March 10, 2014, by Giselle Kennedy

How to explain your Award experience to employers

Whether you have completed the Nottingham Advantage Award, or have just finished your first module, you will have great experiences to draw on when it comes to clinching that all important job. Everybody knows that an interview can be daunting, but with a little bit of know-how, it needn’t be.

Explaining your Award experience to employers is a great way to showcase the range of skills you have gained and developed during your time at The University of Nottingham. Follow our step-by-step guide, so that you can “wow” your potential employers with your extracurricular experiences.

Step 1: Person specification

Study the person specification and pick out key words that you think reflect you. Try and gain an understanding of the type of person the company is looking for and write down these attributes.

Step 2: Personal reflection

Reflect upon the responsibilities and experiences you had as part of the Nottingham Advantage Award. Write down each module and think about the activities you took part in. Read through your CV, and ask yourself:

  • Who did I work with?
  • What skills did I gain?
  • How did I overcome problems?
  • How did I develop personally?
  • What did I enjoy?
  • What did I excel in?
  • Have my experiences helped me to decide which job I would like?

Step 3: Linking everything together

Combine your analysis of the person specification and personal reflection. Your aim is to match the skills you gained through your Award activities, to those the employer is looking for in their selection criteria. To demonstrate these similarities you can use the STAR technique (situation, task, action, and result):

  • Situation: Outline an issue/problem you were faced with.
  • Task: Explain what your task was within the situation.
  • Action: Explain in sequential steps what your response was to the situation? What did you do? Did you use a skill that is necessary for the job you are being interviewed for?
  • Result: Explain the outcome. The employer is looking for a positive response.

Speak confidently about your achievements and strengths. After all, you want to show how you are the best candidate for the job!

For more information on interview preparation, click here and here.

Remember that our Celebration Event is coming up on Monday 9 June 2014. If you have successfully completed the Award by earning 30 credits or have been shortlisted for one of the Employer-Supported Prizes, you will be invited to the event.

There are several top employers who are sponsoring prizes this year, along with the Vice-Chancellor’s Prize.  Prize winners will receive awards such as lunch with the vice president of the company, an internship position, a session with a career coach, or various vouchers and give-aways.

Posted in Student Experience