University: Dream Jobs You May Not Know About

Remember when you were little and asked what you wanted to be when you grew up? I remember one year I found out there was a person who tested out water slides – and I was desperate for that job. I also wanted to be (in no particular order) an RSPCA Inspector, vet, interior designer, quantity surveyor and accountant. I’m now pretty sure I’m working towards my dream job, ironically not one of those on the list.

I recently came across this list of of slightly ‘odd’ dream jobs and I couldn’t help but share – who wouldn’t want to earn £39k a year tasting ice cream?!

View Interactive Version (via Savoo).

Note: this is NOT a sponsored post.

Any careers on the list that tempt you? What did you want to be when you were growing up?

University: Finding the Perfect Summer Job

As someone who has worked for most of the time since I was 16, I remember the worry as I approached the end of my first year of university – what would I do in the summer?! Luckily I ended up going back to my pre-university job, but it’s not a period of worry I want to go through again! When Student HQ got in touch with their tips to finding a summer job, I couldn’t help but share…

A Student Guide to Finding the Perfect Summer Job

You might think it’s too early to be worrying about finding a summer job but with ever increasing demand for temporary and part-time work it is important to be prepared if you want to be successful.

As many university students don’t have the time to work during term time the summer break offers the perfect opportunity to find a job and earn some much needed cash. With the financial demands of tuition fees and accommodation costs the summer vacation offers a valuable opportunity to bring you finances under control before heading back to university.

In order to help you in your quest to find the perfect summer job we have compiled a handy 10 step guide.

Where Are You Going To Be?

Where are you going to be over the summer? Are you staying in the place where you are studying or will you be heading home to live with your parents? Perhaps you’re planning to work abroad over the summer? Once you know where you’re going to be then you can start planning the type of job you want.

Call In Any Favours Or Contact Past Employers

The quickest and easiest way to find a summer job is often to call in favours from friends who may be able to get you a temporary job or by contacting past employers who may still have your details on file. If you have worked for a company before or come highly recommended by a friend then finding a job might be easier than you think.

What Type Of Job You Want?

Having spent the year studying many students prefer stress free shop or bar work over the summer, however, there is also an opportunity to do something that might be beneficial to your future career. It’s not always possible to find a paid job in an area of work that’s of interest, so you may decide to try something different that will give you the opportunity to learn new skills or help build your confidence.

Update Your CV

There’s a good chance you may already have a CV, in which case it might just be a case of updating the information. Make sure that you list any relevant experience, your educational background and state what qualities you think makes you perfect for the role. It’s important to personalise your CV and make it specific to the role for which you are applying, with many employers receiving hundreds of CV’s every year it is important to stand out from the crowd.

Find my tips for writing your CV here – and I’ll be publishing a template very soon!

Send Your CV To Potential Employers

This can be a little time consuming but it’s necessary, after all it’s highly unlikely that someone will offer you a job out without you even applying! If you are sending your CV through the post or by email then be sure to contact the company in advance to make sure that you have the correct contact details for the person responsible for recruitment.

You may if you have time decide to deliver your CV in person but given that you may not be applying locally this is not always an option. If you do decide to do this it is important to make a good impression by dressing smartly and ensuring you behave in an appropriate manner. Remember first impressions are important so if you turn up looking a mess and using inappropriate language you stand little chance of getting a job, no matter how good your CV may be.

Be Smart!

If a company is potentially looking to recruit they can often act quickly so ensure that you are ready for a potential interview by washing your best clothes or taking your suit to the dry cleaners.

Have a read about how I sourced a workwear wardrobe on a budget!

Do Some Research

If you manage to get an interview then do your research about the company. This isn’t always possible if there is little information available, nevertheless it’s important to know as much as you can before you go into the interview.

Make Yourself Available

You’re not going to be there that long, so make yourself available as much as possible and get as much work under belt as you can. You can then make more money but also appear eager and willing to your employer.

Be Punctual

Few things, aside from gross misconduct, will put you in an employer’s bad books more than turning up late. Always make sure you’re there ready to work at least 5 minutes before your shift so give yourself plenty of time to get to work.

Stay On Good Terms

When you leave at the end of the summer, stay on good terms with the people who work there as you may be able to return at some point in the future if you want, meaning you won’t have to go through the whole process again.

This article was brought to Ninegrandstudent by StudentHQ Lettings, Lancaster’s no.1 Student Accommodation provider.

Do you have any tips on gaining a summer job – or any job for that matter?!

Fashion: Workwear Staples on Budget

I’ve been attempting to create this post for a while, but taking the photos proved impossible. Laying the clothes out looked pretty horrendous, and outfit posts were a no-go living on my own in a tiny room. I was playing around with my camera over the weekend, snapped these on the clothes inside my wardrobe, and thought they were pretty decent. I will do outfit posts at some point though – issue being these clothes don’t actually fit that well anymore!
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Invest in Staples

Whilst there are areas you can save money, there are areas you really should avoid scrimping. A cheap quality pair of shoes or handbag can instantly ruin a look. Plus, cheap shoes often hurt, low-cost bags often don’t last. I find my satchels are a great workbag (surprise surprise) – they look smart, are a little briefcase like, and go with everything.

That being said, I was recently sent a jacket* (something I would usually budget a little more from) from Less Than 10 Pounds and was really impressed with the quality. Thick material and well cut, it fits like a glove. The only issue is it attracts hair like nothing else, I have to carry a lint roller to work when wearing it!

Tailor to Fit

If your clothes don’t fit, I feel it just looks a little unprofessional. Which is why I’m really bothered at the minute as it takes multiple safety pins to tighten my skirts enough to fit – the downsides to weight loss!

Tailoring doesn’t have to cost a fortune – I regularly have to get skirts and dresses shortened, which usually costs about £4-£5 to have done professionally. I’m currently trying to learn to take the waist in on skirts made of lighter materials – I have about 14 skirts needing altering so would sooner give it a go myself!
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Save on Basics

I don’t find it necessary to spend much on on items like shirts and cardigans – most of mine are from Primark or Dorothy Perkins. I find the extra £5 or so pounds spent in Dorothy Perkins does mean they last much longer (I still have ones left over from sixth form 3/4 years ago). Cardigans are also where I inject a bit of colour and seasonality into my outfit, so it’s good for them to be cheap so I can have plenty. I think I’m close to exceeding 20 now…
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Material Matters

I find going for a tweed or mottled material on sut skirts make it look a lot more expensive that it really is. I find completely plain black/grey/cream items to look a bit boring, but my skirts all cost less than £20, fit well, have lasted, are machine washable and look great.
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Make it Personal

Add colour, add bits that reflect your style. I always wear pussy-bow blouses as I find they are much more feminine. I also only wear baggier blouses (mainly as they never need ironing…).
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Hit the Sales

Shortly after I was successful in gaining a placement year, the House of Fraser in my home town shut down. I visited on the first day of the sale, and it was hell on earth. Women were physically fighting over clothes, children in prams abandoned. There was even a knife incident on one day. However four hours later (nearly two hours were spent queuing to try on as refunds weren’t available) I emerged with nearly £800 worth of clothes for £96. I picked up some amazing shift dresses (the only thing which really still fits me), jackets, and skirts. Hitting the sales means you can afford better quality and higher-end brands than you would otherwise. I also love browsing in charity shops – my vntage Dorothy Perkins pencil skirt is one of my best finds at £5!

 photo 2015-04-12 12.29.18_zpsvhq9zdvm.jpgBuilding up a workwear wardrobe is never going to be the cheapest, but doing it gradually and following some of my tips means it can be done on a budget. Keep an eye out for more workwear posts soon.

What do you wear to work? How do you recommend buying work clothes on a budget?

REBLOGGED: Diary of an (Actuarial) Undergrad – Trials and Tribulations of a Good CV

I was recently asked to do a couple of guest posts for my university’s careers service blog, which can be found here. I must say, the support I have already received from the University of Kent in terms of careers has been outstanding. I reccomend a look on their website even if you aren’t a student, as there is some amazing advice. Definitely check out their blog too, and here’s my original post.

 

I’ve just finished my first year in Actuarial Science (which is, to put it very simply, a mixture of mathematics, applied statistics, economics and finance) and will be beginning a yearlong placement in the summer of 2014 as part of my degree. As of yet applications are only just starting to open, so I’ve been concentrating on getting my CV up to scratch.

 

The simple fact is you will be asked to produce a CV for potential employers at some point in your life.

I’ve held two part-time jobs whilst studying, and both of these were obtained by handing my CV to a prospective manager, so I know firsthand how crucial these ‘little bits of paper’ are. I also know that having to quickly produce one to hand over is probably one of the most stressful things in existence. So even if you ignore everything else I write in this post, at least do one thing; prepare your CV now, when you have a spare minute, and then update it as and when needed.

 

So, the perfect CV. What’s in it? What definitely shouldn’t be in it? How long should it be? What font should I use?

There’s a list of endless questions you could ask, and I’m not going to pretend I have all of the answers. But I have been told my CV is strong, and I’ve also had some fabulous advice from Nikki Ellis (the industrial placement adviser in the Schools of Mathematics, Statistics and Actuarial Science) so I hope I can guide you to the right direction.

The general consensus is that a CV for industrial placements (and indeed graduate roles) should be 2 pages in length. That should be a full 2 pages. Not 1.5 with hugeeee writing. And not squished-up-with-tiny-margins-and-tiny-font 2 pages. You shouldn’t be altering the layout of your paper and the size of your font to compensate for too short/long CVs. On that note, go for a standard font (something like Calibri or Arial) – none of the fancy swirly stuff! Keep the size between 10 and 12, any smaller and it will be difficult to read, any larger and you run the risk of it looking a little child-like.

The layout used is a bit more personal. I went for a tabular style CV, with section headings down the left. I also made important details (sub-headings such as educational results and job titles) stand out by putting them in a bold type face. One of the best pieces of advice I have been given is to  break up large chunks of text, either through bullet points or some other means. A hunk of text will be off-putting, you want something easy to scan, something that will easily highlight how wonderful you are.

Content is a bit easier for me to advise on. I’ve been told that the order of the section in a CV should be as follows; contact details and profile; education; experience; skills; interests; and references. This is the order in which I will discuss the sections, just to make it a little easier for both me and you…

  • You want to start with your name and contact details. Make sure you include a phone number, email address and postal address.
  • Then go with a short paragraph (or maybe two even shorter ones) called a profile. This should briefly introduce yourself, summarise your experience and education, and state your current career goals. This section should be brief and to the point, and no more than a few sentences. Now is not the time to waffle (actually, at no point should a CV contain waffle!).
  • Then comes the education section. This should be in reverse chronological order, i.e. the most recent first. A good piece of advice, particularly if you find yourself short of space, is that the most recent qualifications should be talked about more, and the ones you took years ago the least. Hence I have just two lines devoted to my GCSE’s on my CV; the institution I sat them at, and the grades received. I haven’t mentioned specific subjects (although it is a good idea to clarify that they do include Mathematics and English), but I did mention the subjects I studied at A-level and devoted a little more space to these qualifications.
  • University modules and grades are often far more important. If your degree is directly relevant to the roles you are applying for, I’ve been told to detail the modules you have taken. I was also advised that, if ALL of your module grades are of a high standard, to include them in your CV. However, I really wouldn’t advise doing this if one is significantly lower than the others, or if they should any kind of inconsistencies in your academics. Best to use your own judgment to make that call!
  • Again in reverse chronological order comes your work experience. This can be anything from volunteering roles to employment. My personal advice would be to head each section with the place of work and the timescale, then briefly evaluate which skills you have gained from the role.
  • Following this section should be where you detail your key skills. My opinion is that bullet points are best for this, but at the same time make sure you write in full coherent sentences. Steer clear of clichés, and make sure you don’t repeat yourself. I know when I first got my CV reviewed by Nikki Ellis she counted a ridiculous 21 “I am”s in mine! Keep things clear, to the point, and relevant to the kind of roles you are applying for.
  • Next is the interests section. I’ll admit my CV actually lacks this, as I was short on space and it the thing that should be compromised on as opposed to nixing part of your education or employment history. This section is more important to some companies than others (do your research when applying!) and remember that any hobby or interest you list will give an impression about you as a person so think carefully about any potential implications.
  • Finally references. Here you have a choice; include full contact details of your chosen referees (make sure they are happy to provide references prior to submitting your CV if you chose to do this!) or state that you have references available on request. At university I’ve been told I need to include on academic referee (check with your department who the appropriate person is) and one employment referee; I have stated these two referees, and also mentioned that I am able to provide further employment references on request (as I have held done more than one job in the past).

 

And so that’s it, my not-so-brief guide as to what a CV should look like and include. I hope it helps at least one of you to create an excellent CV and hopefully gain a job! I’ll hopefully be back in a few weeks with a post on application processes, and those lovely online logical and numerical reasoning tests that a lot of companies implement into applications. Until then, have fun updating your CV…