Lily asked Jon from the Job shop how he thought their first year had gone and whether they are making a big difference to students from Reading getting a job, either part time or full time!
Could you briefly outline what the JobShop does?
The Job Shop, run by the University’s Careers, Placement and Employment Centre, located in the Students’ Union, provides students with a wide range of part time and vacation jobs along with internship opportunities. Our professional staff also offer employment advice, anything from how to get a National Insurance number to advocating on a student’s behalf with their employer. In addition to this students can receive feedback on their CV as well as interview advice.
The JobShop is coming up to being one year old, do you think it has been a success so far?
There’s been a really positive response from students, I think it’s a real statement from the Careers Centre and the University as a whole to give students the opportunity to access a good range of opportunities and advice in the heart of the Students’ Union. The numbers speak for themselves with over 2,200 Job Shop visitors since opening in September 2012, we’ve also received over 100,000 total page views on part time and vacation jobs via our online jobs board My Jobs Online. So we have made a good start, however there is still plenty of scope to develop the service.
Could you please give some examples of jobs that the JobShop has helped students get?
A whole range from retail opportunities with Hollister, House of Frazer and Top Shop, catering and serving with top local restaurants and bars, marketing, admin and IT support with local firms through to corporate events management at Ascot, Henley Regatta and Wimbledon for example. One memorable opportunity sticks out, an eccentric local author who is blind advertised a Proof Reader position after his editor moved to Scotland, he was inundated with applications, just under a 1,000 people viewed his advert on line. I think one of the real positives about having the Job Shop is that there is now one central place both for employers to advertise and for students looking for work.
Would you recommend getting a part time job to students? And do you think that there is more pressure on students to get past time jobs since the fees have increased?
For the majority of students there is a genuine need to have a part time job, especially with the increase in University fees. We have had prospective students and their parents contact us directly here in the Job Shop asking what service we provide, which clearly illustrates the pressures many students are under. As a policy, the University recommends working no more than 16 hours per week. Having a part time job has a good range of benefits, it can help develop a broad range of skills and looks good on your CV, and of course the money is always useful.
What is the best way to get in touch with the JobShop?
To drop in an see us would be the first thing we’d advise students to do, or alternatively, email: firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com>, tel: 0118 378 6040. All our jobs are advertised on line via www.reading.ac.uk/careers/myjobsonline<http://www.reading.ac.uk/careers/myjobsonline> or you can get live jobs updates via Twitter @UniRdg_jobshop or www.facebook.com/UoRjobshop<http://www.facebook.com/UoRjobshop>
What other services do you offer to students? (CV checking, helping to prepare for interviews etc)
As well as the CV and interview advice we offer general employment advice, especially useful if you’re an international student, we have also advocated on students behalf when students have experience issues with their employer. As we are part the Careers, Placement and Experience Centre we can sign post students to the range of employment related activities on offer such as employer visits, the RED award and UROP.
How many employers engage with the JobShop?
We consistently have between 75-90 part time vacancies advertised at any one time, and actively meet employers over the academic year. The Part Time Jobs Fair, which is taking place on 16th October 2013, also attracts a range of employers keen to engage with students.
Can you help find most students a position of their choice?
We can certainly help, provided the students have the right skillset to do what they want to do, or are quite flexible -there are always opportunities, even if you have little or no experience.
How do you advertise the posts from employers and what is the most successful type of advertising?
All employers register their vacancies on our online job site My Jobs Online. Students can register for email alerts from the site, or just browse this as when they choose. We also promote the vacancies via Twitter and Facebook and in the Job Shop itself.
Did you recently win an award from the National Placement & Internship Awards?
We’re an active member of the National Association of Student Employment Services (NASES) and were awarded under their Student Employee of the Year Awards 2012 “Best Job Shop Newcomer” which we’re very proud of. We were also a finalist in the Rate my Placement Awards in 2012.
Do you think the JobShop’ s success will continue next year?
Yes, more so than ever there is a demand from students to have the service, we are looking to building on the lessons learnt this year and continue to develop the service.
Any suggestions or advice for students looking for a part time job or placement?
Come and visit us, there are still plenty of vacancies for the summer, we’re open 10am-4pm Mon-Fri.