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Nicola Urquhart Careers Adviser. Employability School of History. What we will cover:. What is employability? What employability skills are graduate recruiters looking for ? How to develop your employability skills Getting involved

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what we will cover
What we will cover:
  • What is employability?
  • What employability skills are graduate recruiters looking for?
  • How to develop your employability skills
  • Getting involved
  • How the Careers and Employability Service can support you
  • Action points
  • Questions
what is employability
What is Employability?

‘A set of attributes, skills and knowledge that all labour market participants should possess to ensure they have the capability of being effective in the workplace – to the benefit of themselves, their employer and the wider economy.’ (CBI, March 2009)

what employability skills are graduate recruiters looking for
What employability skills are graduate recruiters looking for?




Contextual/cultural awareness

Self awareness

Report writing


Problem Solving


Positive attitude




Team working

Capacity to develop


Drive and resilience

Project management


IT skills

Business and customer awareness

Planning and organisation


why are employability skills so important
Why are employability skills so important?
  • Increased competition – over 400,000 graduates leaving university each year.

‘Our latest UK recruitment campaign closed having attracted c.24500. The bank will offer c.475 places in 2012.’ HSBC newsletter April 2012

changing world of work
Changing world of work:
  • Global economy
  • More career changes
  • New technology/social media
  • Roles change
  • Changes to graduate recruitment
changes to graduate recruitment
Changes to graduate recruitment


Degree + good application + good interview = graduate role

changes to graduate recruitment1
Changes to graduate recruitment

Now …

Employers increasingly focusing on attributes in addition to traditional employability skills

Successful applicants have often had experience within the organisation via Insight days, work experience, internships etc.

what employers say
What employers say…

"Few students are able to articulate what they have gained from their experience in higher education." (Association of Graduate Recruiters, 1995)

how you can develop employability skills at the university of kent
How you can develop employability skills at the University of Kent
  • Through your course
  • Through work experience/volunteering
  • Through getting involved and taking part
  • Making use of the Careers and Employability Service
developing employability skills through your course
Developing employability skills through your course
  • an ability for clear expression both oral and written
  • putting forward ideas and arguments in a concise manner
  • gathering, investigating and assessing material
  • condensing facts, ideas and arguments
  • basing conclusions on research
  • synthesising ideas
  • organising material in a logical and coherent way
getting involved
Getting involved
  • Taking part in clubs and societies
  • Over 130 to choose from
  • Running clubs and societies
  • You could even set up a new one!
developing employability skills through
Developing employability skills through

Gaining work experience

A recruiter in a major London law firm says,

“If you have been employed scrubbing pots in a hot sticky kitchen we can see that you have resilience”

employability initiatives at the university of kent
Employability initiatives at the University of Kent

Kent Student Certificate for Volunteering

  • Bronze
  • Silver
  • Gold
  • Gold+
employability points
Employability Points
  • Over 200 rewards
    • Internships, work experience, training experiences, project placements
employability initiatives at the university of kent1
Employability initiatives at the University of Kent

“I have really enjoyed working as a student ambassador especially being part of the summer core team as I got to meet new people of all abilities, get involved in different activities and learn new skills and gain more experience”.( Katie Hardaker Sports Science)

what we do
What we do

Careers Talks and Workshops

Careers Library: Employer Directories, Occupational Profiles, Books etc

Comprehensive Web Pages

Careers Employability Award (CEM) on Moodle

Vacancy Database

Alumni Careers Network

Annual Careers and Recruitment Fair

Drop In - Quick Query

Careers Guidance Interviews

careers and employability service web pages
Careers and Employability Service Web Pages
  • Choosing a Career
  • What can I do with my degree in History
  • I want to work in…
  • Careers Events on campus
use the careers library and publications
Use the Careers Library and Publications
  • Graduate Directories
  • Postgraduate Prospectuses
  • Various books and publications
  • Career Planning Guide for Undergraduates
attend careers talks and workshops
Attend Careers Talks and Workshops.
  • Choosing a career
  • Careers in the public sector
  • How to make effective presentations
  • Commercial awareness
  • Getting the most from Careers Fairs
  • More information available
employers visiting campus
Employers visiting campus

Examples this term included:

  • MBDA
  • JET Programme (Teaching English)
  • Bloomberg
  • RAF
  • Teach First
  • Majestic Wine
  • PriceWaterhouseCoopers
careers and employability service fair
Careers and Employability Service Fair
  • Thursday 1st November 2-5pm Eliot Great Hall.

Chance to meet employers and hear about opportunities

moodle careers employability award
Moodle Careers Employability Award
  • Assessed by a range of quizzes and assignments
  • Will greatly improve your career planning and job hunting skills
  • Takes about 12 hours to complete
  • On completion you will get a University of Kent Careers Employability Award to add to your CV
  • Get 40 Kent Employability points for successful completion of the module.
comments from students who have completed the award
Comments from students who have completed the award.

“I liked the fact that the assignments relate to how you would fill in answers on a graduate job application step by step and provides examples of how to fill it in.”

“I really enjoyed the quizzes. They effectively highlighted the gaps in my knowledge, as many of the answers surprised me. I also found the module on creating my own CV very useful, these skills will be invaluable for tailoring my CV to particular jobs.”

“There is a wealth of information about everything; I especially liked the individual information about specific job types and the advice given about interview skills.”

the careers employability award
The Careers Employability Award

On successful completion you receive a University of Kent Careers Employability Certificate.

You can then add the following to your CV to show to employers.

"On my own initiative I enrolled for and successfully completed the University of Kent Careers Employability Award which covered identification and development of employability skills, self-awareness, identification of relevant career options, researching opportunities, CV preparation and interview skills."

speak to an adviser
Speak to an adviser:
  • Quick query, drop in and speak to an adviser 10.30am -12.30pm and 2.00pm-4pm Monday to Friday.
  • E mail @careerhelp and an adviser will respond to your query.
  • You can also book a longer career guidance (Jenny Keaveney) appointment over the phone or pop in.
some well known history graduates
Some well-known History graduates

… not to mention Alan Bennett; Salman Rushdie; the

director of the Howard League for Penal Reform;

Michael Mansfield QC; the Bishop of London; Chris

Martin; the Director-General of the CBI, the Chief

Executive of Barclays Bank; an award-winning

children’s writer; and the producer of Hotel Babylon

employment sectors
Employment sectors
  • Management & Administration
  • Finance & Business
  • Marketing, Sales & Advertising
  • Education
  • Arts, Culture, Media and Sport
  • Social and Welfare
  • Many others!
stay up to date with what is happening
Stay up-to-date with what is happening
  • Employability Newsletter
  • Follow us on Facebook at University of Kent Student Employability
  • Follow us on Twitter at @unikentemploy
  • Check out your School website.
action points
Action Points
  • Get involved!
  • Take advantage of the initiatives the university has to offer.
  • Make use of the Careers and Employability Service.
  • Don’t leave it until the last minute!