I’m fortunate to have a great manager, so I asked her to share some musings with you on the topic.

“Somehow I’ll make a man(ager) out of you!”

(apologies to Captain Shang, Disney’s Mulan – animated version)

Susan Odev, Head of Employability & Skills shares…

Do you have what it takes to manage a team or a project? Can you apply for roles that have the word ‘Manager’ in the title straight after you graduate? Well, the answer to that depends on the sector, the role and above all your experience and how you sell yourself.

In more traditional sectors the job title of ‘Manager’ can be a badge of seniority, reserved for mature members of staff with years of relevant experience. In those organisations it is extremely unlikely they will offer you a managerial role straight out of university, unless you are a mature student who returned to study after for several years.

However, for many others it denotes the level of responsibility or the functions of the role. The job manages something or someone. You could be managing resources, or a project, a team, or a service. What you need to do is to demonstrate that you have the necessary skills, knowledge and experience to manage those responsibilities. Your age or seniority is irrelevant.

Equally many jobs with managerial responsibilities will not have the word manager in the title. Look for jobs with words like Coordinator, Leader or Supervisor. Be prepared to use a variety of possible words in your job search. If there are organisations or sectors you want to work in, look at their general website pages, as well as their vacancies board. What job titles do they use?

Once you have researched the titles used in your industry you can start to review what skills and experience they are asking for. Then ask yourself, do you fit the profile? What experience have you had during your time at Christ Church that has prepared you for a managerial role? Did you run a society? Have you been an active volunteer for a local charity where, perhaps, you supervised other volunteers? Have you been responsible for managing resources, perhaps in a class project? Did you manage the budget for a sports or fundraising event? Maybe you have been a checkout supervisor or a team leader at McDonalds?

All these experiences have developed your managerial and leadership skills and are very attractive to prospective employers. In fact, I was in a Zoom call the other day where a senior hiring manager said that they will automatically shortlist anyone who has worked as a Team Leader in McDonalds for over three months because he knows that they will be fully trained in the skills set that he values in his employees, and have shown they are adaptable, professional, are able to work under pressure and have excellent customer care skills.

Not everyone will automatically make those connections though, which is why it is really important that you make sure you articulate these skills and experiences on your CV. And when you apply for a role, highlight these areas in your cover letter or supporting statement.

Above all, the important thing is to believe in yourself and your ability to do the job. As a graduate you have a lot to offer the world of work. Read what the job expects from you and, if you think you can do it, regardless of the job title, make your case and go for it!

Getting further support from The Careers and Enterprise Team at CCCU

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