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News from Careers and Employability Services

Where will teaching take you? New UK and Ireland guides

With both life and study experience OU graduates have potential to make great teachers. It’s no surprise then that 18% of OU students go into jobs and training in Education (Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey 2016/17). We have five new guides that will take you through the process from first decision to applying for teacher training in England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

If you have a disability, you’ll find links to resources and organisations who can provide extra support.

Our guides also cover teaching and lecturing in Further and Higher Education, tutoring with the OU, Teaching as a Foreign Language (TEFL) and Special educational needs and disability (SEND) education.

Download your guide now and be #OUCareerConfident about teaching.

In addition to our new guides, these recorded webinars can help you get into teaching:

Get into teaching in England

Get into teaching in Wales

Get into teaching in Scotland

Get into teaching in Northern Ireland

Get into teaching in Republic of Ireland

Other teaching webinars

Do you have what it takes?

Our Working with children and young people webinar considers the crucial skills and attributes you need to work with children and young people, and how to evidence them.

Take the Teach First route

Teach First offer a fully-funded, salaried route into teaching in England and Wales with their Leadership Development Programme. Get first-hand advice from Teach First on their recruitment process in our Competency-based interviews webinar.

Other roles in education

For inspiration about careers in education outside of mainstream teaching see our webinar Education Alternatives with guest speaker from Action Tutoring.

Get #OUcareerconfident by accessing our resources today.

OU Careers and Employability Services

Posted on: 8th Jan 2019 - Part of: General careers information

OU Online TalentConnect: working and volunteering in the charity sector

After the success of our first careers fair in November, OU Online TalentConnect is back. Join us on 29-31 January for OU Online TalentConnect: working and volunteering in the charity sector. The Prince’s Trust, CharityJob, NSPCC, Citizen’s Advice, Mencap, GlamSci have already signed up to take part and there are more to come. Accept your invitation to sign up to and receive regular updates on the fair.

What’s on

Tuesday 29 Jan – Prepare for the fair

– Interactive sessions to help you get the most out of the event
– Ask a careers question
– CVs and applications presentation
– Interviews and assessment centres presentation
– Networking and social media presentation

Wednesday 30 Jan and Thursday 31 Jan – fair open

– Visit employer exhibition stands online
– Watch presentations from employers
– Ask our team careers questions

Open doors with volunteering or pursue a career in charity

Volunteering for even half a day can boost your skills, experience and your CV or give you the chance to try something new, whatever your career aims. Alternatively, a paid role in the charity sector could be your aim if you want the fulfilment of making a positive impact with your work.

How does an OU careers fair work?

OU Online TalentConnect careers fairs are open to any current student or former student that has finished their studies within the last three years. You can visit virtual exhibition stands of top employers and join in with chats, forums and webinars, and discover the voluntary and paid roles employers have to offer.

Regularly check voluntary and paid roles in the charity sector on OpportunityHub.

Careers and Employability Services

Posted on: 7th Jan 2019 - Part of: Careers, Charities, Fairs and events, General careers information, Volunteering

Start your 2019 careers adventure here

It’s the new year and you might be thinking about a new adventure. 34% of OU Students said they’re studying to change their career. If you’re one of them, then begin 2019 by taking your next step towards your new career.

 “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” – Lao Tzu

 Over the next few weeks we’ll be focusing on new adventures into careers, and the unusual routes that you can take to get there. 70% of graduate jobs don’t require a specific degree, so don’t hold back from pursuing your career goals.

Not sure where your journey will take you?

You may have an idea about a job or a career and want to learn more. If this sounds like you, then your first step should be How do I become a…

Exploring the value of Open Qualifications

you’re unsure on how to sell yourself and your study skills to an employer, then take a look at our short webinar on how to describe your qualification, and get involved in our Open Qualifications forum from 21 January until 23 January.

Social Work via the scenic route

If you’ve decided your destination is social work, did you know you might not need a social work degree to get there? Step Up, Frontline, and Think Ahead offer graduate fast-track routes in England. Check out Routes into Social Work webinar to find out more.

Off the beaten path with education

Teaching is the most popular career goal for OU students, but there are alternatives to teaching. We have the Education Alternatives webinar to inspire you.

Discover volunteering with Free 2 be Kids

Free 2 be kids are looking for volunteers for their rural residential projects for disadvantaged kids. You could learn leadership, administrative, and logistical skills. Find out more in their exclusive presentation for OU students.

Still not sure on the destination?

It’s normal to feel like you don’t know what you’d like to do. Take a look at last year’s Careers outside the box forum for alternative careers advice and ideas.  

On the Horizon – Coming up in the next few weeks:

The return of OU Online TalentConnect

After the success of our first online careers fair in November, we’re running a 3 day fair from the 29th January 2019 focused on volunteering and working in the charity sector. Check out the TalentConnect article for more information.

Internships and Placements – a new frontier

Set out on a voyage away from your normal routine and get valuable work experience with an internship. You can even start before you’ve graduated! Stories and resources coming soon.

Posted on: 2nd Jan 2019 - Part of: General careers information

5 top tips from public sector employers

1. Show your passion

Make your application stand out by showing an interest in the sector at large and the work of the organisation you’re applying to. Talk about how you could benefit the organisation and why you want to be part of it. Watch Lee Bruce on Public Affairs jobs at the Local Government Association:

2. Research the employer

Investigate the organisation and its goals, the scheme or programme you’re applying to, and other candidates’ experiences so you’re equipped with as much information as possible. Watch Charlotte Sangster on preparing for Teach First’s assessment centres:

3. Ask questions

Ask your own questions at the end of an interview to find out how you can benefit from the role and get a sense of the team you’ll be joining. Watch Rachel Phelps, Policy Advisor at the LGA:

4. Use the help available

Some employers offer advice on how to identify the skills they are looking for and the ways you can present or develop them, and online resources to assist you through the application process. Watch George Petrou on Teach First’s application support:

5. Make the most of graduate schemes

Graduate schemes are a great way to enter the workforce at top employers. Watch Patrick McDermott on his experience in the LGA’s National Graduate Development Programme:

Put these tips to the test by applying for the latest roles on OpportunityHub.

Get more tips on application forms, assessment centres, and interviews.

Careers and Employability Services

Posted on: 14th Dec 2018 - Part of: CV, General careers information, Interviews

Student internships with a focus on ability over disability

The OU’s Careers and Employability Services has teamed up with Leonard Cheshire to deliver an online briefing session on their Change 100 programme. Change 100 is a programme of paid summer internships with professional development and mentoring for students and graduates with disabilities and long-term health conditions. This year, Change 100 is offering roles in IT, Nanotechnology, Employability, Sales, Insurance, Engineering, Finance, Communications and HR and expect to have upwards of 150 roles on offer by the time the programme starts in June 2019.

Watch the briefing session to find out more.

Applications close at midday on Wednesday 16th January

Be sure to apply within plenty of time of this deadline, as Change 100 received a huge amount of last minute applications last year that created technical issues on their website.

Application top tips and webinar

Make your application go from good to great with Leonard Cheshire’s new Top Tips document, and ensure you have the best chance of getting through to an assessment centre. Leonard Cheshire are also running their own webinar at 2pm on Monday 7th January where you can learn more about the programme and how to make a successful application. To join, email  expressing your interest.

Find more advice in our Job Seeking Resources and Opportunities for Students with Disabilities booklet.

Careers and Employability Services


Posted on: 11th Dec 2018 - Part of: Disabled, Internships

Are lawyers going to be taken over by robots?

Find out about developments in technology that are impacting the legal sector. Catch our webinar to learn how you can prepare.

Also, thanks to the OU Library for their Tomorrow’s Lawyers: An Introduction to Your Future e-book mentioned in the webinar.

Careers and Employability Services

Posted on: 10th Dec 2018 - Part of: Careers, General careers information, IT, Law, Webinars

Graduate Outcomes: where has your study taken you?

Graduate Outcomes asks one simple question of graduates from all UK universities 15 months after they leave study: where has your study taken you? The survey run by the Higher Education Statistics Agency is your chance to inform higher education policy and give an accurate picture of the sector.

The next survey will take place in December, so if you graduated between August and October 2017 you could be hearing from them soon. It’s a great opportunity to tell your story and express your views. Find more information about the survey.

OU Careers and Employability Services

Posted on: 20th Nov 2018 - Part of: Graduate, Postgraduate, Surveys

How Alexander got the job with “no experience”

Get your foot in the door

“Careers and Employability Services boosted my confidence. I was particularly demoralised by the fact I was being turned away from legal work experience due to having no experience in the first place. This is a barrier that many job seekers struggle with and it is incredibly frustrating. I thought I would never overcome it.”

OU Law student Alexander was concerned that his lack of legal experience was holding him back. However, his experience and transferable skills from other work settings and support from Careers and Employability Services helped him gain a job as a legal assistant.

“I was advised that, although I had no legal work experience, I did have transferable skills that I had gained through other work such as retailing and catering. I was shown how to craft my CV in such a way as to express these skills to employers.”

Learn how to present your unique skills like Alexander with our resources and take that first step on your career path.

Know your skills

Check out the Employability skills activity to identify how your everyday activities and OU studies relate to the skills employers want.

Get your CV noticed

Recruiters take less than 30 seconds to decide to read a CV or not. Watch our recorded webinar Five seconds for your CV to make its mark and find out how to make your CV stand out from the crowd.

Assessment Centres – What to expect

The next step in your career journey may involve an assessment centre. Be prepared and know what to expect by watching our recorded webinar on Assessment Centres: Getting Started.

Now you’ve got noticed

Be prepared for the interview. Take a look at our new webinar Interviews – Getting Started for top tips and advice from employers on how to get the job.

Not ready to apply for a job yet?

Perhaps your dream job is just an idea and you’re not sure how to get there. How DO you become a Psychotherapist, an Accountant or a Web Designer? Take a look at How do I become a…? for your starting points.

Get #OUcareerconfident by accessing our resources today.

OU Careers and Employability Services.

Posted on: 15th Nov 2018 - Part of: Careers, CV, General careers information, Graduate, Interviews, Jobs, Work experience

Teaching as a career forum

Because we know that teaching is one of the most popular career choices for OU students, and as applications for Initial Teacher Training are now open across the UK for 2019, we have created an extended Teaching Forum from 12th November to 14th December to provide a space for you to ask questions to our Career Consultants and fellow students/alumni, share your own experiences and aspirations and find out what you need to do next to land your dream job in teaching. Find out more from our Career Consultant Leigh:

Find many more resources and activities to help you think about and prepare to get into teaching, such as live and recorded webinars and new teaching guides, in our Teaching careers package for Autumn 2018.

Get #OUcareerconfident by accessing our resources today.

OU Careers and Employability Services

Posted on: 13th Nov 2018 - Part of: Careers, England, Forums, General careers information, Graduate, Ireland, Jobs, Northern Ireland, Online forums, Postgraduate, Scotland, Teaching, Wales, Webinars, Work experience

Starting Work as a Translator or Interpreter – webinar series

In association with The Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI), OU Careers and Employability Services is presenting the successful ‘Starting work as a translator or interpreter’ (SWATI) event as a series of 4 free online webinars.

This is a unique webinar series as people from outside the OU join OU students to learn all you need to know to launch a new career as a professional translator or interpreter.

Each session comprises 2 x 30 minute presentations, plus 30 minutes of Q&As and discussion. 

Monday 19 November 11:00 – 12:30 – Session 1

Breaking through the no experience no work barrier: how to gain pro bono work to build your portfolio.

Working as an Interpreter: How to get started in the industry and the skills you will need.

Join us at:

Tuesday 20 November 11:00 – 12:30 – Session 2

Pricing and Financial Aspects of being a Translator/Interpreter: How much should you charge?

Working as a Translator: Considering your options – freelance, in-house, generalist or specialist.

Join us at:

Wednesday 21 November 18:00 – 19:30 – Session 3

A glance at transcreation: Understanding transcreation and the challenges it presents to translators.

Standing out when starting out: How to market yourself effectively to find clients.

Join us at:

Thursday 22 November 14:00 – 15:30 – Session 4

Working with translation companies: Top tips for translators looking to work with, or for an agency.

Careers in translation and interpreting at the EU: Find out the requirements, benefits and how to apply.

Join us at:

If you’re unable to attend any of these live sessions we will be recording each one and you will be able to access them on the Careers website shortly after the event.

Best wishes

Careers and Employability Services



Posted on: 2nd Nov 2018 - Part of: Careers, General careers information, Jobs, Languages, Webinars, Working Abroad