How to Bulk Up your CV!

Bulking up your CV is a great skill to learn early on in your working life, as every opportunity you take should work towards this goal of making yourself more employable. So don’t wait til after university to start building your CV up, start now, the sooner the better!
In this blog post I hope to inform you of different ways you can build up your CV, bringing you one step closer to your dream job.


Getting a paid job: This is what people automatically think when trying of bulking up their CV. And yes, having a paid job is great as it’s extra income you can put towards your goal, however, you might not always find one that is catered towards what you want to do in the future. Fear not though as pretty much any job is great for your CV as it gives you time management, organisation and people skills (in most cases), which are attributes every job looks for! Just remember the job doesn’t have to be catered towards your future goal to be useful.


Just like paid work, volunteering does not have to relate to your dream job, it helps, but it’s not essential. So for an example, I’ll highlight two kinds of volunteering you can do.

  1. Catering your volunteering to your dream job: My own personal experience of this is my experience from working with a special needs charity, as I create promotional videos for their social media page. This adds to my media resume, but also helps make me more employable if I ever change my mind on what I want to do in the future. Another example of this would be a health student volunteering at a retirement home, as you would get experience in caring for people who depend on your help, communication and many other skills you wouldn’t even think of!
  2. Unrelated volunteering: I believe there is no such thing as ‘unrelated’ volunteering as every experience as key skills attached to it which can add to your dream job. My personal experience with this was in my first year with my Vibe radio ‘Reel Talk’. Each week we’d pick a theme or genre and talk about films and play soundtracks. Now, I don’t plan on going into radio, it’s fun, but not want I wanted to do in the long run. Even though it wasn’t what I wanted to do in the future, it certainly added to my CV! As I was able to say that I produced a weekly radio plan, which shows writing ability and multitasking skills, as well as getting the opportunity to host a charity fun run, showcasing charisma and communication skills and being able to talk to a large group of people.   

    Unpaid work experience is something you’re going to come across a lot when looking for a job, as many employers either can’t pay you as it’s not in their budget or they want to see if you have the skills they’re looking for in an employer before hiring you. My personal example of this is the ‘Label Recordings’ which I work for. I have talked about this in a previous post, which I’ll link here, so I’ll just give you a brief summary. ‘The Label’ is a non-profit indie record label, which I edit music videos for and am a runner for on set. Although I am not paid, I have gained a lot of useful experience from this and even opportunities such as more unpaid work as an editor for Sound City!  


    If you’ve never had a job, don’t worry there’s still ways to make yourself employable. And you can do that with one simple tip which is to treat every position as if it was a job. So, have you ever lead a big group project? Raised money for a charity? Won any relevant awards? Or held a position in a society?

For example, I’m president of Edge Hill’s Disney society (Yes, I do a surprising amount of
things in my life), which isn’t very relevant to the media job I’m working towards. However when I think about
what skills I used and developed in this position, then I can say that I gained skills in organisation, decision-making and leadership.
As long as you can make it relevant, then add it!


And finally ask yourself: do I have any skills that would be useful for this job I want? This can be anything from languages you know or your familiarity with certain computer programs. As long as it’s relevant for the job you’re applying for, add it!

I hope you learnt something from this post, as writing a CV can be hard at first but once you’ve got it sorted done and out of the way, it’s just a case of updating it from time to time.
Until next time!

Film/Show of the day: Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)

Societies: How/Why to Join One and How to Start One!

Today is Refreshers Fair on campus, so I thought I’d dedicate a post to societies considering I’m in so many: President of Disney society, editor/former DJ for Vibe Media, editor/runner for the Label Recordings (my last post is all about that) and part of the Raising and Giving society.

Societies for me, are a key part of the university life and experience overall as it can open the doors to many opportunities. ‘But why should I consider joining one?’ you may be asking yourself. Well, that is what I wish to answer in this post by using my own experiences, I hope to give you an insight into this topic, and also find one that you’re interested in.


Socialising with others, of course, plays a huge part in being in a society. It’s fundamentally a place where people can meet and gather with others. Which is especially great as they’re usually like-minded people who you share a common interest with. And gives you a chance to meet people from different background and courses, who you might not have met otherwise.    


Additionally, you might learn a new skill if you join a society, for example ‘Sign Language’ society. Or even vibe media as I learnt how to run a radio show! Through learning something new, you’re gaining experience that would look great on your cv while having fun at the same time!


If you want to travel while you’re at university, societies can be a great way to do this. Many sports societies go abroad on tours and even non-sporty societies such as Anime society can put trips to London Comic Con on, as they did in my first year. As well as just general nights out, societies can be a great place to travel and meet new people at the same time.


Overall there’s a massive range of societies to choose from if those don’t take your fancy, from Anime to Rock Climbing, there’s a lot on offer. As well as having the ability to create a society, if acceptable, from one of your hobbies or interest, but that’s a blog post for a different time.So the next step if you do now want to join a society is signing up.


Signing up is as simple as putting your name down at freshers fair to clicking a button on the student union website, yes, that simple. And with many societies being free, you can sign up to as many as you schedule will let you!

As I mentioned before you actually have the ability to create a society, which is what I did. As I stated above I am the president of Disney society, which I set up at the beginning of my first year as the last Disney society disbanded. To show you my take on the experience I will be quoting the Edge Hill new society set up page and adding my own commentary.


Step 1: Think about what your society will look like, what it will do and then try to find 5 other likeminded people who want to join up too!!”

  • This actually wasn’t too hard as I had quite a few friends who loved Disney, and who doubled up as committee members. One of the best parts for me about starting a society fresh is that most of the time you know most of the people in the society as at first it’s just your friends that show up.

“Step 2: Complete the new group registration from here. This is your chance to tell us what your society is and what you want to do.”

  • The form itself is not as difficult as it seems and is a great chance to get your idea in order and figure out what
    For example, we show films!

    you want to do and achieve.  

“Step 3: Once your form has been submitted it will go to the Affiliation Panel who will review the information you have provided. This can take up to a month and the panel might request a meeting or further information about your group.”

  • This wait will feel so long but is totally worth it as this step is between you and your dream society, so definitely needs to happen!  

“Step 4: While we process your application, start thinking about what you would like to go on your webpage. Having your society page up to date is important as it allows other students to find your group and see what it’s all about. Make sure to prepare a description of your group and a logo as once your group has been affiliated your webpage will be ready to go.”

  • This was exciting. This was the moment where all that planning and hoping came together, as this is when you find out if your society has been accepted or not. Also,
    At freshers fair!

    it’s a good idea to plan your description but additionally your social media pages, as once you’ve been accepted it’s your time to make that FaceBook page and start recruiting!


    Overall my experience of societies has been a positive one, as I’ve been able to gain skill in time management and organisation, as well as help build my CV up more (hint to next blog post topic) and even been on a cinema trip with Disney society to see Moana!    

I hope you got something from this post and have a great week.
Until next time!

Film/Show of the day: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (1999)

The Label Recordings

One thing I’ll always love about Edge Hill is the opportunities it creates, one of which is the student record label, “The Label Recordings”. Which is a non-profit organisation, run by Carl Hunter (bassist for ‘The Farm’) and Clare Henley, who are also media lecturers at the uni. The organisation specialises in helping local unsigned indie artists by producing their music, videos, and getting their singles to radio stations. You may be asking yourself where you’d find yourself at the label. Personally, I am a runner and editor for the label and have been for over a year now. However, there is a variety of roles from camera operator to graphic designer.


My experience with the record label has been a strange but fascinating one, which I wish to highlight a few moments for you in this post in the hopes that you reading may find yourself a new extracurricular activity, as it’s been a great experience, not just cv wise, but in general as the things you can potentially learn while on set will help you later in any industry you wish to go in, as creativity and time management is always a must.

Psycho Disco Face single cover art

The first job I had with the label was a runner on the set of Oranj Son‘s ‘Psycho Disco Face‘ music video, which involved myself, and a group of fellow students running through a forest holding poles, with massive papier-mâché heads on the end of them, while someone ran after us with an iPad filming it. The Label is incredible fun. And since then I have been a main part in everything the label produces, including one of the label’s more recent band ‘Youth Hostel‘.


Youth Hostel is the first band on the label who I have followed from the very start, from filming their promo in Parr Street studio, to editing their final music video, to seeing them rise to success at Liverpool Sound City, which has been a joy to see.  

To summarise, take every opportunity that the university makes available, even if that might include running through a forest holding a pole with a papier-mâché head on it.


If you know any student bands who would like to be featured on the record label, feel free to post your submission to the Facebook page! For more information on the label, please check out their blog.
Until next time!

Film/Show of the day: Spirited Away (2001)

Start your year off with a bang!

Now I’ve never been one for New Year resolutions, (too cynical and busy for that), but everything has to start somewhere, and this will be the year of positivity and productivity!
In this blog post I’m going to share with you some realistic and easy changes you can adopt if you want to, that will hopefully benefit your student life.

Organisation. Something we all strive for, but not many achieve. However, with these top tips I’ve gathered, they shall hopefully bring you one step closer.
Okay, so first you’ll want to set goals, whether that’s a long-term goal such as saving up for a holiday, completing a vital essay, or shorter term goals such as getting the food shopping for the week. These goals will help keep you on track and give you something to look forward to! Which will, in the long term, help keep you motivated. My suggestion of how to do this is just to get a piece of paper, write down your goals, stick it above your desk, and then every time you complete something, cross it off. It’s as simple as that.  

Secondly, you might want to consider planning your study time. As it’ll give you a chance to work around your schedule, allowing you to plan work and social events around your studying time so you won’t get behind but at the same time, you’ll still have time to live university life to the full. For more information on how to study please feel free to check out a recent post I did.

 

“A place for everything and everything in its place.”

As they say ‘clean space, clean mind’, so avoid clutter by creating a place for all your items, it will be much simpler to clean up and put everything back in a short amount of time effectively. Making cleaning a less daunting and time-consuming task overall.    

Now we can move onto the next point which is to plan meals. As tedious as it sounds planning your meals will help you in the long run as it will save time and money (which will come in handy later on in this post). As you will only need to buy food which will help create the meals you’ve planned, as well as peace of mind that, when you come home from a long day of lectures, there will be a proper meal waiting for you at home.

Hopefully better than this one

LISTS. Yes to top this whole organisation section off I’d like to highlight the importance of them. Now I’m not saying make a list of every aspect of your life, however, anything you feel you’d actually benefit having a list for, start writing as lists. They only really work if you actually need them. No point having a list for your favourite pot noodles, but not one for what essays you’ve got to do!

Now that the organisation side of this is done we can move onto something a little more exciting which is joining or starting a society. Joining a society will help you socialise and meet like-minded people, as it never hurts to have a few extra friends to share the New Year with.

Also depending on what society you choose, you could find yourself learning something new, gaining experience for your cv, or even traveling! For more information on societies, stay tuned as on the 17th I’ll be posting a post dedicated to societies, as Refreshers’ Fair is around the corner!  

Save money. This will help you a lot in the New Year and perhaps beyond if you get a good grasp of saving money now. Saving money doesn’t mean you have to miss out on things such as social events or new clothing, it just means you have to start prioritising your money and start saving as soon as you can. A good place to start is knowing your goal. As stated above in the post it’s a good idea to have something to work for, for example, a holiday.

Shop Comparison

After that you’ve just gotta budget, which doesn’t include things like new DVDs or games, but instead important essentials such as rent and food money (isn’t being grown up fun). I personally enjoy being independent and have always had a very small budget, so this is second nature to me, but if you’re not versed in saving money, you just need to remember this simple tip: Not everything is an essential. You can live off less than you think, and then treat yourself later. For example, if you shop at Aldi instead of Sainsbury’s you’ve already saved yourself some money for the New Year!

Something that in recent years I’ve strived to do each year, and would help you out as well, is to add to your CV. Your CV is very important as in most cases it is basically what stands between you and your dream job, so don’t wait until after university, start working on it now! This is one of the best pieces of advice I can ever give you. There are many different ways to add to your CV, such as: getting a paid job (doesn’t have to relate to your dream job), volunteer (animal shelter, retirement home, etc), unpaid work experience (small production companies) and learning a new skill that will work towards your dream job but also keep you interested.

And finally look back on what you’ve done, feel proud of everything you’ve achieved last year, and what you’re going to do this year! Give yourself a pat on the back, you deserve it!
I hope you have an amazing New Year and hopefully learnt something from this post. I’ve started to plan out what I’m going to be writing this year, and I must admit that I’m quite excited to continue writing and sharing my experience at Edge Hill with you!
Until next time!

Film/Show of the day: Hot Fuzz (2007)

 

Save

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Essay Tips!

Yes, sadly Christmas is over. The turkey has been eaten, all the presents have been opened and the reality of all those essays you need to have completed for January has started to set in. But fear not as I have gathered plenty of tips to help you out!  

Readings. This is vital to your essays, hence why it’s at the top of the lists. Two sources I suggest are Google scholar and Edge Hill library.
Google scholar is a free search engine catered for academic texts and is a great source for texts that can be used in your academic assessments. This is extremely usefully especially if you’re far away from a library.
Of course, the Edge Hill Library is a brilliant source for readings and is made easier with the online catalogue. With the online catalogue you can look up books using keywords or authors, reserve books and in some cases find online copies, so overall it’s pretty great.


Now you have your readings it’s time to plan an outline. This is just simple notes that’ll really help you out in the long run. This is simply laying the foundations for your essay, so when you come to writing it you know what you’re doing and don’t go off topic for an example for introduction you can note down the topic/subject you’re writing about and texts you’ve used.


Which leads me onto my next tip: Peel. Okay, so for most of you who don’t know what I mean that must have sounded a bit weird but fear not I have not gone crazy as it’s an abbreviation which means:
Point – your main idea/concept.
Evidence and explanation – add quotes to support your point.
Evaluation – evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the evidence.
Link – link back to your point.
This is just an example of how to form a paragraph if you’re struggling, can be added to your essay outline.  


So at this point you’re probably starting to write your essay and form sentences which is great, however, you’ve got to be careful not to fall down the rabbit hole of incorrect grammar and limited vocabulary. Don’t worry though, as someone who commonly does this I have found ways to combat this first being Thesaurus.
This should be familiar to you as it’s basically how most people got through GCSE, but if this has somehow fallen off your radar I just want to remind you how useful it can be, namely the website. The website works wonderfully if there is a word you feel you overuse and want to find a replacement and give you a richer vocabulary.

And my other tool is Grammarly. Grammarly is a google extension which can be downloaded for free and is a:
contextual spelling checker – can detect correctly spelt words used in the wrong context and correct misspelt words.
Grammar checker – can fix grammatical errors.
This can be switched on and off all your websites such as Facebook, Celtx, Gmail, etc. Additionally, Google Docs is a good place to write your essay on as it automatically saves and can be backed up!


And finally, some quick fire tips!

Stay motivated! Use sticky notes to stick around the place to remind you of topics and keep you engaged or if you feel like you need a greater understanding of a topic watch a relevant video.

Regular breaks have been proven the best way to write an essay as it gives you time to write the essay without being stressed out.

Which leads onto my next tip nicely: Give yourself enough time to write the essay. Start as early as you can getting readings and understanding the topic you’ve chosen or been given.  

Drink plenty of water. Writing and being dehydrated is not a good mix, it’s best to drink up as it helps your mind work better. 

And my last tip: Get someone to proofread. Which I know can be embarrassing, but honestly, it works magic, all you need is a trusted friend who you know won’t lie to you if you’ve gone off on a tangent, as a fresh pair of eyes can pick up mistakes you didn’t even notice! Even this blog post has been proofread. Remember, it doesn’t hurt to have a second opinion on your work!

Overall these are just suggestions, you don’t have to do anything I wrote above as everyone is different and different methods work for different people. However, I hope you learnt/got something from this post.

I had a pretty good Christmas season, saw my family, and dogs, plus got free food. So successful overall! And if anything I’m now recharged for the next year ahead. Speaking of new year, that’s the theme of my next post, as generic as that is, however, I hope to be able to add my own take on in which will hopefully help you out!

Until next time!

Film/Show of the day: Scream Queens (2015-)

This Christmas…

Christmas is just around the fairy light lit corner so you know what that means: it’s finally time to go home again. For many people this wouldn’t be a very big deal, however, I live over 4 hours away,  so it’ll be a miracle if my family recognise me!
But joking aside before you head off home there are a few things you might wanna consider doing before you head on back home.

Throw away food you’re not gonna eat. This is something everyone forgets, which is understandable.  You’re rushing around, cramming everything into a small suitcase, and thinking of whether you’ve left your charger or not. Remembering to throw away that chicken you had a couple days ago isn’t your number one priority. However, if you do it the night before, it’s one less thing to think about and doesn’t leave an unwanted present in your fridge for you to come back to.

Legit this.

Speaking of leaving packing to the last minute: don’t do it. Not worth the stress just so you can watch another episode of a series on Netflix (been there done that, unfortunately ). The way forward I found is lists, yes, it’s as simple and straightforward as that. As boring as it may seem, this will save your sanity, an idea of the size of suitcase you’ll need and gives you time to gather everything together in time. This is especially important if you’re from a big family (like me), as you’ll know about it later if you forget someone’s gift!

Now onto something you might think is a bit weird: clean your room before you go. This may seem a bit weird,  as there’s a student mindset, of rushing around, grabbing everything and leaving your flat as soon as you can, leaving your room messy for you to clean when you get back. But that means when you come back over Christmas, you’re not going to be greeted to a nice warm room, instead, you’re gonna come home to more work to do. Be kind to your future self, do it now, as it’s exciting to go home, but you’ve got to remember that you’ve got to come back at some point. Additionally, if you’re running out of shampoo and conditioner, buy it now, as then you don’t have to go straight to the shops when you get back. Make life easier for future you.

The library itself.     

Self Explanatory but make sure you take your books back to the library. As the library tries to renew them, but they can’t if someone requests them. So save yourself the hassle by dropping them off beforehand. Additionally, if you’re doing an essay over the Christmas season, get the books out beforehand, find the quotes you want, then give them back in time, simple.  

 

Finally and most importantly, Travel. Unless you’re driving home for Christmas, or being picked up by your parents, you’ll be left with two options bus or train. I for one take trains frequently, so have plenty of advice on the matter and how to get cheaper tickets, as well as other handy tips and tricks.

  1. Always try to get your tickets in advance, months in advance if you can, as the further away the date is, the cheaper the ticket usually is, which can save you up to £40, and even more in some cases! It may be too late now for this Christmas trip, however, there’s always next time.
  2. There are different ways of having your tickets if you pay in advance, which for some may seem obvious, but honestly, I never knew of these until I started travelling. The first opinion is having your tickets posted to you. The second is paying online and collecting them at your local train station. And finally with certain ticket providers such as The Trainline you can have your ticket digitally using their app.   
  3. Plan, plan, plan. This is very important if you live four train journeys away, such as myself.  I would highly recommend writing a schedule of all your train times, what stations you’ll be coming and going to, platform numbers (and where they are in the station), and finally how long you’ll be waiting for your next train (sometimes every second counts!) This means you can plan your time at the stations as well e.g bathroom breaks, popping to the shop, etc . Which makes the trip a whole less stressful than it needs to be.
  4. Lastly, think of what you can realistically carry with you, you might have to leave the kitchen sink behind if you have too much luggage already.

I hope you found this blog post at least a little bit helpful and that you all have an amazing festive season. As for me I recently went to see Moana, which I highly recommend!

Film/Show of the day: Moana (2016)

Hi Edge Hill!

Hey there, welcome to my first official Edge Hill blog post!
I’m so excited to start blogging here and giving you an insight of what my student experience is like here. A good idea however before I start would be an introduction, so here I go.
Hi, I’m Charley, a second year Film and Television Production Student who lives in a student home in Ormskirk. (Phew, that’s out of the way.)  

Edge Hill hosts a variety of courses and has the facilities to prove it. However, you’ll usually find me in Creative Edge (as that’s where my course is based), in one of the editing suites as I’m an aspiring editor.

The Hub on the other hand, is one of my favourite spots to go on campus, mostly because of the shop and the mini market they usually have on. But most importantly when events are held there such as freshers fair, the hub comes alive and there’s a buzzing atmosphere in the air, and a chance to grab freebies always helps.    

Speaking of freshers fair, that’s where you can sign up for a variety of societies, which Edge Hill has a lot of. I myself am President of Disney society, editor for Vibe Media, editor/ runner for the Label Recordings and part of the Raising and Giving society. However there’s a massive range of societies to choose from if those don’t take your fancy, from Anime to Rock Climbing, there’s a lot on offer. As well as having the ability to create a society, if acceptable, from one of your hobbies or interest, but that’s a blog post for a different time.

Inside the Art Centre

And finally there is the Arts Centre if you like open mic nights, live performers and pizza, this is the place for you. The reason I go there though is for ‘Free Film Friday’. As you can guess by the title the Art Centre most weeks screen new releases of films in their cinema, which is free for all students, which is great for all you media buffs out there and perfect for a free night out of the flat.

Thank you for reading my first post, I can’t wait to tell you more about Edge Hill and what it has to offer in future posts!
Until next time!

Film/Show of the day: Black Mirror (2011-)