Student Staff Conference 2014

Posted on January 31st, 2014 by Ryan Akram

The theme of this year’s Conference is ‘Building Employability in Partnership’. Join the Students Union for the conference or any session at the Main Admin Building on 12th February between 1-5pm.

Students will be given the opportunity to explore their employability and discover how they can improve at Lincoln. Staff will be given the opportunity to discuss employability, understand the current issues for students at the University and what they can do to help students develop.

The day’s agenda

Welcome from Ian Antwi – Vice-President Academic Affairs @ Jackson Lecture Theatre MB 0603 13.00 -13.30

Workshops from 13.30 – 14.30

Jobs in the Creative Industries presented by Adele Crowther – Senior Lecturer for Marketing, Advertising, Business @ MB1012

Application writing + Search Timelines & Planning presented by Mark Stow – Head of Careers and Employability @ MB1016

Opportunities within the University presented by Drew Cook – Director of ICT and Ian Snowley –  University Liberian & Representatives from HR @ MB1013

Test Your Employability presented by Jessica Shields – Student Employment Co-ordinator @ MB1014

Sports + Employability presented by NUS and Joe Burt – Vice President Activities @ MB1017

Transforming transferable skills – Kelly Sisson – Researcher Training and Development Co-ordinator @ MB1011

Ideas Café and Lunch @ MB1009 14.30 – 15.00

Workshops from 15.00 – 16.00

Jobs in the Creative Industries presented by Adele Crowther – Senior lecturer for Marketing, Advertising, Business @@ MB1012

Application writing + Search Timelines & Planning presented by Mark Stow – Head of Careers and Employability @ MB1009

Test Your Employability presented by Jessica Shields – Student Employment Co-ordinator @ MB1007

Sports + Employability presented by NUS and Joe Burt – Vice President Activities @MB1017

Transforming transferable skills – Kelly Sisson – Researcher Training and Development Co-ordinator @ 1011

Closing from Ian Antwi and Mary Stuart – Vice Chancellor @ Cargill Lecture Theatre 16.00 – 16.45

Why attend?

–          Support and understand employability opportunities within the University

–          Develop students employability

–          Help students articulate the skills they have

Please visit the Students’ Union website for detailed information about the conference.


Interview with Kathy Allison – HR Manager at Boohoo

Posted on October 22nd, 2013 by Ryan Akram

Kathy Allison is currently the HR Manager at – and below we have a full interview with her covering a range of different aspects of her career in HR, and advice for anyone wishing to enter a similar field.

Kathy Allison

Kathy Allison HR Manager at


Describe your typical day.

It is hard to describe a typical day at boohoo because there never is one that is the same! From a day full of interviews and addressing director meetings to sorting out issues in the distribution centre HR. My role offers such a variety and really keeps you on your toes!


Do you have any tips for anyone wanting to break into the industry?

It is essential to show determination and make use of any experience that you can gain to start off your career. If you want to break into HR in the fashion industry, it also helps to get some experience in this area too. A lot of people tend to create fashion websites and blogs to showcase their experience and passion for fashion!


What were you doing before you became HR manager at and what prompted this change?

Before boohoo I worked as a people development manager in the services sector for the Radisson Blue hotel chain’s head office in Manchester. A friend of mine actually saw the role for boohoo advertised and recommended it would be a great fit for me, seeing as I have quite a quirky fashion sense and a love of clothes! I decided to apply for the role as head of HR, this was a massive step seeing as there was no HR implemented within the business before me, but after a lengthy interview process, my position was accepted and I have never looked back.


Can you describe some of the key skills/qualities you look for in a candidate applying for a job within HR?

I admire individuals that understand you need to start from the ground up in HR, do not expect to understand all the ins and outs of HR before getting some real experience. HR is a very competitive, sought after job, so we also admire persistence in applicants and a real desire to work for the business. It is also great when applicants can show how what the business will gain if they were to be employed.


What are the various roles available in this department?

There are several different roles that you can go for within a HR department, these include:

Recruitment – especially for growing businesses it is vital for a HR department to have an employee to plan and lead the recruitment for the business. This also covers graduate recruitment.

Benefits and pay – Boohoo prides our self on our competitive offer with other fashion houses on the benefits we offer our employees, to reach this we have a dedicated employee ensuring we get the best for boohoo.

Health, equality and learning development – a good HR department needs to ensure a business has its employees well looked after, as well as giving opportunities to push themselves further in their career within the company.


What is the most valuable piece of advice you would give someone who is looking to get into HR and how can they go about getting the best experience to do so?

It is really important for people to understand that HR is really competitive, be prepared to chase that job of your dreams and persistent. It is essential to make yourself stand out from the crowd, and ensuring you get the right experience to help you find the job you are looking for. Its great to see people who have started as an assistant in the business as they have had a true understanding of what it is like to work at different levels in HR.


When interviewing a candidate, what stands out most for you, and what tips can you offer with regards to the interview process?

We like to see people’s personalities through the interview, to give us a really good idea to see if that individual would fit the job and the company, show us your style fashion retailers are not about suits! All we can really say is that you need to be yourself and if you fit, that will shine through the interview! We also really appreciate when interviewees do a bit of research on their role and the company, this really gives an indication you are interested in the role.

This article was written by Rachael Murdoch.

Postgraduate Study in the US?

Posted on October 2nd, 2013 by Ryan Akram


The Fulbright Commission is the only organisation that offers scholarships for academic work in any subject, at any accredited US university. Each year, we give Awards to approximately 50 UK citizens, including approximately 30 at the postgraduate-level. More than funding, our Awards offer scholars the opportunity to have a transformative cultural and academic experience and provide unparalleled support both during and after their Fulbright year. (Non-UK citizens are encouraged to use our advisory service in the UK and attend USA Grad School Day, but to apply for Fulbright scholarships through the Commission or Embassy in their home country.)
For more information about the Fulbright Awards Programme visit: or take a look at this flyer. record_click

5 Reasons Why You Should Consider a Career in IT

Posted on September 24th, 2013 by Ryan Akram

If you’re in your final year of university or even just starting out, you might be beginning to wonder what you’ll do after you graduate. If there’s anything to be learnt from the recession or unemployment in 16-24 year olds, it’s that it’s becoming more and more important to pick up transferable skills and find a long-lasting industry where you can put them to good use.

So where do you start? In an increasingly technology-based world, the IT industry is a safe and innovative place to start a career. Not convinced? Here are five reasons why working in IT could just be the choice for you. Here are the best tips from Computeach:

1)      It’s in demand

Whilst certain industries are dying out, the IT industry is booming; it’s been predicted that between 2011 and 2015 Global IT employment will rise by 7.7 million. The rapid growth of web-use is just one area of IT where the demand for IT professionals has expanded in recent years – there has been a 566.4% increase in web visitors from the year 2000 to 2012!


Let’s use one of the main reasons people use the internet for as an example: social media. Without an IT programmer; there would be no Twitter or Facebook and since there are approximately 1.2 billion Facebook users and an average of 58 million Tweets a day, it’s safe to say that the job will keep you at the forefront of modern technology. Job roles such as an IT developer you will not only be forming the backbone to information technology but also supplying the rest of us with our day to day needs!


2)      Nationwide and global job opportunities

Job opportunities are also not limited to the UK. If you’re looking to open up your opportunities, a career in IT will allow you to work nearly anywhere in the world as the digital revolution is a global one.

3)      The pay

Whilst most of us pretend we’re not driven by money, the truth is, most of us want to earn enough to live comfortably. Depending on which path you decide to take as an IT professional, a career in IT could see you earning up to 60K.

4)      It’s not all about coding

A common myth around people who work in IT is that you spend all day in front of your computer trawling through page after page of html coding. However, if the super techy side of IT isn’t for you there are still plenty of different positions within IT to keep you occupied. For example, support-based roles particularly suit people with good communication skills as you’ll be involved in more face-to-face situations, so whilst the technical side is important to work in IT, it doesn’t have to be your sole purpose.

Furthermore, nearly every business has a demand for IT specialists so whether you work in the support team of an up-market law firm or are ahead of the curve at a web-design company, working in IT can be a varied as well as a long-lasting career choice.

If you don’t have any experience in IT, but are interested by the many benefits, taking a computer course such as those from Computeach means you can pick up all the skills you need to get involved in an IT profession.

5)      A good life-work balance

A never-ending workload, unparalleled pressure and unreachable targets – it’s no wonder many graduates fear entering the world of work. One of the great attributes of working in IT is the (usually) relaxed working atmosphere, and also, the normal working hours. In most professions of the IT sector you won’t be expected to take work home with you.


The IBM universities Business Challenge

Posted on September 20th, 2013 by Holly Elliott

Are you graduating within the next two years? Looking for a job? If you said yes to these questions can you say with confidence that you have any evidence of skills to impress an interviewer?

The IBM Universities Business Challenge is a great way for you to showcase the skills you have and to further develop the skills you’ll need when starting in Business or when you graduate.

This competition is for all undergraduate students across the UK, with over 300 Universities participating in total.

Teams come together to compete in three rounds, building the skills they need to start up their own businesses successfully. The winners of the competition are the team who make the most money across the three rounds.

This exciting, unique opportunity gives you the chance to work as part of the Board of Directors of a range of simulated companies. You’ll gain vital business experience in all areas, from Manufacturing to Service to ensure a well rounded learning experience.


We’re looking for three teams of students to work on this project. You’ll gain skills that employers believe are vital, such as:

  • Analytical skills
  • Commercial Awareness
  • Influencing Skills
  • Leadership
  • Planning and Organising
  • A Results-Driven Approach
  • Financial Awareness
  • Innovation in Problem-Solving
  • Managing the Customer Relationship

As well as improving or gaining these skills you’ll also be able to build up a portfolio of work in which to show evidence of these skills; boosting your CV.

Employers working on the UBC include Jaguar Land Rover, RBS, and IBM as well as many more. They all offer graduate schemes to students and so the Universities Business Challenge can be a great chance to impress top employers and start your career.

As well as the invaluable experience of taking part there are also cash prizes to the overall winning teams. 1st £1000, 2nd £500 and 3rd £250.

The three round challenge starts in the last week of October 2013 and ends during the final week in March 2014.

Download the UBC UK Quick Overview Leaflet for more information.

If you’re interested in entering the University Business Challenge or becoming a team leader, email Rebecca Clayforth at

The first meeting is on 4th October 2013 1-2pm in the Enterprise and Employability building.

Myth Busters: The Job Hunt

Posted on September 11th, 2013 by Ryan Akram

Myth Busters: The Job Hunt

Job hunting can be a tricky business. It can be confusing knowing how to start your job hunt and what the optimum methods are for applying and increasing success rates. After university you will be looking for graduate jobs but before you start, Anna Pitts of the Graduate Recruitment Bureau has busted five job hunting myths- just to clear up any confusion!


“Recruitment agencies and jobs boards are the same”

WRONG! It’s a common misconception that these two types of organisation perform the same function. It is true that both are platforms for job vacancies and employers will work with them to advertise their roles. However, a jobs board simply hosts the information and the employer themselves deals with the application and recruitment process. Signing up to jobs boards means you get a lot of information about vacancies, not all that will be of interest to you, but they are a good place to get lots of details on the current job market. On the other hand, a recruitment agency will handle the recruitment process for the employer meaning they take the time to find well matched applicants from their database. This means you only are contacted when a strong job match has been found for you. It is a good idea to register with many jobs boards and recruitment agencies to get all the information possible.

“All jobs are advertised everywhere”

WRONG! As touched on above, employers pay job hosting sites to advertise their vacancy. Not all employers will use all jobs boards or recruitment agencies, meaning that each website and company has a different selection of available roles. This is what is known as the ‘hidden jobs market’ as the jobs are effectively hidden from anyone who hasn’t registered to the hosting service. Signing up to one will only give you access to the employers who work with that company, so to get in the know about all the available jobs, sign up to as many as you can. Some big companies will advertise on more than one server, however, smaller companies with a modest budget might only use one to work with. If you aren’t signed up with them you won’t hear about the vacancy, meaning your dream job could sneak past you.

“You have to have a 2.1 or above to be successful”

WRONG! Going to university and gaining a degree of any classification is an achievement in itself. Recently, with the increase in the competitiveness of the graduate jobs market, people have been led to believe that if they do not achieve a 2.1 or above in their degree then they won’t be hired into a graduate position. Whilst some companies do stress that a 2.1 is required, this is not the case for every single job out there. Besides your degree, employers look at your extracurricular activities and work experience when assessing your application. If you have a healthy selection of impressive work experience relevant to the role your chances will increase significantly. Additionally, if you were involved in other projects at university, such as the Student’s Union or a society, then it shows skills and interests that a degree alone cannot demonstrate. Therefore, the important thing is to make sure you offer them a well-rounded candidate for the role so that they are so amazed by your impressive performance both in and outside of academia.

“Employers don’t look at applicants’ social media profiles”

WRONG! The importance of being careful with what you post online has never been higher than in today’s job market. Employers look for a way to differentiate candidates from each other, and one way they do this is by looking them up online. If your Facebook profile is not set to private then potential employers can see all your information and what you have shared. Suddenly those pictures from last night don’t seem like such a good idea? There is no harm in having a personality online but don’t share anything degrading, offensive or harmful to you or others. If you need to, have separate profiles, one for personal friends and one for your professional image. It is important to be active on social media to get your name out there but you don’t want to be noticed by employers for the wrong reason!

“Bulk applying is good”

WRONG! Obviously, the more jobs you apply to, the more chance you have that one will be successful- it’s the law of averages. There is no harm in applying to lots of roles, but the danger with bulk applications is that you get lazy; you stop tailoring your CV for each role, you stop looking for good matches, you start applying to everything and you start to copy and paste chunks of application forms. No, No, No! You must treat each application as a separate event in its own right. Read the job description thoroughly and decide if you think you would enjoy the job and fulfil the application criteria. Tailor your CV to make it as relevant as possible, mirroring the language used in the advert in your application. Start every section of the application form from scratch and give it 100%. Recruiters will know a rushed or careless application when they see one, meaning you actually have less chance of success even though you sent out loads of applications. It is far better to take time and care over a few, select roles that you are interested in.

Now you are up to scratch with your job hunting knowledge and ready to tackle the jobs market as a savvy searcher! Good luck!

Written by Anna Pitts, a Marketing Assistant and Online Researcher at the Graduate Recruitment Bureau. Her work involves PR and outreach and writing informative, interesting advice based articles for graduates and students. Follow her on twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.


Applying for a job within the creative industry

Posted on August 29th, 2013 by Ryan Akram



The BBC revealed that in July 2012, over 52 applications on average are received for every graduate position that is advertised.

With the job market becoming more and more competitive, candidates need to go that extra mile to get to the interview stage; a way of doing this can be creating an application that positively stands out from the crowd.

Caroline Macrae, Head of Design at Dom and Geri gives her advice and guidance to those wanting to apply for jobs within the creative industry.

Write a creative CV

Many people use a standard template when applying for jobs, but if you’re applying for a creative role then the standard application may not set you apart from the competition.

A creative CV is an alternative way of showcasing your skills, experience and qualifications that will demonstrate your creative flair to a prospective employer. Within the creative sector these types of applications are popular and can prove very effective.

Skills and Qualities        

When applying for a job within the creative industry it’s important to plan ahead, have the right attitude and personality for the position. These attributes have helped me in getting my work in front of the right people and gaining recognition. I think it’s a good idea for candidates to think of several approaches in applying for each position, and then deciding on one that will make you stand out from the sea of applicants applying for that same job.

Be proactive in your approach, if you have a particular interest in a company but they have no apparent positions advertised. I suggest ringing them up and showing your interest – find out who deals with these enquiries and contact them directly.

Finding a job can be hard but there are opportunities if you know where to look. The skill you need is to be able to build relationships. Networking can be a great way to find these opportunities and build the relationships – from just talking to people around you. I found that it was a great lever in me gaining my creative position, but it is important to not restrict yourself to one mode of networking.

Look out for opportunities to network in person, through acquaintances or at industry related events. Before attending such events I would find out who was likely to be attending and familiarise myself with the respective companies. I would then look at their online presence, their personality and promotional materials in order to establish what they would be looking for in a prospective employee, and then tailor my CV to suit.



When looking for potential employees at Dom and Geri, we are amazed at the lengths people will go in order to secure a job with us. We have been sent a 3D CV, a T-shirt CV and even an application on fabric – all of which we were instantly impressed by. The aim is to get your potential employer to look at what you have created and want to meet the person behind it all.

Employers want to be able to see your past experience and knowledge to see whether you are suited to the role. I found volunteering for organisations allowed me to gain imperative experience, improve my creative skills, increase my confidence within the industry and achieve practical experience.

It is important to be able to showcase all of your talents, whether this is in the way to create your application, or by having examples ready to explain if you receive an interview invite. Many applicants have shared their website with the prospective employer so they have access to your work at the touch of a button.

Have a look at some of the creative CV examples on our site. (link –


What to avoid

I would advise to avoid as much as possible in sending CV’s by email, as they often find themselves either being deleted or in many cases being left ‘to do ‘later which can sometimes see them never being opened. I chose to abandon the two sides of A4 set up on a Microsoft Word document, generally needed for applying for any other job, and decided to get creative and have some fun with it!

Although a well-designed application is important in getting the attention of the prospective employer, it is vital there is no spelling or grammar errors as this will mean you will fail in getting an interview invite. My advice would be to get your application proof read or read it out loud to yourself to ensure that the words on the page showcase concrete examples of your skills and past accomplishments.

The start of your new career…Top Tips in your new role

Posted on August 22nd, 2013 by Elizabeth Bruzas

This week marks the first full week of the new interns within the Careers and Employability team- so this is a belated welcome to Ryan, Maddie, Holly, Bex and Emma!

Step up

This got me thinking that many of you will be in your first few weeks or coming up to starting your new role soon. Therefore I wanted to put together a bit of a top tips in starting out in your new role!

  1. First impressions count (1)- be smart but be comfortable. There’s nothing worse than an un-ironed shirt or a holey pair of shoes!
  2. First impressions count (2)- smile! Be friendly to your colleagues and don’t be afraid to introduce yourself
  3. Know your surroundings- if you are working in a large office then take yourself on a tour; know the key places that you may need on the future…toilet, café, manager’s office!
  4. Timekeeping- DO NOT be late on your first day! Being on time or early will be noticed, it also ensures that you wont turn up to work flustered, panicky and more importantly sweaty!
  5. Ask for a buddy- there’s no harm in asking for support and people will most likely be willing to help.
  6. Ask questions- don’t assume that you will always understand instructions, if you are confused then ask. If you wonder why something happens that way then ask!
  7. Find key people across the organisation and don’t be afraid to ask if you can book a meeting with them to introduce yourself. It’s never wise to walk past and ignore someone that you later realise to be the ‘big boss’!
  8. Be yourself- people will want to get to know you so let them.
  9. Be proactive- if you are happy to take on more work then offer to and if you have a great idea that you think may work then speak up!
  10. Don’t be checking Facebook and Twitter whilst sat at your desk…unless you’re new role is Social Media Guru!!

Good luck! And don’t forget to let us know how you get on