Have a look at our frequently asked questions:

General FAQs

What are the opening hours of the Careers and Employability Service?

Note: All campuses are currently closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Support from the service is being delivered online, by phone and Skype at this time.

The service is usually available Monday to Friday from 9.00am to 5.00pm at our Lancaster and Fusehill Street campuses. We cover all campuses, and staff are also usually available at Ambleside and Brampton Road. 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 with our Planning Your Career page. 

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. Make sure you re-activate your My Career Enriched account when you graduate!

Accessing the service

How can I request a careers appointment?

Note: All campuses are currently closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. All appointments are available by phone or online at this time.

Face-to-face appointments are usually available at our Ambleside, Carlisle (Fusehill Street and Brampton Road) and Lancaster campuses. We also can also call you by phone or meet online for students at other campuses and graduates.

There are two types of appointment available:

  • Careers Appointment – for support with CVs and applications, job searing, or interview skills, as well as more complex queries like career planning, options with your degree, changing course or changing career path.
  • Mock Interview – a great opportunity to practice your interview skills and get feedback; particularly useful if you have an interview coming up soon.

Appointments can be booked through My Career Enriched.

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?

If you have a careers question please get in touch with us through the ‘Queries’ section on My Career Enriched and a member of our team will get back to you within 5 working days. 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. If you are unable to access My Career Enriched please e-mail careers@cumbria.ac.uk.

Can I get feedback on my CV, application or personal statement?

Yes, you can upload your CV, cover letter, application or personal statement to your profile on My Career Enriched and then request a review (maximum 3 items at a time). It’s a good idea to send the job description, person specification and/or 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 and review requests 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 to talk through your CV and recieve your feedback verbally, please book a phone or Skype appointment via My Career Enriched.

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 activities to boost your career prospects. It's all online, and you can complete it at your own pace. Find out more at https://www.cumbria.ac.uk/careerahead

How do I start Career Ahead?

The Career Ahead award is now on My Career Enriched, your careers hub. Click on 'Pathways' to get started. You can find all the information about Career Ahead at https://cumbria.ac.uk/careerahead. If you have any problems accessing the award, you can email careerahead@cumbria.ac.uk for help.

Finding and Applying for Jobs

Where does the Careers and Employability Service advertise jobs?

We have an online job shop on My Career Enriched where we advertise local, national and international vacancies aimed at our students and graduates. Activate your account 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 also post opportunities on our Twitter account. 

Can the Careers & Employability Service help me find a job using social media/LinkedIn?

We have some great resources on My Cumbria around using social media to find work. Click on the ‘Where can I find job vacancies?’ section and find the links on using social media in your job search.

How can I find a part-time job while I study?

We have produced a handy guide to finding part-time work, you can download it here: Finding Part-Time Work (PDF). You can also search current vacancies on My Career Enriched.

How do I go about getting a job abroad or studying abroad?

The answer to this depends very much on what sort of job you have in mind and which country! A good starting point is Prospects.ac.uk where there are articles on Working Abroad and 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 on My Career Enriched to see what graduate schemes are recruiting.

More information about graduate schemes and where they are advertised can be found here.

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 CVs and Applications page has more information about creating your CV.

The Careers & Employability team can also help – upload your CV to your profile on My Career Enriched and request a review.

I have a disability/health condition and need help finding & applying for a job

Many students with a disability or health condition have concerns about finding work experience, placements, internships and graduate roles.

We have created a dedicated area on My.Cumbria for students with a disability or health condition. Find it here: https://my.cumbria.ac.uk/Student-Life/careers/Disabilities-and-health-conditions/ 

If you feel a chat with a careers advisor would be useful, you can book an appointment on My Career Enriched. Remember we are here to help throughout your studies and for up to 3 years after you graduate.

Do I have to disclose my disability to potential employers or interviewers?

This is very much a matter of personal choice, as you are under no obligation to disclose anything about your disability to anybody. However, it is worth bearing in mind that if you choose to disclose, you will be protected by the Equality Act 2010.  This act provides legislation against discrimination and unfair treatment to anyone with a disability, as it requires employers to make reasonable adjustments, both in the recruitment process and in the workplace, to ensure an employee with a disability is not substantially disadvantaged compared to a non-disabled employee.

Reasonable adjustments

A reasonable adjustment makes premises, jobs, education, services etc accessible to people with disabilities. This could include the employer making a physical adjustment to something (eg a change of desk height, providing accessible toilets, providing ramp access), agreeing to an adjustment to working arrangements such as flexible hours, to the provision of specialist equipment or alternative formats to materials.

Further information can be found on our dedicated pages on My.Cumbria here: https://my.cumbria.ac.uk/Student-Life/careers/Disabilities-and-health-conditions/ 

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. You can book appointments for interview preparation (quick query appointment) and interview practice (mock interview appointment) on My Career Enriched.

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 small careers fairs to larger events organised in partnership with course teams and specific to your subject area. Visit My Career Enriched to find out about upcoming events.

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 careers@cumbria.ac.uk – 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.

Postgraduate Study

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/

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