How can I use it?
As a student at the University of Sheffield you have access to a wealth of different opportunities to make your university experience unforgettable. Coming to university isn't just about seminars, lectures and exams. It's also about developing as a person and gaining experience and skills to help you succeed in your studies, and with whatever you choose to do after university.
The University can now help you to demonstrate all the valuable experience and skills you have gained, by giving you official recognition for not only your academic achievements, but also your wider engagement and learning, by recording this in your HEAR.
What can I do?
Get involved - and make yourself more employable at the same time!
Take advantage of opportunities to gain recognition for activities undertaken outside the curriculum. This will help you demonstrate how you have made the most of your time at university, and gained valuable skills and experience that will enhance your employability and help you achieve your potential.
Remember – when you are applying for work experience, jobs or postgraduate courses, organisations will expect you to demonstrate that you have taken advantage of the whole University experience.
Opportunities to broaden your experience and learn new skills may never be as abundant and available again, so make sure you don’t miss out! Click on How can I add to it? to find out more.
Identify what you're achieving
You can view your HEAR at any time via My Services in MUSE, which means you can use it to help you review your progress and plan for your personal development, along with the Feedback Portal.
Your personal tutor and staff in the Careers Service, 301 and the Students’ Union will be able to support you in this process. You are encouraged to refer to your HEAR in discussions with these members of staff, using it as a basis for identifying the full range learning and achievements you are acquiring, and reflecting on how you can further develop your experience to achieve future goals.
Employers tell us that using the HEAR to increase self-awareness in this way is the best way to make yourself more employable, because it will help you focus on what you as an individual have to offer, and assist you in planning how to build on this, as well as helping you to articulate your full range of skills.
So have a think about what you’ve got and where you want to go, and use this to plan how you make the most of your time at Sheffield.
Show and tell - let others know what you've got to offer
You will be able to share your HEAR with employers and others to provide evidence of your university achievements.
- When you complete your course your HEAR will be finalised, and be issued as an Exit HEAR (PDF format) via a secure online system called ShARe (Sheffield Authorised Records).
- Before graduation you will also be issued official 'snapshots' of your HEAR-so-far (Interim HEARs) via the ShARe Service, after the Autumn, Spring and Resit examination periods.
- You will continue to have access to ShARe after graduation, and you will be able to use ShARe to give other people (e.g. employers/postgraduate admissions tutors) permission to view your HEAR as well, so that you can use your HEAR as official evidence of your university learning and experience.
- Interim HEARs will allow you to share results and achievements that have already been verified prior to graduation, as you begin to apply for internships, jobs or further study. When your HEAR is updated and you are provided with a new Interim HEAR, you will need to re-share your HEAR with others because the new version will overwrite the previous version.
- If you leave the University before completing your course, you will continue to have access to your latest Interim HEAR, so that you have a record of the achievements you gained whilst at Sheffield.
The HEAR is not a replacement for application statements and CVs. These documents are still the key to explaining to employers exactly why you’re the best person for the job.
- Employers are just as interested - if not more so - in the academic information in your HEAR, as they are in the extra-curricular information in Section 6.1, so focusing on your studies is really important.
- You will not be disadvantaged if the University cannot verify all your activities and achievements (e.g. activities you have done at home in the summer), because you can still refer to these in CVs and application statements - and you should do! You need to think about what experience and activities are most relevant to you, to help you demonstrate your particular skills. There may be very good reasons why you may not be able to/may not wish to participate in activities that can be verified for the HEAR. The opportunity to gain recognition for extra-curricular achievements is not intended to make you feel under more pressure. The University simply wishes to help students to evidence their wider experience and learning where it is possible to do so.
- Employers understand that a blank Section 6.1 doesn't mean that you haven't undertaken valuable activities alongside your degree, because universities can't verify everything.
But the HEAR can help you in lots of ways:
- The content in your HEAR can still be very helpful as a starting point for answering job application questions, writing personal statements or preparing for interviews – especially where you are asked for examples of where you have developed particular skills/gained particular types of experience.
- The description of your course will help you to explain the skills and experiences you’ve gained through your academic studies.
- The descriptions of your extra-curricular achievements also identify some of the transferable skills you will have gained by doing these activities.
- Any reflective accounts you have been asked to write to gain recognition for extra-curricular activities will also be invaluable. Keep these and remember to use these! They will provide you with specific scenarios you can refer to when you are asked to demonstrate the knowledge, skills and experience you’ve got to offer.