Human resources is the backbone of any labour organisation, thus lack of Career Action Plan of an individual or would-be employees (Graduates) could be disastrous for employers. Serena (2010) stresses that Career Action Plan refers to an outline that helps an individual discover the steps that his required to take in order to achieve his ultimate career target. Therefore this report talks about my career action plan and occupational research of six difference labour organisation.

I have chosen to find a job in a service industry, which for example includes retail trade, banking, transportation, etc. The why I have chosen the service industry is because of my past job experiences in transport & logistics, hotel network administrator, and based on the current course am studying at the University which Business Administration of which human resources is my major. I have taken six organisations into consideration ranging from large, medium and small sized labour organisation to find these employability skills and what they expect from us as a graduate. The six labour organisations I have chosen to apply for employment after my graduation are Royal Mail, HSBC, Premier Inn, Aon, Zurich, Pitney Bowes.

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2.0 Occupational Research

2.1. Terms of Reference

Human resources holds a phenomenal role in the total success or failure of a labour organisation such as recruiting, industrial and employee relations, administration of personnel files, which would enable the company to create strategic ways of dealing with specific problems. This section of the report will research graduate opportunities in the UK's service industrial sector. In addition, this part of the report will investigate six different labour organisations in the service industry, indicating employment requirements for graduate jobs, it will also indicate the skills, experience and knowledge required by labour organisations. This report will be concluded with a summary of the main findings in relation to graduate opportunities in this sector.

2.2. Methodology

The job research method I applied to find jobs in service industrial sector were both primary and secondary. Information obtained were quantitative such as in Secondary research which includes newspapers, different published reports and websites. In Primary research, I had a telephone conversation with a professional recruiter such as Lou Bullock, asking her about the job selection methods company applied.

2.3. Main Findings

2.3.1 General employment trends in human resources

Human resource is one the most import and vital department of any business enterprise, but with the UK still in the recovery process from the global recession, there has been a rapid decrease in jobs in almost all level professional labour field for example recent data extracted from Office of National Statistics, ONS (2010) explains that "Manufacturing output decreased by 14.2 per cent, while jobs decreased by 10 per cent. Construction output fell by 12 per cent, and jobs by 6.9 per cent. In the services sector, total output decreased by 4.5 per cent but jobs by a comparatively modest 1.2 per cent. Government and other services jobs actually increased by 2.4 per cent, but there were relatively larger falls of 4.4 per cent in business and finance jobs and a 3.2 per cent decrease in distribution, restaurants and hotel jobs. Generally, as businesses face costs in changing the volume of their workforces, typically referred to as 'firing&hiring' costs, which is normal for transference in employment to reduce volatility and slow output. As cyclical reductions are expected to be temporary, labour organisation may prefer to absorb the costs of reduced utilisation of capacity. Furthermore, compared to previous global recessions, the decline in the amount of jobs experienced so far is relatively bland, especially given the rapid fall in output". With remarkable growth in technology affecting the output of jobs either by new software assisting in the execution of jobs in shortest possible time. It is predicted that in 2012, that the UK economy will recover from the global recession. In recent times, labour organisations make a vast use computer and internet, hence finding a job in labour markets has become relatively easier to enter as graduates usually have proficiency in the use of computers and Microsoft packages. The human resource department is a fast and increasingly developing one, thus apart from recruiting, the HR can assist in various administrative duties. The service sector accounts for 70% of the UK's gross domestic product, ONS (2000).

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2.3.2 Opportunities for recent graduates

Graduates in business profession can work in various organisation for example; small, medium and large size business enterprise, not -for -profit firms "charity", non- government organisation (NGO), financial institutions, government organisations. Labour organisations that offers graduate jobs in human resource, includes:

Royal Mail


Premier Inn




Human resource graduates can perform different jobs in labour organisations list above , ranging from recruitment, selection,administration of personnel files and legal documents that relate to employment,organizational design and development, business management, behavior management, industrial and employee relations, analysis and personnel data management, compensation and benefits management, training and development of new recruits . Some of these companies offer paid internships to undergraduate students and graduates in order to integrate and put to use their skills and knowledge. There are advertisements of different jobs on recruitment websites and also on various labour organisation's websites. Internship/Placements is important to undergraduates and graduates as it helps the with knowledge of their chosen future job and also to gain experience in their field of study.

2.3.3 Summary of skills, knowledge & experience required

Graduate with desires to work in human resource department of organisation, he or she must be equipped with appropriate knowledge and skills in communication, which is very important. Thus employer wants the right graduate to put in practice the skills and knowledge that they learned in the university , for betterment and success of the company. Commitment is also an important element for would-be employees. A graduate should be a team player, he should be able to apply different problem solving techniques. Furthermore, graduate should be proficient in the use of different types of software applications like, Microsoft packages; excel, power-point, MS word, etc. Employers also want graduates to possess analytical skills. They must be able to assist in other various administrative duties of the company. Candidates most be able to adhere to the company's roles and policy. The table below indicates employment requirements for graduate positions from the six organisations I have chosen:


Job title


Royal Mail

Branch Manager

Graduate degree, Experience of working under pressure within a fast paced, face to face sales environment

Proven experience of meeting and exceeding sales targets

Ability to generate sales referrals and cross sell products

Excellent customer service skills with the ability to deal with multiple customers requirements

Ability to communicate effectively with colleagues and customers

Experience of working within Financial Services would be an advantage

Experience of adhering to compliance regulations .

(Royal Mail, 2010)


Commercial management Programme

Minimum requirement: 2:1 degree, any discipline

Duration: 2 years

Starting salary: £20,000.

(HSBC, 2010)

Premier Inn

Food and Beverage Manager

Graduate level or equivalent

F& B management experience

Experience of working with a budget and financial data

Experience of leading and motivating a team

Excellent communication skills, written and verbal

Good level of numeracy and literacy and able to use PC

Able to use own initiative

Excellent planning and control skills

Technical skills in the areas of food hygiene, food handling and other F& B related health and safety requirements.

(Whitbread, 2010)


Staff Development Officer

Knowledge of insurance in general

Experience of training delivery & design

Basic knowledge of the FSA Conduct of Business regulations.

IPD - Certificate in Training Practice

The Training Foundation - Trainer Assessment Programme

CII - Certificate in Insurance

(Aon, 2010)


General Management

Minimum 2:1 degree (or equivalent) and at least 280 UCAS points (or equivalent)

Flexibility on location as some of our programmes require you to work in different sites.

(Zurich, 2010)

Pitney Bowes

Financial Adviser

Graduate with high team spirit, honesty, reliable, focus and integrated.

2.3.4 How graduates are selected

Graduate would-be employees are selected on different basis of professions study, by which first class decree is more preferable in order to gain employment in a multinational business enterprise. Job selection process are based on personality, skills, knowledge and experience. However, labour organisations use different selection processes, with newer technologies introduced in the world of business, the selection process of candidates has also changed. Conversely, most organisations require applicants to apply online for vacancy, but the most commonly used are the following steps:

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Step 1: Online application form

In this step most organisation give graduates the first task of registering their details and submiting an application form, using an online system.

Step 2: Numerical and verbal testing

If a graduate application passes some initial eligibility checks, they will be invited to complete series of verbal and numeric tests. These tests assess some basic skills a graduate needs to succeed at any of their chosen organisation.

Step 3: Interview

If a graduate passes the online tests, employers will then carry out a detailed review of their CV and application, checking the graduates experience and skills against the selection criteria for each jobs. If the application is satisfactory to them, the graduate will then be contacted to arrange a one on one (in person) or telephone interview.

Step 4: Assessment Centre

The final stage in this steps is a full-day assessment at any chosen centre by the employer, depending. Graduates are given specific tests, thatwill allow the employer to take a closer look at their ability to work as a team, decisions making under pressure and respond to informations. Which is also a chance for graduates to meet potential future colleagues and ask employers any questions they still have.

Step 5: Offer

If a graduate performs well at the assessment centre, employers soon be in touch with an offer to join any chosen programme within a given period of time.

3. Personal reflection

This section of the report will focus on the knowledge I have gained from this report, what are my strengths and weaknesses are, compared to the research done in this report.

3.1 Personal analysis

I think I have most of the skills required by the mentioned employers in this report, I have also gained and learned a lot, based on the part-time jobs I have done in the past for example; Amity Hotel and Royal Mail. Despite the fact that I was just a mere employee, But I was very aware of the labour environment and I feel that I have got the full confidence and incisive quality over other applicants that have never experienced any labour environment. I have honesty,passion and integrity for service jobs. I am innovative,reliable and trustworthy. I am a team player, and feel I will benefit any organisation. I have a diploma in business and I am currently a second year student of business administration.

3.2. GAP Analysis

I think I have all the basic requirements needed by the employer in connection with highlighted jobs I will applying to, despite all my qualification I feel I have some weakness in the use of some Microsoft software packages like; excel spreadsheet, outlook, publisher. However I need to improve my knowledge in mathematics. Furthermore, I like being in the centre of leadership in any given task which might be a problem to my colleagues.

3.3. Covering letter and CV

View my CV and cover letter, which has been attached in the appendices at the end of this report.

3.4. Career Action Plan

I have thought about my plans for the future. I am currently a second year studying a BA Hons Business Administration degree in which my major is human resources; I will be doing a 12 months work placement after my second, to gain knowledge and experience within my field of study. During my placement I would continue learning by taking language classes to in increase my employment opportunity in other countries. My studies will be completed in 2013. After 3rd year.

After my graduation I will apply for a job in numerous organisations (apart from the ones mentioned above) for a more chances of getting employed. Achieving all these put me on the right part to succeed in life.

4. Conclusion

During my research for this report, I have equipped myself with good knowledge on how graduate recruitment works, which enabled me to discover other employment requirement which I wasn't aware of. I have been able to identify my points improvement in my abilities and skills before my graduation. I have also been exposed to how the trends in employment are changing. And the type of knowledge and skills I need to acquire before applying for any employment position within my field of study. As the service industrial sector is very competitive, I must be prepared before hand by improvement in weaknesses to remove any hindrance to my application.


Office of National Statistics (2010) Economic and Labour Market Review. Available at:http://www.statistics.gov.uk/downloads/theme_economy/EconReview_0210.pdf [Accessed: 28th December, 2010]

Office of National Statistics (2000) The UK Service Sector. Avaible at:http://www.statistics.gov.uk/downloads/theme_commerce/UK_Service_Sector.pdf [Accessed: 28th December, 2010]

Serena, S. (2010) Individual Career Plan Definition. Available at: http://www.ehow.com/about_5606469_individual-career-plan-definition.html [ Accessed: 27th December, 2010]


Aon. (2010) Staff Development Officer. Available at:https://aonuk.taleo.net/careersection/2/jobdetail.ftl [Accessed: 29th December, 2010]

Whitbread. (2010) Food & Beverage Manager - Hemel Hempstead. Available at:http://www.whitbread.co.uk/whitbread/careers/jobssearch.html [Accessed: 29th December,2010]

Zurich. (2010) Graduate Programmes. Avialable at:http://www.zurich.co.uk/graduates/ourgraduateprogrammes/ourgraduateprogrammes.htm [Accessed: 30th December, 2010]

7. Appendices

7.1. Covering Letter

234 Bishops Rise



AL10 9QU

30th December, 2010



Dear Sir/Madam,

I would like to apply for the placement vacancy of Sales Operations, Market, Public Relations, Marketing Communications, After Sales, Logistics, at hsbc bank plc, and have pleasure in enclosing my CV for your consideration.

As you will see from my CV, I have chosen to specialise in the area of Sales and Public Relations within my business course. I feel that the position advertised will allow me to build upon the theoretical knowledge I have gained at University, by offering a range of practical experience. The business industry holds a particular interest for me, as it is a buoyant, growth area with challenging and varied opportunities. Hsbc bank, as a banking institution, appeals as I can identify with the company philosophy of concentrating on excellence and high quality standards.

I have extensive experience in dealing with customer queries gained from my part-time job at Amity Hotels Ltd. Through managing the customer enquiry desk at the Cyber Café, I have developed excellent communication skills and am able to interact with individuals on all levels. This will ensure my effectiveness in dealing with customers of hsbc bank.

The idea of working on special projects strongly attracts me. I have excellent organisational skills, gained from combining study with a part-time job. This will enable me to meet deadlines and complete tasks efficiently. University has allowed me to improve my IT skills and I am now a competent user of Widows packages. I understand this is an essential requirement for the business placement and therefore my level of I.T knowledge will guarantee I can adapt my skills to the role.

I would appreciate the opportunity to meet with you to discuss the vacancy and am available at anytime you find convenient.

Yours faithfully,

Mr Chidi Duru

7.2. CV

Chidi Duru

Date of Birth: 21/08/1986

Home Address Abroad UK Home Address

Central Bank of Nigeria (C.B.N) Estate 1 234 Bishops Rise

Block D "15" Flat 106. Satellite Town Hatfield, Hertfordshire

Lagos State, Nigeria AL10 9QU

Mobile: +2348029598559 Home Number: 07767320381

Email: chidi_chris@hotmail.co.uk

Educational Qualification

2010-Present University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield

Currently in second year of a three year course studying BA (HONS) Business Administration

Current Modules

Semester A Semester B

Principles of Operations Management A Quality and Risk Management

Labour Market Policy Business in Context 4 (Globalisation)

Employment and Entrepreneurship A Managing Human Resources B

Business in Context 3 Cross Cultural Management

2008-2009 Hertfordshire International College of Business and Technology (HIBT) (Diploma)

Results Grade

IT for Business A

Introduction to Business Law B

Principles of Marketing 1 C

Accounting Techniques D

Economics D

Business Quantification D

2005-2006 University of Abuja, Abuja. Federal Capital Territory (F.C.T) Nigeria

Diploma in Computer Studies- PASSED

May/Jun 2004

Maiduguri International School. Maiduguri (Educational Trust) Borno State, Nigeria

West African Examination Council (W.A.E.C) PASSED


English Language







Agricultural Science

Jun/Jul 2004 National Examinations Council (NECO) PASSED


English Language







Agricultural Science


Feb 2007- Aug 2007 Amity Hotels Limited Cyber Café

Position: Network Administrator

Key Responsibilities:

Checking that the internet worked, and to check that

all the computers were in perfect condition

Selling internet user tickets

Jan 2009- Nov 2010 Royal Mail

Position: Warehouse Operative

Key Responsibilities:

Sorting mails/letters, packages, parcels

Skills & Interest

Computer Skills and Competencies:

Proficiency in the use of Internet and Microsoft Office

Related Skills:

Good communication skills; willingness

to acquire and apply knowledge rapidly;

polite, hard working.


Reading books, magazines/newspaper, watching movies, listening

to music, playing and watching football, browsing the Internet