Our second lesson with Jacqui was about taking a step back and thinking about what we want to do with our degree. It was a useful exercise to consider how we made the important decision to come to Coventry to study photography. Important career decisions also take into account our personal values at that given time e.g. savings, family, wants and needs will all affect the career choices we make.
It was useful to learn from Jacqui just how many of the skills we have acquired during our degree are transferable to different jobs. Things like communicating, writing, pitching and working as a team are all things we do anyway in our course so have become better at them over the three years and can be useful in outside work. For example the negotiation skills we use to deal with uncooperative classmates would be the same as we would use to deal with a complaining customer in a shop. She also said we should consider the assignments we have tackled as problems we have solved. Through these we have learnt to think laterally, make decisions, present visually, and reflect. Now that I have identified these skills I will be able to think of examples of using them to support my answers to interview questions.
We explored different ways of searching for jobs, including graduate websites and careers information sites. We also considered that there may be opportunities for working abroad, or in studio space working for ourselves.
Art & Design careers adviser Liz gave a presentation on how to develop a CV. A CV should be targeted at the specific job you are applying for from the job description / person specification. They should use positive language such as demonstrated, developed, enhanced or words that appear in the job specification. Bearing in mind employers may have as little as 20seconds to glance at a CV, it should be no more than two pages and be clearly laid out and aligned.
We covered the main sections a CV should have;
Education & Qualifications
Relevant work experience
I showed my CV so far to Jacqui who gave me a few points of improvement;
To condense down my GCSE’s by saying ‘8 GCSE’s’.
To take out the numbering in my sub-sections.
To move my personal statement to the beginning.
To put my equality and diversity award in additional activities.
I will make these changes to my CV.