Improve your employability with The Lincoln Award

— Lucy Bingham and Stephanie Bolton contributed with this report.

The Lincoln Award has just successfully completed its first year with 22 completing the award and another 35 hoping to complete it next year. The Lincoln Award is aimed at students who wish to achieve recognition for their work or volunteering experience and want to gain vital skills in tackling job interviews.

The award requires students to complete 40 hours of work, work experience or volunteering, attend three compulsory workshops to identify and develop their skills with additional presentations and workshops. The final stage is to have a careers coaching session and a mock graduate interview with an employer.

A student collects their Lincoln Award certificate from deputy vice-chancellor Scott Davidson. Photo: Alex Colman

“You don’t have to do everything – it’s making the most of what you are doing and don’t waste any opportunity. It’s not extra stuff… it’s helping you to look at and reflect upon what you are doing,” says Jessica Shields, student employment co-ordinator for the university.

She explains why The Lincoln Award can be beneficial for students when it comes meeting potential employers: “Even if they are not familiar with these types of awards… it’s still a talking point with the student identifying the things they’ve been involved in at university. But a lot of employers are recognising these awards now because they are putting so much emphasise on students developing skills above and beyond just studying.”

Not only can the award be a great achievement to have on your CV, but employers can benefit from it too, as they can easily identify the student’s relevant experience and skills.

“When [employers] see students coming through ‘The Lincoln Award’ they know that these are self-motivated students who are possibly going to be of great value to their organisation, so it’s like having the first bite of the cherry,” adds the University of Lincoln’s deputy vice-chancellor Professor Scott Davidson.

The Lincoln Award can provide opportunities after you graduate, making you more employable and providing contacts such as Ross Pengilly, area manager for Enterprise Rent-a-car. They allow students to use their mock assessment centres and currently have two interns from the university working for them.

Pengilly explains that impact of the award of students’ employability: “If we look at what’s involved in The Lincoln Award, they’ve already done the assessment centres, they’ve actually had employment experience, they’ve been involved in different projects, they’ve had interview experience so that’s something that we can point to on a CV that ultimately get them into the interview process and when their actually in there it’s something they can actually use to sell themselves.”

For students who want to get involved with ‘The Lincoln Award’ there’s a drop-in session twice a week to find out more and to sign up, and for more information visit

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