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How to Organise your Job Search – Top Tips for Graduates and Students

Looking for your first full-time job after university can be quite a challenge. Read these organisation tips to help you keep on track with your applications.

Five ways to organise your job search

Attempting to land your first job after university can be tough. From not knowing whether or not you will get responses back from applications to keeping track of vacancies, CVs and emails, it can become quite a challenge especially as you try to balance your job search with your studies.

Organisation is therefore crucial for staying on top of your job hunt and university work. Having a system in place can prevent the search from becoming confusing and time-consuming, allowing you to keep track of the process and prevent it from impacting on other areas of your university life.

Below are five tips to help you remain in control and give you the best chance of securing the right graduate-level role for you.

1. Outline your expectations at the very beginning

Undoubtedly, you will have certain expectations for your first job after university. Think carefully about what you want and need from your graduate-level role, paying particular attention to the following:

  • Industry
  • Business type
  • Location
  • Salary expectations
  • Working environment

Make a note of your expectations before you start, as this can help you remain completely focused and provide you with a good understanding of the end result you want to achieve.

2. Build a proper routine when job hunting

It can be easy to become lost as you get stuck into your job hunt, while postponing the most difficult tasks can also be tempting.

Build a routine so that you can remain focused and continue pushing forward. This should include putting together a schedule outlining the time you want to dedicate to job hunting every week. You also need to plan out the tasks you want to carry out over a set period of time so that you have a clear understanding of what needs to be completed in advance. We would recommend doing the most demanding work when you are most productive in order to make the most of your time.

3. Benefit from virtual tools

Make use of the different apps and tools that have been designed to support job searches.

Job boards can let you view a selection of job vacancies narrowed down by industry, which can make your search more simple and straightforward. Creating an account on Indeed can also be beneficial, as it gives you the opportunity to see millions of employment opportunities in one place. The Indeed website and app pulls in vacancies placed on all different online job boards and company websites, so that you can find suitable roles quickly and save them to one place.

Evernote can also be used to synchronise the documents related to your job hunt across all devices, allowing you to organise any covering letters and CVs that you send out.

Free management systems such as Huntsy and JibberJobber can then help you to better manage your job search. Suitable job vacancies can be manually and automatically added, while you can schedule interviews, remind yourself to send thank-you and follow-up emails, find connections and apply for jobs. Using a management system to plan out and organise your job search can break up the process into small, easily digestible tasks so you can stay on track of exactly what is going on.

4. Regularly update your plans

Many job seekers fall into the trap of establishing a strategy and then forgetting to regularly review and update it during their job search.

Update your plan every time you get a reply or there is a status change so that you can gain a clear and accurate understanding of what is completed and what still needs to be carried out. Also include dates for every action that you complete so that you can recognise when you should follow up on an email, interview or other correspondence you have had with businesses or recruitment agencies.

5. Indulge in some much-needed rest and relaxation

Job hunting can be a stressful ordeal, so clocking off and spending time away from your computer is necessary. It can allow you to clear your head and spend time with your family and friends, so that you are less likely to dread heading back to the job search the next day.

You should also take the time to talk to the people closest to you. This can help to boost motivation and hear the thoughts and opinions of those most important to you. Regular family chats can also leave you with no excuse to delay tasks, as you will be expected to provide them with a progress update.

However you approach your job hunt and whatever strategy you choose, it is crucial that you decide upon a routine that is right for you. By making organisation one of your priorities, you can stay on top of the process and continue to push forward, allowing your job search to remain as effective as possible where you are able to find and apply for the job roles that are most suitable for you.

Author Bio: Ashleigh Harman is a digital content writer for Portfolio Payroll a leading specialist payroll recruitment agency in the UK.

New Year Resolutions – Is “Get a Job” on your list?

new-year-resolutionIs one of your New Year Resolutions to get a job?

Are you thinking you’ll put off doing anything about it until … after the exams… after Easter… after you Graduate… a “tomorrow” that never comes? Sure, you might still achieve your goal with that attitude, but you’re much more likely to be successful if you follow these tips:

  1. Be specific – As with all resolutions, avoid making vague statements, think about short-term, achievable, behavioural goals that will lead you to being successful in your overall goal/resolution.
  2. Schedule time – It’s important to schedule time each week to focus on your career goals/job hunting, in the same way that you should schedule your study and social time. This helps to provide balance and remove stress.
  3. Know yourself – Ask yourself what you really want out of your career. For help with this check out Prospects Career Planner & Target Jobs Careers Report
  4. Identify your skills – Sometimes it can be difficult to articulate our skills and experiences. Download our skills reflection tools to help.
  5. Network – A great way to set yourself apart from the crowd and discover the hidden job market.
  6. Use social media wisely – Your social media presence can make or break your job hunt. Check out our top tips for using social media for your career.
  7. Volunteer – A great way to show employers how dedicated and hardworking you are.
  8. Attend Careers & Employability Service Workshops – Watch out for our new calendar of events on our Weekly Update emails or here:

Good luck for 2015!

On the 6th Day of Christmas…

6thOn the 6th Day of Christmas…

UWS CES brings to you…

SIX Ted Talks

Winston Churchill said: “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” 

Job seeking can be stressful and difficult and thinking positively about the process can certainly be helpful and empower you to be successful in your search. By taking Churchill’s advice and seeing this time as an optimist, filled with opportunity, you can better present yourself to potential employers and increase your chances of landing a great job!

This collection of 6 Ted Talks will not only shed light on positive thinking and happiness but may also help you tap into your own brighter side:

staying motivated job search

On the 5th Day of Christmas…

5thOn the 5th Day of Christmas…

UWS CES brings to you…

FIVE Golden Rules…

The 5 New Rules of Job Search

Recruiting practices have changed with the growth of social media and also with the tough job market we have been experiencing. This article provides some ideas on how you can  ensure you are up-to-date with recruitment trends to help you to stand out from the crowd. (Don’t assume this article is not for you due to your age!)

On the 4th Day of Christmas…

On the 4th Day of Christmas…

UWS CES brings to you…

FOUR CV Styles

There’s a lot more to landing your dream job than writing a simple CV. But remember it’s what employers typically see first, and their decision to interview you [or not] is often made in the blink of an eye. Your CV is your marketing tool, and must provide a positive first impression.

There is no perfect format for a CV. For graduate jobs in the UK the conventional, ‘reverse chronological’ style is often the most appropriate, but there are occasions, depending on sector or personal circumstances, where a different approach is best.

Chronological CV

Used to match your qualifications and work experience with the requirements for the job role. It is structured in reverse chronological order i.e. the most recent qualifications and experience are listed first.

This type of CV makes it easy for employers to identify potential candidates. This format allows you to provide clear details of your qualifications, work history and responsibilities which match the criteria provided in the job description.

Skills Based CV

The skills-based CV, also known as a functional CV, can be used if you have gaps in your employment history. This type of CV is also useful if you have limited experience or you are applying for a job which is not related to your degree subject.

The skills-based CV allows you to focus on the skills you have developed in various areas of your life which are transferable to different roles and employers.

Academic CV

Academic CVs are focused on your academic achievements and are used when applying for lecturing or research-based roles, including post-doctoral research.

Your research and academic achievements, research interest and specialist skills should be placed on the first page, if possible. Ensure your writing style is scholarly but clearly understood to those outside your field of interest.

Creative CV

Students and graduates seeking to establish themselves in the competitive world of the creative industries need to demonstrate a range of qualities and skills, if they are to stand out amongst the scores of applicants for every opportunity. The message will be conveyed not simply by words, but by the visual integrity of the document, by attention to detail and by originality.
Click here for some inspiration on Creative CVs.
Check out the Creative CV Guide book in the University library for more advice on this.

On the 3rd Day of Christmas…

3rdOn the 3rd Day of Christmas…

UWS CES brings to you…

3 R’s of Job Hunting

In school we learned the 3 Rs of Reading, wRriting and aRithmetic. For job-hunters it’s Research, Relevancy and Resiliency:


As a job-hunter you need to research and determine:

  • what are your marketable skills;
  • which industries/companies you should target that use those skills;
  • what are the specific needs of each company in your target market;
  • who’s in a key position to hire you in those companies
  • what’s the best way to approach them?


Your skills need to fit an employer’s needs. You need to demonstrate that you can solve the employer’s hot buttons [their corporate weaknesses – this could be sales, market development, research ops]. Remember it’s not about you it’s about THEM!   Employers’ initially only want to know three things about you:

  • Can you make them money?
  • Can you save them money? and/or
  • Can you increase their efficiencies?

As global competitiveness increases, employers will be looking for all three of the above. You need to clearly express your relevancy – “Value” – to an employer.


Resiliency is the ability to spring back from disappointment and keep moving forward. This is a quality which keeps you focused on your goals and driving forward on a daily basis.

Adopt a positive mind set no matter what. (Watch out for Day 6 for more on this!)


Adapted from Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters.

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

Posted on

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 with Portfolio Credit control, a recruitment firm specialising in selecting quality candidates for credit control vacancies at reputable firms throughout the UK.

Local Graduate Recruitment Initiatives

Are you a recent graduate still looking for your first graduate job? If you’re not already registered on our vacancy site, make sure you do so now! There are currently over 250 graduate vacancies posted here:

Did you know that there are several local initiatives funded by the Scottish Government to help unemployed/under-employed graduates into work? Here is a summary of these and eligibility criteria:

Glasgow Commonwealth Graduate Fund

To qualify for support through the Commonwealth Graduate Fund Initiative you must:

  • Have been unemployed or underemployed since graduation for at least 13 weeks
  • Live within the Glasgow City Council Boundary and can provide residency criteria
  • Have graduated since May 2009
  • Be legally entitled to work in the United Kingdom for a minimum of 2 years from your potential start date of employment

Register at to establish eligibility. You will then be invited for an appointment at city council to bring certificates and other evidence. Once confirmed you can view and apply for jobs. Brief vacancy details are also posted on our vacancy site at .

Renfrewshire Council Graduate Internships Programme

Those eligible to apply for the internships will:

  • Be a graduate with a degree aged under 25
  • Live in Renfrewshire
  • Be unemployed or under-employed in part-time work or jobs which don’t use their education and skills

Vacancies are advertised at  and also on our vacancy site

Also see the Invest in Renfrewshire Website for more information:

Scottish Chambers of Commerce

Funding has been secured to pilot a scheme to support graduate recruitment and business growth in Ayrshire, Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire and Dumfries and Galloway. Up to 100 graduates unable to find a job will be supported by the pilot in its first year.

To be eligible to apply for a vacancy under this scheme, you must be:

  • A recent graduate
  • Unemployed or under-employed

NB You do not need to live within any specific boundaries for this scheme

UWS has close connections with the Chambers of Commerce in these areas and we look forward to promoting these vacancies on our vacancies site when the scheme is up and running.

The full press release can be found here:

South Lanarkshire Job Fund

Managed by Routes to Work South. Not specifically aimed at graduates, however there may be vacancies of interest and you may register if you live in South Lanarkshire.

For more information visit:

To register visit:

West Dunbartonshire Graduates for Business Growth

West Dunbartonshire Council are offering financial incentives to local businesses to create graduate job opportunities.

To qualify for support you must be:

  • A recent graduate (degree level or above) and have graduated within the last two years
  • Currently be unemployed or working in non-graduate level employment
  • A resident of West Dunbartonshire

For more information contact:


Glasgow 2014 Vacancies

No specific graduate scheme, however many vacancies are graduate entrant level. Visit

Vacancies are also advertised on our vacancies site:

Strathclyde Police

Currently recruiting and interested in hearing from UWS graduates. Visit


Don’t forget these Scotland-wide initiatives, vacancies for which are also posted on our vacancies site:

Talent Scotland –

Open to all graduates who:

  • Have graduated from a higher education institution within the past two years.
  • Have no more than one year of relevant (graduate level) work experience since graduation.
  • International graduates must have up-to-date visa documentation that covers the full length of the placement.  Contact the Relocation Advisory Service for more information and advice.
  • Have good English language skills appropriate to a business environment.

Adopt an Intern –

Adopt an Intern aims to provide opportunities for graduates to gain paid and meaningful work experience and to establish a sustainable, fair and accessible internship culture in Scotland.

Check out their information for graduates page for more information:


Remember you can use our services for up to 2 years after graduation. Please do not hesitate to contact us!

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