S Donaldson

Recent Posts

No grad scheme? What now?

Posted by S Donaldson on 15 June 2016

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Topics: Jobs and Internships, job hunting, Graduate Internships, career success, graduate schemes

Can social media get you a job?

Posted by S Donaldson on 25 April 2016

Image taken from Justien Van Zele

Have you seen that new Scapchat filter that makes the bottom of your face really thin so you have a huge forehead and a teeny tiny pin mouth? Yeah, well that particular bit of social media probably isn’t going to help you get a job. But believe it or not the ol’ internet can be quite useful.

Jobvite’s most recent Recruiter Nation survey shows that 92% of US employers use social media to support recruitment. This number is much lower, at only about 40%, in the UK. But that’s still a significant chunk of employers, and with a third of those surveyed planning to up their spend on social media recruitment, we reckon it’s worth a blog post.

So here are a few things to keep in mind for maximising the career-potential of social media:

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Topics: networking, employability skills, Social networks

What career skills were you shouting about in 2015?

Posted by S Donaldson on 7 January 2016

Image from Marcos de Madariaga

Are you sick of 2015 countdown lists yet? No? Good, because here's another one.

Have you heard of Coursera? It's great. It allows you to take free online courses in pretty much anything, and those courses are taught by university experts. In fact, The Careers Group delivered a course in Employability Skills in 2014 and 2015.

And now the good people at Coursera have put together a handy list of 2015's most coveted career skills.
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Topics: News, job hunting, employability skills

How to tackle psychometric tests

Posted by S Donaldson on 2 December 2015


Psychometric tests are one of the hoops some of you will have to jump through to get a job. Large employers often use these tests as a quick and easy way of cutting down the huge volume of applications they receive. So how should you tackle them? Well, firstly, don’t panic. Secondly, do prepare. And thirdly, don’t panic some more.

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Topics: employability skills, assessment centres, psychometric tests

Employer perspective on competency interviews

Posted by S Donaldson on 10 November 2015

Image from studio tdes

I recently chaired an event at UCL on competency interviews. Competency interviews aim to assess a candidate’s key skills, usually by asking for examples of where skills have been previously displayed. If you’ve used a competency well in the past you can do it again for your employer in the future.

Two representatives from the consumer goods company Unilever and one from the law firm RPC gave their perspectives on what is currently the most common form of interview. The take home messages were:

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Topics: employability skills, law, Interviews

Leaving academia? 5 CV don’ts!

Posted by S Donaldson on 2 November 2015

Image adapted from Nicolas Raymond

Academics live in their own special world when it comes to CVs. So it's no surprise that many researchers are baffled when they try to leave the ivory tower. Here are five mistakes to avoid in your non-academic CV.

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Topics: CVs and applications

6 networking tips that work for me

Posted by S Donaldson on 27 October 2015

Image from Andy Lamb

Networking is important. It just is. But it can also be painful. There are LOADS of tips out there aimed at making it slightly less painful. Each one of those tips will be great for someone, but not necessarily everyone.

The below networking tips have helped me, and so hopefully they’ll also help people who are a bit like me. But are you like me? Do you feel social awkwardness acutely and do everything in your power to avoid it? Do you enjoy spending time with humans, but also hate meeting new ones? Do you cringe at the thought of entering a room packed with strangers with the aim of ‘selling yourself’? If you answer ‘yes’ to any of the above, these tips may ease your pain.

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Topics: networking, employability skills

3 tips for your Masters personal statement

Posted by S Donaldson on 21 October 2015

Masters application formats vary. Sometimes you’ll be given a series of short questions. This can be helpful in letting you know exactly what the institution is looking for. But sometimes you’ll be asked to simply submit an application letter or personal statement. In these cases it can be tempting to tell the story of your life, but a good personal statement should be more focussed.

Here are three tips for putting together an effective Masters personal statement.

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Topics: CVs and applications, Postgraduate study

Career inspiration: Nadiya from GBBO

Posted by S Donaldson on 14 October 2015


Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past week you’ll know that Nadiya Hussain quite rightly won 2015’s Great British Bake Off. Her acceptance speech brought a tear to many an eye and her victory has been all over the papers and EVERYWHERE online.

But this is a careers blog. Surely we can’t make the GBBO about careers, right?


We think Nadiya’s performance holds important career lessons for us all. And we’re going to tell you about them.

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Topics: News, employability skills, Comment

Getting your voice heard could land you a job

Posted by S Donaldson on 6 July 2015

New research published in Psychological Science has shown that written job pitches pale in comparison to the spoken word.

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Topics: networking, job hunting

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