Spotlight on: Careers and Employability

The Career Studio may be closed, but the Careers and Employability team are still working hard to support University of Liverpool students and graduates.  The team have been quick to make changes so that they can continue to provide a full range of employability activities remotely.

Creating a Virtual Career Studio

When campus closed, the first step was to create a virtual Career Studio to bring all the careers content for students together in one place.

The team’s digital first approach meant all resources were already available online. To enhance the offer and to meet all the new, lockdown-related, employability needs the Career Coaches have developed new video and blog content that can be accessed 24/7 via social media and fresh-look weekly student multi-media newsletters.

Students also have access to the latest jobs (79 new opportunities were posted last week on the new Handshake career platform soft-launched earlier this month), opportunities to practise all elements of the recruitment process including online tests and video interviews, and an online CV and application form checking service.

Career Coaches can be contacted online to work with students who want to explore their career options, Coaches provide practical help with every stage of the application process.

Supporting Colleagues

The University of Liverpool careers and employability delivery model was designed to enable the team to work in partnership with academics to embed employability across the whole University curriculum.

Since campus closed, the team have been developing new content for delivery in a hybrid learning environment. Last week the Faculty Business Partners hosted a Zoom webinar on the changing world of placements with input from IBM, University of York and colleagues from University of Liverpool. This will be the first in a series of webinars the team will host for the University’s employability community.

Connecting with employers

The Employer Connections team have been in regular contact with partner employers. Many immediately made recruitment processes digital, re-designed summer internships to make them virtual and are currently re-thinking student and graduate recruitment for 2021.

A new programme of employer led activities has taken place under the #VirtualConnect banner featuring webinars, social media takeovers, virtual office tours, practice interviews and live Q&A chats to engage students who are no longer on campus.

Student wellbeing

Our Student Success Team working with Peer Mentors and Digital Coaches have been adding value to the lockdown student experience at the University.

Peer Mentors have created wellbeing videos as well as developing mental strength online sessions to support students with issues important to them. They have also been communicating with students remaining in University accommodation through newsletters and check-in chats. The Digital Coaches have been also been advising on their favourite digital tools to help when working remotely.

Looking to the future

Careers Teams are the bridge between universities and the graduate labour market, but it is impossible to predict how each will look in even a few weeks’ time.

Emma Moore, Director of Careers & Employability:  “Re-imagining what we do has been a constant for the team recently as we have completed the University’s first transformational change project. With Covid-19 changing the way we support students even more radically, we’ve taken our face to face offer and re-imagined how it works at a distance ensuring the most valuable parts of the real-world interactions still exist when delivering remotely.”

In a recent blog post Emma reflected on the realisation that the ideas that were important for careers and employability delivery at Liverpool ‘before’, may well become even more important as we start to think about recovery.

“Partnerships are vital, and collaboration is now more important than ever. Employer partners, academic colleagues, students, and other careers professionals are all playing a key role in shaping our understanding of where we are now and how we position ourselves for recovery.

“As a reaction to our current, mostly virtual, world, real life experiences will become more important than ever. Our offer is built around a peer to peer co-exploration and shared experience and the ability to empathise will be key to understanding student concerns going forward.

“Horizons will be smaller for a while. Focusing on opportunities for students and graduates in the Liverpool City Region will be essential. We are exploring how we support the region’s recovery, and spending time considering how refocusing existing projects can make a difference in a changed landscape.

“Our new Graduate Outcomes Survey dataset will also provide insights, and combined with our internal data, we will look at new success measures that go beyond outputs focussed on salaries and graduate level jobs.

“The challenging employment market that we will be entering will require a keen focus on creating equity for students. An increased emphasis on employability bursaries, mentoring and careers guidance, premium products in our portfolio, will help secure social mobility for students from priority groups.

Spotlight feature

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