specification and advert (or a link to where these can be found) in order for us to provide the best feedback possible. We aim to respond to all emails within 5 working days so make sure you leave some time for us to reply. Occasionally, at busy times or during public holidays, it may take more than 5 working days to reply; however, a message will let you know if this is the case.
Alternatively, if you would like a face-to-face meeting for feedback, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org to book.
Career Ahead FAQs
What is Career Ahead?
Career Ahead is the University of Cumbria’s Employability Award. It is based on what employers look for in their ideal candidate. It will help you to identify any gaps in your skill set, reflect on your experiences and offer you the opportunity to participate in exclusive programmes and practice interviews with employers. You can find out more at https://www.cumbria.ac.uk/careerahead.
How do I start Career Ahead?
All of the Career Ahead resources are on BlackBoard. Login and click on the ‘Jobs and Careers’ link at the top of the screen. You can then find all of the information about Career Ahead in the menu. If you have any problems accessing the award, you can email email@example.com for help.
Finding and Applying for Jobs
Where does the Careers and Employability Service advertise jobs?
We have a virtual job shop at http://cumbria.prospects.ac.uk where we advertise local, national and international vacancies aimed at our students and graduates. Register and you can search for job vacancies, as well as receive email notifications of new job vacancies matching your saved preferences.
We send details to course leaders when the vacancy relates to a specific course and we also use notice boards around the campus. We post opportunities on our social media channels (Twitter and Facebook) and have a weekly 'featured opportunity' every Friday on our blog.
Can the Careers & Employability Service help me find a job using social media/LinkedIn?
We have some great resources on Blackboard around using social media to find work. Login and click on the ‘Jobs & Careers’ link at the top, and then click on ‘Social Media, Networking and Branding’ to find a host of useful links.
How can I find a part-time job while I study?
How do I go about getting a job abroad or studying abroad?
What are ‘graduate schemes’ and where can I find them?
Graduate schemes (and graduate training programmes) are offered by many large employers. They can last up to two years and are a way for recent graduates to ‘fast-track’ to high-level management roles. The largest employers often take on lots of graduates through recruitment days and assessment centres. Look at the University of Cumbria’s JobShop to see what graduate schemes are recruiting: http://cumbria.prospects.ac.uk.
More information about graduate schemes and where they are advertised can be found here: https://targetjobs.co.uk/graduate-schemes
How can I find a work placement (as part of my course)?
Some courses (Such as education and nursing) have placements as part of the course. You will have been provided with details about how placements are organised within your Course or Programme Handbook. Information and links to the Placements Unit for your course will also be available via your Blackboard or Pebblepad sites. Your personal tutor will also be able to help you. Take a look at https://www.cumbria.ac.uk/student-life/registration-and-induction/faqs/ for more information.
Where can I find information about the minimum wage, and what I’m entitled to?
The government’s website is the best place to look as it will always have the most up to date information. Visit https://www.gov.uk/national-minimum-wage-rates.
Is there a certain way to write a CV depending on what job you are applying for?
The most important thing about CVs is that every CV you write needs to be tailored to the job or placement you apply for. Be aware that there may be specific requirements with certain job roles e.g. law, teaching etc.
Our Blackboard site has more information about creating your CV, and we also have some handy CV guidelines for different types of CV. Take a look at the 'Jobs & Careers' tab on Blackboard.
The Careers & Employability team can also help - you can email it to firstname.lastname@example.org for feedback.
I have a criminal record – do I need to declare this when I am applying for jobs?
Most application forms will ask you to declare any criminal convictions. Target Jobs have a handy guide that may help: https://targetjobs.co.uk/careers-advice/equality-and-diversity/320081-people-with-a-criminal-record-diversity-matters.
Can I have a practice interview session?
Yes, the Careers & Employability Service will work with you to prepare you for upcoming interviews, whether for further study, a part-time job or your graduate job. We suggest two sessions take place – the first is to find out about the role, discuss the questions you may be asked, and talk about different techniques to help with nerves. The second session (usually held a week later) takes the form of a real interview, with a panel (of two Careers & Employability Service staff). We ask you to treat it like a real interview (dress smartly, prepare your answers etc.). this gives you a really good chance to practice in a safe environment, and at the end of the session we will give you detailed feedback and tips to improve.
Events and Workshops
Does the Careers and Employability Service arrange employer presentations/fairs?
We have a rolling programme of events and activities arranged with local and national employers from regular Mini Careers Fairs to larger events organised in partnership with course teams and specific to your subject area. Check the student global email to find out what is happening or visit the University's main Events Page.
A group of us would like a workshop on interview skills/CVs/applying for jobs etc. Can this be arranged?
Yes, you can either go through your tutor and ask them to contact us to organise a workshop, or you can email us directly at email@example.com – please try to provide as much information as possible, e.g. number of people interested, which course and what year you are on, and what you would like us to cover.
I would like to apply for a postgraduate course at another university – will you still help me?
Yes of course we will! We can help you to look at the different options available, advise you on writing person statements, and also discuss funding options.
How do I find out about postgraduate funding?
A good starting place is the student money advice service – their web pages are here: http://cumbria.ac.uk/student-life/student-support/money-and-finance/ we also have information on our web pages here: https://www.cumbria.ac.uk/study/careers/graduates/postgraduate-study/