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Category Archives: Skills Development

Make the most of your time at university

As we say welcome to our new students and welcome back to our returning students, it’s a good opportunity to remind you that university life isn’t just about studying and partying, but also about developing your skills for your future career.

Welcome phrase words cloud concept

Employers are looking to recruit graduates with a broad range of  employability skills and global competencies that have been developed through academic study, work experience, and extra-curricular activities.

Understanding your skills and strengths and having the ability to identify opportunities to develop your potential will help you find the right fit in terms of your chosen career and your role in society.

Check out our Developing Your Skills & International Options sections on our website for more on this.

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Interview Presentation Tips For Success

As if going for interview wasn’t stressful enough… sometimes we are asked to give a presentation as part of the process! If the thought of this fills you with dread, read our top five tips to help:

Preparation is key!

You will be given a topic and a time limit for your presentation. You should research the topic and how it relates to the company. Be creative about sourcing information. Decide which information is relevant and collate your ideas, grouping them in themes as they emerge. Think about your audience, in order to ensure you pitch your presentation at the right level.

Get the structure right

Developing a clear structure for your presentation will help you stay focused and help your audience follow you. Have a clear message that runs through the presentation.

You should make sure you have a powerful introduction and memorable close, as these are the times when your audience will be most attentive. Ensure that your ideas are clear and come in a logical sequence.

When calculating how much time to spend on each section you should allow 10-15% for your opening, and the same for your conclusion, then the remainder of time should be spent on the main content.

Prepare visual aids

It’s important that you use a mode of presentation that you can operate with ease. There are several alternatives to the traditional PowerPoint presentation that can reflect different skills, however be cautious about being flashy in order to emphasise technical expertise as this can cause problems with audience distraction.

Do not subject your audience to “death by PowerPoint” – keep your visual aids simple and use to emphasise what you are saying rather than taking the focus away from you.

Also consider providing hand-outs for the audience to keep as a reminder of you and your presentation.

Practice, practice, practice

Rehearsing is essential to feeling confident on the day. As well as familiarising yourself with the content, you should check your timings are right.

Find what works best for you: speaking out loud to yourself in the shower, picking up presentation tactics from the Internet (TED talks are a great resource for this), or familiarising yourself with your presentation over and over.

If possible, do a dummy run in front of a friend or family member and ask for constructive feedback. Alternatively, take a video of yourself and observe what worked well and what you need to improve.

Body language

The way you deliver your presentation and how you appear to your audience is just as important as what you say. If your message, tone of delivery and body language are consistent, you will present powerfully and with impact. Nerves are natural, but you can channel a feeling of confidence simply by changing your posture. Remember to smile and to have eye contact with your audience.

 

Finally… remember that the audience wants you to succeed! You were invited to interview because they think you have something to offer and they want to see more. Follow these tips and show them that you are the right candidate for the job.

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By Carol Vaughan, Careers & Employability Service Information Services Co-ordinator

Boost your commercial awareness with professional magazines and newsletters

Most work sectors have professional magazine publications both in printed and/or digital formats with news and discussion about what’s going on in the sector. Many also have free digital newsletters that you can sign up to receive.

These are a great way for you to build your knowledge and commercial awareness of the sector you want to work in.

The best way to find these publications is to search by sector, for example “teaching”, “human resource management” or “science”. Some examples:

  • Times Higher Education Supplement
  • PlanetEarth
  • International Accountant
  • PR Week
  • HR Magazine
  • The Scientist

Don’t forget that many of these also have Social Media accounts where they publish up to date news and information.

Get on the list, get connected, and stand out from the crowd during the job application process with your up to date knowledge and commercial awareness!

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By Carol Vaughan, Information Services Co-ordinator, UWS Careers & Employability Service

On the 7th Day of Christmas…

7thOn the 7th Day of Christmas…

UWS CES brings to you…

SEVEN ways to improve your CV

A degree on its own is not enough to impress employers! They are looking for well-rounded candidates with a set of transferable skills such as planning, organising, customer care, teamwork and communication.

You have many opportunities to pick up new skills and experience throughout your time at university that will be of value to your future, though:

  • Work placements & internships
  • Gap year
  • Summer jobs or part-time work
  • Voluntary work
  • Extra-curricular activities
  • Academic achievements & coursework
  • Online or continuous learning (after graduation)

Read more…

 

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:

https://www.liftcaregiving.com/articles/single/ted-talks-power-being-positive/

staying motivated job search

On the 1st Day of Christmas…

1stOn the 1st Day of Christmas…

UWS CES brings to you…

ONE Skills Reflection Tool

Employers have identified the key qualities they look for in individuals when recruiting. Use this Skills Audit to consider which skills you have experience in and those you still need to develop. Then use the Action Plan to set goals for developing these skills.

If you need ideas check out our Moodle site or make an appointment with a careers adviser.

Happy International Students Day

internatTo celebrate International Students Day, we asked for a guest blog from one of our International Students, to tell our readers about their experience of studying and working at UWS…

I have been a full-time Mechanical Engineering student at UWS since last four years and as a non-European international student, I have enjoyed every day of it. I have lived in the University’s accommodation and the staff and faculty couldn’t have been more helpful from the very first day. It also helped me enhance some of my skills like being able to do tasks at my own initiative, have met and socialised with people with almost all corners of the world and have learnt about different cultures and countries.

I am also a part of the amazing Student Ambassador team of the University. The job provides me opportunity to develop my communication skills and a chance to help others every day. Also, since I’m passionate about UWS, it allows me to do something beneficial for the University and fits perfectly around classes.

This year as an undergraduate student, I have got a chance to do a fairly costly research project which is funded by The Royal Society of London under the supervision of University’s very experienced Lecturers. We have done a lot of practical work at UWS and I can see myself applying the knowledge from them in my near future.

Hence, I am very proud that I chose University of the West of Scotland a place for my higher Education.

Ramender Kwatra

 

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