On Wednesday 20th May, Andrew from the Careers and Enterprise Team hosted a live Q&A session for CCCU students. If you missed the event you can see all the questions and answers below.

Andrew’s Introduction:

Hi everyone, I’m Andrew and I’m one of the Employability and Skills Officers working with the Careers and Enterprise Team. A big part of my role is helping students with making their next career steps. That includes helping with CV and job/grad scheme application checks and giving advice on how to improve LinkedIn profiles and so on. I really enjoyed meeting students in our Careers and Enterprise Hub in Augustine House – looking forward to when it is safe to return to campus so that may continue!

In the meantime, I along with the Careers and Enterprise Team are still here for you and have many ways that you can still get support from us virtually. I can go into this more during the Q&A, however the main ways include:
1) CV360 – a brand new online tool we have that allows students to upload their CV for online checks (all done within 15 seconds!)
2) Virtual 1 to 1 appointments – Bookable appointments with our careers adviser to get advice if you are unsure of where to go next or what you have to offer.
3) Virtual workshops – Opportunities to develop new skills or hear about the experiences of others.
4) The Careers and Enterprise Online Hub – This is the home for everything mentioned above and much more! Full of videos, online activities, graduate job listings, and more. Accessible for all students and even for alumni after graduating – if you have not already accessed this then do it today! Available at www.canterbury.ac.uk/careersandenterprise
5) Email us – we continue to support so many students primarily via email at careers@canterbury.ac.uk – this would be the best place to get in touch with us should you have any other questions after this Q&A. 6) Follow us – be sure to follow us on social media for our latest updates and links to blog posts – these are key since we often write about how to adapt your career journey in these uncertain times. You can find our links here:

Facebook: http://tiny.cc/rcbfpz
Twitter: http://tiny.cc/iebfpz
Instagram: http://tiny.cc/nfbfpz
Blog: http://tiny.cc/kgbfpz

Questions from the session…

What tips can you give to graduates looking to kickstart their career in this current climate of lockdown?

Thanks for asking this question, it is a really common one that I have been supporting students with recently. These are really unique times and I would say the most important thing moving forward is developing a sense of patience. Most companies who are hiring are doing so in a new way whilst managing their own internal challenges. So having a sense of patience would be key and ensuring you reflect on yourself with positivity despite the potential wait time ahead with finding job opportunities.
That being said, during the waiting time there is plenty that can be done to make yourself stand out in a great way. Working on your online presence could be a good start, such as developing a LinkedIn profile and networking with people in your career field.
There are plenty of smaller ways you could begin to develop yourself and recognise your skills in the time between finding job roles. This blog post I wrote earlier gives 14 things all students can work on, so that when things go back to normal you will have lots more to add to your CV. https://blogs.canterbury.ac.uk/…/career-friendly…/

Can students still get support with writing their CVs during this time? What’s the best way to get help?

Indeed students can still get support with writing their CVs! So the best thing to do is to log into www.canterbury.ac.uk/careersandenterprise and get onto the Careers and Enterprise Online Hub.
Here you can find CV templates as well as CV360 – our online tool that allows you to upload your CV and get it checked against over 58 automated checks that employers often use when reviewing CVs. It will even check things like if you are using the same wording too often and suggest different ways of writing that make your CV read better.
Lastly, you can send a copy of your CV to careers@canterbury.ac.uk for us to review and discuss ways of improvement and strengths.

Do you have any advice on preparing for a virtual interview??

Great question! Since video interviews are now becoming more common, there are a few key things to remember. You still have to prepare as if you were attending a normal face to face interview. So that means, dressing smart, researching the employer, and preparing answers to common interview questions. However, make sure you tested the device you will use to ensure you can make video calls is essential. Most employers will understand that there may be some unavoidable technical issues since most video platforms are being used allot by so many people at this time. However, adding the preparation of your video calling device to your checklist for the interview would be key! I helped write a blog post on how to prepare for a virtual interview here which goes into more detail and has some helpful videos: https://blogs.canterbury.ac.uk/…/video-interview-guide…/

A lot of students are reporting increased anxiety about entering the job market at such a disruptive time for the economy – do you have any advice to look after their wellbeing during the job search?

This is really an important topic so thank you for asking this. My advice may differ slightly from others however I would say it is important to recognise that as a student you are not just an asset to an employer but rather a person. Yes, it is great to work on yourself during this time to pick up new skills and work on marketing yourself in a way that would be appealing to employers.
However, you as a person are much more than the sum of your skills and experiences. Additionally, trying to do what is normally a challenging activity of job hunting is being made even more difficult now with the unique situation we are facing.
So with this in mind, recognising that resilience and self-care are absolutely essential to keep going with any job hunt or career journey during these times.
I wrote a blog post earlier about coping with challenge, and how resilience is a key career skill. https://blogs.canterbury.ac.uk/…/coping-with-challenge…/
Hopefully, this is of help, however, I would strongly suggest if ever it feels like the whole situation feels overwhelming to speak to someone.

If you are feeling stressed and vulnerable at the moment and need someone to talk to you can contact Nightline, which is a student listening and information service that is run by the student’s union 8pm-8am Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat & Sun on 01227 824848 / listening@canterbury.nightline.ac.uk for advice.

Regarding the CCCU Careers and Enterprise Online Award, is this something that you can feature on your CV once you have completed it?

At the moment the CCCU Careers and Enterprise Online Award has been prepared to give students the chance to develop their knowledge of key areas that make you more employable. We are looking to develop it further into something that could go onto a CV in the future – as you can imagine, these developments have been delayed slightly because of lockdown.
I am thankful to the wider Careers and Enterprise Team who are working hard to make the topics covered in the award continue to appear within the curriculum for all CCCU students. So, I think at the moment the award is a great way to make sure that you are developing an understanding of all the areas that come together to make you even more employable.

For students that want to apply for The Work Experience Fund, is there any support during this time to guide students through the application process?

I was hoping someone would ask about this! Certainly, students can email wef@canterbury.ac.uk for further guidance on how to apply for the Work Experience Fund Career Start Bursary and Travel Bursary. The links to apply to the fund can be found here: https://www.canterbury.ac.uk/…/Work-Experience-Fund.aspx
IMPORTANTLY, we would encourage any students considering applying to the bursaries to recognise that applications are reviewed by our team before being approved.

Getting further support from The Careers and Enterprise Team at CCCU

You can get ongoing careers support via the following ways: