Archive | employability

Placements and Graduate Jobs – Jargon Buster

It can be very confusing when applying for work experience, placements and graduate jobs; there is a lot of technical language or words that seem similar. This blog will help you navigate around some of the terms commonly used in applications.

Jargon Buster

Jargon Buster

This is the person applying for the position – you. You may also be referred to also as a prospective employee or job seeker. In cover letters, it is always a useful idea to explain why you may be the perfect candidate for the position you are applying to.

Private sector and Public sector opportunities
Those in the private sectors are corporate companies there to usually make a profit. Public sector opportunities usually fall under government contracts and legislation such as working in the NHS, councils or state schools.

B2B and B2C

Business-to-business sales describe the process of one business selling their services/products to another business. In contrast B2C sales are those between a Business and consumers. A company can be both B2B and B2C too!

Psychometric tests
Psychometric testing refers to the process of measuring a candidate’s relevant strengths and weaknesses. This form of measurement is primarily employed to assess employment suitability, including company-candidate fit. Unfortunately, they can be a little complicated and timed (usually ranging from fifteen to thirty minutes per test).This can include numerical tests, behavioral questions and many others. The trick is to practice all these type of tests as much as you can before the real thing!

FBL Placements - Tests

FBL Placements – Tests

Competency Questions

This is a very common process for large companies who offer opportunities for students and graduates. It can be defined as your core strengths or the specific skill set you need for the position. Normally they can ask you for particular examples of when you showed a specific personal quality such a leadership or team work.

Assessment Centre

An assessment centre is a technique used in the selection of candidates for a job in an organization. It is most often used to help determine which employees have the potential to be promoted into management positions. It employs a variety of techniques and multiple observers in a closed setting. The Careers destinations at the University of Southampton offers assessment centre practice and CV workshops.

Remuneration/ Benefits package

This usually can be defined more generally as the job or positions’ salary but may include non financial perks such as a company car, free transport or even a gym membership.


If you work in sales or marketing, you may get commission. You have a basic salary and for every sale you make you get a percentage of the profit. The more you sell, the more you earn. You have more motivation, which is good for you and for the company.

With regards to any term or phrase you do not know in any application, it is always best to do some research or ask someone for advice. The placement office at the University of Southampton is always open to help you with interview tips, CV improvements and much more.

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Introducing #FindYourPlace! Over the past few months we have loved hearing from different people about their placement experiences, tips and advice. Now we want to hear from YOU!

Over the next few months we want to build a community, sharing tried and tested tips, advice and experiences which will hopefully help you #FindYourPlace. Whether you are looking for a graduate job, internship or placement year, we want to hear from you – get involved on our twitter and facebook page and keep up to date on key information which will make you a first choice for employers!

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4 Extra-Curricular Activities that Employers Love

Are you stuck for extra-curricular activities to add to your CV? Perhaps you don’t know which of your experiences is worthy of mentioning, or maybe you’ve not yet got round to taking part in anything outside of your degree. In this article, we’ll look at four activities outside of your course that employers love, providing you with inspiration for writing your CV, or new ideas for activities to apply for in September.

1. Doing charity work

Taking on charity work is a great way to show your passion for a cause close to you, as well as providing an opportunity to learn new skills relevant to your future career. Charity work doesn’t always involve fundraising or providing frontline services, there are often opportunities to take on a volunteering position with the management of a local charity, teaching you valuable business skills such as a good email manner, project management skills or event planning.

A volunteering role such as this is a great way to fill any gaps in your experience, for example if you were unsuccessful in applying for a summer internship. You may have to go without pay, but don’t forget that even a day or an afternoon a week during term time can be enough for you to learn many of the useful transferrable skills mentioned above.

2. Actively learning new skills

A highly sought-after trait of new hires is being a self-starter when it comes to learning new skills. If you regularly spend time learning new skills outside of your degree course, you’re able to demonstrate that you’re willing and able to fill any gaps in your knowledge, which can really help to reassure your interviewer if you don’t yet have all the skills necessary for the job you’re interviewing for.

SKILLSThere are two types of skills you may wish to teach yourself. Firstly, extra-curricular skills can demonstrate that you’re a well-rounded person, for example learning first aid. Learning this life skill shows you have a willingness to become a resource to your community, and is also relevant to the business world, since organisations need a number of trained first aiders in the building as part of their first aid obligation. If you have a first aid certificate already, check it’s in date, as due to a rule change, an out of date certificate means you’re no longer a first aider.

Second, is learning a skill relevant to your industry that you may not have gained through your course. For example, if you’re looking to get into digital marketing, you need to learn industry-specific skills which are not on offer on many courses. Show you’re worth hiring by learning these skills before you get on the job training, which can be done for free with online courses by Google and other providers.

3. Show off your writing skills

Even if you’re not looking to enter a career in journalism or copywriting, the fact is that many roles require strong writing skills, for example for communicating ideas in presentations, writing reports, or creating specifications for products or campaigns.

One of the best ways to showbusiness-writing off your written communication skills is to write for the Wessex Scene, the Tab, or other publications such as a blog on a topic you’re passionate about. Bringing a portfolio of articles authored by you can really help set you apart from other candidates who may simply rely on their CV to demonstrate their writing skills.

To gain even more credit with the interviewer, consider writing on a topic relevant to the industry you’re looking to enter, demonstrating not just your writing skills, but also your passion for the career you’re aiming to begin.

4. Taking part in relevant societies and student groups

Employers love to see candidates who have actively tried to expand their knowledge about the industry they’re looking to enter, and a great way to show this is by joining a club or society relevant to your career plans. For example, if you’re looking to become a web developer, then why not join the Electronics and Computer Science Society? Or if you’re looking to become an engineer, then taking part in the Engineering Society can help show your passion. With over 300 societies to choose from, it’s well worth taking a look for one relevant to the career you’re looking to enter.

Your level of involvement in these groups is also of significance in your interview. It’s always best to join just one or two societies and take on a leading role, such as becoming a member of the committee, than joining 5 or 6 and not attending regularly. A deeper involvement in a club means you’ll learn more transferrable skills such as financial skills or time management, which you can put on your CV and discuss in your interview.

About the author

Seb Atkinson graduated in 2011 and is a first aider writing for the Safety First Aid blog, which provides helpful advice to first aiders and first aid volunteers.

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