The last week of January was Employability Week and many students completed graduate level work placements, either through Swansea University’s Week of Work (WoW) programme, through their college, or independently. Here are some quick tips (and a great video) on what to do to make the most of a placement once you’ve completed it.
1. Fund your expenses.
Swansea Employability Academy accepts retrospective applications to the Week of Work programme, and can fund up to 5 days reasonable travel and lunch expenses for voluntary work experience. If you’ve found a placement independently and would like to apply to recover some of your costs, email email@example.com. If your placement was already organised as part of the WoW programme, we’ll be emailing you an expenses form soon.
2. Register your placement on your Higher Education Achievement Report.
The HEAR is a great way to let prospective employers know about all your achievements at university, not just your academic grades. All Week of Work placements are automatically registered on your individual HEAR, but if you’d like an independently sourced placement to be recognised on your report, you can again email firstname.lastname@example.org. Students who are retrospectively awarded Weeks of Work are kept on our database for future placements.
3. Book an appointment with a Career Advisor.
Often work placements can open your mind to new career prospects and different ways of working and it can be difficult to know how to put these ideas into practice. By booking an appointment with a qualified and impartial careers advisor at the Swansea Employability Academy, you can get the best advice and support for the next steps on your career path. Appointments are free of charge, available to all Swansea University students and can be booked at myuni.swan.ac.uk/employability or pop into either the Bay or Park campus library.
4. Update your CV and LinkedIn profile.
It’s vital to not only keep your CV up-to-date by adding the details of your placement, but also to make sure it still fits with your values and goals for the future. Work Placements will often be important catalysts for decision making, so make sure that your CV is still aligned to your career targets. You should also add any additional skills you gained or developed during your placement, and say how these relate to your aspirations. Once you’ve updated this on your CV, it’ll be easy to copy it in to your LinkedIn profile (You have got a LinkedIn profile, right?) and while you’re on the site, make sure you add any colleagues that you worked with during your placement.
5. Keep in touch.
Adding colleagues from your placement on LinkedIn is just one way of keeping in touch. Remember, the people that you worked alongside in the company have invested in your future career so will be interested in seeing your next steps. Email them individually to thank them for the opportunities they gave you and ask for all-important feedback on your work. These conversations can often develop into valuable informal mentoring which can help when it’s time to…
6. Find your next role.
By now your placement is registered with the University, you’ve had great feedback from a career advisor and your colleagues, you’ve updated your CV and online presence, and you’re in touch with key contacts within your chosen business sector. It’s time to network and use these resources to ask for your next role. Good luck.
If you have any photos, stories or reflections from Employability Week or your Week of Work we’d love to hear from you. Please email email@example.com
If you’ve completed the above steps, you could be eligible for a SEA Award. Visit https://myuni.swan.ac.uk/employability/swansea-employability-award-overview/ for more information.