Happy new year – time to take charge of your careers!

jimrealiJim Reali, Postgraduate

I’m probably not the first to say this to you and, I might be the last, given that we’re now well into January. However, here it goes…

Ok – so now that’s out of the way, what does the new year mean for you?

If you’re fortunate, you might have a graduate role or be undertaking further study and you will know what you’re doing in the coming months and possibly for the rest of the year. However, if you haven’t secured an opportunity yet, then you might have some uncertainty.

If you aren’t sure what the future holds, then don’t worry – this is a great time to begin afresh and to make the most of new opportunities. Businesses are embracing all that the new year has to offer. This means that there are new graduate roles being advertised, even with some of the biggest recruiters. For example, PWC have informed us that they have new accountancy opportunities in Digital Audit and Centre of Excellence located in Birmingham, London, Manchester and Glasgow, for a Spring start. If you’d like to find out more, just drop me an email. Also, if you’re more inclined to look at the health sector, don’t forget that applications for this year’s NHS Scientist Training Programme (STP) close in January.

If you’re thinking that you’d like to target an industry sector in which there is likely to be less competition from other graduates, you might find it useful to take a look at the recent AGCAS Skills Shortage report, which highlights a number of sectors in which recruiters are finding that applicants don’t have the skills they want, or there just aren’t enough applications being received. Within the West Midlands, it identifies shortages of staff in the following sectors/roles – perhaps one of these might be suited to you?

Every Thursday I send out an updated list of all the latest opportunities that we have on Aston Futures – I’d encourage you to make time to look through these, filtering by industry sectors of interest. You can then logon to Aston Futures to see the individual opportunities and submit applications. It’s important that you take time to tailor each application you submit, so don’t aim to send out so many that you don’t have time to make them appropriate to the individual employer/opportunity. However, also try not to let that be an excuse for procrastination – try to ensure that you send out a good number of applications each week and that you keep a record of everything you’ve sent so that you can follow-up your applications.

To help you with your applications, please remember that we will be hosting a range of workshops, webinars and sessions, all of which will be detailed under the “Events” section of Aston Futures in the coming weeks. In addition, please do book an appointment with a Careers Consultant in the Careers+Placements team, for 1:2:1 help with your applications and interviews, if needed.

Once you begin sending out applications, it will only be a matter of time before you have an interview. Why not make it a new year’s resolution to practice your interview technique before you are contacted by an employer? That way, you will have time to iron out any issues you experience. To help you do this easily, please don’t forget that you can make full use of our Launchpad video interview software, which you can access via the interviews section of our website.

Remember: start sending out applications, keep a record of what you’re sending, practice your interviews and contact the C+P team for help. Happy new year!!