May 17, 2022, by Matthew Lumley

Five ways to boost your employability with the Advantage Award

By Matt Lumley, Nottingham Advantage Award Coordinator

For over 10 years our team have been helping you make career choices and stand out to employers. Our employability scheme is designed to showcase your extra-curricular activities and prepare you for the recruitment process.

Any units you do with us will be listed on your degree transcript, help you reflect on why that experience was important to an employer and look great on your CV.

So here’s why you should take part.

1. Make career choices

This can be a difficult decision to make. Do not worry if you feel lost. Whether you have no idea or too many ideas about your future career the Award can help.

Know what you want to do next? – Find opportunities to boost your skills and experience in that area.

Have a number of options? – Try them and see which one you prefer.

Absolutely no idea? – This category is where most of our students lie. We provide many opportunities – so just give it go. You may find something you love that was never on your radar. Conversely, sometimes it can be beneficial to cross things off you never want to do again. Better to realise that now before entering the job market.

We understand that sometimes things do not work out. That’s why you can withdraw from our units without any adverse consequences.

2. Get recognition

Practically all extra-curricular activities around the University – and beyond – can be used towards the Award. Think about activities you want to do – get a part-time job, volunteer, join a society committee – there is a unit for all of these.

You’re doing half the work. Why not join a unit and get some extra recognition on your degree transcript?

We also have prizes sponsored by employers. Another way for you to showcase your achievements.

3. Get skills and experience

You may have received employer interview feedback – “you interviewed well, but other candidates had more experience”. The Award can help you find it.

There are over various opportunities in the UK and even more in our China and Malaysia campuses. We provide bespoke activities to develop your skills in a practical setting.

Through our assessments we encourage you to reflect on your roles. This allows you to identify the skills you are developing whilst also providing evidence of your experience to employers.

4. Get connected

Employers support us through running units, workshops, mock interviews and sponsoring prizes. Approximately one third of large recruiter opportunities are filled by those who have already worked for the organisation. Meeting employers on the Award can help you gain this internship experience.

However, it’s not all about employers. It is a great way to meet students outside of your course. Immersing yourself in the University community could also provide opportunities with staff in your School, the Students’ Union or Widening Participation.

5. Prepare for the recruitment process

When you complete a job application or attend an interview you will face “competency-based” questions. Describe a time you have shown excellent communication or when you have needed to overcome an obstacle. It can be difficult to motivate yourself to keep a record of these skills and experiences.

Our units encourage you to reflect on areas such as your strengths, weaknesses and greatest achievements. You will then have ready-made responses to use when applying for jobs.

We also provide chances to help you articulate your experiences.

You could apply to our prizes that mimic a recruitment process. For each prize you need to apply, attend an interview – with an employer – and even get feedback on your performance.

We also provide appointments and run workshops to help you showcase your achievements on your CV and prepare you for entering the workplace.

So what next?

Applications open on the following dates:

  • 31 August – Units starting in autumn term
  • 1 November – Units starting in spring term
  • 1 May – Units starting in summer

You can explore all of the units on offer in our unit catalogue.

If you would like to find out more then you can attend one of our information sessions.

You can also speak to a member of the team by booking an appointment on My Career.

Contact and Follow us

You can keep up-to-date on the Nottingham Advantage Award via social media, so please like and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Want to speak to one of the Award team then please contact us at nottingham-advantage-award@nottingham.ac.uk

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