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How to Kick Start your Career: Job Hunting Tips for Students by Lauren Knowles

Are you keen to land a job before or soon after graduation?

Read our top tips on how to lay strong foundations for your career while finishing your final year.

How to lay strong foundations for your career right now

Job hunting for a full-time role after university can seem quite daunting to final year students. But there is no reason to worry. By remaining proactive and dedicated throughout the search, making full use of the methods available to you, standing out from the crowd and getting your foot on the career ladder is completely within your capabilities.

This handy guide outlines the steps we recommend that you take in order to give yourself the best opportunity of ensuring a smooth transition from university to employment.

Do your homework

Before you do anything else, take the time to think about your future and what you want from your career.

Carry out research into the industries, organisations and roles you would like to work in, to determine whether the skills and knowledge gained from your education coincide with your future aspirations. Be practical in your choices and realistic about your future, but don’t worry if your career goals and degree don’t perfectly match. Many employers offer training as part of graduate level positions, as they expect you to grow and develop in these roles.

Also look into the different graduate positions available, their average starting salaries and whether you need any additional skills to break into particular industries. This can help you to gain a full understanding of what to expect from your job search, while also giving you the opportunity to pinpoint areas you need improve on.

Boost your contacts

Building up a strong bank of professional contacts and getting your foot in the door at businesses can also be highly advantageous

Attend events or talks organised through the university, and look out for any workshops or conferences put on by organisations you would like to work for. When networking with attendees, try to discuss your current situation and career goals as you may find out about opportunities you wouldn’t have otherwise known about.

Ongoing interaction through social media, email or face-to-face meetings with anyone you meet is then recommended, as this can help you to develop trusted relationships and also find out about opportunities that become available in the future

Work experience and internships

Building relationships with a bank of contacts can provide you with a chance to enquire  about work experience or internships.

These roles can be a great addition to your CV, as they allow you to gain first-hand experience and further your industry knowledge. You also have a chance to demonstrate your commitment, work ethic and passion to the organisation you are interning at, which can give you up an upper hand should they go onto advertise any graduate roles.

Securing a place on a relevant graduate scheme can also strengthen your CV. While these programmes are competitive, they offer training and development opportunities, a good level of support and a chance to gain qualifications, so it is well worth making every effort to get on a scheme. Completing work experience beforehand can help to set you apart from the thousands of other candidates who apply for these training schemes every year.

Getting the right support as you job hunt

When job hunting, make full use of the support that is available to you. The university careers service can offer valuable information on vacancies, work experience and internships, while providing one-to-one sessions for specific advice and support

Getting in contact with a recruitment firm specialising in your chosen industry can also prove beneficial. With a strong network of contacts, an understanding of graduate vacancies and insider knowledge of employer expectations, they can inform you of upcoming job openings, offer CV support and use their understanding of clients to help you present your skills, experience and knowledge well to prospective employers

While the graduate jobs market is known for being competitive, by being proactive and using these methods to improve your opportunities, you can really start to stand out from all other competition and put yourself in a strong position for landing your first full-time role after university

Author Bio: Lauren Knowles is a digital content writer Credit Control, a recruitment firm specialising in selecting quality candidates for credit control vacancies at reputable firms throughout the UK.

Are you a UWS 2014 graduating student with an idea for a new creative business?

Graduate Business Incubator Opportunity

Are you a UWS 2014 graduating student with an idea for a new creative business?

The UWS Creative Media Academy, in partnership with the succesful Entrepreneurial Spark Hatchery, is offering an individual or a creative team a free 6 month creative industries mentorship and business programme of activities based in Dundonald, East Ayrshire and at the UWS Ayr Campus.

The successful candidate/s will have access to film/broadcast/audio/computing equipment and facilities as well as a bespoke creative industries mentorship programme.  The UWS Creative Media Academy will also support the successful team with a £1000 travel bursary.

This programme will complement the existing E-Spark Hatchery programme that offers budding entrepreneurs a calendar of activities including the opportunity to apply for a further 12 month business support and the chance to pitch for funding from a £60,000 investment fund.

Our new intake starts on the 31st July 2014 with a 5 day bootcamp which the winning team leader would attend.

Deadline for applications Monday 18th July 2014 (interviews to be held 24th July 2014, Ayr)



Graduate Job with Quintiles – IT Support Engineer (Graduate/Entry Level Role)

IT Support Engineer (Graduate/Entry Level Role) – competitive £

Associate Site Support Engineer – based in Livingston, West Lothian. (Initially 6 month FTC with possibility of a permanent role)


Working within a local team, this position under general supervision will provide both on-site and remote second-tier support to end users regarding IT problems, IT projects and end user education. Quintiles employ state of the art technologies from major vendors and cloud providers to deliver high end services. The successful applicant would have the opportunity to support and develop their skills on these systems and technologies.


The candidate will interact with other Global IT Support Groups to resolve problems as well as providing support for IT Projects. The candidate will simulate or recreate user problems to resolve operating difficulties and recommend system modifications to reduce user problems.

Site Support must maintain a thorough working knowledge of the day-to-day operating environment, available tools, and client applications.

This individual must also follow Service Desk and IT Operations procedures related to client services. Maintain currency and high level of technical skill in field of expertise.

Escalate more complex problems to Site Support Level 2 and 3.

Responsible for meeting specified service level standards.

Some occasional UK and European travel maybe required by team members.


·         Working knowledge of Microsoft server, networking, and workstation technologies

·         Working knowledge of industry standards in regards to system and network administration

·         Ability to solve PC related problems utilizing remote control tools

·         Excellent verbal and written communication skills

·         Willingness to improve in personal knowledge as it applies to supporting the company’s objectives



·         Degree/HND in Computing or related field or at least two years coursework completed towards Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or related field

·         Experience in Information Technology with emphasis in PC software (Microsoft operating systems and applications suites, email systems, etc.) within a network environment utilizing PC/server software; or equivalent combination of education, training and experience

Why Quintiles

Quintiles (NYSE: Q) is the world’s largest provider of biopharmaceutical development and commercial outsourcing services with a network of more than 29,000 employees conducting business in approximately 100 countries. We helped develop or commercialize all of 2013’s top-100 best-selling drugs on the market.

Quintiles applies the breadth and depth of our service offerings along with extensive therapeutic, scientific and analytics expertise to help our customers navigate an increasingly complex healthcare environment as they seek to improve efficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of better healthcare outcomes.  To learn more about Quintiles, please visit


To apply now follow this link: or contact for further information.


Job of the Week ICT Development Officer & Team Leader – HRM Homecare

Job title: ICT Development Officer & Team Leader

Salary: neg.

Hours: 37 1/2hours per week (fulltime)

Annual Leave: 20 working days per annum plus 8 public holidays

Location: HRM Homecare Services Ltd.

Job Summary:

The post holder leads a small ICT Team responsible for the development and maintenance of ICT infrastructure across the companies 4 sites. ICT hardware, software and systems management is fundamental to the operation and future growth of this long established care company, and in the provision of front line support to the customers of HRM Homecare Services Ltd. The post holder provides operational support for HRM Homecare Services and assists customers through field support.

Key Responsibilities:

· Managing the work of the ICT team on a day to day basis and ensuring that the team meets and delivers company specific business targets and goals

· Developing the ICT infrastructure in line with business targets and market opportunities

· The post holder provides technical support for staff, by responding timeously to requests for service logged with Customer Service. They resolve issues and provide support to director HRM Homecare and IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) standards through site visits. This will include workstations, printer and software preventative maintenance

· The post holder assists staff with guidance and resolving questions on the best use of software and the ICT facilities

· The post holder installs and maintains ICT equipment throughout HRM Homecare Ltd, including the installation of software and hardware

· The post holder takes responsibility for investigating and resolving non routine ICT issues and problems, making use of their detailed technical knowledge and experience. Liasing with other internal support groups and/or outside external suppliers as necessary.

· The post holder in association with other ICT teams, works to get maximum efficiency in installing or re-installing HRM hardware. The post holder must carry this out in line with HRM policy and in particular Software Licensing and Control policy.

· The post holder provides appropriate specialist technical help to support research, and other aspects of teaching and learning. This will include the evaluation and hardware and software in determining new standards as part of the overall service delivered by customer service.

· The post holder will carry out their duties in accordance with HRM Homecare Services Ltd procedure with respect to ICT management and will make certain that the service is delivered within ITIL best practice.

· The post holder will engage in a process of continuous service improvement, through monitoring quality, customer needs and personal development.

Role of the Department:

The department will provide direct ICT services to HRM Homecare. The department provides both development of solutions, through business planning processes and operational support for the activities supported by ICT. The Customer Service section provides support and access to services for both students and staff of HRM Homecare Services Ltd to get the most from HRM Homecare Services.

Assignment and Review of Work

The day to day work is determined by the team leader and allocated to other team members. Each member of the team will be responsible for multiple calls and required to plan their workload accordingly. They will co-ordinate the tasks in hand to meet deadlines and dovetail with the overall team objectives. They choose the order in which tasks of equal priority are tackled and will apply their knowledge to both routine and non-routine tasks to resolve problems and issues. Scheduled network tasks are planned on a weekly basis.

The post holder may work on projects to install new services or roll out new ICT facilities and will determine the method to achieve the best result in conjunction with business objectives set in conjunction with the Line Manager.

There is not close supervision of the post holder. When duties have been agreed they are expected to take responsibility for their completion, considering the impact on others and HRM ICT environment, making sure that they are completed to the standards of performance laid down in service agreements.

The ICT Development Officer and Team Leader supervises completion of the departmental tasks and provides

supervision and guidance for team members. The Line Manager will carry out ongoing and annual appraisals.

Working Relationships

There is both a strong element of customer focus and a strong reactive element with this post, responding quickly to systems operational and maintenance requirements to ensure the highest levels of quality service provision to customers is maintained.

The post holder will apply their knowledge when developing, in conjunction with other ITC personnel, new ICT resources and systems. Their role as a local expert will make them a key contributor, either individually or as part of a team to such developments.

The ability to share information with others is a key requirement in the support of customers. The post holder will be able to explain technical concepts in non technical language to any member of staff or student who needs information about the ICT service in HRM Homecare Services Ltd.

The post holder will communicate with 3rd party suppliers to facilitate service to HRM Homecare Services Ltd for support and warranty issues.

The post holder will have a good knowledge of all HRM policies where it relates to ICT. They must understand and work within the associated procedures (hardware refresh, licensing control procedures, etc) as well as exhibiting good working practice.

The post holder is expected to update and develop their technical knowledge in line with industry developments.

The post holder will be required to produce procedural documentation and relevant reports as required.

The post holder is expected to assist in the development and presentation of induction sessions for students to help them to get the best from HRM Homecare Services Ltd’s facilities.

The post holder ensures that the asset register in maintained and that all activity undertaken is reflected in the asset register.

The post holder will have a variety of specialist technical skills in which they are the local expert. They will have expertise, skills and knowledge which they can bring to bear. They provide a source of expertise in areas which often will be the basis for purchasing decisions, for the support of teaching and learning or research. They are expected to be able to share the information in a manner appropriate to their audience.

The post holder will have a good knowledge of all HRM policies where it relates to ICT. They must understand and work within the associated procedures (hardware, refresh, licensing control procedures, etc), as well as exhibiting good technical working practice.

Most Challenging Part of the Job

Balancing the completing priorities of a wide range of tasks associated with service delivery to a diverse client base.

Qualifications, Skills and Experience Required

Must be educated to HND level or above or have significant relevant work experience demonstrating development through involvement in a series of progressively more demanding relevant work.

Preferably should have 3 years experience in an ICT service delivery environment.

The post holder must be able to work within a team environment, sharing skills, knowledge and information as appropriate with others.

An appreciation of IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) Is desirable.

The post holder will have good communication skills (written and oral) to explain technical concepts in an appropriate language to the customer.

The post holder will be a technical expert in one or more products (SPSS, Mays etc, of the University ICT provision. Where an industry qualification exists (MCP etc) is desirable the post holder has that qualification. Where a qualification is not available it is desirable that the post holder can demonstrate 12 months experience in using the product.

The post holder must have an awareness of the legislative framework which surrounds ICT.

Person requirements

HRM Homecare Services Ltd, an award winning care provider and market leader, is seeking to appoint an ICT Development Officer and Team Leader covering 4 sites in Scotland.

Based in Kilmarnock the post holder will be responsible for developing the companies ICT infrastructure, providing technical support and maintenance for all company hardware, software, ICT systems and facilities as well as carrying out the day to day management of our ICT support team.

Qualified to a minimum of HND level, you will have a detailed knowledge of software licensing and control policy, have the ability to troubleshoot systems and network problems, diagnose and solve hardware/software faults, report to director level, and take a lead role in website design and social media profiling.

We require a multitasker with the drive to test and evaluate new technology in line with the requirements of an expanding, dynamic business.

Further information can be obtained by calling us on 01563 570999. Application packs can be obtained

Company information

HRM Homecare Services Ltd is a leading provider of care at home and social care in Scotland. Our services are designed for and with the people we support. We care for people of all ages and abilities.

We specialise in supporting users of care services and their families to live independent lives in their own home. We offer a unique service of tailored care visits, from 30 minutes to 24 hours a day giving complete care and we assist family carers.

We support children and families, adults with disabilities, elderly people, people with complex conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s, and those who just need a little extra support to improve the quality of their lives.

We care!

Apply email

Graduate Job of the Week – Graduate Business Growth Advisor (BiP Solutions)

Graduate Business Growth Advisor

Based in Glasgow’s Pacific Quay, at the heart of Creative Clyde, BiP Solutions is an established, successful and highly respected SME organisation. We are a market leader in the provision of innovative solutions which unleash the value in government and business working together. Our intelligence-based procurement and supply chain solutions make us the go-to company to drive business growth.

Within our Business Intelligence Division, we are recruiting for additional Business Growth Advisors to drive the sales of our market-leading, online business intelligence services as part of a successful sales team. These services are used by businesses across the UK and globally to identify and win highly valuable contracts for public sector organisations. Our subscribers range from small businesses to multi-national corporations; many of which are household names. Our research led, consultative sales process is based on high quality leads and extensive marketing support, and Business Growth Advisors consult closely with prospective customers to understand how we can help their business grow.

We therefore want to speak with candidates who have either excelled, or have the ambition to excel, within a solution based sales role and come with a proven track record of success. We are only interested in candidates who pride themselves on their professionalism, display a positive work ethic, are fantastic communicators, demonstrate commercial acumen, business awareness and, above all else, have energy and positivity in abundance.

Our commitment to anyone joining our sales team is that you will benefit from a sales culture focused on active coaching and development to deliver high performance.


Our base salary range starts at £18,000 and progresses through to £23,000. However, we aren’t interested in candidates who are satisfied with simply earning a base salary. An uncapped commission structure is in place to reward high performance, and achievable for candidates with the right drive and ambition.


Uncapped commission, strong leads, interested (and interesting) customers, outstanding sales culture, stunning office environment, consultative sales approach – what are you waiting for?


To hear what our employees say about working at BiP Solutions, please watch our recruitment film via the following link:

Does this sound like you? If so, please apply now with up-to-date CV and covering letter to

Graduate Job of the Week -BiP Solutions – Graduate Software Developer

Graduate Software Developer

BiP Solutions Ltd is a medium-sized, Glasgow-based organisation expert in facilitating business between the public and private sector.

Our resourcing strategy is centered on recruiting Graduate Developers and providing them with a structured development programme focused on enhancing their technical skill-set within a commercial organisation. As part of our growth strategy for the financial year 2014-15, we are actively looking to recruit new Developers who are due to graduate this summer.
We are looking to recruit an enthusiastic graduate(s) with an understanding of fundamental Object Oriented principles whose main purpose will be to program internal and external applications. The successful candidate will be required to understand and continue to develop their skill set in line with BiP’s standard programming and hosting environment.
 Projects are generally web based and undertaken within a Java (Spring and Hibernate) environment. Most legacy applications are comprised of Perl / CGI scripts with MySQL and Oracle database backends. The development environment is variable and is often changed or dictated by our clients’ needs and requirements. The successful candidate will be required to continue to broaden and strengthen their development skills throughout their career.
 The core function will be to develop, test and extend applications and associated databases. The role will also include supporting assigned products / services and projects as well as debugging or troubleshooting existing applications. There is also a requirement to understand the current Project Management system and related documentation.
The preferred programming skill set will include at least one of the following: Java, Perl, MySQL and Oracle. In addition to their technical skill set, the successful applicant will also have strong communication skills, be self-motivated and have first-class organisation and reporting skills.

n return, BiP will reward you with a highly competitive salary package. This will also include health care, the company pension scheme and an introductory 30 days holiday per year (increasing with length of service).

To hear what our employees say about working at BiP Solutions, please watch our recruitment film via thefollowing link:
For further company information, please visit
To Apply Please send a CV and covering letter to  Alternatively please call Julia Edgar on 0141 270 7351 for an informal chat.

Graduate Job of the Week – Software Engineer

  • Job Title:  Graduate Software Developer
  • Location:  Glasgow

Our Product

Kana Enterprise is our highly sophisticated product, which delivers high-value solutions to our customers.  Kana Enterprise is designed from the ground up to provide multi-channel customer experiences in high-volume customer service management environments, which often have complex integration to incumbent systems.  Built in Java, Kana Enterprise uses the latest web technology to provide rich graphical user interfaces to web self-service, contact centre and mobile users.
Kana Enterprise has a world class knowledge management capability that provides enterprise grade knowledge and search solutions.  Finally Kana Enterprise provides industry recognized Case Management and Email management solutions that are built using its own graphical modeling tools.

Our Team

  • Our job, simply put, is to develop an internationally recognized enterprise product
  • What kind of problems do we solve every day?  Making a product that has to work across multiple browsers, databases, operating systems; often across multiple time zones where a user does not have to wait more than two seconds for the system to respond.  Oh and it will probably have accessed data from three distinct back-end systems to provide the user with a crisp, modern looking graphical UI.
  • But we care about what we do; we care about the craftsmanship of software engineering and all that goes into making a world class product.  We need to make sure each new feature is of high quality, is accessible, is extensible, is upgradeable and will perform in a highly scalable manner
  • This can only be done with a high caliber team that works in a collaborative manner where the voice and experiences of every engineer counts

Your Job

As an Engineer within the KANA research and development team you will:

  • Take pride in what you deliver
  • Make sure that we build things in the right way, with few defects using approaches such as TDD.
  • Question and challenge what you are delivering in order to ensure that we build the right thing for our customers.

We will work with you to identify key areas that you need to develop to ensure that you continue to hone your skills as a software engineer as you go through your career with KANA.

As the team and company grows there will be the opportunity for progression.

Essential Criteria:

  • A degree or post graduate qualification in Computer Science or Software Engineering

Desirable Criteria:

  • A passion for quality, test driven development and continuous integration systems.
  • Enjoy the challenge of working in a high performance team
  • A fun and friendly approach to work

Travel:  Occasional travel may be required
Location: This position will be based in KANA’s fantastic India of Inchinnan offices, beside Glasgow Airport – PA4 9LH, where we have large on-site parking and a subsidised canteen
Duration: This is a full time, permanent position.
Compensation: KANA offers a competitive total rewards compensation and benefits package.

To apply for these exciting roles please visit the careers section of our website to apply online.

As part of our recruitment process we are required to enquire  regarding any convictions, cautions, reprimands or final warnings that are not “protected” as defined by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 (as amended in 2013) a separate email will be sent with further information regarding this request.  Please note that successful applicant will be required achieve a basic level security clearance (CRB, Access NI, UKBA)

KANA is an Equal Opportunity Employer and we welcome candidates from diverse backgrounds.


As an equal opportunity employer, Verint Systems Inc. prides itself in providing employees with a work environment in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity. This means we are committed to providing equal opportunity to all qualified employees and applicants for employment without regard to one’s race, color, religion, national origin, age, gender, disability, alienage or citizenship status, marital status, creed, genetic predisposition or carrier status, sexual orientation, Veteran status or any other classification protected by applicable federal, state or local laws. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment including but not limited to hiring, placement, promotion, compensation, training, leave of absence or termination.


to apply visit or



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