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Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Lexmark Printer Competition Prize Winners

Throughout September and October we ran a prize draw with two fantastic Lexmark printers as prizes. We had a really good response, but there could only be two lucky winners.

So, congratulations to (drum roll please...)

Susanna Wooldridge from Birmingham Uni who wins the Lexmark Interact S605 (as demonstrated on Channel 5's Gadget Show) and Rory Gullan from Glasgow School of Art who wins the Lexmark Intuition S505.

Your printers will be with you shortly!

Friday, 12 November 2010

Commission-only jobs – yes or no?

That was the question we posed in a very quick survey on our latest student newsletter. We have noticed that jobs posted on the site that only offer commission have not had the same level of responses as our paid jobs, so we wanted to hear your views to make sure we are giving our site users what they want.

To say the answer we got is clear-cut is an understatement. By an overwhelming majority you came back with a resounding ‘No.’ Fair enough, with immediate effect commission-only jobs have been binned, although any current posted jobs will remain until their expiry date.

It certainly reinforces our own thinking: students and graduates come to us looking for paid work.

Interestingly, when registered charities post voluntary jobs the response rate does not dip, which just goes to show that students still recognise the value of voluntary work both for their CV and for their soul!

So for the time being at least, all jobs on studentgems.com will either be voluntary (for registered charities ONLY), or paid jobs. None of your ‘unpaid-internships-because-there-may-be-a-full-time-job-at-the-end-of-it’ or ‘work-experience-because-it-will-look-good-on-your-CV-and-I’ll-try-to-give-you-more-interesting-work-than-just-photocopying’ on our site.

With over 25,000 users now registered with studentgems (over 21,000 students and more than 4,000 employers) quality paid work remains a priority.

We know we won’t change how some employers think students and graduates don’t need to be paid, but we have plenty of employers who agree with us that there is no justification for not paying fairly. We are working hard to increase the number of paid jobs on the site (72 and counting) – not as many as we would like but as one well-known brand says “Every little helps!”



Friday, 5 November 2010

Scary examples of how not to apply for a career in PR

This is a guest blog by Rich Leigh from 10 Yetis PR Agency.

If you’re a PR student or a recent graduate thinking about a career in public relations, this one’s for you.

Let me introduce myself, my name is Rich Leigh. I’m an Account Director at 10 Yetis PR Agency, an award-winning agency based in Gloucestershire. We work / have worked with a number of large clients including IKEA, TotalJobs, MyVoucherCodes.co.uk and more.

Trumpet-blowing aside, I see a lot of CVs and job applications in my role. Some for intern roles (we loudly advocate paying work experience and intern PRs and as such get quite a few), but just as many for people applying when we’re not looking on the off-chance that they’d be right for us.

In true PR piggybacking fashion, I’ll tie this blog in to Halloween with the ultimately spurious title: Scary examples of how not to apply for a career in PR.

Here’s my top 5 favourite scary examples of job applications – read them and learn, folks, these applications were about as welcome in my inbox as Gary Glitter at a kid’s party.

 1.       If you’re mail merging, make sure you know what you’re doing first.

Nothing says ‘you’re not special enough to email individually’ than a poorly mail merged job application. Mail merging – for those that may not be aware – is a way to send a document to many people at once through a document client such as Microsoft Word. You can personalise said mail merged emails to an extent, by including first names or company names, as long as they feature in the same spreadsheet you’re using to pull the email addresses from.

An example of this is as follows:

I feel that I am well qualified to make an effective and useful contribution to 10 Yetrich@10yetis.co.ukis Group.

I can see what the applicant was going for. They wanted each email to seem entirely personal by having the company name mentioned in the body of the email, but ballsed it up in a way that it looks immediately amateur.

The worst part of it is that often, PR firms will use mail merges to get information to a large number of journalists quickly and effectively. Mistakes happen, but the general impression it gives me is that if you can’t proof the document well enough before mail merging, you could very easily do the same to a journalist – a mistake that could very easily backfire on the agency and client we’re contacting.

2.       It’s OK to big yourself up… to an extent.

I want to run a cover letter in near-entirety, to show you just how not to do it. Seriously, never, ever send a cover letter like this.

SUBJECT: NOT INTERESTED IN PR EXECUTIVE ROLE…
Hi Rich

Rare as a Bigfoot dropping.

That’s about the only way to describe an experienced PR and marcomms professional who started a career in trade publishing, has experience on consumer titles, significant strategic marketing experience, a solid grounding in copywriting and design for sales and corporate campaigns AND has worked clientside.

And did you know that ‘Yeti’ is actually derived from the Tibetan word ‘Wylie’ (I bet you did), and that ‘wiley’ just about sums up somebody like me – someone with the interpersonal skills to generate organic and acquisitive client growth?

So I’m not really interested in a PR Exec position. But I am local, available and bored. Very bored. And I’m loaded with expertise in traditional and digital media relations, crisis, issues, and event management, industrial relations, community relations, corporate publishing, design and the panoply of wider PR and creative disciplines.

The Yeti, Bunyip, Bigfoot, Gigantopithecus and other cryptids may be intriguing, but they can’t use a keyboard.

Or get you to read this far. Which I’ve done.

Kinda makes you wonder what else I can do.

Doesn’t it?

Kind regards
.....
(I’ll save him the benefit of having his name put alongside this shameful effort)

 3.       Be aware of sounding like a massive pleb.

The above does obviously make the applicant sound like a massive pleb, but no more than the following, who is just clearly trying to show off:

An alert, committed holder of (X award) deploying a rigorous cast of mind, persuaded of, and stimulated by, the baroque potentialities of new technology.

I need say little more than ‘the overzealous nature of the applicant’s prose, combined with his anti-colloquial stance ensured that any future computer letters were destined for a depressing existence in the desolate environ of my spam folder.’

 4.       A good agency will check you out on social media platforms.

An applicant for a role here at 10 Yetis came in for an interview, and did very well. So well, in fact, that there was talk of her being given a role at the agency at a time we were expanding rapidly.

Andy, MD and co-founder of 10 Yetis mentioned on Twitter shortly afterwards that he was very happy with the day’s interviews, and said something about the lack of formal Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) training in PR degrees ‘nowadays’. A brief, flyaway comment, you’ll understand.

Well, not for said promising applicant’s partner; who decided to launch a bit of a tirade in Andy’s direction, stating that employers should refrain from even talking about interviews. A few increasingly aggressive tweets later from the person and Andy had found out that he was involved with the applicant we really liked, through some simple Twitter searching and Googling. The issue pretty much put paid to the chances of the applicant, due to the nature of the exchange – and the fact that you can’t guarantee it wouldn’t happen again in the future.

There are plenty of examples of social media gone wrong for employees, but people seemingly never learn. My advice is: keep your Facebook as private as you can get it, and keep your tweeting professional. Ish. PR is a communications industry, and we’ll probably look into your publicly available social media usage as an example of your ability to communicate professionally. If you don’t want us knowing about how wasted you were the night before your interview, don’t say it.

 5.       Avoid sounding like a crazy person.

Getting ignored or turned down for jobs contributes to what I call the ‘Rejected Psycho Syndrome Cycle’.
Repeated job rejection can make people desperate. Desperation can make people do weird things. Avoid doing weird things. Or keep getting rejected. Such is the cycle.

I have two great examples to hand. One is a CV from a nice enough-sounding guy, who tells us quite prominently that he’s ‘good at lifting things up to 25kg’ – an especially important skill in the world of PR – and the other… well.

The other is a life story, which it would be inappropriate to reprint, but should serve as a lesson that employers are there to employ you, not emphasise with every single of your struggles to that point in your life. Personality in emails is good – treating us like wage-controlling counsellors isn’t.

It tells us of how she struggled at school and just generally had a bit of a tough time – all conveyed in a way that does make you feel for her – but also says things like:

English is one of the most frequently spoken languages I am completely honoured to speak it as my mother tongue and feel can communicate perfectly with the rest of Europe who also speak it.

Uh-huh.

So, there you have it, my top five favourite scary applications. If any of these are you – yeah, sorry about that, yours was just the best to illustrate my points. Stop being odd.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Win a wireless all-in-one Lexmark printer!

The lovely people at Lexmark are giving away two printers in a free prize draw on studentgems.com.

The competition is open to all UK students aged 18 or over and it’s completely free to enter. All you need to do is go to http://www.studentgems.com/comp.asp and fill in your details. Winners will be drawn at random on 1st November 2010.

First prize is a Lexmark Interact S605 (as seen on Channel 5's Gadget Show) – a state-of-the-art wireless printer that lets you print from multiple computers over a wireless connection at speeds of up to 33 pages per minute. It has a touchscreen, memory card slot and you can view and print photos straight from your digital camera’s memory card. You can also personalise it and download apps to make life simpler.

Second prize is the Lexmark Intuition S505 – another great wireless printer with two-sided printing and Ecomode to save energy and money.

Enter now to be in with a chance of winning one of these great prizes!

Thursday, 5 August 2010

The Five Cs of Commissioning a Logo Design

One of the most popular jobs completed through studentgems is logo design. We get lots of startups who need a logo and it is a perfect job for a graphic design student. We also find plenty of new businesses who are not sure of the questions to ask or what they need to think about when getting a logo designed... so here are our tips.

Clear Brief
·         Establish a clear brief to include timings and cost.
·         Include delivery of concept designs and proofs if appropriate.

Concept and Style
·         What sort of style portrays the correct image?
·         Give examples of what you do like and what you definitely don’t like.

Colour
·         What colour(s) do you want?
·         Do you want black and white versions of the logo?
·         Will the logo look good printed in black and white? (How might it look if a customer prints your document on a black and white printer?)

Cost:
·         Agree a cost based on the finished logo, not per hour.
·         How many alterations are covered within this cost?

Completion
·         How will you receive the logo – email or CD?
Think about what the logo is for and consider the files needed. Defaults are JPEG, PNG, PDF, High Res TIF (300dpi) and scalable EPS. These file formats should be all you need for professional printing purposes as well as web design

Friday, 30 July 2010

Working like a dream!

It’s always nice when things go to plan, but when they go to plan in record time it’s even better!

This afternoon at 2.40pm the lovely people at 10 Yetis posted a job on studentgems and half an hour later it automatically fed through to twitter. One hour later and the job was filled by a highly talented student who said “! I'm a bit of a workaholic and check studentgems for new opportunities probably twice a day. So thanks so much for your brilliant service!”

What a nice way to end the week!

£2.50 an hour – better than nothing, or a continuing rip-off?

The debate continues. Should unpaid internships ever be allowed? At what point does ‘valuable work experience’ become exploitation?

We included a piece in our latest student newsletter about the CIPD proposals to introduce a training wage for interns to try and clarify once and for all what employers obligations are to interns.

The proposed Training Wage of £2.50 an hour - which is the current minimum rate of pay for apprentices - would be introduced to cover all internships and apprentices. Any position that is advertised as an internship would trigger a legal obligation for an employer to pay at least the Training Wage, helping to reduce complexity surrounding the issue of payment for young people and also support better enforcement arrangements.

We asked for feedback from students and graduates and we were not surprised that the response was generally in favour, on the basis that currently so many internships are completely unpaid. Stories from Masters students working unpaid for 9 months made us want to weep.
Our view remains that interns should be paid at least the national minimum wage and will then have the motivation to work hard, contribute and go on to be great ambassadors for the employer. Currently employers are running the risk of bad PR, as can be seen on Graduate Fog, where Tanya de Grunwald is doing such a great job in naming and shaming. Follow her progress on twitter @graduatefog.

So is there ever a case for students to work unpaid? After all, it does look good on their CV... Well maybe there is. Perhaps in addition to legislating on a minimum wage for interns a timeframe could also be incorporated. From the comments and feedback we have had from our students, many acknowledge that unpaid work experience is just an accepted part of the job hunting process. But how long can that be sustained by many students who have already amassed huge debts on their way to graduating?

This would be our suggestion:
Work experience: 2 weeks; can be unpaid, expenses must be covered
Internship: 2 weeks+; should be paid at least national minimum wage

Comments anyone?

Friday, 2 July 2010

3 winners win £10,000 grant each

Back in May we blogged about a national competition run by Microsoft as part of the launch of Internet Explorer 8 Life Academy to help 18 – 25 year olds. It was a chance to explore their future potential and win a £10,000 grant to make their socially responsible idea a reality.

The good news is that the competition saw 268 entrants and the even better news is that 3 winners each scooped £10,000 a piece. They were whittled down to a final 3 by a judging panel including Professor Robert Winston, entrepreneur and lastminute.com co-founder Brent Hoberman, Countdown mathematician Rachel Riley, Channel 4 technology journalist Benjamin Cohen and Microsoft Director Leila Martine

The winning ideas are:
Adventurer Explorer Grant
Luke Duggleby, 22 from Bristol, his idea is to bring internet and services that will significantly improve educational needs to a vocational centre in Uganda. You can see Luke’s live pitch here.

Online Venture Explorer Grant
Rowenna Davis, 25 from Southwark, her idea is to provide young people with an online platform to understand their local government and stand for councillors. You can see Rowenna’s live pitch here.

Creativity Explorer Grant
Nick Palfrey, 23 from Plymouth, his idea is to develop learning spaces using simulator or video game technology so that 3D models of proposed schools can be explored by students, teachers and parents with amendments made and sent back to architects. You can see Nick’s live pitch here. There were some very inspirational entries which are well worth watching.

Friday, 21 May 2010

Win a cash prize of £1,000

Here's a fun competition you might like...

ING Direct have carried out some research which shows that people budget £45 for a night out but overspend by 100%! They also plan to spend £40 on a first date but overspend by £28 (70%)! Men are also more likely than women to overspend on nights out.

To help students replenish their savings after such a spending shock ING Direct is asking people to recreate their own “airbag moment” (have a look at this YouTube clip) for their chance to win a cash prize of £1,000.

I’m sure this is something lots of you can relate to and £1,000 in the back pocket is always nice. The comp is online here.

Good luck!

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

STUDENTS COMPETE FOR £10K GRANTS TO GET A HEAD START AFTER UNIVERSITY

We have been told about a competition where three prizes of £10,000 are up for grabs which has to be a good opportunity. See below for details:

Microsoft have launched Internet Explorer 8 Life Academy to help 18 – 25 year olds with ambitions to be the next Bill Gates, Bear Gryls or Banksy to win one of three £10,000 grants.

From the environment to the arts, Internet Explorer 8 Life Academy wants 18 – 25 year olds to pitch a socially responsible idea for one of three categories. If entrants impress the high profile judging panel they will be rewarded with £10,000 to help make their idea into reality.

Categories include the:

• Adventurer Explorer Grant for travel, adventure or environmental projects
• Online Venture Explorer Grant for budding technology & business entrepreneurs
• Creativity Explorer Grant for creative, media and arts-based ideas

Julia Owen, Internet Explorer Product Manager, Microsoft said: “Students today have grown up with the internet, and Internet Explorer has grown with them, bringing a wealth of possibilities and experiences and helping to support them explore their future potential.

“Universities and colleges are a hothouse for some great ideas for all different sectors from the arts to science and business to education. The internet continues to be a source of knowledge and inspiration for emerging talent and we want to continue encouraging and supporting students to explore and develop their ambitions by giving them the extra boost to get their idea off the ground.”

Entrants simply need to create a two minute video pitch of their idea – filmed using their mobile if they like – and upload it to the grant website at www.lifeacademy.uk.com by the closing date, 27th May.
All entrants need to communicate how their ideas reflect aspects of social responsibility and/ or philanthropy to society.

Twelve finalists will be shortlisted on 15 June 2010 to pitch their idea live in front of a high profile panel of judges consisting of figures from the business, online and media world including Professor Robert Winston, Professor of Science and Society at Imperial College London. Three finalists will be picked and win a £10,000 grant each to bring their ideas to life.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

British graduates looking for a job abroad

Not surprisingly, graduates who are finding the UK job market tough at the moment are looking further afield for work. What is more surprising is the high proportion who have decided that another country could be their best option. More than a third of British graduates are considering a move abroad in a bid to beat the lack of jobs for graduates in the UK.

We surveyed over 1,000 recent graduates and final-year university students to find out what their intentions were post-degree. 21% of final-year university students said they were considering a Masters degree to complement their education, whilst 67% said they would try to secure employment before looking at further studies. The remainder said they were looking into all options, including taking a gap year. That is all fairly predictable.

However 34% of graduates said they were looking at jobs abroad, with the majority blaming the lack of opportunity for employment within the UK. Just 1 in 5 graduates had found employment in their chosen career. One of the students we spoke to said: “My preferred choice would be to secure a graduate role in the UK but if I can’t find what I am looking for then I will definitely be job hunting in Europe.”

Even if only a quarter of these students looking at jobs abroad left for greener pastures, the loss to the British job market would be felt for years to come. Some of our brightest and best talent could be lost for good which doesn’t bode well for the future.

Graduates are becoming more and more likely to stray and the reason is lack of success whilst job hunting. We see such talent on our site every day, I really think businesses are missing a trick if they don’t snap up some of these students quickly. We all want to help the UK economy pull out of the recession and one of the ways we can do that is to give opportunities to our students and graduates who are the workforce of tomorrow. They are talented and a vibrant asset to our business communities.

Businesses who take on students and graduates are able to benefit from some of the UK’s brightest and best young people, whilst at the same time improving their profitability at a time when every penny counts.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

One bride, two students and ITV's West Country Tonight

Recently we had a fascinating day's filming with ITV news for their regional West Country Tonight programme which was arranged by our PR company 10 Yetis. Two perfect examples of how we intended employers and students to work together through the site were filmed. The first case study was a bride who used a student for her wedding photography and the second case study was a music student using her singing skills as well as doing some online marketing for a business. Both students earned money and gained valuable commercial experience. The employers benefited from fresh thinking students and saved money.

The day began at the very smart Hare and Hounds in Tetbury which is where the wedding reception had taken place. The stage was set and filming begun. The film crew wanted to capture the bride viewing her wedding photos for the first time live on camera. The bride was thrilled and said that Kerry, the graduate photographer from the University of Leeds, "offers a service that is second to none". Kerry was equally delighted because she able to add to her photography portfolio.
The next interview was with me and the journalist wanted to find out why we had set up studentgems which was relatively simple to answer. We strongly believe that college and university students are both talented and competent and that all employers should have instant and easy access to student skills. We also believe that students should be paid. Things have changed quite a bit since the first time I was interviewed as all I remember is a distinct paralysis - I couldn't move, breathe or speak and that has to be because of the skills you can learn when signing up with toastmasters.

The day finished in the Music Faculty at the University of Gloucester with a second year student who is studying Popular Music. Saskia has embraced the site and earned money by using her wide-ranging skills including research, logo designing, copywriting and preparing a powerpoint presentation. She showed the journalist round the website, sang and described the online marketing she is doing for a business which is based miles away in Oxfordshire.

It was an extremely interesting day and brilliantly organised by @CharlotteYeti. It was a privilege to gain such a fascinating insight into how news features are made and then edited resulting in a short film that illustrates exactly was studentgems is all about.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

120 applicants for every job, businesses are inundated with CVs

We conducted a study of 872 businesses across the UK. The results show that most companies receive an average of 120 applications for a newly advertised vacancy, short lists have doubled and candidates face a 1 in 10 chance of getting through an interview. Candidates also endure tougher tests and questions during the interview process.

With jobs being lost across the UK, passing the interview process is becoming much more challenging; the candidate really must ‘wow’ the employer in order to stand out against other applicants.

We encourage students at university and college to gain as much relevant experience as possible, which is one of the reasons we set up studentgems.com. Then, when the time comes for interviews, their CV is loaded with relevant evidence to show they are suitable for the position. Employers are taking great care with their recruitment and ensuring they hire the right person for the job.

This research was picked up by several journalists and we had some wide reaching coverage, both online and offline, including some great coverage in the Daily Telegraph. We then had a phone call to the office from a recruitment agent saying he just couldn’t find enough graduates for his vacancies!

So, all you graduates looking for your first ‘proper’ job, don’t give up. Some recruiters are falling over themselves to find you; maybe they aren’t looking in the right places... Make sure you are easy to find!

Monday, 8 February 2010

Speeling and grammer DO matter!!

Back in May 2008 our first major piece of media coverage was being on BBC Radio 4’s The Learning Curve, hosted by Libby Purves. She interviewed an employer and a student who had worked together on a project with a very successful outcome and both parties were delighted.

The employer gave the job to that particular student because he was a good communicator. He used proper grammar, correct punctuation and didn’t resort to the ubiquitous ‘text speak’ unlike some of the other applicants. The fact that he could use a capital ‘I’ in the right place got him a very lucrative job!

I remember being surprised at how important this was to the employer; after all, it was very clear to see from all the student profiles just how talented they were in their own areas. Given that this was a graphic design job, no writing involved, why was it so crucial?

The answer is that as a first impression it leaves a lot to be desired if initial communication is strewn with errors. The issue also hit a nerve with Libby Purves and she wrote about it in her Times column the following week.

It is now almost 2 years later and we have amassed considerable evidence that correct spelling, grammar and punctuation are of paramount importance to the vast majority of employers using studentgems.com. Our research has shown that over half of employers will dismiss applications for a single spelling mistake and we have compiled the following list of the top 5 most common spelling, grammatical and communication errors:

1) Using ‘text speak’ to communicate with employers, in particular the use of 'i' instead of 'I'.
2) Not checking spelling. Amongst the most common mistakes are the incorrect use of where/were, there/their and college/collage.
3) Communication is too informal with the use of 'hiya' and 'cheers'.
4) Poor grammar, punctuation and formatting. Inappropriate use of capital letters, commas and full stops together with a lack of attention to detail when setting out letters and emails.
5) Failing to respond promptly.

Maybe the danger on studentgems is to think that applying for one-off jobs and projects is somehow less important and that the usual rules don’t apply. Wrong! There is no doubt that those who remember all the old classroom lessons about correct writing are far more successful than those who respond:

“hiya im interested, cheers, kate”

Students and recent graduates who are able to bolster their CV with relevant work experience are faring so much better in the full-time job market, Surely it’s worth putting in the effort to get that experience if it makes the ultimate goal so much easier to attain?

Friday, 29 January 2010

Money’s a bit tight at the moment…

The idea behind studentgems has always been that it provides benefits for both businesses AND students. Businesses have easy access to a pool of talented students from across the whole of the UK, all in one neat, online place. Using students is a great way for all businesses to get jobs done at a fraction of the commercial cost without compromising on quality. Meanwhile the students benefit by getting real commercial experience, build up their portfolio and earn more money than they can pulling pints.

What has been surprising is the number of employers who expect students to work for nothing. We have seen some great jobs posted on the site, which would have attracted a lot of interest from highly skilled students and recent graduates, only to be disappointed by the final sentence along the lines of: “I can’t afford to pay you anything but I’ll give you a great reference.” We only accept the posting of paid jobs for students (unless you are a registered charity) so we remove any unpaid jobs and politely remind the employer why. It never ceases to amaze us that some people really seem to think they can ask for a brand new website, similar to a site like, say, eBay, for no pay. Oh, and they need it in 3 weeks time.

It seems that too many people are happy to exploit students and think that as the current recession has made jobs hard to come by, all students and graduates will be grateful for anything they can get. It is important to remember though, that many students have to work to help pay their way through college/university and are amassing debt at unprecedented levels. They simply can’t afford to work for nothing.

We don’t get involved in any fee negotiations between employers and students but feedback we have had demonstrates that in the main students are very fair and realistic about what they should be paid. Many are happy to be paid at something a little above minimum wage for even a highly skilled job.

Many businesses are saving hundreds of pounds by tapping into the pool of talent on studentgems. Others are missing out because they are just too tight to pay anything. You wouldn’t call out a plumber to fix a pipe and say ‘sorry, I can’t pay you but I’ll definitely recommend you to all my friends’. Nobody books a DJ for a party expecting them to turn up because they like the music they’re going to be playing.

So next time you’re looking for a student to do a job, remember, they have to live too. They are keen, skilled and motivated… and in debt. Pay them a reasonable hourly rate. And next time you go to Tesco, why not try picking up a couple of tins of beans and asking if you can have them for nothing because ‘money’s a bit tight this month’. I think I know what the answer will be.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Employers are looking for experience

A study we recently commissioned has found that 61% of recruiting businesses value experience in the industry. We conducted a study of 1,561 Managing Directors across the UK in a wide range of sectors. The results show that 61% of recruiters are likely to hire an applicant based on relevant experience and see it as more important than formal qualifications.

1 in 5, 19%, of the employers asked said they would hire an applicant with 2 years experience yet no qualifications over another applicant with no experience but a degree with honours. Of those employers, 11% said qualifications bore little importance in their short listing process.

The results highlighted 5 specific industries that particularly value experience: Sales, catering, graphic design, photography and care work.

It is clear that with the current economic climate, job vacancies are receiving large amounts of interest and it is becoming more and more competitive - a reason many graduates are struggling to find jobs relevant to their degrees. One of the core aims of studentgems is to put students and recent graduates in front of employers, to encourage students to seek out relevant part time work rather than retail or bar work. We recommend students spend time on preparing their CVs and put great care into improving their experience in their chosen study field in order to make them as employable as possible.

First impressions are so important, whether it’s the opening lines of a CV, covering letter/email or a studentgems onsite message, it is vital to make sure spelling and grammar are correct and the ubiquitous ‘text speak’ is avoided!