About personal development planning (PDP

)
Home > Personal development planning > About personal development planning (PDP)

    

What is PDP? What are progress files? Benefits of PDP to academic performance Benefits of PDP to professional life Benefits of PDP to personal life

What is PDP? Personal development planning or PDP means creating opportunities to think through, in a structured way, questions such as:

    

What do I really want to achieve from life? What kind of person do I want to be? Am I clear about my personal goals and ambitions? Am I making the right decisions to get me where I really want to be? Am I in charge of my life and my studies - or am I just hoping it all will work out somehow?

It has been recognised that students need structured opportunities to think about, and plan towards, their future. The exact content really depends on you. How much of your time do you want to give now to planning your future?

^top^

What are progress files? All universities are required to offer progress files to students. The term „file‟ is misleading. Progress files really include three elements: 1. A process of personal development 2. Personal records of learning and achievement 3. A formal transcript provided by the institution 1. A process of personal development Development planning can be a very personal process - or it can be a process required by your employer or tutor. As the word "development" suggests, PDP is something that happens over time. It isn‟t a last minute thing. PDP works best when you:

    

Think deeply and in structured ways about your life and ambitions. What does success mean to you personally? Have the right information to make good choices. Have people you can trust to share your reflections. Have opportunities to experiment and test yourself in new areas so that you have a better understanding of your abilities and limits. Have opportunities to develop the knowledge and skills to achieve your ambitions.

In the work place, the personal development process may be linked to your annual appraisal or supervision. 2. Personal records of learning and achievement These are your own personal records rather than those provided by the university. For more advice, see personal records. 3. A formal transcript provided by the institution A formal transcript will be provided by the university, usually in addition to a degree certificate, it records more information about your learning and achievement than the traditional degree certificate.

^top^

Benefits of PDP to academic performance Some advantages of taking a personal development approach to your studies are:

     

Gaining a clearer focus to your learning. Helping to keep yourself motivated. A better understanding of how you learn and how to improve your performance. More enjoyment and less stress from your learning as you become consciously skilled. More awareness of how to apply your learning to new problems and contexts. Reflective thinking skills that can strengthen academic performance.

^top^

Benefits of PDP to professional life

      

Clearer ideas about the kind of life and work you want. Greater confidence in the choices you make. Greater confidence in the skills, qualities and attributes you bring to the career of your choice. Being in a better position to compete for jobs. Being better able to discuss your skills, personal qualities and competences with employers. Better problem-solving and planning skills. Developing the positive attitudes and approaches associated with successful professional life.

Many employers now expect employees to understand their own performance - and to know how to adapt to meet times of increased workload, stressful situations or conditions of change. Employees are expected to respond well to change. Whilst some employers offer training, it is more typical for employers to expect graduates to arrive ready to manage both their own performance and the performance of other people. Time devoted to understanding what influences your own performance can be very well spent. It is also important to be aware of how your behaviour affects other people. Employees are often expected to show personal commitment to their continuous professional development (CPD), actively seeking out information, training and events that will keep their skills and knowledge up-to-date. Knowing how to learn, and how you learn best, will be invaluable in the work place.

^top^

Benefits of PDP to personal life

    

A better understanding of yourself and how you „tick.‟ Being in a better position to make appropriate choices to meet your aspirations. Greater awareness of your needs and how to meet these. Greater awareness of the unique contribution you can make. Developing a positive, forward-looking approach.

Priorities and opportunities for personal development
Home > Personal development planning > Priorities and opportunities for personal development Personal development is an ongoing process, in which you need to:

    

Identify priorities for personal development Identify personal development opportunities Create an action plan Monitor your progress Evaluate your personal performance

Identify priorities for personal development Download this worksheet and rate your priorities for personal development Identify personal development opportunities Each university offers a different set of opportunities for personal and professional development. Download and use this questionnaire to map the opportunities open to you.

^top^

Create an action plan Targets should provide clear guidelines for action and be built into an action plan. Download the action plan template to record your own targets. Remember, targets are not written in stone: they should be monitored and reviewed as the project proceeds so that it can be completed on time. Monitor your progress You may find it helpful to work to a format to explore your progress on current goals. Downloadthis form to help you monitor your progress. Use this in conjunction with your action plan. Evaluate your personal performance Download and complete this evaluation sheet to assist you in improving your personal performance.

Making the right choices
Home > Personal development planning > Making the right choices Choosing the right courses at college or university could prove invaluable when you begin looking for a job after graduation. However, what about longer term? Sometimes the decisions you make when you are younger will have an impact on what you end up doing, ten or even twenty years down the line.

   

I know what job I want to do Taking the right courses Extra-curricular activities Clear life goals

I know what job I want to do Some people come to university because they are very clear about their career goals. Many others find it very difficult to decide what they want to do for their future. There are always chances in life to return to education and to take further programmes. Training is also offered through some jobs. Not everyone wants to spend more time and money on re-training if they could have planned their route better the first time around. It can save a lot of time and expense to give thought to your future earlier rather than later even if it seems hard to know where to begin. Whether or not you are clear what job you want, you can move forward by thinking about the wider questions that should influence your choice. Consider:

    

What kind of life do you want to live? Will that be possible in the kinds of jobs you are thinking of doing longer term? What kind of person do you want to be? What kinds of job would help you be that person? What kind of people do you want to be with when you are at work? What kind of income you want? How important is money to you? What sort of activities do you enjoy? Will you be able to do any of these in your job?

Focus on the Careers Advisory Service Visit the Careers Advisory Service early in your time at university. Don‟t wait until they invite you for interview. They are usually very pleased to see students early - before they make the wrong choices for the careers they want. Careers Services have specialist staff, a wide range of materials about different careers and jobs, labour market information to help you identify gaps in the market and much, much more. If you need a job while you are a student, there may even be a job-shop run by your service. They usually have access to a wide range of job services on line and through local contacts with employers. There may be special projects or courses run at the university or in the local community that the Careers Service can tell you about. In some universities, Careers Services offer training in useful skills – or can refer you to someone who can. Some invite local employers or those in professional occupations to give talks about different jobs or what employers are looking for in graduates.

Careers Advisory Services are usually interested in helping you to plan towards your future life rather than directing you to a particular job. They will have many resources for helping you to narrow down the kinds of work that might suit you. In addition, Careers services can give you advice on aspects of applying for jobs, such as writing CVs, interview practice, and going to assessment centres. You could also visit www.palgrave.com/careerskills , for more careers advice.
^top^

Taking the right courses Bear in mind that there will be many graduates going for some jobs. Give some thought to how you will stand out.

 

A combination of options may make you a better fit for some jobs. For example, if you are studying accountancy or law, which options would help you to become an accountant or a lawyer in the sports industry? For media companies? For medical or pharmaceutical companies? For construction industries? For manufacturing industries? An unusual option may encourage some employers to interview you out of interest. Check carefully the requirements of professional bodies – you may need to take certain accredited units to progress to further qualifications or into the occupation of your choice. The Careers Service can help you to check the programmes you need.

If you are on a course that offers subsidiary subjects or optional modules or units, you may wish to choose your options from a career perspective. Alternatively, you may want to choose options that broaden your personal interests as a welcome change from your main subject. Remember: too much variety can be difficult to manage as you need to learn the conventions and background knowledge for the different subjects you take. A little variety can be really useful. It opens up new opportunities and gives you new perspectives on your main subject or on life in general. Download our table and jot down options that are available at your university that you could take to help you to achieve your goals.

^top^

Extra-curricular activities Graduates generally have more employment opportunities and earn more than non-graduates. However, to get the job you want at an early stage in your career, a degree may not be enough. When you go for interview employers may be looking for a wide range of skills and experience. In particular, employers tend to prefer applicants who:

   

Have taken on responsible roles. Have led projects. Have had work experience. Speak languages apart from English.

     

Have taken on challenges and can describe how they learnt from them. Have the problem-solving skills to get on with a new job without too much direction. Get on well with other people. Are confident in communicating with a wide range of people. Are creative thinkers. Are good at finding solutions rather than focusing on the problem.

Some programmes now build opportunities for developing such skills into the main curriculum. If so, it is worth keeping good records of the skills you develop. It is also useful to consider the opportunities for developing these skills outside the curriculum. Download and use this form to record your own extra-curricular activities For more advice, see the handy tips on extra-curricular activity.

^top^

Clear life goals Although it is important to spend time thinking about your academic subjects and your career objectives, sometimes the bigger questions that will really affect you can get left out. For example:

     

What do you want to achieve over your lifetime? Is there any one thing you would like to fit into the next 10 or 20 or 30 years? Where in the country or in the world do you want to live? What values are important to you? Who are the important people in your life? How do they fit into your life plans? What does success mean for you? What are you prepared to sacrifice to get what you want?

Download this table and write out your long term goals to focus yourself. Tip

Do something outside of your normal routine - take a journey, go for a walk, join a different class for a day or do something creative that you wouldn‟t usually do. Then jot down some ideas to the questions above. You may give very different responses when you step outside of your normal daily activities.

Personal qualities
Home > Personal development planning > Personal qualities Discovering what personal qualities you have to offer is a good way to begin your personal development planning. Use the forms in the following section, to really identify what your personal qualities are.

  

Examples of personal qualities Profile of skills and personal qualities Valuing personal qualities

Examples of personal qualities Download and complete this form to record examples to demonstrate your personal qualities. Profile of skills and personal qualities Download and use this form to help identify the range of skills and qualities that you possess. The aim of this exercise is to give you a sense of the breadth of your skills and personal attributes. Valuing personal qualities

  

How do you know you have the qualities that you have identified? Check with someone who knows you whether they share your opinion of your qualities. Which of your personal qualities do you value the most?

Download this form and use it to focus on these questions

Personal records
Home > Personal development planning > Personal records When will you need personal records?

 

For jobs or for further qualification and training You may be asked for some of this information many times over the rest of your life - so it is really helpful if you keep good records from as early as possible. Without good personal records, it is easy to forget the details of what you have done. You can waste a lot of time chasing information – and may miss out on valuable job opportunities. For yourself Personal records can contain details of personal goals, plans, reviews and achievements. They are a source of material for you to draw upon to monitor your own progress. For your programme Your programme may require or encourage you to use a log or journal or it may leave it to you what shape your personal records take. This website offers you materials to supplement PDP opportunities at your university.

Use these forms to record details of your education and training:

   

School and college information University education and other training and short courses Experience and informal learning Evidence of learning

Use these forms to record your employment history and work experience:

  

Work experience Learning through work List feedback

You may want a paper-based record too - to hold your certificates and references. You may like to include your diary, letters, photographs and pictures as part of your records. Some programmes such as counselling and creative programmes encourage this.

Tips

 

Few people look forward to updating their records. It is easy to keep putting it off. However, many people find it useful to have good personal records and enjoy looking back over them in the future. So make an event of it. Put some good music on or have a good TV programme on in the background. Make yourself a favourite snack. Don‟t try and rush it. Put time aside three or four times a year to update your personal records. Write these dates into your diary. You won't regret it. You will save a lot of time and effort finding key information when you need it. Your records say something about you. Personalise them as far as you can so you can take pride in them.

Applying for jobs
Home > Personal development planning > Applying for jobs Applying for a job can be a long process, but it is important to do your background research –getting a job isn‟t just about filling in the application form!

      

Skills required by employers Job applications Writing a CV and a cover letter Competence-based job applications Evidence of skills and competence Health and safety issues Equal opportunities issues

For more advice on applying for jobs, see the Careers Skillscompanion website at www.palgrave.com/careerskills Skills required by employers The degree classification is only one thing employers take into consideration and it may be the least important. Forty per cent of graduate jobs are open to graduates of any subject so the degree subject may not be significant to the job you enter. Download and use this form to list skills that employers request in job advertisements and job specifications for the kinds of jobs that interest you. Tip

  
^top^

Send off for job applications for jobs in a career that interests you. These will have person specifications that list the kind of skills, experience and personal qualities that employers require. Draw up a list of the skills and qualities they ask for. Which ones come up the most often for the areas that interest you? Where can you develop those skills and qualities?

Job applications

There are several stages in applying for jobs. If you have applied successfully for many jobs, you may not need to develop your knowledge and techniques further. Otherwise, download the planner to decide where you need further development. If you do this before seeing a careers adviser, you will be better prepared for the interview and make better use of the time available.
^top^

Writing a CV and a cover letter A CV and cover letter can often be an employer‟s first contact with you, and therefore it is where they make that all-important first impression. This section will give you advice on the different types of CVs and some top tips for a cover letter.

   

Functional CVs Chronological CVs Targeted CVs Cover letter tips

For more advice on applying for jobs, see the Careers Skills companion website atwww.palgrave.com/careerskills. Functional CVs Functional CVs focus on skills rather than on dates or places of employment. Theyare useful if you:

 

Are changing careers and some of your previous experience is not relevant to your target job. Want to highlight specific skills rather than list your life history .

The functional CV format classifies information according to skills. The most marketable information is presented at the front of the document. The functional format allows for selective organisation of information, and enhances your ability to customise the resume for the particular position. Sample layout of functional CV Name Your full name. Address Your current residential or business address. Phone numbers Home and or business numbers. Email address Your business or personal email address. Skills and abilities List the major skills you have acquired from your experience, which are relevant to the job you seek. Practical/Technical List skills that show your ability to tackle the tasks that your target job requires. Skills These include knowledge of software and operating systems, and languages.

Education List your educational qualifications with most relevant first. Include all professional development and short courses that you attended. Professional Memberships Briefly list them, if relevant. Awards and Achievements List, only if relevant to the new job. Employment History Name of employer, position (job title), period of employment. Interests List, only if relevant.
^top^

Chronological CVs The chronological format lists education and work experience in reverse chronological order (most recent items listed first). Chronological resumes are useful if:

 

You have a steady work history. All or most of your recent work experience is relevant to the position.

Do not use a chronological resume if:

   

Only one or two jobs in your work history are relevant to the position sought. You have a complicated or diverse work history. You have many gaps in your work history that are difficult to explain. You are pursuing a career change and wish to highlight transferable skills.

Sample layout of chronological CV Name Your full name. Address Your current residential or business address. Phone numbers Home and or business numbers. Email address Your business or personal email address. Education List your educational qualifications with most recent first. Employment History Name of employer, position (job title), period of employment, duties, achievements. Begin with current or most recent position and work backwards. Practical/Technical List skills that show your ability to tackle the tasks that your target job requires. Skills These include knowledge of software and operating systems, and languages. Professional List, if relevant to job. Memberships List, if relevant to job. Interests List, if relevant to job.

^top^

Targeted CVs Targeted resumes follow the specifications given in an application package or job advertisement. They are similar to functional resumes, but concentrate on skills that are directly relevant to the requirements listed in the vacancy. When writing a targeted CV, answer the question or follow the formatting directions given by the recruiting company.

^top^

Cover letter tips
Ideally, the cover letter should not exceed four paragraphs (one or one and a half page), and should cover the following material: Opening paragraph Indicate the purpose of writing. Second paragraph State relevant skills and experience. Third paragraph Demonstrate your knowledge of the company or organisation and show how you „fit in.‟ Fourth paragraph Close with confidence and anticipate an interview. Here are some general tips for writing an effective cover letter:

         

Always type your cover letter, unless the job advertisement specifically asks for a handwritten one. A resume is always typed, no matter what. Keep paragraphs short. Adapt the content to the particular organisation and job position for which you are applying. That is, show that you are “one of us.” Use bullet points and lists to highlight information. Include contact details (name, address, phone number, fax, email), either in a letterhead or in the concluding paragraph. Don't point to any of your weaknesses. Instead, match your skills and experience to the requirements of the position. Don't refer to personal interests or hobbies unless they are directly relevant to the position, or you share an interest with the recipient of the letter. Don‟t use sarcasm or irony. Don‟t criticise a former employer. Don‟t send a photocopy of a cover letter. Your signature must be original.

^top^

Competence-based job applications Some employers only accept competence-based applications. Typically, competence-based applications ask you to complete a specific set of questions on an application form. Most questions will ask you to give evidence of your experience and abilities in specific skills that the employer wants in the successful candidate. The aim is to choose the person who will be most competent in the job. For competence-based applications, you will probably be told NOT to send additional sheets or a CV. The application form does not usually contain much space so you need to be very succinct in summarising your competences and use that space well. Usually, such jobs are open to a very wide range of people. It helps if you are very clear about which of your skills and qualities transfer well to different contexts. Interviews for these jobs are likely to follow the same pattern. Most questions may relate to the list of key competences that the employer has outlined in the information sent to you about the job. Competence-based applications are time-consuming, so it is useful to keep good and updated personal records so that you can identify information quickly. The competence sheets on this website give good practice for competence-based applications.

^top^

Evidence of skills and competences Download and use this form to record evidence of your skills and competences. Print off a fresh copy of the form for each competence.
^top^

Health and safety issues Health and safety issues take on great importance in the work place because employers have legal obligations. All employees also have obligations for health and safety. It is worth considering health and safety issues in order to take care of your own safety and the safety of others. If you go for a job, employers may check your understanding of health and safety issues. Download and complete this form to record examples of health and safety issues.

^top^

Equal opportunities issues Equal opportunities issues take on great importance in the work place because employers have legal obligations. Equal opportunities apply to everyone. They cover matters such as understanding our rights and responsibilities, having reasonable adjustments made on our behalf if we have or acquire a disability, being treated fairly irrespective of our racial heritage or gender. It applies to men and

women. New legislation covers additional issues such as sexual orientation and age. Nobody feels good if they are treated unfairly - and most people don‟t like others to feel bad because of anything they have done or said without thinking of the impact. It is worth considering how the legislation applies to you and to occupational areas that interest you. You may be asked specific questions about equal opportunities when you are interviewed for jobs. Download the form below to record evidence of your competence in equal opportunities.

The 'Writing a CV and cover letter' section has been written by Sky Masen, author of Professional Writing

Structured reflection
Home > Personal development planning > Structured reflection Reflection can take many forms. Daydreaming or keeping a diary of your thoughts are ways of reflecting on your experience in unstructured ways. Structured reflection is simply reflection, which has prompts, questions, activities or organised discussion to help you to think more deeply about an issue. The questions and charts provided on this website, for example, help to structure reflection about your personal development. All universities are required to provide opportunities for structured reflection at each stage of study.

    

Recording reflection Taking the time Forming your own judgement Using feedback well The 'reflective practitioner' approach

Recording reflection Unstructured reflection can be as useful as structured reflection. Your university may require you to keep a log, journal or portfolio and give you very precise directions about what to include and how to present it. Alternatively, you may be asked to devise your own records and presentation. It is still a good idea to keep a diary or journal even if you don‟t have to do so as part of your programme. It can seem like an effort to write entries on a regular basis, but the reward comes when you read these back several months later. You will be surprised at the things you have forgotten - and the changes you may notice in yourself over time. Entries don‟t have to be long. For more advice, see presentation skills and the handy tips on presentations. Tips

 

Purchase a book that is light and easy to carry around. Set yourself 7 minutes every day, at the same time, to write an entry about whatever is going on for you at the time.

Write about things that are relevant to you – things you are enjoying, things that worry you, any problems you have getting on with people and your ideas for dealing with these, ideas you have for your life, thoughts you have about topics covered on your programme.

^top^

Taking the time Usually, we are too caught up in what we are doing to have a really good perspective on how well we are doing and the effect we are having on the people around us. Fortunately, we can stand back occasionally and reflect about such things as our aims, responses, feelings and performance. Well-developed skills in reflection can help us to:

    
^top^

Gain a more in-depth and honest picture of ourselves. Become more aware of our hidden motivations, our thinking styles, and of how we appear to other people. Develop a better understanding of what affects our own performance and progress. Develop our insight and judgements. Gain more control over our own thoughts, emotions, responses and behaviour so that we are in a better position to achieve what we want to achieve.

Forming your own judgement As a student, you are expected to take responsibility for your own progress. University students are expected to develop into independent thinkers, capable of evaluating their own performance, drawing conclusions about what they did well, what could have been improved, and how to improve. It is important to develop confidence in your own evaluation and judgement of your work rather than relying on evaluations by tutors. This will help you develop your critical thinking - and will be invaluable if you have a responsible job now or in the future. For more advice, see critical and analytical thinking and the free audio download on critical analysis.
^top^

Using feedback well You need to be clear in your own mind about what is required and see for yourself whether or not you have achieved this, irrespective of what anybody else thinks. Your evaluations should be based upon sound criteria rather than a general feeling that you are right and your lecturers are wrong. Consider the differences between your own evaluations and the feedback you receive from others. Those differences may hold important clues about how to achieve better grades and to improve your performance generally. Don‟t throw that invaluable feedback in the bin without reading it first! For more advice, see evaluating your work and understanding lecturer feedback.

^top^

The ‘reflective practitioner’ approach Many areas of employment now use a „reflective practitioner‟ approach. This is built into the work cycle in some way, such as through reviews or appraisal. Typically, this means taking personal responsibility for matters such as:

      

Your continued professional development (CPD). Making a fair and reasonable evaluation of your own work – this might affect your pay. Knowing your own strengths and where you can make a valuable contribution to the team or the business. Recognising your personal limitations and identifying the training you need to improve your performance. Recognising the effects of your own behaviour on others and taking responsibility for your actions. Knowing when you are making useful contributions to team discussions – and when you are not being helpful. Identifying ways of improving individual and team performance.

Personal development planning
Home > Personal development planning > Useful resources

Recommended reading o Careers o Planning for success o Self-management o People skills Useful websites o General o Careers guidance o Employment: companies o Employment: job hunting o Employment rights o Disability issues

Recommended reading

Stella Cottrell, Skills for Success: The Personal Development Handbook

The book covers specific issues relevant to PDP, such as developing skills and qualities. It includes activities and structured reflection on a range of issues such as:

      

What success really means for you. Looking at your own life and life story. Increasing motivation. Identifying how you perform best. Improving your performance. Problem-solving. Finding solutions.

          

Task-management. Assertiveness. Dealing with difficult people. Emotional intelligence. Giving and receiving constructive criticism. Developing leadership qualities. Creative thinking skills. Using the brain. Writing CVs. Applying for jobs. Successful interview skills.

^top^

Careers

    

Littleford, D, Halstead, J. and Mulraine, C. Career Skills(Palgrave Macmillan, 2004) – A useful workbook containing lots of valuable insights helping you to identify your personal selling points and use them on your CV, at interview and beyond. Bright, J. and Earl, J. Brilliant CV (FT Prentice Hall, 2000) - Useful if the jobs you apply for are mostly CV-based rather than form-based. Chapman, A. and Giddings, B. The Monster Guide to Job Hunting (Pearson Education Limited, 2001) - Detailed guidance on using the Internet. Useful if you are not already comfortable using this resource. Jackson, T. and Jackson, E. The Perfect CV (Piaktus Books, 2005) – Today‟s ultimate job search tool. Hodgson, S. Brilliant Answers to Tough Interview Questions. (FT Prentice Hall, 2005) - One of a number of books that are useful to focus the mind when preparing for an interview.

^top^

Planning for success

   

Cottrell, S.M. Skills for Success: The Personal Development Planning Handbook. (Palgrave Macmillan, 2003) Fanthome, C. Work Placements - A Survival Guide for Students (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004) Covey, S.R. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People (Hay House, 2004) – Careers advice and how to achieve success. Taylor, R. and Humphrey, J. Fast Track to the Top (Kogan Page, 2001) – Focuses on skills, attitudes, backgrounds and working habits of high achievers.

Study skills and learning styles

  

Cottrell, S.M. The Study Skills Handbook (Palgrave Macmillan, 2003) - Covers a wide range of study skills in depth, including improving memory; exam techniques; writing essays, reports, case studies and dissertations; critical thinking; analytical writing; improving reading skills. Cottrell, S.M. Skills for Success: The Personal Development Planning Handbook (Palgrave Macmillan, 2003) - Looks at a range of learning styles and preferences and at creative and reflective thinking skills . Cottrell, S.M. Critical Thinking Skills (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005) – Takes you through an easyto-follow, step-by-step approach to developing a range of critical thinking skills.

   

Greetham, B. How to Write Better Essays (Palgrave Macmillan, 2001) – Takes you through the planning, researching and writing of an essay. Peck, J. and Coyle, M The Student’s Guide to Writing (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005) – Aimed at students wishing to perfect their writing skills, and carefully explains grammar, spelling and punctuation. Clarke, A. IT Skills for Successful Study (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005) - Will help students to develop intermediate or advanced IT skills in those areas most relevant to studying, and to use IT for maximum benefit. van Emden, J. and Becker, L. Presentation Skills for Students (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004) – This is a practical guide for speaking publicly, but also offers advice on job interviews.

^top^

Self-management

 

  
^top^

Cottrell, S.M. The Study Skills Handbook (Palgrave Macmillan, 2003) - Covers selfmanagement in a study context - such as time management and increasing motivation to study. Useful resources for improving the management of your study. Cottrell, S.M. Skills for Success: The Personal Development Planning Handbook (Palgrave Macmillan, 2003) - Covers self-management for a wide range of contexts. Includes structured activities to explore time-management, emotional self-management, dealing with others; managing tasks; identifying barriers to good performance. Covey, S.R.The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People (Hay House, 2004) - Careers advice and how to achieve success. Fennell, M. Overcoming Low self-esteem (Constable and Robinson, 2006) – Advice on careers and achieving success. Neenan, M. and Dryden, W. Life Coaching (Brunner-Routledge, 2001) – Shows how to tackle self-defeating thinking and replace it with a problem-solving outlook.

People skills

 

   
^top^

Cottrell, S.M. The Study Skills Handbook (Palgrave Macmillan, 2003) - Covers selfmanagement in a study context- such as time management and increasing motivation to study. Useful resources for improving the management of your study. Cottrell, S.M. Skills for Success: The Personal Development Planning Handbook (Palgrave Macmillan, 2003) - Covers self-management for a wide range of contexts. Includes structured activities to explore time-management, emotional self-management, dealing with others; managing tasks; identifying barriers to good performance. Belbin, M.R. Team Roles at Work (Butterworth-Heinemann, 1996) - For more information about using Belbin types for teamwork. Kozubska, J. The 7 Keys of Charisma (Kogan Page, 1997) - Particularly useful for those considering management, media and high profile jobs. Ribbens, G. and Thompson, R. Understanding Body Languagein a Week (Hodder Arnold, 2002) - Looks at body language in a range of everyday work settings. Taylor, R. and Humphrey, J. Fast Track to the Top (Kogan Page, 2002) - The skills associated with successful Chief Executives, including interpersonal skills.

Useful websites

General LifeCoachExpert contains over 80 articles all written by our team of experts and we add around 10 new articles each month.

Career guidance www.careerskills.org.uk www.prospects.ac.uk advice and jobs for graduates www.drjob.co.uk advice and jobs for graduates www.gradunet.co.uk advice and jobs for graduates www.hobsons.com guidance and jobs for school leavers, young people and graduates www.insidecareers.co.uk guidance and jobs for graduates
^top^

Employment companies www.bloomberg.com international and entrepreneur site www.companieshouse.gov.uk lists all UK public companies www.vault.com what it is like to work for named companies
^top^

Employment: job hunting www.career-index.com lists job sites www.gisajob.com general www.eteach.com teaching www.fish4jobs.co.uk regional jobs www.jobhunter.co.uk adverts that appear in newspapers www.jobshark.com adverts; accepts electronic CVs www.monster.co.uk job adverts and career advice www.planetrecruit.com international jobs www.stepstone.co.uk UK and European jobs www.tempz.com temporary jobs www.topgrads.co.uk graduate jobs; accepts electronic CVs http://jobs.timesonline.co.uk/ Times Online Jobs
^top^

Employment rights www.cre.gov.uk Commission for Race Equality www.emplaw.co.ukemployment law www.adviceguide.org Citizens‟ Advice Bureau

www.hse.gov.uk health and safety www.i-resign.com/uk/home leaving your job
^top^

Disability issues www.ability.org/emp.html disability charity www.skill.org.uk disability charity www.disability.gov.uk Government‟s disability issues site For more resources, see useful resources.

Resources for each step
       Step 1 Getting Started Step 2 Your Personal Sales “Tool Kit” Step 3 Searching for Opportunities Step 4 Your interview "Tool Kit" Step 5 Communication Tools Step 6 The Interview Step 7 & 8 After the Interview; Into the Future …

Career Skills - Step 1 assumes that students know broadly the direction they would like their careers to follow.Those that do not are encouraged to make choices using the pointers given.The content of this Step is the focussed on empowering the reader to take the initial step, to answer the initial question “Do I really know what I want to do - and how do I go about getting it?”It starts to establish a plan of action in an orderly and sequential way, providing the foundation for a well-organised campaign to move “from learning to earning”. Aims Students will start to develop an understanding of the need to be definite about their goals and the absolute necessity to prepare well. Well-prepared candidates are able to demonstrate their true potential, which would otherwise be lost to the recruiter and as a consequence both parties could suffer. Learning outcomes It is suggested that students will:     appreciate that success needs hard work, good organisation and application as well as ability – in job searching as with other activities (refer to Introduction page xviii) carry out research in an orderly manner and keep good records (refer alsoto Introduction page xviii) understand rationale behind the various steps that need to be taken to achieve their objectives (see Introduction xx) recognize that selling yourself has the same characteristics as any sales campaign, and that a marketing plan is needed(reference pages 2 to 3)

Resources needed

Student copies of Career Skills for making personal notes and reference. Other resources could include: Copies of downloadable forms for issue to students:   Websites – (Career choices/job search) (Appendix 4) Network Control sheet (Appendix 4)

Access to Internet for research General information on marketing would be useful to confirm the similarities with „traditional‟ sales campaigns. Tutorial structure for group or individual support The detailed content of Step 1 in Career Skills should be used as the introduction (the ice-breaker) into the launch of the students‟ campaigns.        group discussion covering the need for a marketing campaign; individuals present their career aspirations to small groups of peers – to confirm students have commitment/assist decision process; individual/team research into web sites and search engines available; research into dates of career fairs, etc., and other resources available; initial introduction to networking – this is covered in more depth in Step 3; research into marketing campaigns; how they are developed, what they are made up of and how they work; research into target companies to identify their appeal as employers.

Career Skills - Step 2 takes the reader through the process of creating the major selling tools – their CV and Letters of Application. Step 2 on pages 10 to 15 of Career Skills covers insights and advice on the techniques used to “present the real me” to potential employers. Aims Students will develop an appreciation of the significance that their CVs and Letters of Application have to their job search and understand the techniques that can be used to enhance content and presentation. Learning outcomes It is suggested that students will:        develop a catalogue of their experiences to date (reference page 7) carry out a strength and skills self audit (reference pages 7 to 9) understand the need for a CV and its constituent parts (reference pages 15 to 17) create a personal CV – using key word descriptions (reference pages 13 & 18to 20) create a letter of application (reference Pages 20 to 23) prepare for a telephone application (reference pages 25 to 26) understand the process recruiters follow (reference pages 24 to 25)

Resources needed

Student copies of Career Skills allowing personal note making. Other resources could include: Copies of downloadable forms for issue to students :    Experiences Catalogue form (Appendix 4) Self Audit form (Appendix 4) CV Working Paper (Appendix 4)

Style notes (for application letters) (Appendix 1) Video camera and tape recorder for role plays (if available).

Tutorial structure for group or individual support The detailed content of Step 2 in Career Skills could be used assist in the development of tutorials for group or individual support:         the needs of the recruiter: – why are CVs and Letters of Application so important – opportunities for group discussions; activities to explore experiences at school, university, leisure, sport, voluntary service and work; build up databases – using Experiences Catalogue form; self analysis of these experiences and activities - what provides the “buzz”; activities for students to explore their personal strengths and areas that need to be developed – individually or in pairs/small groups using Self Audit form; prepare content for CVs (emphasis of profile, key skills and attention to key words) using the CV Working Paper form –work in pairs to assess content; group discussion on issues of style and presentation in CV and Letters of Application (samples needed to encourage criticism); practice letter construction using briefs or own experience – letter and email; develop script for telephone applications or enquiries – role play opportunity (record for group assessment).

Career Skills - Step 3 looks at the process of finding job opportunities, and explores the most effective methods.Networking techniques are introduced and advice is given on treating the job search as a fullgrown business campaign. Aims Students will appreciate the need to dedicate time, effort and ingenuity to the job search campaign. The will understand the benefits derived from enthusiasm and concentrated effort in the search for success.

Learning outcomes It is expected that students will:   widen the scope of their search for opportunities (reference pages 27 to 32) understand networking techniques and the need to safeguard their network (reference pages 28 to 30)

  

develop a personal cold calling script (reference pages 30 to 31) research resources available on the Internet (reference page 32) develop and manage their job search campaign (reference page 32)

Resources needed Student copies of Career Skills for making personal notes and reference. Other resources could include: Copies of downloadable forms for issue to students:    Network Control sheet (Appendix 4) Job Search Campaign Control sheet (Appendix 4) Website record form (Appendix 4)

Tape recorder and telephones for role plays (if available) Access to the Internet for research.

Tutorial structure for group or individual support The detailed content of Step 3 in Career Skills could be used assist in the development of tutorials for group or individual support:        carry out research into web sites for job opportunities – emphasise benefit of widening search and record keeping to aid subsequent calls back; identify resources available to students within their academic environment – possible group discussion with feedback of experiences; theory input on networking, followed by group discussion to highlight need to steward the network properly; development of personal networks (use Network Control sheets) – basis for further work in own time; write scripts for call calling approaches to potential employers; use role play to test effectivenesspossibly with peer group assessment; research newspapers, periodicals and trade press to identify job advertisement timings, comments about companies and organizations; practise response letters; explore the campaign approach to the job search, practise researching companies to identify strategic aims, development prospects, financial performance, etc;discuss the management skills needed to control the process effectively.

Career Skills - Step 4 help students prepare for the day of the interview.Questioning techniques are explored, different types of question explained and a wide selection of sample questions together with pointers to interpretation provided.Innovative relaxation and voice control techniques are introduced. Aims Students will understand the type of question they will face at interview and will have prepared themselves to answer a wide range of searching questions.They will have acquired techniques to help manage interview nerves and control voice modulation.

Learning outcomes It is expected that students will:      appreciate the different types of question they may face and be ready to handle them effectively (reference pages 37 to 39) prepare outline answers to a wide range of sample questions(reference pages 40 to 61) have experienced meaningful interview practice (reference page 72) appreciate the effectiveness of relaxation techniques and voice modulation (reference pages 67 to 71) make a list of additional possible interview questions and closing questions (Reference pages 62 to 65)

Resources needed Student copies of Career Skills for making personal notes and preparation for role plays. Other resources could include:    Room set up for interview rehearsals Briefs for candidates and interviewers in role plays Video camera and/or tape recorder for role plays (if available).

Tutorial structure for group or individual support The detailed content of Step 4 in Career Skills could be used to assist in the development of tutorials for group or individual support:      roup discussion on questioning techniques, and methods of handling; group work to discuss selected questions, motivation for them and answers proposed – with report back to full group; individual work to prepare answers to model questions; carry out interview rehearsals on role play and/or real life bases – with peer assessment of performances/lessons learnt; practise relaxation and voice modulation exercises – feedback to discuss effects.

Career Skills - Step 5 has been developed to give students an insight (or reminder) into the key issues of communication.The techniques covered are intended to be thought provoking and encourage a close examination of individual‟s actual communication skills. Aims Students will appreciate the various ways in which we communicate and have opportunities for selfassessment. They will understand the effect their actions and attitudes have on others and acquire techniques enabling the development of effective communication skills. Learning outcomes It is expected that students will:

 

understand the different ways in which communication can take place and the component parts of any communication - good and bad(reference pages 74 to 76) identify, recognize and appreciate the impact barriers can have on effective communication (reference page 78) recognise the need for concentration and meaningful feedback on listening skills (reference page 75) explore and develop an understanding of body language(reference page 76) practise and improve their communication skills (reference page 79)

 

Resources needed Student copies of Career Skills allowing personal note making and research. Other resources could include:    Briefs for role plays Video camera and/or tape recorder (if available) Visual displays of body language

Tutorial structure for group or individual support The detailed content of Step 5 in Career Skills gives extensive examples of communication techniques, barriers, etc., which could be used to develop tutorials for group or individual support:          group discussion on communication – good and bad, with feedback; group work to discuss elements for communication – content, delivery, style, attitude, judgement and listening; read/listen to local news events and write own reports – with restricted word allowances; research styles used in media – identify good/bad practice; issue examples of poor writing leading to misunderstandings researched from media reports; listening exercises – “Chinese Whispers” could even be used; explore impact/interpretation of body language – include misleading signs; group/team discussion to investigate barriers to communication – with group tasks to develop examples for feed back; students to prepare and present an individual instruction session on any topic to assist confidence building (limit to say 10 minutes).

Career Skills - Step 6 in some ways is the culmination of the preceding Steps. The interview is the goal of the preparation work; to achieve an interview in itself is success.Obviously the intention is for each student to secure a job but actually getting into a position to offer themselves to employers is the initial achievement. Step 6 goes through the interview process in detail, looking at the sort of situation that may be faced and offers advice and insights into the processes. As much interview practice as possible is recommended Aims Students will know how to prepare, present and conduct themselves in a professional manner, understand the research required and what can influence an interviewer – positively and negatively. Learning outcomes

It is expected that students will:       be aware of the preparations necessary prior to and on the day of the interview (reference pages 80 to 84) understand the code of behaviour of an interview (reference page 81) recognise different questioning techniques and how to deal with them in a variety of interview situations (reference pages 83 to 86) know how to prepare and handle telephone interviews(reference pages 94 to 95) appreciate the techniques used in assessment centres(reference pages 87 to 91) know how to prepare for second or shortlist interviews(reference pages 95 to 96)

Resources needed Student copies of Career Skills allowing personal notes to be made.Other resources could include:          Room set up for interview rehearsals Briefs for candidates and interviewers in role plays Video camera and/or tape recorder (if available) Telephone/s for telephone interview practice Sample psychometric and personality tests a variety of possible websites links are given on this page> Text of case studies for discussion sessions (reference pages 97 to 100) Flip chart/OHP/data projector for presentations Downloaded Interview Assessment form (Appendix 4) A candidate assessment form for use in role plays/peer assessments (reference page 92)

Tutorial structure for group or individual support The detailed content of Step 6 in Career Skills goes through the interview process and gives extensive pointers to the protocol, influences and practices involved; in conjunction with Step 4 (Your interview “tool kit”) this Step provides extensive opportunities for group and individual tuition:            group discussion on preparation for the interview – prior and on the day; role play, followed by group work to discuss performance in mock interviews; ask all students to prepare their answer to the “tell me about yourself” question; ask all students to prepare answers to the “what are your strengths” and “…your weaknesses” questions students could present their answers in small groups (2/3) and get each group to comment on answers generally in feedback session; group discussion on what would impress/annoy you if “you were an interviewer”; practise panel interviews in role play scenario - ask „interviewers‟ to complete candidate assessment forms / candidates to complete their Interview Assessment forms – peer group assessment possibilities also; students practise one-to-one interviews using colleagues own CVs- ask „interviewers‟ to complete candidate assessment forms / candidates to complete Interview Assessment forms - peer group assessment possibilities also; familiarize students with psychometric test materials, e.g. verbal, spatial, numerical reasoning – advise students to answer all questions rather than leaving blanks; review personality questionnaires –advise students to go with their first instincts rather than trying to „double guess‟ answers; role play on a business situation - setting a strategy for expansion of, say, a small manufacturing business producing innovative white goods;

   

students to prepare and present a 5 minute selling pitch on an abstract concept, say, their favourite colour – reinforce relaxation techniques; practise telephone interviews - - ask „interviewers‟ to complete Candidate assessment forms / candidates to complete Interview Assessment forms group discussions on Case Studies (see pages 97 to 100); develop answers to second interview questions (see pages 95 to 96) – encourage suggestions for additional questions.

The final two Steps of Career Skills have been designed initially to help students deal positively with the delay between interviews and their results.The objectives are to direct their interest and energy consistently towards their chosen career goals; and secondly to prime them to the significant life changes to be faced in the world of paid employment. Aims Students, individually, will be prepared to assess and objectively critique not only their performance at interview, but also the attraction and benefits of the vacancy being filled.Additionally, they will be ready to consider the crucial question of whether to accept the offer of the job should they be selected.Further, students will be given an opportunity to explore the changes faced when entering the work environment. Learning outcomes Steps 7 and 8 can readily be used as part of the winding-up sessions of a scheme of work.They effectively represent the final stages of the process and Step 8 can be usefully added to by visiting speakers, giving more detailed insights into careers in commerce, industry, etc. Crucially the must appreciate the need for their personal commitment and dedication. It is expected that students will:     critically evaluate their interview performance - what went well and what could have been better (refer to page 101 and link to Interview assessment forms – Appendix 4) assess the opportunity following interview/s and be ready to respond to offers appropriately (page 102) be prepared to handle the disappointment rejection and request feedback (page 103) have an understanding of the significant changes to be faced in the work environment

Resources needed Student copies of Career Skills to review all personal notes made to date. Other resources could include:   all student research work to date (notes an/or completed form work and in particular those related to interview assessment material to reinforce communication skills – especially letter writing and CV development (refer also to Appendices 1 to 3)

Tutorial structure for group or individual support

The detailed content of Step 7 in Career Skills is in effect the review at the end of the first major assault on the job market. At this stage the process becomes more of an individual review and less of a group appraisal.        review students interview evaluation individually; students review their interview questions/responses and log them for future reference on (pages 62-65); encourage students to share their interview experiences with the group; practise the art of diplomacy – in both rejecting an offer or attempting to improve the terms of an offer (either verbally or in writing); review telephone techniques when seeking feed back (pages 25-26); encourage all unsuccessful candidates to keep information updated and ensure they remain in control of their own „campaigns‟; debate the list of potential pitfalls on “joining the team”, their implications and how to manage them (page 105).

Career Websites
Career guidance       www.prospects.ac.uk Advice and jobs for graduates www.drjob.co.uk Advice and jobs for graduates) www.gradunet.co.uk Advice and jobs for graduates www.hobsons.com Guidance and jobs for school leavers and graduates www.insidecareers.co.uk Guidance and jobs for graduates www.connexions.gov.uk/ Guidance for school and college leavers

Employment Companies    www.bloomberg.com International and entrepreneur site www.companieshouse.gov.uk Lists all UK public companies www.vault.com What it is like to work for named companies

Employment: Job hunting           www.career-index.com Lists job sites www.eteach.com Teaching www.fish4jobs.co.uk Regional jobs www.jobshark.com Adverts, and accepts electronic CVs www.jobs4publicsector.com Public sector www.monster.co.uk Job adverts and career advice www.planetrecruit.com International jobs www.stepstone.co.uk UK and European jobs www.TheEdgeUK.com Temporary jobs www.topgrads.co.uk Graduate jobs; accepts electronic CVs

Employment Rights       www.cre.gov.uk Commission for Race Equality www.equalops.co.uk Equal opportunities www.emplaw.co.uk Employment law www.adviceguide.org Citizens‟ Advice Bureau www.hse.gov.uk Health and safety www.i-resign.com/uk/home Leaving your job

Disability and dyslexia       www.skill.org.uk National bureau to support students with disabilities www.disability.gov.uk Government‟s disability issues site www.equipservices.hefce.ac.uk Resource directory for disabilities www.bda-dyslexia.org.uk National dyslexia organisation www.futurenet.co.uk/ Adult dyslexia organisation; offers support and advice to students. www.drc-gb.org Disability rights commission

International students    www.ukcosa.org.uk Website for the council for international education. Useful general advice for international students studying in the UK, e.g. finance, immigration, working in the UK. www.cisuk.org.uk Website for council for international students. CIS is the national representative organisation set up and run by student representatives to promote the interests of international students studying in the UK. www.educationuk.org Website produced by the British Council to help international students interested for a UK course or qualification, as well as other useful information.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful