A few weeks ago, we visited the Rowett Institute at Aberdeen University for the IFST Launch Pad event. Students across all of Scotland came together to gain a further understanding of what’s necessary for a career in the food manufacturing industry. We met some really keen students during our visit who had the opportunity to sit down with Grant and ask some questions. These were some of the most popular questions Grant was asked, which we thought would be of help to all students looking for a job after they graduate.
1. How do I use a recruiter/recruitment agency?
It’s very simple – You can send us your CV and we will review you for any new vacancies which come up. If we feel you are a match for the role and our client, we will send them your details and represent you through the whole application process. We also actively market applicants to firms who may be keeping their eyes peeled but who don’t have any live roles.
2. Are there lots of roles out there? The job boards don’t seem to have a lot?
There are always vacancies out there. Often companies will not advertise positions choosing to use Recruiters or trying to source by other means. Having a proactive approach can get your foot in the door with some great companies.
3. Does placement experience help?
If you are looking for a position within the food industry placement experience can be invaluable. It can give undergraduates the chance to see and experience the environment and give them a taste of what they may like to do in the future. Graduate job seekers with placement experience often have the advantage when their CV is reviewed by prospective employers. It shows a willingness to gain work experience and put into practice what they have learnt.
4. What are the prospects for students from overseas?
This is mostly dependent on rights to work and visa situation. Sadly, these days very few companies can offer sponsorship for foreign students. I have seen some excellent candidates return home due to working restrictions which is a terrible shame because there is some great talent out there.
5. What types of companies do you deal with?
We work with all shapes and sizes. From small food manufacturers to large blue chip organisations. All have their unique challenges when it comes to recruitment so there is a lot of variety. We deal with all disciplines within food including – NPD, Technical, Operations & Production, Engineering, Sales & Marketing and of course Graduate recruitment.
6. Which discipline is better to work in NPD or Technical?
It is best to keep options open. We have placed a number of graduates who have had their heart set on an NPD role but ended up taking a Technical role and to their surprise, they have really enjoyed it! On the other hand, some graduates have gone to work in a Technical capacity but have moved over to NPD. The doors to new opportunities can open at any point in one’s career!
7. Can you give me advice on my CV?
Yes of course. Part of what we do is to ensure CVs accurately reflect experience, education and character. We can give advice on content and layout too.
GOING FURTHER WITH SOFT SKILLS
We cannot emphasise enough the importance of personality and character during an application process. Being positive, being confident, being honest can go a long way to gaining you that new role. CVs are important but employers have to see a character who will easily fit into their environment.
One of the most recent graduates we placed was a New Product Development Technologist. He gained all the essential qualifications to start applying for jobs however, it was his character that ultimately secured him the role. Not only was he easy to get along with, he was a great addition to the team and bonded extremely well.
So, what soft skills are truly in demand in the food and manufacturing industry? A few words we hear a lot are, motivated, creative, strategic thinker, dynamic and proactive. All of which are great, however, employers want proof that you are all of these things. Try to use words like achieved, managed, created, launched and increased alongside your soft skills which will truly impress employers.
THE NEXT STEPS
Your next steps after reading this would be to register your CV on our database by sending it to Register@drnewitt.com. This will allow us to put your CV forward for any jobs that match your skills, and as already mentioned by Grant you will gain access to any exclusive jobs we have available here at D R Newitt.
If you have any further questions you’d like to ask, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Grant Thomson on 0131 226 5060 or Grant@.