The purpose of the Alumni Library Online (ALO) service is to provide information to support your continuing professional development, so it’s all about improving your career chances.
Continue reading to find out how the ALO can specifically help you if you are considering looking for a new job.
When it comes to finding and securing a new job, effective preparation is vital – be battle-ready! By providing access to a range of top quality resources, the ALO can help you feel more confident that you understand the organisation you are approaching, and that you can go armed with appropriate facts and ideas to face their interview questions.
Three ways to use the ALO for job hunting success:
1. Background information on organisations
Research industry background information via Fitch Connect (formerly known as BMI)
If you are changing sector, or just want to update your knowledge, you can gain background information on an industry by accessing Fitch Connect. This resource contains market research on a wide range of industries including agribusiness, food and drink, telecommunications, and water. Coverage is global and reports provide a view on each industry such as its size, value and performance, knowledge of competitors, and trends in the market. Fitch has both daily analyses alongside quarterly and special reports on topics such as Brexit and American politics so it will also help to keep you up to date on current hot topics in your area of interest.
Stay up-to-date on recent company and industry developments through academic, trade, and business publications
For recent developments in a specific company or industry, it is useful to check out what has been written about it in academic, trade, and general business publications. EBSCO Business Source and ABI/Inform Global both enable you to limit your search to recently published articles using the search features.NB: These resources and many more are all found in the Databases section of your ALO.
2. Keeping up-to-date
As well as proving you have done your homework on the organisation you have applied to join, you may also be able to impress the panel by speaking about current trends or the latest research in their areas of interest. There are different ways you can choose to do this:
- You can use the databases to look at the most recent issues of journals that cover your subject area.
- Perform a keyword search in your area of interest, then amend the date range of your search to view the latest articles.
- You can browse a large number of open access journals. Visit the General Resources section of the ALO and check out the eJournals section.
You can look at the latest research in your area:
- Search CERES and CORD to see what Cranfield researchers have been doing.
- Use resources such as eTHOS and OpenDOAR to see UK / worldwide research.
There are several tools in the ALO that can provide you with regular journal alerts – this will usually be an email whenever a new issue of your chosen journal is published. These alerts won’t necessarily provide the full text of all the articles in the journal but they will keep you aware of what is being published. The best of these services is called
How to access JournalTOCs:
- Within the ALO, go into the Useful websites section
- Select ‘Keeping up to date’
- Select ‘JournalTOCs’
Why we like it!
JournalTOCs has a very broad coverage – there is something here for everyone. It also covers open access journals which you will be able to get full-text for. It currently covers over 33,000 journal titles, and nearly 16,000 of these are open access titles.
How to use it
You can just search it whenever you want to, or if you register for a free account, you can set up alerts for:
- Newly-added journals
- Most popular journals
- To sign in – look for the link in the top right-hand corner, search for the title of your favourite journal and then: Tick the ‘Follow’ box
- Go to ‘your account’ in the right-hand corner
- Click ‘Show your followed journals’ to check it has been added
- If you change your mind, simply untick to unfollow.
Top Tip: You can also browse the Subject A-Z for ideas of what other titles you could follow.
3. Maintaining the edge in interviews
If you have not looked at it before, check out Vault in the Databases section of the ALO. Vault is a comprehensive career resource that provides support for research on employers and industries, career advice, and access to jobs and internships. It includes advice on interview techniques, and even has example questions.
We also took a look at some of the core ALO databases to see what advice academics can give on being successful in job hunting. Here are just a few examples of articles that give insight into what employers are expecting from graduates:
Articles in Emerald
Chhinzer, N. and Russo, A.M. (2018), "An exploration of employer perceptions of graduate student employability", Education + Training, Vol. 60 No. 1, pp. 104-120.
McMurray, S., Dutton, M., McQuaid, R. and Richard, A. (2016), "Employer demands from business graduates", Education + Training, Vol. 58 No. 1, pp. 112-132.
Tomlinson, M. (2017), "Forms of graduate capital and their relationship to graduate employability", Education + Training, Vol. 59 No. 4, pp. 338-352.
Articles in Sage Journals
Mowbray, J. A. and Hall, H. (2020), “Using social media during job search: The case of 16–24 year olds in Scotland”, Journal of Information Science.
Sandal, G. M. et al. (2014), “Intended Self-Presentation Tactics in Job Interviews: A 10-Country Study”, Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, Vol. 45 No. 6, pp. 939–958.
Smart, K. L. and DiMaria, J. (2018), “Using Storytelling as a Job-Search Strategy”, Business and Professional Communication Quarterly, Vol. 81 No. 2, pp. 185–198.
Song, L., Shi, J., Luo, P., Wei, W., Fang, Y., & Wang, Y. (2020), “More Time Spent, More Job Search Success?: The Moderating Roles of Metacognitive Activities and Perceived Job Search Progress”, Journal of Career Assessment, Vol. 28 No 1, pp. 147–164.
Advice on finding a job during Covid-19
Job search tips during COVID-19
Job-hunting in the COVID 19 crisis: headhunters’ top tips
Accessing the Alumni Library Online Service
- Go to your alumni portal
- Log in with your account (see advice below if you have forgotten your login)
- Click on the down-arrow next to ‘Alumni’ – this will display the full range of alumni services
- Click on ‘Alumni Library Online’
- The homepage for ALO will then be displayed – click on a heading to access a section e.g. ‘Databases’
Acceptable use of ALO
Please remember that all ALO resources are provided to alumni free of charge for personal development and are not to be used for commercial gain or shared with others.
If you have any queries about the above, or would like to send us feedback about any of our resources, please contact us.
Forgotten your portal login?
The ALO service is part of the alumni portal. If you having a problem with your login account please email the Alumni office.