Employability skills

During the course of your Degree Programme, you should develop a range of transferable skills. These include skills in written and oral communication, organisation of information, presentation skills, teamwork and leadership. The unit descriptions outline the employability skills that have been identified for each unit.

empYou have your own, online ‘Employability Skills Record’ which is located on the intranet against your personal profile. Your Academic Advisor can also view this record. The aim of the record is to help you monitor and take an active part in the development of your employability skills. You should update your ‘Employability Skills Record’ on a regular basis, and at least once per semester. The skills record offers you links to useful suggestions to help you to develop your employability skills. You should discuss your ‘Employability Skills Record’ with your Academic Advisor during your one to one meetings. There is space on your record to set targets and you should review these regularly to chart your progress and think of strategies to develop your skills further. What you write in your ‘Employability Skills Record’ should prove extremely valuable when you apply for industrial/professional placements, summer internships, further study or graduate jobs, as the topics covered will often reflect those you may be asked about in application processes.

Your tutorial unit also aims to help you develop employability skills. A detailed list of employability skills and how these can be developed through tutorials is provided in your tutorial handbook and in a folder entitled ‘Developing your Employability Skills’ within the tutorial unit on Blackboard. This folder contains useful information about:

  • Careers Resources
  • Employability Skill
  • Writing a good CV (including template and example CVs)
  • Writing a personal statement for your CV
  • Interview guidance
  • Writing a covering letter
  • Choosing a referee

These resources will become increasingly important as you progress on your Degree Programme and begin applying for placements, internships and jobs. You will also find useful resources about revision and exam technique and about career options and work experience in the tutorial unit on Blackboard.

As part of the tutorial unit, you will take part in sessions that focus specifically on employability (candidate selection, CV-writing, interview skills and tailoring a CV to a particular application). Your Academic Tutor will inform you about when these tutorials will take place. Further information is available in the tutorial handbook and on the tutorial unit on Blackboard.

The School organises a number of events during the year to help you to enhance your employability and you are encouraged to take part in these. Information about these events will be advertised to you via email.

The Careers Service: Imagine Your Future

Becoming a Manchester Graduate starts with your degree, but the secret to future career success is using your time as a student to explore options, build your connections and reflect on what you learn. Working in collaboration with the School of Biological Sciences, other partners in the University and with organisations across the world, the Careers Service can help you reach your potential – but it all starts with you.  What can you do to improve your chances of getting into the kind of work you’d love to do?

Making the most of your time at Manchestercareer

Actively seek out opportunities to build your experience; this could be work experience, voluntary work, being active in a University society or developing new skills. Careers Service research proves that students who do so move swiftly into the kinds of careers they want after they graduate. From the Manchester Gold Mentoring Scheme to Student Experience Internships and Work Experience Bursaries*, the Careers Service can help you achieve your goals. www.careers.manchester.ac.uk/experience/  (*funding to be confirmed for 2018-19)

The Careers Service has a dedicated FBMH Faculty Careers Team which offers a programme of activities for Biological Sciences students, organised in collaboration with the School’s employability team and the Alumni Relations Team. This includes the Biological Sciences Careers Fair in Semester Two, a “Career Options and Work Experience” event for second year students, employability lectures are part of the tutorials programme, sessions on looking for work experience and interview training for placement students.  Optional events are advertised internally by the School of Biological Sciences and highlighted on the School’s Careers Facebook Group.   www.careers.manchester.ac.uk/facebook

If you want to work in Science, make getting relevant work experience your priority.
If your degree programme doesn’t include an Industrial/Professional placement, there are options like Summer Research Studentships. If you are looking for work experience, check out the “Finding Jobs and Work Experience in Biological Science” handout. Collect a hard copy from the Student Support Office in G.584 Stopford Building or The Atrium in University Place, or download from the Careers Service website.    www.careers.manchester.ac.uk/services/downloads

Build and broaden your connections

Learn from other people, including people like you i.e. other students in your School, PASS Leaders, house-mates, lab demonstrators, people you work with and people you socialise with.  Talk about careers and options, your ideas and aspirations; share ideas and connections. Our research shows that people who do this are more likely to make a smooth transition to work or further study after their degree. www.careers.manchester.ac.uk/myfuture/connect/

The Careers Service organise an extensive programme of events throughout the year for all Faculties, from lunchtime talks to large recruitment fairs. There are workshops and interactive training sessions where recruiters will help you practise skills for interviews, or find out about a job from the people who do them every day.  Events like “Meet the Professionals” organised by the Alumni Relations team and your School are great opportunities to find out what Biological Science graduates did after their degree. www.careers.manchester/ac.uk/myfuture/explore/

Many employers target University of Manchester students for recruitment: some host presentations or workshops, others attend School events and/or our large careers fairs in the autumn and summer. Many also support our Manchester Gold Mentoring Programme. These provide an excellent way for you to explore career opportunities and to meet employers.  www.careers.manchester.ac.uk/events/

Your Future Toolkit

The My Future Self Reflection Tool is a short online questionnaire and report, developed exclusively for University of Manchester undergraduates. It can help you figure out what to do next, to put you on target for a successful future. You’ll find it on My Manchester when you log in. www.careers.manchester.ac.uk/myfuture/

The Atrium in University Place is where you can access face-to-face Careers information and guidance.  It is open all year round, including vacation time. Tel: 0161 275 2829. The Information Team can help you research your options and there is information on reference and to take away. You can book a guidance appointment with a Careers Consultant to explore options, and get feedback on applications and interviews from an Applications Adviser. The FBMH careers team also offer guidance in your School at specific times during semester time. www.careers.manchester.ac.uk/services/

The Careers Service Website contains information, advice and interactive services. Explore tailored sections for each year of study and international students, plus general sections on job hunting, career options and applying for jobs.  www.manchester.ac.uk/careers/

Your Careers Account “CareersLink” lists job vacancies and careers events. You can also choose to receive email alerts about relevant jobs and events.  We advertise thousands of vacancies each year: everything from summer internships and part-time jobs, to industrial placements and graduate jobs and internships. www.manchester.ac.uk/careerslink/

Use Social Media?  Check out our Facebook page, Careers Blog and Twitter feeds.  Join the Careers Facebook Group for Biological Science students to stay on top of careers and for specific tips and advice for Biological Scientists. www.careers.manchester.ac.uk/services/socialmedia/

Obtaining a reference for employment

Most applications require you to cite one or more referees, and you should normally seek permission from your Academic Advisor to cite him/her as your main/first referee. If you need another referee, this should be a staff member familiar with your relevant work. If this is your research, this should be a supervisor of your practical work, placement, summer or final year research project. Additional referees could include your final year or second year Academic Tutor, or dissertation supervisor. It is essential to approach the members of staff concerned before citing them, to ensure that they are willing and able to provide a supportive reference.

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