Employability and Entrepreneurship

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Employability and Entrepreneurship


I have been assigned to construct a report based on my career plan process in a very well-defined and measureable way. This should enable me to bring focus and strategy to my career development process and allow me to achieve my long term career goal.

In order to do this I will have to conduct a thorough self-assessment of my knowledge, skills, abilities, accomplishments and experiences to understand I am in the right career path. This report will result a very clear profile of who I am as a professional right now.

In addition I will have to investigate 6 different organisations strategy on employing graduates. My report on career planning will consist on providing evidence on how to research these opportunities, develop awareness of the knowledge, skills and experience employers are looking for, this will be illustrated as the following below

* Self awareness and reflection in career development activities,

* Preparation of a CV

* Covering letter

* Career action plan towards the researched topic that will be analysed thoroughly.

This research will be based on the areas that I aspire to work within in the future. I will also talk about some organisations that offer job opportunities for Human Resource Management.

Occupational Research

The occupation or profession is Human Resources. I aspire to work as Human Resource Manager or Consultant in the near future so I will discuss my future prospects. Human Resources has been increasingly viewed as an distinct industry in relation to areas of work it has grown considerably and changed over the past years as it is now enhanced recognition as a key function in driving businesses forward and influencing business strategy. Companies become more aware of the value and importance of their HR functions and the need to recruit and retain the best workforce, more organisations are employing graduates with key skills into HR roles, but still remains a popular and competitive sector.

I am currently working at John Lewis Partnership which is a remarkable organisation. Working with the partnership has giving me an insight on using my own initiative, creativity and energy whenever there's an opportunity to improve what I am doing. It has also helped me maximise my potential through personal support and encouragement. Moreover working at John Lewis has enabled me to grasp the loop holes in the human resource management (personnel) responsibilities and roles where I enjoy the field, and wanted to learn the whole HR role.

As an individual I wanted a very practical degree that will enable me to secure a job in HR once I graduated. I have realised in my field of studies that I need practical experience of working in HR which is important to me. I have certain goals which I want to achieve in the short term such as continuing my studies, gaining Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) accreditation and becoming an HR manager within the next three to five years. Beyond that I want to be responsible for my own HR department in the future, be leadership role or as an HR director. I have natural affiliation with people, am keen to work within the business environment and want to be able to see my work come to fulfilment this truly shows that HR is the career for me.

According to my research I have also found out while the economic downturn may have closed the door on graduate vacancies at some firms, the jobs market as a whole still looks primarily to those with degrees as the university sector is a substantial industry with substantial impact on the national economy. It is increasingly recognised in the UK that the sector has become a core part of the economic infrastructure of the country and generating employment and output, attracting export earnings and contributing to gross domestic product. The strength of the sector and its effectiveness in generating economic activity is very significant in an economic recession when other sectors are contracting.

With the economic downturn, there will be even greater focus on those who attend university, as the market concentrates on graduates to become its future leaders. However, I acknowledged the fact that increased competition means that graduates now need to be equipped with more than just a solid academic record, with extracurricular activities and work experience among desirable attributes. The organisation for economic Co-operation and development recently stated “that many people may be tempted to stay on in education because of the increasing likelihood of unemployment during the recession”.

According to employment statistics it was claimed that the unemployment rate continues to rise among 16-24 year olds has risen to 19.1% with an estimate of 928,000 people classed unemployed. This indicates the economy is losing young generation who can't work. Therefore work experience and internships is essential to avoid a generation and loss of work.

Graph of unemployment

I will analyse my future prospects firstly the term human resource management (HRM) is a strategic approach to managing employment relations which emphasizes that influencing people's capabilities is critical to achieving competitive advantage, this is achieved through a distinctive set of integrated employment policies, practices and programmes.

Studying business management and human resource management offers a range of graduate opportunities jobs within firms, organisations and corporations. Some graduate opportunities for human resource management include jobs within various industries such as marketing, finance, accountancy, media, business administration and banking, healthcare and many more.


The approach carried out to my research will be carried from a range of primary and secondary resources such as website, books, newspaper, HR magazines and annual reports, journals and speaking to current graduates.

Main findings

The human resource management is a body of knowledge and a set of policies and practices that shape the nature of work and regulate employment relationship. The definition that captures of modern human resources is its recognition between talented and engaged people and organisational success. Modern concept of human resources began in relation to the efficiency focus of Taylorism in the 1900s as he viewed work in the terms of their psychology and fit with companies, rather than as interchangeable parts thus placing emphasis on how leadership, cohesion and loyalty played important roles in organisational success. This role in the organisation is viewed more rigorous and less “soft” management techniques which has placed a permanent role within the place of work as a central theme in development policy.

General employment trends

Overall, research in HRM focuses on the ways that institutions structure the employment relationship in different business systems internationally, the management of change especially in the public sector, the issues associated with workforce diversity and consequences for human resources development.

In recruitment, there is an emerging trend towards specialist agencies to support specific sectors such as IT, and it is likely that knowledge of a particular industry will become more desirable. According HR professionals with specialist expertise has lead to an increased demand; however employment trends usually mirror market trends and economic growth, so it is difficult to predict a clear future for the industry. According to research it is likely that recruitment agencies and executive search HRM will be a growing area of graduate employment this is likely to be the most significant factor for change in the industry in the foreseeable future is set to continue to increase.

The truth is it is hard because we are not in the habit of evaluating leadership especially been viewed as a potential barrier to success in the business. HR is often marginalized because it's easier to replace the employee who quits than believe HRM is getting in the way. As HR professionals enjoy the luxury of constant process evaluation.

Opportunities for recent graduates

A human resource graduate can perform various roles in an organisation to ensure the return on investment from the organization's human capital is maximised and financial risk is minimize. The responsibility is to conduct these activities in an effective, legal, fair and consistent manner.

Moreover I have found that in the UK there are few job opportunities in comparison to abroad for recent graduates in academics institutions without gaining some experience for the occupation. Due to the fact most require some experience. But most employers offer a learning and development program and sponsor Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

Below are list of current jobs advertised on company websites, job recruitment agencies, newspapers, magazines, TV, radio and other sources.


Degree of 2:1 or above in any discipline

Job training scheme vary 12months to 3 years

Starting salary £24,000 -£27,500

Personal training and development budget of up to £2000


Degree of 2:1 or above

Starting salary £24,488- £30,000 Depending on performance and progress this will increase in the second year.

Free oyster card on the entire TFL and mainline rail service

Interest free loan on travel ticket

TFL salary pension scheme

3 to 6 months


2:1 and above in any degree discipline

Professional development towards a CIPD qualification

Enthusiasm for new and exciting challenges

Experience of using spreadsheets

Keen interest in Human Resources and a retail focus.

First class pension scheme- free life assurance

10% discount on Tesco purchases

22 days holiday

Financial Services Authority

2:1 in any subject

Starting salary £29,000-plus £2,500 joining bonus

Offer graduate programme

Unrestricted right to work in the UK

Successful applicants will be allocated two placements to give in-depth exposure to FSA work

Six month external secondment to view the industry from a different perspective

Decisive, results-driven, highly analytical team player and excellent people skills.


A 2:2 degree in any subject

Salary £22,222-£28,500

Offer work experience through NHS placements

Trainees receive professional development programme

Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD)

Graduate Management training scheme

Arcadia Group Limited

Salary £20,000-£27, 400

Three placements each lasting six months

Sponsorship CIPD qualification

A degree in any subject

The knowledge/ skills and experience required: The overall summary based on my research required for an Human Resource graduate are basically a 2:1 degree, good communication skills, good communication skills, good analytical skills, problem solving, excellent people skills, catalyst for change, self reliance skills and exceptional customer services. All of the above stated on research are all required from graduates at this stage in their career.

How are Graduates selected in the organisation researched? From the listed companies mentioned above recruitment scheme is listed underneath each job advertisement. Human Resource theories focus methods of recruitment and selection and highlight the advantages of placement interviews, general assessment and psychometric testing as employee selection process. Graduates are mainly selected on the work placement scheme as they gain insight of the company. The skills demonstrated vary as there are different types of HR roles and perform different tasks. For example HR consultant does not conduct the same role as a manager.

Personal Analysis

I am a well-organized, disciplined individual used to working calmly, effectively and efficiently under pressure. I feel that I have good organisational skills and innovative in some situation. A first rate communicator, both orally and in writing. Recognise for ability to achieve results through leadership, teamwork and exceptional customer service. Enjoy working with a wide range of people. Believe I'm a self-motivated individual with the skill and determination to succeed.

CV/Covering Letter

Refer to appendices for CV and Covering letter.

Gap Analysis and Career Action Planning

This section is to enable me to observe my personal development and career activities that I will undertake to improve for the foreseeable future.

Gap Analysis

This analysis talks about the areas I lack and need to develop skills, gain specific experience and evidence in my application and where I feel week.

For this report I feel that I lacked evidence due to lack of information required for particular job opportunities offered by some companies. Personally, I feel that I lack some qualities that are required by Human Resource Management such as developing policies on issues such as working conditions, absence management, performance management, equal opportunities, and disciplinary procedures and developing HR planning strategies with line managers. I also lack some social responsibilities like engaging in more charitable activities and voluntary work. I procrastinate a lot as I fear of been a failure and getting things wrong. Rejection is also an issue I feel is common thing that I need to overcome in the employment industry. My time management in the aspect of my punctuality is poor which I believe should equip myself by preparing and managing ahead of time and ensure I put it into practice. Also, I feel that I need to apply to companies of my choice that offer my chosen field of study. Moreover if a work placement is not guaranteed I may consider other actions to develop areas shown in my action plan.


My reflection on the overall assignment has made me aware of how tough it is applying for jobs as I am in direct competition with many other students' local, national and international for instance a coveted job position will attract 300 applicants for one vacancy and if I do not complete a high standard, I will possibly not be selected for the next stage of recruitment process. A gap analysis enable me to address my personal development and also I had to do a career action plan which showed me how I need to plan for the future using SMART objectives by highlighting and addressing my weakness in my GAP analysis.

To conclude this assignment taught me the steps required to take me from where I am now to where I want to be, how I get there and what actions are needed. The report has assisted me on improving my self-awareness, research, management skills and decision-making. Overall it has been very useful and practical assignment. But with an inbuilt capacity to be adapted as necessary because action planning is an ongoing cyclical process.

Appendix 3 Career Action Planning

I will address both personal development and specific career related activities I feel are my personal weakness, I conclude that I need to utilise my researching skills and focus on companies that offer graduate job opportunities of my preference and career progression over time. I believe this will be achieved by obtaining work experience, internship or summer scheme.

I will briefly outline my career action plan to fit in to the SMART objectives.

Specific: Make enquiries and focus on companies that offer excellent training and career progression in order to obtain job experience.

Measurable: Achieve my objective in choosing my future career and the others listed above

Achievable: Ensure I achieve the objectives within the timeframe set

Realistic: I feel that if I can develop, improve my weakness and polish my flaws I can attain a job of my choice via the resource available e.g. Prospects website.

Time: My timeline will vary within month's estimation of three to five months of when I improve on things I believe everything will fall into place.

Appendix 3

Abigail Domale

62 Hamilton Road London NW10 1NG

Telephone: 07944645070(Mobile)

Email: [email protected]

Professional Profile:

I am an enthusiastic and professional individual who enjoys being part of a successful and productive team. I am quick to grasp new ideas and concepts and to develop innovative and creative solutions to problems. I believe I am much focused, possessing an eye for detail and a discerning mind. I am able to work well on my own initiative demonstrating the high levels of motivation required to meet the tightest of deadlines even under significant pressure.

Formal Qualifications/licences:

Human Resources Management with Business Management- Hertfordshire University (2007-Present)

A-level in Travel and Tourism, Sociology, Economics and Business - St Charles Catholic Sixth Form College A-C (2005-2007)

8 GCSEs: Including English & Mathematics A-C (2001-2005)

Technical Key skills:

-Window XP -MS Word -MS Access - MS Excel -Email - Internet

Employment History

2007-Present John Lewis Partnership Call handler

My duties include:

-Provide excellent customer services

-Show excellent product knowledge

-Increase sales- reach individual target

-Build relationship with customers

-Promptly dealing with random enquire and queries

-Best employee of the week

2006-2007 Reiss Ladies wear, Sales Assistant

My duties included:

-Provide excellent customer service, show passion and knowledge of the brand

-Increase Reiss sales by reaching weekly and individual targets

-Build up a strong relationship with customer clients

-Visual merchandising, maintaining product presentations in line with Reiss/Selfridges standards and slow sellers,

-Stock management, inventory control and replenishment

-Employee of the week-increase figures by 15%

April 2005-October 2006 Selfridges Men Formalwear, Paul Smith Sales Associate

My duties included:

- Help achieve personal targets in sales and work by providing a highly personalised approach

- Stocking, replenishing and cleaning sales areas

-Monitoring and updating sales display areas

-Utilising specialist product knowledge

-Dealing with customer complaints

- Delegate and carry out other duties as required. i.e. cover

- Reduce stock loss though regular cycle counts, stock takes and security walks

- Trained to sell the most amazing brands on menswear market: Z Zegna - Hugo Boss -Canali - Dolce Gabbana - Paul smith - Ralph Lauren - Ted Baker

Other jobs include: Marketing Research at London Marketing Services


I have many interests both inside and out the academic field. I enjoy reading books and also spending time taking part in church voluntary work. I enjoy taking part in charitable events where I am able to develop plans and take on tasks to make sure things go to plan.
I enjoy current affairs; I also enjoy music, sports, and dance as it's a great way of keeping fit as well as Meeting people from different cultures.

References: Available on request

Appendix 2

Barclays Bank PLC

5 The North Colonnade

Canary Wharf


E14 4BB

Dear Laura Whyte

RE: Human Resource Management

I am a graduate from Hertfordshire University. My major is Human Resources management with Business Management.

Recently, your advertisement regarding a Human Resource (Personnel) on the Hays website caught my eye and your company name caught my attention because of the record over the last three years shows exceptional portfolio on management.

My education and previous retail experience, has given me the ability to recognize the need for satisfied customers I have acquired from employment and extracurricular activities would enable me to make a substantial contribution within your successful business at Barclays.

I consider myself to have the capability to work under pressure and adjust to new environments. I am also flexible, extremely well presented, well spoken and can meet your high standards of excellent in customer services. Therefore I would be an excellent candidate and would appreciate it, if you could take the time to consider my application.

I know that CVs help you sort out probable's from the possible, but they are no way to judge the personal calibre of an individual. I would like to meet with you and demonstrate that, along with credentials, I have the personality that makes for a successful team player.

You're sincerely

Abigail Domale

Reference and Bibliography

Ø http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8196549.stm (November 2009)

Ø http://www.prospects.ac.uk/p/sectors/recruitment_and_HR_sector.jsp (November 2009)

Ø http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/interactive/2009/jun/22/unemployment-and-employment-statistics-recession

Ø http://www.top100graduateemployers.co.uk/

Ø Jeffery Gold, John Bratton (2007) Human Resource Management: Theory and Practice (Fourth Edition) Palgrave Macmillan.

Ø http://www.hays.co.uk/hr (November 2009)

Ø http://www.hrmagazine.co.uk (November 2009)


1) Career Action plan

2) Covering Letter

3) CV