Career Development


Paper details 


This is Individual work. Weighting: 100%

Learning Outcomes Evidenced by this assignment: 1-5.


The Career Development Portfolio is made up of two pieces of work – an updated PDP and CV. Personal development planning and CV writing are essential if individuals are to successfully navigate the increasingly competitive labour markets found in all occupations and professions. By asking students to engage in PDP and CV writing this module therefore aims to further develop in individuals these important skills, thus improving their individual career management skills, and ultimately their chances of progressing successfully in their chosen career. In addition to that, some of these types of questions often feature in job application forms for milk round jobs, and as such writing them is a good discipline to learn.
Details of the task

You are to provide a Career Development Portfolio of no more than 3000 words

The portfolio will include…
1. An up-to-date Personal Development Plan (PDP) (2500 words)
2. An up-to-date CV (2 pages max)

Assignment Instructions
You have been asked for a portfolio, but please be aware that this demands more from you than just recounting your personal experience and opinion. A complete answer will require justification of your ideas, grounding your work in academic literature or theory.
Your work should be word processed in accordance with the following:
• Font style, Lucida Sans, font size 12
• 1.5 line spacing.
• The page orientation should be ‘portrait’
• Margins on both sides of the page should be no less than 2.5 cm
• Pages should be numbered
• Your name should not appear on the script.
• Your student number should be included on every page.
The university expects students to use Harvard referencing as specified in the book Cite them Right
• You should be careful to include citations within your work as well as a reference list at the end. Unreferenced work will fail.

Word Count.
You should provide your word count at the end of your portfolio.

Exceeding the word count by more than 10% will result in a penalty of 10% of your marks for your work. If your work is significantly shorter, then you will probably have failed to provide the level of detail required.

1. The PDP

The PDP is split into three main sections that ask the individual to reflect upon their career aspirations, recent experiences of learning and development and specific future objectives regarding their career development. A template of the PDP form will be provided electronically via Moodle but more details are given below.

Section 1: Career aspirations

This section asks you to state your current career aspirations. Firstly, you should identify your chosen occupation and desired job role. This should be descriptive and not just a ‘job title’ – if not immediately obvious (i.e. an accountant) you should explain what the occupation/job entails. You may wish to differentiate between short, medium or long term aspirations. I.e. what job do you aim to move into directly after leaving your studies and where do you want to be 5 years later? It is not necessary to state a specific organization. However, for some this may be important.

Secondly, you are also asked to state the skills/competences that are required of individuals who move into your chosen occupation/job. This should not just be intuitive ‘guesswork’ – the reader wants evidence that you have gone out and researched the relevant sources of data (e.g. job descriptions, careers literatures, job/career websites etc.) for information on what employers are demanding of individuals who work in your chosen occupation/job. As a result, these sources must be referenced in your text.

Thirdly, this section also asks you to identify ONE personal strength and one personal weakness in relation to the skills/competences you have identified above. On identifying a strength and a weakness you must support this with relevant evidence. For example it is not enough to say that you have great organizing skills – you must also tell the reader what makes your organizing skills great and give examples from the past of how you have applied them.

Section 2: Reflection on your skills development

This section asks you to reflect on THREE significant experiences/incidents where you have learned a new, or developed an existing, skill or competence. These experiences/incidents could be based in any relevant context (e.g. work, university, home, social clubs etc.) but must refer to skills and one should be an EMPLOY activity that you believe will be important in your future employment and career. The experiences may be either positive or negative.

– Firstly, you are asked to briefly describe the experience or event – what happened, when, why and who were the main protagonists? What was your role?

– Secondly, you are asked to explain what new skill(s) or knowledge you feel you learnt from this event/experience.

– Thirdly, you are asked to describe how you think you might be able to apply this new knowledge/skill(s) as part of your working life and career development.

Section 3: Career management action plan

This section of the PDP asks that you set yourself THREE main objectives related to your career development over the next twelve (12) months. Each objective should conform to the principles of SMART, i.e. they are…

Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-framed

For each objective you should outline the specific actions you must undertake if you are to be able to achieve the objective. You must also set yourself a specific and detailed time-frame for achieving each objective.

2. The CV

The second part of the Portfolio is the presentation of an up to date CV. Details of how to write and structure CV’s will be given during the module, however a couple of important pieces of information are given here.

• You should NOT put your name on the CV as this undermines the anonymous marking procedures of UEL. Where you would usually put your name on the CV replace this with your student number.

• In order to further maintain your anonymity you may also want to put a false address, telephone number and email address on your CV. Please note, some form of address, telephone number and email must be included in your CV as these are essential pieces of information.
• Marks will be given, in part, on appropriate layout and content.

Submission to Turnitin of Work Submitted for Assessment

Turnitin is an internet-based text matching service that has been developed by a commercial company. It is used, under license, by most UK Universities, including the University of East London. Work that is submitted to Turnitin generates a Turnitin Originality report, showing which parts of it have been reproduced from which sources. The system compares submissions to material that is to be found: on the world-wide web; in its database of previous submissions; and in its growing number of databases of published articles. You should not assume that a Turnitin Originality report with a low similarity index is evidence that the piece of work concerned is free from plagiarism.

Our policy on the use of Turnitin recognises the educational desirability that all of our students should enjoy the opportunity to self-submit their work to Turnitin (before submitting for assessment). We also recognise that Turnitin Originality Reports will sometimes assist in the identification of plagiarised work submitted for assessment.

Our policy provides that a Module Leader may decide, in accordance with the policy of the appropriate School, that all student submissions for a particular component of assessment should be submitted to Turnitin, provided that the relevant Module Guide includes a notice to that effect.

Notice is hereby given that all submissions of reports for this Module must be submitted to Turnitin. Detailed guidance on how to submit your work to Turnitin will be made available on this Module’s Moodle site.

If you have any questions about Turnitin, you should go to “Frequently Asked Questions” at If you have any further questions, please email the Head of Student Compliance.

The material that you submit to Turnitin will be marked. The deadline applies so you are advised not to submit after 11.00p.m, because it could take some time for your submission to upload, and the delay could cause the work to be received after 11.59. A late submission will receive a mark of 0. Your Turnitin site will advise you that late submissions are accepted. Please be aware that late submission of work is subject to a penalty according to UEL’s assessment policy, and subject to a successful claim for extenuation if you submit more than 24 hours after the deadline.

There will be no need for a feedback sheet because your work will be marked using the rubric within Turnitin and replicated below.

Typical performance at different mark bands:

Class / Mark (%) Description
Covers all the assessment requirements of the two components with exceptional clarity, and thoroughness. A wide range of relevant literature is referred to and there is evidence of independent, original and thorough critical evaluation with good use of supporting evidence.

PDP and self assessments shows critical self-reflection and an ability to learn from experience. Objectives set are SMART.

CV is very well-structured and presented, and contains all the appropriate and relevant information.
(86-90%) Good, well-presented, coverage of the requirements of the two components. A good range of relevant literature is referred to with some ability to apply it to critical analysis and evaluation. Evidence generally used to support assessments.

PDP shows some evidence of self-reflection and an ability to learn from experience and set an appropriate development plan. Objectives may be less well formed or realistic.

CV is well structured and presented, and contains most of the appropriate/required information.
(80-85%) Covers the main requirements of the assessment. Some use of relevant academic work although analysis and evaluation may be uneven or somewhat superficial, with limited supporting evidence.

PDP is reasonably well detailed and informative. Objectives may be less well focussed and detailed.

CV is generally clear and contains most of the required information. There may however be more obvious omissions.

(<40%) Key requirements of the assignment not covered or covered very inadequately/erroneously.
Basic coverage of key concepts. Some reference to relevant academic literature referred to, but not used to great effect in analysis and evaluation which may be unconvincing at times. Some errors, deficiencies or vagueness. Reasonably clear and accurate presentation.

PDP meets requirements, although limited evidence of critical self-reflection and objectives may be unfocussed and lack a clear or realistic time-frame.

CV may be poorly structured and presented or may contain significant gaps / inconsistencies in information.


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