What to do if you’ve accepted the wrong job offer

This is the time of year when we get some students coming in anxious about a rejecting a job offer, especially if they have signed a contract when they want to accept a later offer. This blog post from colleagues at Warick University gives great advice that echoes what we say to students.

The Careers Blog

Everyone hopes that it will be possible to get an offer for the dream job, withdraw from any application processes still underway and settle down to wait for a start date. Sadly it doesn’t always work out this way. What do you do when you are offered a good job and the recruitment process for the dream job is still on-going?

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SEPnet: careers information and Skills Transformer tool

SEPnet is the South East Physics Network, a network of nine universities in the South East of England, working together to deliver excellence in physics. SEPnet partners have useful careers pages on their websites full of information, advice and relevant resources for physics students.

SEPnet careers information

They also offer Skills Transformer which provides science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) students with a structure to help you recognise, write about and talk about your skills. Skills Transformer shows you, through hearing from STEM graduates, why transferable skills are vital to working successfully in science and technical jobs after graduation and why being able to write and talk about them is fundamental to securing a job.

Spend 5 minutes trying out the online Skills Transformer tool and work through the sessions to help you prepare for placement or job application forms and for interviews.

Skills Transformer

KTPs – Graduate jobs straddling academia and industry

Thanks to my colleague Deborah Fowlis for this great introduction to KTPs

If you’d like to work for a local company and manage your own projects while earning a competitive graduate salary, a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) may be for you.

What are Knowledge Transfer Partnerships?
The KTP scheme is one of the UKs largest graduate employment programmes and one of the longest running. It helps business to innovate and grow by providing three-way collaboration between universities, organisations and graduates.

Businesses link up with an academic or research institution, which then help to recruit a suitably qualified graduate, known as a KTP Associate. Employed by the university, the associate then works for the company on strategic projects, helping to improve business performance and increase productivity. As a KTP associate, the type of work you carry out depends on your qualifications and the company that you work for, but as an example, KTP projects could include:

  • reorganising production facilities
  • introducing new technologies to an organisation
  • designing new or improved products, processes or services
  • developing new business strategies and breaking into new markets.

With over 300 job opportunities available every year, the scheme can take from 12 months to three years to complete. Upon completion, around 70% of employers offer associates a full-time job, usually in a management role.

What sectors can I work in?
KTPs are primarily aimed at small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) but companies of all sizes, including not-for-profit organisations in a variety of industries can take part in the programme. You could work a wide range of industries, those particularly of interest to physicists and astronomers are:

  • engineering and manufacturing
  • science and pharmaceuticals
  • environment and agriculture
  • energy and utilities
  • business, consulting and management

What are the benefits of a KTP?

  • experience of managing a challenging, real-life project of vital importance to a business
  • opportunities to gain professional qualifications – often business related
  • a competitive graduate salary, usually in region of £25,000 to £35,000.
  • the possibility of full-time employment at the end of the project
  • access to a budget of £2,000 per year for training, £2,250 for travel and a further £1,500 for necessary equipment.

Am I eligible?
To be eligible for the KTP scheme graduates need a 2:1 Bachelors degree in a relevant subject or a Masters or PhD. You’ll also need the right to work in the UK.

To find vacancies online head to Innovate UK. Here you’ll be able to register your interest in the programme, create a profile so recruiters can find you and search current vacancies.

 

Physics CareerLabs – Interviews & LinkedIn

I am running two workshops for physics & astronomy students. All welcome

  • Physics CareersLab – Get better at interviews

Got internship, job or PhD interviews coming up? Get some advice and a chance for some low-stress practice.

Monday 4 March, 5pm – 6pm, JCMB 4319B

  • Physics CareersLab – Making good use of LinkedIn

Want to learn about making a good profile? Using LinkedIn to help you find out about job roles and vacancies? Get some advice and a chance for some low-stress practice. Bring a device if you can.

Monday 11 March, 5pm – 6pm, JCMB 4319B

Employ.ed on Campus Internships plus help in applying

Planning to apply for an Employ.ed on Campus Internship for this summer? Open to 2nd year to penultimate year students, you will find these on MyCareerHub

There are 57 great, paid, on-campus opportunities available across a range of university departments and units including:

  • Start-up Accelerator and Data Intern (Edinburgh Innovations)
  • Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas Intern (IAD)
  • other include projects in virtual learning, equality & diversity, comms and marketing and several within the School of Physics & Astronomy:
  • Research Computing Internship (Codes, Data Techniques and Skills)
  • Open Source Web Development Community Champion
  • Event Coordinator and Marketing Intern

Keen?  Applications close on 20 Feb so get our expert tips on putting together an effective application. Find out how to match your experience to the job, what recruiters will be looking for, and the little things that make a big difference.

Online session Tue 12 Feb 2019, 1:15 PM to 2:00 PM.  Connect through MyCareerHub

Large grad scheme not for you? Suss out the alternatives – small can be beautiful!

I realise not everyone wants to work for a large recruiter via a graduate scheme yet sometimes it may feel like that is the only thing out there. They do tend to have lots of money to spend on marketing and recruitment so their profile is high. However, would it surprise you to know that only 15% of graduates go onto graduate schemes? Far greater numbers go on to work for smaller or medium-sized enterprises/organisations (SMEs) of up to 250 staff, often much fewer where there can be huge benefits including:

– Quicker selection process, usually just CV and cover letter, interview (no online tests!)
– Quicker timeline from application to start date (they tend to recruit as the work and projects demand)
– Less hierarchical work environment – contact with senior management
– More responsibility – more quickly
– Work across multiple projects
– Access to network for future career opportunities
– Employ lots of recent graduates
– Learn great skills

They just recruit very differently and may not have the time or resources to come to careers fairs or invest in recruitment marketing.  Often they use partners to help them recruit, especially if they are smaller start-ups who need talented graduates for interesting projects but don’t have an HR or recruitment team to do this.

I was aware today following our session on “No idea for your career”  that you may might not be aware of some of the graduate internship partner initiatives that are available where there are paid jobs with SMEs.  I have listed some below

If you are uncertain yet about career direction, or want to build up some valuable experience, these initiatives are a great idea to consider as a “stepping stone”.

Most work with SMEs and offer a great “first job” experience that could lead to a longer-term post with them or give you greater confidence and experience to apply for the next thing – which might be a graduate scheme or a different/similar role within another SME or in the public sector – or set up your own SME!

1) Employ.ed in an SME offers 4-10 week full time or part time internships within small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and is run by the Careers Service working with many SMEs, including tech start-ups. Benefits include having a varied role, lots of responsibility and often working alongside the founders of the company.

All opportunities are advertised throughout the year on MyCareerHub. Search MyCareerHub opportunities for ‘Employ.ed in an SME’ Roles are open to all final year undergraduates, postgraduate students or recent graduates from the University of Edinburgh (2 years after graduation)

Employ.ed in an SME

2) ScotGrad

Graduate placements through ScotGrad are designed to give you that first piece of graduate-level work experience. Placements can be 6 -12 months with one of Scotland’s growing organisations you’ll gain valuable experience working on a defined project, where you will make a significant impact on a small or medium-sized organisation. Science engineering and tech roles can be really well-paid too, far more than their minimum . Placements are advertised via MyCareerHub too and are available across a range of sectors, including:

Food and Drink
Science and Environment
Energy (Oil & Gas, Renewables)
Creative Industries
Travel and Tourism
IT/Enabling Technology
Construction and Forest Industries
Textiles
ScotGrad

3) Bright Green Business offers exciting opportunities for students and recent graduates to work with companies and organisations across Scotland. Their aim is to offer meaningful project-based placements to ensure that you are not only gaining credible work experience but that you are also able to have ownership of the work you produce. The placements are paid, run all year round and tend to be short-term ranging from 8 to 12 weeks. Roles range from environmental management, active travel, science & engineering to marketing & communication

​Bright Green

4) The Step Programme offers undergraduates and recent graduates a range of work experience opportunities. These can be either short term work placements, generally lasting between eight weeks and six months or longer term internships lasting between six and 12 months. All opportunities have a genuine development focus, are structured, project based and are all paid.

STEP

5) Adopt an intern

Find out more about ​Adopt an Intern

There are other ways to get a foot in the door in an SME so if there is a sector you are interested in come and get some advice from us.

The graduate market in 2018

Update from our Assistant Director about the graduate market in 2018. Some positive news, especially with SMEs

The Careers Service Blog

Ruth Donnelly summarises the findings of a recent survey.

High Fliers Research has just published a report about the graduate market in 2018, based on research with the UK’s 100 largest employers. Here are a few interesting snippets for students and new grads:

Large employers are cautiously optimistic about increasing the number of graduates they recruit in 2018. The biggest growth in vacancies is expected in public sector organisations, accounting and professional services firms and engineering and industrial companies.

Graduate recruitment in these large organisations fell last year, for the first time since the financial crash in 2009. This is most likely to be related to uncertainty about Brexit, but they are also carrying unfilled vacancies due to a lack of good applications for some specialist schemes and graduates turning down or reneging on offers. Average starting salaries in large companies remain at £30,000 p.a. with the highest salaries being…

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Available now – grad scheme directories

These are good for identifying some, larger organisations interested in recruiting physicists. Not all employers advertise this way though so if you don’t find what you are looking for, don’t worry. There are different strategies you can use.
Start with our advice on finding graduate jobs.

The Careers Service Blog

Times Top 100, Prospects Student Career Guide and Guardian Top 300 – all shiny, appealing and ready for you to pick up at the Careers Service – so which one to choose?

for-blogTimes Top 100: Over 18,000 final year students were asked “which employer do you think offers the best opportunities for graduates?” The 100 organisations most frequently mentioned make up this listing. Whether through the perceived quality of their training programmes, the business success that they enjoy, the scale of their graduate recruitment, or by the impression that their on-campus promotions have made – these are the employers who seemed most attractive to the students surveyed. Not a light read, and heavy on the statistics – a business-like approach.

Guardian Top 300 – three times as many employers feature, and they’re selected on the basis of a massive 52,000 responses to a student survey. This title presents…

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