Don’t be the graduate who blames the economy

July 22nd, 2015 by susanburke

Yes it is scary after you leave uni particularly if you’ve NOT managed to secure that all important graduate job. So why I am mentioning this now? You have plenty of time left before you graduate – right? Well it depends… you need to start using your time wisely and applicable to students in Year 1 – yes even you!

You can blame your university, the economy, your careers adviser if you don’t get that job. Guess what people do just that… in fact some manage to get it printed in the national press but I never see anyone really look at themselves to even consider IF they could be at fault!

What if we decided not to play the ‘blame game’ and instead take control?

Be honest & ask yourself:

  • Why oh why do we put things off that can really help us? (you know what I mean, it could be that CV, improving your linkedIn profile, getting relevant experience etc)
  • Why don’t we ask those questions now when we could? (speaking to people in those jobs we love to do or if we are clueless seeking some advice?)
  • Why do we complain when we have sent over a 100 CV’s out and received no reply, (wake up call – why did it take you over 100 CVs later to work this out – maybe it’s your CV?)

At what point do we sit down and reflect on what is working and take stock and ask ourselves are we actually on the right path? Are we going in the right direction or just following a set route, which isn’t actually working for us?

Are you actually seeing ALL of the opportunities available to you? Are you doing what you really want to do? Do you know what you want? How are you going to work this out?

What are you doing TODAY that will really help you to drive the future that you want tomorrow?

No excuses. No blaming others. Just take stock of where you are now.


Do one thing today that can get you closer to where you want to be tomorrow.

So you’re a wannabe Journalist…make contact with a Journalist via LinkedIn or Twitter and ask for their advice or possible work experience, even find out more about how to apply for a job with their company!

Or you’re already in the job you want, but want to get that promotion, or change direction? Maybe you need to boost your skills? Maybe you need to join a professional association or perhaps you just want to chat about it all with a professional careers coach…(oh by the way that’s me!).

So once you’ve done your one thing, (don’t overcomplicate it, just do it!) – post it in the Facebook Group,

Here is another opportunity for you:

Why not ask me a career related question in the Facebook Group? Just maybe, I could help you to move forward. (p.s that is what I do, I’m a careers adviser by trade.) You will be joining people from all over the world with one intention to get that Job!

The people who ask, are the ones who get ahead….are you going to let this opportunity pass you by or not?

A little about me!

My special gift is in inspiring and empowering YOU to HAVE it all; to get out there and TAKE it all. Trust me it is rarely handed to you on a plate!

I have to warn you though … I tell it as it is. Why? Because I don’t want to ‘pussy foot’ around something that can literally, change your life. Life is about allowing you to live life on your terms. So what on earth does this mean? It means taking ownership and no more excuses. You can do whatever you want; take a year out before Uni, after Uni, not go to Uni, start a business, take a sabbatical, live in another country, even start a charity if you want to! Whatever you want to do is fine…but as long as you DO IT…this ain’t no dress rehearsal baby! I’m about to be the best thing for your soon to be amazing future think of me like your best friend but with a little bit of tough love thrown in!

Check out and join the FREE 7 Day CV Challenge today, don’t waste a second, just do it!




The Framework of a killer CV!

July 22nd, 2015 by susanburke

As a careers coach one of things I am often asked is what is the framework for a killer CV and as I have recently wrote a book on the subject I thought I would share my thoughts with you taken directly from my book which you can find on Amazon called Be You, Get Noticed, Get Hired, Graduate CV (Includes a Free Creative CV Template Worth Over £20)

Use this framework to help you work through your CV today, you’ll also love this free Creative CV template as it was created by an amazing graphic designer check it out here!

Name & contact details

NameAddressEmail– think professional email address, nothing silly like [email protected] or [email protected]Mobile, Landline – check correct & make sure the voice message is applicable!

Get them interested in you!

 Want to find out more about me? LinkedIn profile, Twitter, Online portfolio, Website if applicable.

Personal profile

Wow factor…. (anything you write on your CV needs to be backed up with evidence, so don’t just use your standard cliché phrases such as team work, hard-working, attention to detail etc…). You can use those phrases BUT, they must be backed up with how, what and why you have those skills and qualities and make them highly targeted to the job.See some examples below (these are purely examples, so don’t use them unless you actually have the skills and they are key to the role that you are applying for – this includes any other examples throughout this document).


“I have consistently worked to develop my managerial expertise. For example, whilst working at Costa Coffee, I gained a proven track record in increasing sales and turnover (I achieved both green Win Cards for both stores) and through training and motivation; I inspired the rest of the team to do likewise and in many cases exceed their sales targets”.


“I have a proven aptitude for figures as during my most recent role at Costa Coffee, I regularly analysed store sales figures and Profit & Loss reports, while also managing and forecasting the budget and was praised for my accurate work and attention to detail.”


Yes it is OK to mention it below again if you need to, (remember your profile is just a brief overview, so you can use the ‘Skills & Qualities’ section below to expand and provide more detail).


Skills & qualities

Skills and qualities must be matched to the job you are applying for), so for example, customer service would be an ideal quality for a position as a Retail Assistant. However, advanced computer skills are probably less relevant, although experience of using different types of electronic tills for example, would definitely be seen as an advantage.So don’t be tempted to list every single skill you can think of.Think about which skills they have listed in the job description for the role, then think about which of those skills you have, how you have gained them and how you could apply them to what is required in the new role.


Use a MAX of 4 examples.




 University degree (particularly if it is relevant to your chosen career), then please expand on the qualifications that you’ve earned so far and what you’re currently studying:Start with the most recent, including address/full postcode of school/college/UniIt is ok to include something that you are currently studying, but have not yet finished the course, but don’t include something you plan to do in the future – think present day, in fact this goes with anything you include on your CV!


Work History  

Work Experience Volunteering


Start with your most recent employment and then work backwards. Provide a sentence on what the company does i.e. ‘An online retailer specialising in gifts for under £10’, and then perhaps you could include a couple of sentences of what your general duties included, and key achievements.  You could also list your key achievements as bullet points to keep it clear, concise and easy to read. Remember, recruiters have to read through hundreds of CVs so the clearer yours is the better and if possible quantify it, for example, I reduced costs by 10% or increased sales by 20%.For example: 2008 – Present, Store Manager, Costa Coffee, 31 High Street, Wimbledon, SW19

Costa Coffee is a British multinational coffeehouse company headquartered in Dunstable, United Kingdom, and a wholly owned subsidiary of Whitbread.  My role is the daily management of the store, providing high quality service and managing a team of 20 staff. 

Key Achievements

  • Increasing sales by 10% by analysing store figures and improving customer service as well as managing and motivating the team to increase sales and ensure store efficiency.
  • Reducing stock, waste and other store costs by 5% resulting in a saving of £10,000 per annum.
  • Being able to motive staff, reduce absenteeism by listening to my staff to improve working conditions.
  • Responsible for recruitment and team training provision to help new staff and more experienced staff excel.
  • Highly competent to organise work schedules, track accounting and payroll as well provide quarterly reports to the Regional Director.



Additional training

You may have completed customer care course, first aid, health & safety training or completed in house training for an organisation, well guess what you can mention it more so if it’s relevant!


As it says on the tin but we are not talking about your 1 metre swimming certificate here!

Professional Associations


Now if you’re a little confused about what this is, (depending on the type of job you’re looking for); you may want to look at some professional associations and see what they are all about. Especially if you are studying law, accountancy, surveying etc. Many offer really excellent student rates and some may even be free.  They are also great for networking events and getting to know other people/companies within the industry) so for the UK it would be and if relevant you could mention this on your CV if you’re a member!
Language Skills If you can speak another language most definitely make them aware of this on your CV!




Student jobs fraud: What scams are out there and how you can avoid them

August 6th, 2014 by

It’s no secret that job hunting can be stressful, time-consuming and demoralising. While prospects are looking up, with a steady increase in youth employment and initiatives including the abolition of National Insurance Contributions intended to support this increase, the job search is not without its obstacles and student job scams remain ever-present.

This blog will explore some of the most common scams targeting students including money muling, boiler room activities and multilevel marketing, to give you the insight you need to identify them and make sure you’re not getting caught by the fraudsters. To begin with, here are some general tips that apply to every scam mentioned in this blog. While none are sure fire ways of identifying scams, spotting any combination of these characteristics should encourage you to properly research the position and company before applying.

1.)    Too good to be true? Scams are designed to be as enticing as possible. Be cautious of job descriptions that include phrases such as “dream position”, “once-in-a-lifetime role” and job requirements that “perfectly match skill sets”. A wage/salary far above your responsibilities should also have alarm bells ringing.

2.)    Not always promising. You should also be cautious of job descriptions that are poorly written, feature spelling or grammatical errors or appear amateurish. This includes details such as the email URL and imagery and logos used in the email.

3.)    Bypassing the formal application process or requesting more sensitive information are potential signs of concern. If you have been granted a position without an interview, or are asked to send a copy of your passport, driving license or bank account details before an interview, it is likely an attempt at identity fraud.

4.)    Be wary of requests for money. Requests for money for background checks, admin costs or employers asking you to transfer money on their behalf or for errands on receipt of a cheque should be taken very cautiously. This can be challenging as some legitimate employers do request payment for DBS checks, and other organisations do charge for training courses, as will be covered later in this blog.

Money laundering scams

What to look for:

For the uninitiated, money laundering involves the process of disguising money in order for it to appear to originate from legal sources. These scams are operated by organised criminals and allow them and the proceeds of their crime to stay hidden while exposing vulnerable students who agree to work with them.

Money laundering is one of the most commonplace scams advertised towards students, with as many as 19 percent of approached students agreeing to the position.

The vacancies offer the opportunity to earn extra money in exchange for personal bank details. Money launderers will charge students with receiving a sum into their bank account, to be sent to an overseas account minus a small fee for the account owner to keep (the payment).


These are often advertised as managerial positions in:

  • Finance
  • Shipping
  • Sales

Similarly with boiler room fraud, vacancies may state that you require no experience, skills or qualifications. They can also take on more altruistic forms including charities requiring help handling donations, art dealers dealing with overseas sales to simple book keeping.

You can follow the previous advice to verify the legality of a money laundering position advertised to you, however the University of Liverpool makes a very concise point: legitimate money-forwarding jobs like this do not exist. You should also be extremely cautious of vacancies that require you to share bank details at this early stage.

Something to think about:

There is another form of laundering that can occur that doesn’t necessarily include money transactions. Goods handling scams, whereby you are instructed to receive goods to pass on to a third-party, are present and operate similarly to laundering scams. Although you may be wondering how you are a victim in this circumstance, keep in mind that under that the Fraud Act 2006 is still relevant and it is no longer necessary to prove deception; if you are involved, be it unwittingly, you may still be charged.

For more information, check out the e4s blog for examples of money laundering scams attempting to infiltrate our job board.

Boiler room fraud

What to look for:

Students and young people are often encouraged to take part in boiler room fraud – a phoney broker cold calling victims with high-pressure sales techniques into valueless, overpriced or non-existent commodities – by enticing them with abnormally high salaries with little or no requirements for experience or relevant skills.


Fraudsters offering boiler room positions are known to advertise positions at recruitment fairs, student-targeted exhibitions and internet job boards, and the commodity on offer is known to fluctuate according to popular and alternative trends. SAFERjobs identified ongoing trends including land banking, precious metals and shares or similar financial products, and e4s urges students to be vigilant should these be mentioned.

Something to think about:

Although students are not specifically the victims of boiler room fraud, e4s greatly urges students to be vigilant against these vacancies. If you take part in boiler room fraud, either unwittingly or otherwise, you can be punished with up to ten years in prison and/or a significant fine.

In addition to the previous tips on checking the validity of a vacancy, you can also check to see if the company offering the position is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. You can also check out SAFERjobs and the Serious Organised Crime Agency’s annex page detailing boiler room fraud, implications following the Fraud Act 2006 and the outcome for victims of boiler room fraud.

Advanced fee positions

What to look for:

In connection with fake vacancies, more on which below, a common scam against students is to inform them that they have been awarded with the vacancy at hand (usually involving a telephone interview), only to charge students for a number of variables such as credit and criminal background checks and training. Some will state that the money will be returned on successful completion.

These scams occur frequently, and students and graduates entering the job market are a key target for fraudsters, and student accounts of being taken in are commonplace online including Reddit and The Student Room.


The University of Manchester states that if you are being instructed to pay for training, equipment or stock, or other things directly related to the work, these are strong indications that it is a scam.

Questions you’ll want to ask yourself and the company include what the fee is for, what you get from making the payment, what it does not cover and to be provided with a guarantee of work or earnings.

Something to think about:

Although there are numerous legitimate organisations that require students to pay a fee for membership to a database, for example film, theatre and television talent website Casting Call Pro, or to place your CV online, these are angled at providing people with ways to find work.

You should also keep in mind that it is legal for companies to pass on the costs of DBS checks to applicants, as well as charge or make deductions to new employees for uniforms and accommodation. Employers should be upfront with potential charges or deductions, but e4s would advise students to make your own enquiries so you have as much information available.

Phishing scams

What to look for:

Unlike boiler room fraud and money laundering scams, where students are used to aid perpetrators, phishing scams directly target students as potential victims. Similar to fake vacancies and companies, they target students in an attempt to mislead them into revealing usernames and passwords to sensitive information.

This can take place under many guises – some of the most common involve emails from the Student Loans Company (SLC) or your institution requesting updated information to fraudulent vacancies that require you to sign up or share sensitive information in order to apply.


Most phishing scams are relatively straightforward to identify, with tell-tale signs including: beginning with “Dear student”, as most are sent in bulk and therefore not personalised; poor spelling and grammar; a suspicious email address or one unconnected with the organisation it claims to be from; and an unusual amount of ‘threat’ – for example, sentences like “Failure to respond in 24 hours will result in your account being closed”.

You can also omit unnecessary information from your CV without damaging your application. Details such as your marital status, National Insurance numbers and your date of birth are of little use to employers but can help identity theft scammers immeasurably.

Something to think about:

SLC recommends caution against all emails and text messages requiring you to volunteer information about yourself, stating their text messages “are to give information only” . The University of Sheffield also urged that students never respond to an unsolicited required for confidential information, and if in any doubt to contact the university through a trusted means of communication.

Fake vacancies/agencies

What to look for:

One of the most prolific issues stems from encountering fake vacancies from recruitment companies. Even a small number of legitimate recruitment companies and websites feature fake jobs – advertised positions that either do not exist or are impossible to get – in a bid to collect CVs and personal information and the more fraudulent requesting upfront payment for services including training and guaranteed interviews.

There are even reported accounts of fraudulent companies that advertise fake vacancies, charging applicants for “careers packs” and “administration fees” among others. Known scammers include Ian Johnson and Ronald Clark, banned from running an employment agency until 2020.


Identifying fraudulent companies can be a little easier, with the sheer wealth of websites that help you verify their validity. Firstly, a quick check on Companies House will inform you of their legal past and status. Looking through the company website can also be a decent indicator to their trustworthiness, as may a Google search to see if any websites or reports of fraudulence have been discussed.

Something to think about

Although much information found online suggests that all companies that charge for training with a confirmed interview at the end of the course are fraudulent, e4s urges students to be aware that there are a number of legitimate organisations offering similar terms and that this should be taken into consideration with other factors.

Premier rate phone applications

What to look for:

A very straightforward scam is to get students to apply for a job through a premier rate phone number, usually being placed on hold for extended periods of time. Although many companies use high rate dialling codes, you should be suspicious if there is no alternative method of applying; if you are unable to find an email address or postcode, it is likely that the company does not exist.

Something to think about:

The University of Gloucestershire Union states that most legitimate companies have a “lo-call”, Freephone or landline number available, and Bangor University extends the warning to mobile numbers, which can lead to anywhere in the world.

For reference, premium rate phone numbers can begin with 0844, 0870, 0871, 0845 and 09.

Multi-level marketing positions

What to look for:

Multi-level marketing (MLM) positions have existed and thrived for several years. An important distinction to make is that these roles are entirely legal, despite comparisons with pyramid schemes.

However both have been heavily criticised by industry bodies, hedge funds, university professors and former participants and among the most infamous of MLM positions are undisclosed door-to-door sales roles. Firstly, from the vacancy, they are often listed as marketing or sales executive roles, often featuring those telltale signs of no qualifications or experience necessary, full training provided and earn money quick.

Applicants arriving for interview are very quickly given the job when they discover that the role was falsely advertised and are 100 percent commission, door to door sales jobs. There are numerous accounts of these roles, from forum posts on The Student Room to dedicated blogs detailing the writer’s personal experience.

Something to think about:

Dr William Keep of the College of New Jersey School of Business commented that MLM distributors often lose money through continually buying products, if the role requires it, and paying for business support, training, leads, success seminars, coaching and other similar services.

Successful sales staff move on to managing a team of first-timers, although the Cold Calling Cult blogpost states that only one percent of employees make it that far, and with each employee listed as self-employed, students can easily end up working entire days for little to no pay.

e4s would like to reiterate that these positions are entirely legal, but would urge students interested in taking up MLM positions to research the roles, investigate the experiences of others and do not get caught in the misleading job vacancies.

Sexual exploitation

What to look for:

A small number of vacancies advertising a mixture of care, live-in and photography work can lead to incidents of sexual exploitation.  The most prolific are fake care positions and modelling work, where young people are required to work on location and/or for long periods of time.

Something to think about:

There is no acknowledged pattern to discern whether a care or modelling job will lead to incidents of sexual exploitations, and they are certainly not restricted to these categories, however e4s wanted to draw the possibility to your attention, and to urge greater caution when applying for these positions.

Since its inception in 2000, Employment4students (e4s) has actively campaigned and operated against student job fraud, from its rigorous requirements to hosting vacancies on the e4s job board and campaigning against scammers that target students through operations including money muling and fraudulent positions and charges.

If you would like to report a job scam, you can visit and join their campaign to tackle UK job fraud.

You can also check out our previous blog post on money muling scams as well as our co-authored piece with SAFERjobs CEO Keith Rosser with his top five tips to avoid student jobs scams.


4 million people visiting the site in 2010

March 5th, 2011 by Andre

2010 was a big year for Employment4students – we’ve had more jobseekers come to the site than ever before, and the challenge of helping students find work has become harder. Student unemployment is at an all time high, and the freeze (or at least slow down) in recruitment by some of our employers, has made times tougher. On a more positive note, we are seeing employers coming back to the site and advertising positions again. One of our clients, a leading international advisory organisation, is recruiting more interns and graduates than ever before.

We’ve also had more clients come to us over the year, and that has really picked up at the start of 2011. We’ve currently got a range of jobs on from Ernst & Young, Lloyds, Vodafone, as well as a range of smaller clients, all  looking for the best candidates to help their businesses move forward.

What does 2011 promise – for students it’s going to be even more important to stand out, to have a strong CV, as much relevant experience as possible, and something to show that they will be invaluable to companies. Getting jobs is still possible, and there are countless success stories. Is it easy to get a job? No – in lots of cases, it isn’t. Put the work though, prepare well and you can still get a great position. Hopefully times will only get easier – but in the mean time, sign up with E4S, and make sure you get the latest relevant jobs delivered to your inbox.

Here at Employment4students we’re completely committed to helping students find jobs – now more than ever. If you have any questions, or suggestions, please let us know. If you want to work with us, and help other students, it would be great to hear from you as well!

All the best,

Andre + Chris, plus the rest of the E4S team

A post

October 13th, 2010 by voucherguru

Hello world!

August 1st, 2008 by Andre

Welcome to This is your first post. Edit or delete it now, then start blogging!