A graduate job hunter’s guide to the HEAR
The Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR) gives a detailed, comprehensive account of your academic and extracurricular achievements at university. It includes a breakdown of what you studied on your course and also lists prizes, employability awards, and offices held in student union clubs and societies that have been verified by the institution.
The format follows a standard template, and you can access it throughout your studies. You can use it as a basis for assessing your progress and planning future activities. You can also refer to it to help you remember what you've done when making applications for sandwich placements, internships, graduate jobs and further study.
When you graduate, the HEAR becomes a full, permanent record of what you did at university. Employers and postgraduate tutors can be given access to it and can use it to verify statements you have made in your applications. It will give them a detailed and broad picture of both your studies and your involvement in other aspects of university life.
There are currently nearly 100 universities and colleges that are either implementing or planning to implement the HEAR.
What does it look like?
In its printed paper form, the HEAR is no more than six pages long. There are eight sections:
- Personal details
- Course name and title conferred – For example, a ‘Bachelor of Arts in…’
- Qualification level – Clarifies the level of qualification and confirms the official length of study
- Course structure and details – The modules you took, the results gained and the overall classification you achieved
- Pathways opened – Whether the qualification is accredited to let you join a profession, or if it lets you take further qualifications
- Further activities – Extracurricular awards, selected activities and prizes. These are all verified by the institution
- Formal authentication – The university’s confirmation that all the information is accurate
- A web link to further details about the university
The main emphasis of the HEAR is on quantifying success. If you got a high grade in every module on your course, the HEAR will show that. If you received departmental awards, this will show up.
It won't mention the societies you were merely a member of. Nor will it include extracurricular activities that aren't associated with the university. It it not a complete reflection of your student experience, but that probably isn't what you want employers to see anyway.
Advantages of the HEAR
HEARs are issued to freshers at the start of their first term, so if your university has adopted the scheme, you will have been made aware of it. It is unlikely to be a prerequisite for a graduate job.
Possibly one of the biggest benefits of the HEAR is that it will help you to structure your graduate job application. Graduate job hunters often find it hard to talk about how successful they are. Those that have access to the HEAR will be able to use it as a basis for their CVs, covering letters and online application forms.