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Advent Calendar advice Career planning consultants consultations

Careers Advent Calendar: How and When to Book a Career Consultation

Two types of consultations are available – 30 minutes to discuss any aspect of your career management or 15 minutes to receive feedback on your CV or LinkedIn profile.

The aim of these consultations is to support you so that you can successfully manage your own career. As a result, students and graduates are limited to no more than 5 appointments per academic year.  Most people use only 1 or 2 appointments in any year.

Book an appointment via MyFuture 

Careers Consultation FAQs

When should I start thinking about career management? 
It’s important to focus on your studies but the application processes for graduate schemes and taught postgraduate study start to open in the September/October of your final year. Many employers hire graduates that they already know through placements or internships, so it pays to start career planning sooner.

Am I on the wrong course? 
Many students have doubts about their subject choice at various times throughout their time at University. It’s important to be proactive in handling these doubts. Don’t just give up and stop attending! Targetjobs have some useful advice to help you understand the root of the issue and what to do next. Book an appointment with a Careers Consultant to discuss career options related to different subject areas and speak to your Personal Tutor (if applicable) or Adviser of Studies if you are considering changing to a different course.

Where do I start? 
A good first step is to research career options:
– Read 10 tips for exploring your career options
– Looking for something related to your subject or a specific industry sector? – read Career Options and Information by School and Sector

To turn this into a shortlist of career options, it’s important to consider what’s important to you in a career e.g. your motivations, the skills you enjoy using and where in the world you want to live.

Gain further insight into different roles and companies by attending Careers events.

How do I stand out from the crowd?
– Get some international experience – read our Study / Work Abroad pages
    – Get some work/volunteering experience – see Careers Events  
    – Gain accreditation for engaging in employability-enhancing activities through DegreePlus

I want to start my own business
– QUBSU provides support to Queen’s entrepreneurial  students and recent graduates 
– Opportunities for developing entrepreneurial skills can be found on the DegreePlus website

For more advice on career planning, visit our website

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Advent Calendar advice Applications CVs Vmock

Careers Advent Calendar: How To Get The Most Out Of Our Vmock CV Checker Service

Here, your step by step guide on getting the most from Vmock

Start by logging on to the CV checker and download the guidance notes and CV templates.

  1. Write or tailor your CV

2. Once you are happy click the upload button and select the PDF version of your CV

3. CV checker will assess your CV against a range of measures and provide you with a score

4. Try not to focus on score. Look at the detailed feedback Stronger points are shown in green and weaker points in red.

5. CV checker provides feedback on three different elements

Impact – this section ensures your CV is action orientated and avoids overused or ineffective words

Presentation – this section will give tips on how to improve the visual aspect of your CV like length font, structure and grammar

Content – thissection will give feedback on how well you have demonstrated in demand competencies like communication, teamwork and leadership.

6. The feedback is colour coded by three zones: green, amber and red.

Red – Further work needed.  You need to spend some more time on all 3 areas within your CV. Read through the targeted feedback for each of the 3 areas. Make amendments to improve your score and upload once again. If you are still in the red zone, book an appointment to see a Careers Consultant or Placement Officer to help you get on track (and bring the feedback with you)

Amber – You are on track to presenting your skills and experiences to good/best effect.  If your score is in the high amber zone (70+), you have done a good job in presenting your CV.   

Note this is an automated system, so you should still exercise good judgement in deciding what to accept and what to consult on with Careers/Placement staff.  You may still need to make some further/final refinements to really showcase your skills and experiences to best effect.  

Green – Great job.  Your CV is meeting the main expectations in terms of presentation, how you are showcasing impact and your personal capabilities/competence. You may wish to ask a Careers Consultant or Placement officer to give you final feedback before sending on to an employer. 

7. Once you digested your feedback, make the appropriate changes and upload it again to CV checker.

8. It may also be beneficial to ask a Placement Officer or Careers Consultant to make a final review before sending out to employers.

9. Stand out when you apply for your next role. 

Need more CV help? Check out our website.

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Queen’s Careers Service Recognised for Excellence as they Support Graduates through Covid-19

The Careers Service at Queen’s has been awarded an AGCAS Membership Quality Standard for their service to students and graduates, as the university climbs the Guardian League table to 11th in the UK for student employability.

The Careers, Employability and Skills Team at Queen’s has been awarded Membership Quality Standard by AGCAS,the expert membership organisation for higher education student career development and graduate employment professionals.

The award comes as it’s revealed that the University is now ranked 11th in the UK for career prospects after 15 months by the Guardian University Guide 2021

Trevor Johnston, Head of the Careers Service at Queen’s said: “Our AGCAS membership is testament to our ongoing commitment to supporting the best possible career outcomes for our students. This prestigious award is a result of the incredible hard work of staff across the Careers Service who have worked tirelessly to build online provision for career support and guidance amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

 “We recognise that the pandemic is having a huge impact on students and graduates. We remain committed to supporting our students and graduates to access the tools they need to maximise the career opportunities available to them.” 

As a result of government-imposed restrictions in the wake of Covid-19, the Careers, Employability and Skills team at Queen’s moved their entire programme of activity online overnight.

“From offering virtual one-to-one consultations to the increased use of live chats and virtual events and masterclasses, we’ve been able to offer our students and graduates access to the guidance and support they need to develop their employability,” said Mr Johnston. 

Recent Law graduate Norma Taggart said: “The Careers Service is a tailored, student-friendly accessible service. The staff genuinely care about your career path and work tirelessly to help you with practical advice on CV checks, interview skills and techniques to ensure you enjoy great success at Queen’s and beyond.” 

The Careers Service was quick to respond to lockdown, offering targeted support to graduates with the delivery of Gradfest2020, an online careers fair swiftly organised in June, in lieu of the cancelled Northern Ireland Graduate Recruitment Fair. 

“Gradfest2020 comprised bespoke workshops designed to help graduates navigate job uncertainty while developing key employability skills during the crisis. We have also played a key role in linking our students and graduates with our partner organisations, facilitating student-employer networking opportunities in the digital space, such as the upcoming virtual Graduate Recruitment and Placement Fair,” said Mr Johnston. 

He added, “We are proud of our staff and students, particularly our graduating cohort, who have successfully navigated a challenging end to their university experience. With our continued support, we hope they’ll build the tools and resilience they need to enjoy a positive start to their careers.”  

The Graduate Recruitment and Placement Fair is taking place on 21 and 22 October 2020 between 2-m and 6pm. Go.qub.ac.uk/Careersevents

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Career planning consultations DegreePlus my future on campus jobs

5 Things You Can Do Right Now to Help Your Future Career

From expert guidance to building your CV, our Careers Consultant Mary McLaughlin explains how to start planning your career at Queen’s – whatever your study stage.



1. Make an appointment with a Careers Consultant

The Careers Consultants are available to meet with you in a one-one appointment to help you navigate the job search for part-time and on-campus jobs as well as potential summer internships and placements related to your area of study. The Consultants are normally located in the Student Guidance Centre and are currently conducting appointments online.
Make an appointment via MyFuture.

2. Log into MyFuture

MyFuture is the University’s online careers management system. In the system you will find on-campus jobs as well as other part-time student jobs, summer internships and placements, and full-time positions for graduates. This is a great place for you to start your search for an on-campus or part-time job as well as to find opportunities to go abroad and events to connect with local employers. You will also use MyFuture to book one-one meetings with Careers Consultants.
Use your student ID to log in.

3. Fit job experience around your studies

As you consider taking on a part-time job or getting involved
in extracurricular activities, it’s important to make sure that you save plenty of your time for studying and all of the reading that many of your classes will require. This is particularly important in the first semester, when you are adjusting to University life and courses. The University policy for on-campus jobs allows for working only 15 hours per week during term-time to allow you enough time to focus on your studies.
Search jobs on campus.

4. Access free online career planning tools and resources

Queen’s Careers website has a wealth of information for those of you searching for a job whether that be part-time, a placement, or
a graduate position. Get tips on where to search for jobs, how to write a great CV and cover letter, and how to prepare for an interviews. Also, the website has information on international opportunities and programming with employers from Belfast and beyond!
Visit the Careers website.

5. Make your extracurricular activities count

Many of you will work part-time jobs, volunteer, or take part in a student society or progamme offered by Careers, Employability and Skills during your time as a student. You can gain accreditation for completing extracurricular work-related learning alongside your degree through DegreePlus. The certification helps you to articulate your development and achievements to others, including potential future employers. You’ll also receive a certificate at graduation.
Discover DegreePlus

For more information or to discover how Queen’s Careers Team can help you plan your future, get in touch.