Having completed your third level course, you are now ready to take the next steps in your career path. You have plenty of time to consider your options. We will provide you with the information, guidance, techniques and support, to help you to make your choices and achieve your goals. You may decide to:

  • Apply for a post in your desired profession
  • Enrol in a post-graduate course to compliment your studies and refine your career direction
  • Seek a combination of a post-graduate study and internships in your chosen industry
  • Apply for a graduate placement work programme or scheme
  • Get an interim job placement to help develop skill sets for your future career advancement
  • Take a “year out” to develop other skills, or take the opportunity to travel
  • Change direction by enrolling in a different programme of study

Remember that you are not committing yourself for life when you select a course or take a job. The path you initially choose will most likely alter as you move through your career. If you feel that you have made some wrong decisions to date, don’t panic! You have plenty of time to work out an alternative route for your career and we will help you to redirect your activities.

Our goal is to get your career journey moving in the right direction. This should be one that will give you the best range of future opportunities and job satisfaction. At the same time we need to be flexible in how we plan, ensuring you keep an open mind, to look for potential career development opportunities, as they arise, along the way.

We will work with you to:

1. Develop greater levels of self-awareness and understanding of your future potential

2. Develop criteria to compare career options in order to form a basis for decision making

3. Carry out a review of the changing work environment, job market and employer profiles

4. Develop your resources and skills to enable you to market yourself effectively, helping you succeed in the recruitment and interview process

Please review the services that MK Career Guidance have to offer below. Call us for a free consultation to decide how we can help you on your career journey.

1. Developing greater levels of self-awareness and understanding of your future potential using the Birkman Career Plus Method

At the start of our coaching, you will complete the online Birkman Career Plus questionnaire. You will then receive comprehensive one to one feedback on your profile. The goal is to match your interests, skills and needs against the many career options out there. The profile will:

  • Identify your personal qualities and skills
  • Identify the skills you would like to develop further
  • Come up with ideas for further study or potential work experience
  • Explore your likes and dislikes, personal supports, and potential barriers to achievement
  • Explain your personal needs and desired work environments
  • Provide suggestions about the specific job categories and roles where you are most likely to flourish

2. Develop criteria to rank and compare career options in order to form a basis for decision making

Before exploring your options, it is worth taking time to consider just exactly what is of most importance to you. If you are considering extending your education through a post-graduate course, the criteria you create will relate to future career, type of course and type of educational institution. If you are joining the job market the criterion may include:

  • How your skills, qualifications, and competencies relate to the role
  • What you would like to do and what you are passionate about based on your interest, needs, behaviours and preferred work environment
  • The options the position presents for your career advancement
  • Your goal in terms of work-life balance
  • A forecast of the relevance or importance of the role, profession, or industry in tomorrow’s world
  • Rewards, benefits and personal development opportunities
  • The culture and management style of the organisation
  • The location of the role, travel opportunities, and whether these are desired or not

Having this list of criteria established will make it much easier to weigh and compare different options and will help you make well informed decisions.

3. A review of the changing work environment, job market and employer profiles

In this world of accelerated change, it is crucial to be aware of how the job market and the value of different roles within it, are changing and will change in the future. We will provide advice on:

  • How different professions and jobs are being recalibrated
  • What job sectors are diminishing or growing in the future
  • What qualifications, knowledge, skills, and abilities will be in most demand in the future 
  • What the specific job profiles are for these roles
  • A review of the range of post-grad courses and learning institutions available
  • What professions or jobs match up with your current or your expected qualifications
  • A review of the pros and cons of taking a gap year, and how best to use your gap year in relation to the job / profession you wish to pursue

The criteria rating form mentioned above will help to compare, rank and list preferences between various professions and job opportunities, helping you to build a clear plan of progression.

4(a). Building your current skill sets

Continuing your studies: the importance of part-time and temporary work

Career development is a wider journey than just getting qualifications. What you experience along the way in jobs and skill development is equally important. Don’t underestimate the value of part-time work in terms of helping you to understand working life and to develop interpersonal skills. 

Employers today tend to be just as concerned about the accumulation of experience and skills as the level of degree taken at university. While they may expect high academic achievements, the deciding factors that determine who is selected from the interview process or assessment centre, are more usually related to the relevant experience and skills demonstrated by applicants.

If you are continuing your studies, getting work experience and exposure will be a massive advantage in the future. This might be a key deciding factor when you come to meet up with recruiting managers. The accumulation of part-time work and work experience within student life demonstrates initiative and builds personality. It is also key to developing relationship-building and problem-solving skills. 

During our coaching sessions we will advise on:

  • Strategies to get interim vacation and part-time work experience to help you develop your personal skills or gain experience and exposure to your chosen industry
  • Commencing part-time or online courses to supplement your qualifications. For example being able to demonstrate some practical digital skill that is relevant to your chosen profession
  • Opportunities for voluntary work and key extracurricular activities
  • Key principles and techniques related to influence, team skills and problem solving

4(b). Applying for work: Developing your skill sets and techniques to succeed in the recruitment and interview process

Our comprehensive career advice incorporating psychometric testing and in-depth coaching, as described above, will help you achieve success. We will expertly guide you through the process of identifying which careers and jobs would prove most relevant and suited to your unique interests, skills, talents and personality type. This helps you to develop a clear plan of progression.

Once you have a good idea of the career you want, the next step is to plan the specific actions within realistic timeframes that will help turn your career plan into reality. We will work with you to help you develop the key skills that will enable you to land your target job role.

Having helped you to identify potential employers we will then focus on job application, interview preparation and performing well at interviews. As we have extensive experience in all aspects of the recruitment and interview process, we can guide and coach you through all of the relevant skills and techniques to help you display the best version of yourself. We will cover:

  • Creating a relevant, polished and professional CV
  • Writing memorable cover letters
  • Employers’ recruitment and selection processes
  • Completing psychometric tests
  • Displaying the best version of yourself at interviews
  • How to perform effectively at assessment centres

Creating an effective and impactful CV

We will provide you with a range of useful CV templates and work with you to:

  • Make your CV formatting engaging so it conveys the most relevant points about you in a clear, concise, and accessible way
  • Build on a “thin” CV by making the most of your professional and extra curricular activities
  • Market your achievements in a concise, purposeful, targeted and evidence-based manner
  • Ensure your CV objective portion resonates with the position being applied for
  • Ensure that it easy for the reader to find exactly what they are looking for
  • Learn how to interpret the reader’s core requirements and ensure your CV sends a relevant and customised message, directly addressing their current needs
  • Incorporate the right keywords to ensure your CV passes through the H.R. tracking system

The importance of a well-crafted cover letter

A cover letter introduces and markets you effectively by highlighting your relevant strengths and motivations rather than listing all the things that can already be seen on your CV. We will help you to construct a letter that:

  • Gives you scope to showcase your interests and motivations
  • Displays your enthusiasm for the organisation and the role
  • Enables you to align yourself with the organisation’s strengths, values and culture
  • Highlights in a targeted way your knowledge and your strongest, most relevant skills for the position.
  • What makes you different and what makes you the right fit for the role

Completing Psychometric tests

Psychometric testing has become an integral part of the recruitment process over the past 20 years. It represents an objective, standard, and scientific method used to measure individuals’ mental capabilities and behavioural style. It is then able to evaluate how these match those required to perform the role. The characteristics measured are also used to predict a candidates’ future potential. Employers use the information collected from the psychometric test to identify the hidden aspects of candidates that are difficult to extract from a face-to-face interview.

Paddy Mahon has over 25 years of experience administering, interpreting and giving feedback on a suite of psychometric tests. Evidence has shown that when clients become familiar with various personality and aptitude tests and have practiced completing them, they have greater success getting through the recruitment process. Like in everything else, practicing gives you an advantage.

In addition to completing the Birkman profiler as part of the self-awareness process, you can practice completing a range of the most popular personality and reasoning tests. You will also be coached in some general guidelines to cover:

  • Tips on how to approach verbal and numerical reasoning tests.
  • Tips on managing your time to greatest effect
  • Recognising questions on social desirability that are used to spot people who fake answers
  • Understanding the key personality traits that are most important to your recruiter
  • Tips on avoiding mental fatigue
  • Ensuring consistency in your answers
  • Learning what the “Big 5” measures are and recognising the relevant questions

Performing well at the interview. This starts with good preparation.

We will help you to design a preparation process that covers:

  • Key research items on the organisation and what the employer would expect you to know
  • Research on the role you are applying for in terms of context, job description, and deliverables
  • How to develop well researched questions to demonstrate your interest and level of knowledge
  • How to answer questions your CV will likely generate and other “classic” questions to consider
  • Planning your answers for competency based (S.T.A.R.) questions to display evidence of your ability to perform the role
  • How interviewers differentiate between essential and desirable skills, knowledge and behaviours
  • Current affairs that are relevant to the profession or general employment sector in question
  • What you need to clean up in your social media
  • Items of preparation specific to telephone or internet-based interviews

Performing effectively at the interview. What are the core skills and behaviours that you need to demonstrate to get hired?

Apart from asking you to expand on your CV, interviewers will want to see how you handle situations and how you will generally get along with people. In short, they want to know what you will be like to work with. The interview is your chance to demonstrate your key skills and behaviours and to demonstrate why you are the right fit for the job.

We will work with you to help you to display the best version of yourself by providing coaching and performing interview role-plays to cover:

  • Creating a positive first impression through appropriate dress and initial greeting
  • Tips on effective body language and use of voice pitch, pace, and tone
  • Displaying effective communication to display empathy, clarity, energy, confidence and good listening skills
  • How to recognise and answer competency-based questions using the S.T.A.R. model
  • Answering the “tricky” questions in a genuine and open fashion
  • How to introduce examples of your most positive and relevant achievements
  • Tips on giving effective presentations
  • Tips on effective telephone interview techniques
  • Additional considerations for internet-based interviews
  • Key items to avoid during interviews
  • Leaving with a confident and positive expression
  • Options on how and when to follow up after the interview
  • Common reasons why many candidates fail at the follow up interview

Assessment Centre Process

Many organisations use assessment centres as their preferred method of recruitment. The main advantage is that you can assess and make live comparisons between 8 to 12 candidates at a time. The team of assessors is usually comprised of H.R. and the successful candidates’ future line-managers. The assessment team will base their selection decisions on a predetermined, agreed set of criteria. These are used to score and compare the candidates as they work through the various exercises and interviews. Apart from assessing candidates during activities, the assessors will also have opportunities during breaks and lunch to get to know the candidates. Activities usually include:

  1. A series of psychometric assessments covering personality and reasoning
  2. A team based, problem solving activity to enable assessors measure evidence of competencies in a live setting
  3. A structured interview
  4. Opportunity to structure and deliver a presentation to sell, influence, or make a proposal

Over the past 20 years we have delivered hundreds of assessment centres and have trained many recruiting managers in the building and implementation of assessment centres. That makes us ideally placed to provide you with expert coaching to enable you to perform at your best.

We will cover:

  • How to display effective networking skills at initial introductions and throughout the day
  • Tips on completing “pencil & paper” psychometric tests during an assessment centre
  • What behaviours and skills assessors are looking for in group-based activities
  • Tips for the planning and delivery of joint presentations with other candidates
  • Additional questions that may be put to you at interviews during assessment centres
  • Ensuring consistency of your answers at multiple interviews or presentations
  • Specific behaviours to avoid during assessment centres
  • Leaving with a confident and positive expression

You will also have the option and opportunity for follow-up coaching to help you take the next logical steps in the hiring process.

Please contact us today for your free initial consultation and find out what MK Career Guidance and Coaching can do for you.