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Friday afternoon at #citylis

Energy levels can sometimes drop on a Friday afternoon. Thankfully this was entirely not the case at City University last week where I went to talk about the current job market, what employers are looking for and how to make a positive impact on, well, anyone.

I was following what sounded like a really thought-provoking lecture by Blaise Cronin. He asked what information science courses will look like in five years, if indeed they will even exist. The nervous and excited energy flowed and I helped channel the students' thoughts into thinking about how they and they alone can shape their future in the information world. What do you enjoy doing? What are your key areas for development? Asking questions like these give you an idea of the role you're looking for and how to find the path towards it.

Once you've located that pathway, how do you communicate your USP? We practiced the essentials of positive body language – handshakes and eye contact first; the mere mention of posture made everyone fidget in their seats to sit upright! Then on to the STAR principle, a practical way of structuring answers to interview questions, ensuring you don't waffle or prompting you to give enough detail (depending on whether you're overly chatty or tongue-tied in a nerve-wracking situation). At this point I found myself happily struggling to stop people talking. As a facilitator, you want people engaged in the subject, sharing experiences, making connections. If only time wasn't limited, then we could've practiced and talked more.

Example interview answers under our belts, the afternoon was almost over but not before reminding the assembled crowd that the responsibility for their future career sits firmly with them. Networking, social media engagement, mentoring… there are so many opportunities to create connections and find out about future career moves. It's always a pleasure to meet #citylis students. I hope they'll have me back again next year!

– Suzanne

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