Enhance Your Career and Employability Skills

University of London

Learn how to make effective decisions about your future career and how to take control of your professional development by honing your critical thinking and employability skills. Suitable for anyone undertaking some form of study, regardless of academic discipline, interests or employment background.

This course is different to others. Unlike many Coursera courses which are discipline-specific, this MOOC would be complementary to any additional course of study as it enables you to recognise your own strengths and skills and understand how to best articulate those preferences and achievements to future employers or academic institutions in the future.

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Understand the drivers behind your career preferences and choices
  • Identify the skills which you can offer and know your current skills gaps
  • Recognise opportunities for your career enhancement both within and beyond your current employer
  • Summarise your achievements and skills in appropriate formats for future employers or academic institutions
  • Perform effectively in a face-to-face encounter such as an interview or during a presentation
  • Extend and make most effective use of your professional network both on and off line

Whichever stage you are at in your career development, you will learn more about yourself and how to manage your career in the future by joining us on this course!

Syllabus

Week One: What do you want? – Self Awareness

  • What do you need from your career? Identifying and assessing careers values.
  • Self-discovery or self-creation – where does your true career identity reside?
  • Can you predict what will make you happy? Common problems in anticipating the future.
Week Two: What can you offer? – Skills Awareness
  • Can you speak the secret language of skills? Evidence your achievements in a meaningful way.
  • Making yourself instantly attractive. What skills are employers asking for?
  • How can you build your skills? Education and experience – what’s the best investment?
Week Three: Are you ready to find success? – Career Readiness
  • Are you open to opportunities? What behaviours increase your chances of getting lucky breaks?
  • Are you using the right methods? Which ways of finding opportunities are right for you?
  • Can you create your own job? Intrapreneurship and entrepreneurship.
Week Four: How do you express yourself? – Articulating Your Experiences
  • Are you using the right medium for the message? CVs, portfolios and other ways of selling yourself.
  • Your personal brand. What does your on-line profile say about you?
  • Can you decode job descriptions? A step-by-step process for preparing better applications
Week Five: What impact do you make? – Making a Good Impression in Person
  • Do interviews always have to be nerve-wracking? The secrets to interview confidence.
  • Can you deal with bad interviewers? Common interviewer weaknesses and how to use them.
  • Can you increase the chances that people will like you? Maximising first impressions.
Week Six: How do you build fruitful relationships? – Networking Online and in Person
  • Does networking actually work? The benefits of loose ties.
  • Are you using online media effectively? How LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter can help your career.
  • Is networking just for job hunting? The social workplace and the power of relationships

              Recommended Background

              No background is required as this course is designed to be useful and informative regardless of your professional background or stage of career development. Experienced professional or current student - all are welcome!

              Suggested Readings

              The lectures are designed to be self-contained and there are no critical resources that cover the whole of the course.

              Nevertheless, students interested in this course may find the following websites useful and interesting to explore:

              Throughout the course we may also make reference to articles from a number of academic journals, but we will summarise the findings.

              Course Format

              This course will consist of a variety of methods with material being presented in clear, sequential units and regular opportunities to reflect on the non-linear aspects of this subject. The course will consist of self-reflective exercises and questionnaires, active reading tasks, short segmented videos of lecturer-led delivery accompanied by slides, practical assignments (e.g. informational interviewing) and short segmented videos of related activities (e.g. mock interviews) to provide feedback on.
              There will be activities to complete and opportunities to contribute each week. There will be self-evaluation questionnaires to help you monitor your own progress. However, given the nature of this course, there will be no final examination. 

              FAQ

              • Who is this MOOC for?
                This MOOC is for anyone who is interested in learning how to make effective decisions about their future career and control their professional development by honing their critical thinking and employability skills. For this reason the MOOC is suitable for anyone undertaking some form of study, regardless of academic discipline, interests or employment background.
              • What will I be expected to do on this MOOC?
                You will be expected to engage with a variety of activities to help you analyse your previous experiences, expectations and attitudes, both professionally and personally. You will be expected to engage in exploration and investigation of opportunities around you by reading and interacting with people.  You'll also be expected to participate in a range of activities which are designed to help you improve key employability documents, such as your CV or resume, for example.
              • What's the best thing that I will learn on this MOOC?
                What you learn will largely depend on which aspect of your career development is most relevant to you. For some of you it will be understanding what is really important to you in a career, whilst for others it will be how to perform more successfully within an interview context.  Most importantly though, the MOOC will give you an increased understanding of how to manage your professional development in the future so you will feel the benefits of the course for a very long time.
              • Does this MOOC offer credits?
                No. It is not part of an academic programme. Although it is founded on academic research and evidence, it is designed primarily to provide practical support to anyone thinking about their career options.
              • Do I have to complete all the exercises and assignments?
                No. We want you to choose what you do. For each week of the course we will designate a core activity that we think is the most useful exercise to help people make progress, and we will also suggest additional exercises that might be beneficial. However, every one of you will have different needs and different circumstances, and some exercises may be more beneficial for you than others. We will try to explain what each activity could do for you and we encourage you to select the exercises that seem most useful to you personally.
              • Do I have to complete the course in the order specified?
                No. We have structured the course as a series of topics over six weeks and we have tried to order the topics so that subsequent weeks build on the learning of previous weeks. However, depending on your experience, personality and self-awareness, you may not need to complete earlier weeks to get the best out of later weeks. So, feel free to follow it through step by step, but also feel free to jump in wherever seems most appropriate.

               

              Credit: main photo by Miguel Saavedra





               

              Dates:
              • 1 June 2015, 6 weeks
              • 27 May 2014, 6 weeks
              Course properties:
              • Free:
              • Paid:
              • Certificate:
              • MOOC:
              • Video:
              • Audio:
              • Email-course:
              • Language: English Gb

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