Many are finding getting a full time graduate job after leaving university a daunting and hard task. Where does one start? What should one put in applications? One of the many aspects of graduate job hunting that people find the hardest is selling their skills and attributes on a CV or in an interview. This can feel all the more difficult when they have very little or no work experience relevant to the position they applying for.
What makes matters worse is that gaining work experience before you graduate in the form of an internship or summer placement is more often than not, harder still due to the vast number of graduates applying for each intern vacancy.
So without an internship in the industry how does one enter it? Well, first and foremost, a great resource that every student can exploit is their university. There are a number of options that universities offer their students that can make getting valuable work experience much easier. While a part-time job may be good for getting a little extra cash and general work experience, your university can help you gain experience directly related to the industry you wish to enter or experience that will grab the attention of a potential employer.
Firstly, your university will have a list of third party work placements that are external to the institution itself. Moreover, these will usually be local positions which means that there is less chance of absolutely humungous figures turning up in their applications tray which is the case with most internships you find on the internet.
Secondly, the university itself will offer many part time roles. Anything within the university is great and looks good on your CV because it shows graduate recruiters that you integrated with the community you were living in. However, the closer the role is to your career prospects the better. For example, if you wish to go into a scientific field then you should look to get a university graduate job as an assistant lab technician or something similar. If becoming a journalist is your dream, work for the student paper – this may be voluntary but believe us when we say it will help you out down the line.
Finally, if there is nothing appropriate or similar to what you want to do once you graduate then there is nothing wrong with taking general work or working on your soft skills. Many people may have degrees but if you can demonstrate that you are somehow different, that you didn’t just attend university but became part of it you will be well-served in an interview situation. Employers like an active graduate not a passive one and if you can show on your CV that you were not content to let the world pass you by, they will be more likely to consider you . One of best ways to do this is by going out and getting yourself a university graduate job so if you are currently at university or soon to be, make sure you head down to your graduate careers service and hunt for the right university graduate job for you.. And above all, if you persevere in your job search and work as hard as you did to get your degree, you will eventually find a graduate job that you are happy with.
It’s good news for all those who studied finance or a financially related degree at university because finance graduate vacancies are on the rise!
Recruitment agencies and job boards alike have noticed an increase of finance graduate vacancies in the past three months.
The recession hit every industry hard but with the financial sector being at the heart of the cause jobs dwindled to lows that have not been seen for a long time. Fortunately for everyone the economy is on the road to recovery and that may be the reason why more finance graduate vacancies have started opening up.
Of course it can always be attributed to the job market getting better in general. However, most have noted that finance jobs seem to form the spearhead of this trend, outperforming many other sectors that seem to rise much more closely with the average trend.
A reason that could be the genuine force behind this recent resurgence is that the finance sector has managed to get back on its feet and can now afford to hire the extra help to raise it back to its former status.
There is one problem that leers over this whole situation – providing that opposition party Labour is right and we are heading into a double-dip recession with the current Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition government. If the Labour party is correct then avoiding the financial sector would seem to be a sensible course of action.
If you have a family to support and the financial sector is a ‘lane change’ (i.e. you have not worked in that sector before) then it may (and emphasis on ‘may’) be a good idea to hold on a little longer. Not even economists can agree on which political party is right about the economy but just in case the former government are then waiting for a bit could be the best course of action.
However, if you are applying for finance graduate vacancies, there seems little reason why you shouldn’t apply now. As a graduate, it will be your first job and one where you can get some great experience that will lead to better things. And in the worst-case scenario; that we do enter a double-dip recession and you lose your job as a consequence, it is not the end of the world. Although it is far from ideal, you still have gained valuable work experience and got your career in the financial sector off to a start. You lost your job by no fault of your own and you can use the skills learnt from this job in your next, even if it is not in the same sector.
Overall, the best advice to give finance graduates is that things are looking up and keep applying for those finance graduate vacancies!
The job board graduate-jobs.com has undergone an overhaul with the launch of an updated look along with a W3C AA Accessibility rating.
W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) aims to encourage web developers to make their sites more user-friendly for those with disabilities by publishing a range of guidelines to help with the development process.
graduate-jobs.com’s development team’s determination to meet the guidelines means the new site is easy to use for the blind and partially sighted due to its complete compatibility with screen readers – software that describes the various elements of a website to the user as they scroll through it.
The AA Accessibility rating awarded by W3C makes graduate-jobs.com the only job board in the UK with such a credential and therefore easily accessible to users with disabilities.
As W3C say, conforming to their guidelines not only makes a website more user friendly for those with disabilities but “benefits all users” . The site’s fresh interface not only looks better but improves greatly on navigation and ease of use.
“Adding graduate jobs to the site and CV searching has never been easier than it is now on graduate-jobs.com” said Operations Director Gerry Wyatt, “plus we’ve got some great new features which make both the graduates’ and the recruiters’ experience much smoother and crucially, more effective.”
The new site is a huge step forwards for graduate-jobs.com and the graduate careers market,” says Gerry, “It gives recruiters even more power to not only pinpoint the best and most suitable candidates but also adds great value to their diversity and inclusion agendas. At the same time this move increases significantly the job board service available to users with disabilities.”
graduate-jobs.com is the largest independent jobs board in the UK. Founded in 1999, graduate-jobs.com has been helping to launch graduate careers by providing services for graduates and prospective employers alike. graduate-jobs.com has recently been awarded the AA Accessibility rating, making the site far easier for the blind and partially-sighted.
For more information contact Mark Towers – email: email@example.com tel: 020 7609 5406
Where to search for graduate jobs in UK may initially seem like one of the less important questions however, it often proves to be quite a recurring issue that graduates have to address when searching for a graduate job. Often, the question is whether to move or not – it is not uncommon to find what could be your ideal graduate job outside the area you currently live in.
Many people once they have graduated and finished University move back in with their parents or guardians. Especially when searching for graduate jobs in UK, this is a sensible and usually financially practical option – parents tend to go easier on the wallets of their loved ones than a landlord! Where graduates look for a job at this stage is where people differ. Some decide to stay in the local area or at least within commutable distance, others are happy to immediately move away to anywhere in the country where there is a suitable job.
The obvious thing to mention is that to be able to work nationwide opens up a lot more avenues and possibilities. However, the key thing to remember is how costly and viable this is. If you live in the Midlands or the north and would have to move to London for your prospective graduate job then it needs to be paying enough to cover the higher living fees. This usually works out fine since there is something called the ‘London leaning’ which means that city jobs on average pay more than those outside because of the higher cost of living. But you should do all the maths first to make sure you can live comfortably whilst working in the graduate job you desire. On the flip side, moving out of big cities to less urban areas will most likely result in a small pay check but maybe a little extra in your account at the end of the month.
If possible, an excellent plan of attack to applying for graduate jobs in UK is to keep the cost of living low to begin with. So once you have landed that graduate job if it is not too far to travel everyday you may want to live with your parents or guardians, people who will give you a very reasonable accommodation fee, for the first few months. Then once you have built up a financial basis you can move closer to the workplace. This is a very good idea if you live within commuting distance of a major city such as London, Manchester or Leeds.
Yet this is understandably not always an option to others for various reasons. In which case you should be asking yourself two main questions when considering moving for a job – is it financially feasible? Can you foresee yourself being happy in that area? If both answers to these questions are ‘yes’, then consider it as a definite option, it may mean the difference between getting a graduate job you like and getting a graduate job you love.
Applying for graduate jobs in UK is getting more competitive than ever considering the current economical affairs and trends. To get on your action for graduate job applications, sign up at graduate-jobs.com now!
Many graduate advice sections of websites, including our own, constantly remind the reader to “sell their attributes” on your CV and in interviews. This is very good graduate advice but sometimes the task of identifying these attributes and skills is as hard and daunting a task as the CV writing and interviews themselves.
Firstly, don’t feel down that you cannot pick out any positives about yourself, it doesn’t mean you don’t have any. Usually, this is down to two main factors; being modest (a great British characteristic!) and wrongly misinterpreting various skills to be too superfluous to mention.
The first problem of modesty is fairly easy to overcome. Remember that you are not having a chat with your mates in a pub where a claim that “I have extremely good written communication skills” would seem out of place and rather boasting. Instead you are in an environment where the people you are talking to are expecting to hear what you are good at, and moreover they will judge negatively if you fail to mention positive aspects of yourself.
Underestimating certain skills is an issue that affects even the most confident and assured of people. Common skills that are overlooked are the ability to work as part of a team, team leadership, verbal communication skills, confidence (ironically) being sociable. A frequent reason why these are underestimated is because graduates imagine what the CV of a much older, more experienced candidate would look like. It is true that such a person’s CV will probably look considerably more impressive, but that’s because they’ve had the time to adopt the skills and experience. Employers who a recruiting for a graduate job realise that the age range they are reviewing will not have such experience and so will not chortle at you when you state that your part time job at the local cinema gave you team leadership skills.
Once you have overcome these two main issues, get a sheet of paper and list down what you believe to be your greatest assets, even if they are very menial (you can cross ones out later if you think they are truly ridiculous). Think about your hobbies as well as jobs, and what key skills they require and whether they are useful to mention. Once you have done this start ranking the list, keeping the skills that you feel are most unique to you at the top, ones that you feel will set you apart from the other candidates.
Keep in mind also the attributes that the employer is looking for. This obviously varies from job to job but skills that are general to all graduate job positions is initiative, teamwork, self motivation, commitment, drive and desire to achieve, and adaptability. However, simply claiming that you have some or all of these rarely impress graduate employers because that is what everyone will be saying. You have to persuade them that you have these skills and the best way to do this is to back up your claims with evidence. That doesn’t mean that you need your proof of employment (although some employers do ask for such things later down the line), you just need to say where you developed and learnt such skills. For example, you may have travelled abroad for a substantial amount of time and this required an adaptable nature in order to enjoy your time there and fit in.
The best graduate advice to take away is that of working out how to argue your best skills to a employer and make them sound convincing and genuine.
If you are lucky enough to know exactly what you want to do as a graduate, then taking up a graduate internship is most definitely a wise choice. As anyone who has been to a job interview will tell you, experience is gold dust when applying to a graduate job in a similar field and can mean the difference between gaining employment and remaining unemployed.
As vital as degrees are, it could be argued that graduate internship is just as important, if not more so. In the working world at least, your degree is a platform which offers you extended possibilities that would not have been available to you had you not chosen to go to University. One of these opportunities is a work placement which is itself another platform which can offer you even more options. Many graduates will testify that if they had relevant work experience on their CV the employers question would be directed mostly at this.
It seems strange, doesn’t it? That two weeks of experience can take up 80% of a graduate employers interest over years of education. But experience often demonstrates that you know the business, what the job is about and what is expected of you amongst other things. Basically, you are a safer bet from the employer’s perspective than a graduate who has never set foot in a similar job position and only has experience of education and the academic world.
The bottom line then, is this – try your hardest to get some work experience whilst still at university or even at school doing A-levels. The more relevant it is to what you eventually want to do the better, but that does not mean you should ignore other opportunities. Any graduate internship shows to a graduate employer that you are keen, motivated and a decent worker (assuming you didn’t get sacked half way through your placement!). So take any work placements that are available to you but prioritise the most pertinent ones.
If you are not sure what career path is for you (and don’t worry, most people aren’t) then the same rule applies of taking up as much work experience as you can get. Most people know a rough area they would like in, for example if you are doing an English degree it is likely that journalism, publishing or something more extraneous such as marketing could be for you. This person could look for work placements in these fields and sectors, they are obviously not going to try and gain a work placement as a chemical engineer.
Any graduate internship is absolutely invaluable in your job hunt as a graduate. It shows that you have experience in the work you are pursuing as well as the required traits of all employees to be reliable, hard working and dedicated. Additionally, it shows that another employer has deemed you suitable enough to work in their company of institution which helps to advise the decision for your interviewer.
Covering letters a much overlooked by graduates when applying for graduate jobs. Often they are severely underwritten and sometimes graduates do not include one at all with a job application. Here is one of the golden rules of job applying – graduate cover letters are extremely important! They are just as important as your graduate CV and, in terms of swaying the graduate recruiter’s opinion, frequently more so.
Creating a great CV that is neat and easy to read is essential, however it should only contain key information about your academic background, hobbies, work experience, etc. A graduate cover letter gives you more room to express yourself and is where you can really work the magic and persuade the employer why you are the person for the graduate job!
The layout of a graduate cover letter, something many people overlook, should be that of a regular posted letter, even if it is sent by email or fax. This means it should begin with your address justified to the right, followed by ‘Dear Mr. Smith,’ If you do not know the contact’s name you can write ‘Dear Sir/Madam,’ or ‘To Whom it May Concern,’ The next line should be indented and is the body of your letter. If you are sending the letter by email place a line under your postal address justified to the left saying ‘via email: firstname.lastname@example.org’.
A graduate cover letter should be no more than one side of A4, and rarely should it be less either. A short covering letter implies that not only do you have little positive attributes to sell about yourself but that you also lack drive and desire for the graduate job position.
Open the letter with a paragraph informing the reader of which role you are applying for and where you found out about it. Then state most key piece of information concerning you. A graduate would put something along the lines of ‘I am a graduate of Keele University, with a 2.1 in Politics and History.’ A second jobber may open with their last job position and mention their degree later in the letter.
The graduate cover letter is about persuading the reader how the skills you have gained from various activities are applicable to the job description. Follow up your introductory paragraph with reasons as to how your degree or last job position has presented you with the key skills required for the job position and don’t forget to mention how hungry you are for the role!
After this you can move on to work experience and how it is similarly relevant and finally hobbies that you participate in. Many people struggle to find reasons for incorporating their hobbies into a covering letter but almost any pastime can be presented as a positive attribute in relation to a graduate job vacancy. For example, if you enjoy playing chess this demonstrates you as a very good tactician and lateral thinker, assets which are extremely desired by graduate employers. If you are part of a sports team then you are demonstrating dedication, how you can work as part of a team and possibly leadership skills. Furthermore, if you have won any awards for your hobbies then mention them; it’s one thing to say you enjoy taking part in a pastime; it’s another proving that you are good at it!
By the time you have done all of that, your graduate cover letter should be about a side of A4 and practically complete. All you have to do now is sign off with ‘Yours faithfully/sincerely’ (as appropriate) and you have a gleaming graduate cover letter!
Graduate Jobs demand a good level of explanation and expression in any graduate cover letter accompanying an impressive graduate CV. Graduate-jobs.com provides valuable advice and tips on making an impressive graduate job application.
Whether it is for a week, a month or a year, all graduates have to deal with unemployment; it is the hurdle that is naturally next in line after graduating. Also, it is neither a nice hurdle to jump nor an easy one in the current economic climate. Learning how to deal with unemployment is an essential aspect of overcoming it and gaining a graduate job.
As most would testify, the worst aspect of unemployment is that the longer it extends the greater its effects are felt – unsurprisingly financial problems start to materialise which even at its least dramatic degree can mean less funds for socialising and other personal pleasures.
This may be the reason why research has found that unemployment leads to symptoms such as feelings of isolation. With less money to spend on social activities many are forced to stay at home and as previously mentioned, this is financial restraint at its least ruinous. Other symptoms included increasing stress, boredom and laziness.
Stress and boredom are rather self-explanatory being a consequence of constant job applying and not getting anywhere. Laziness is a self-propagating symptom from receiving no results from such applications and (even if only on a subconscious level) thinking that there is little point in the continuation of applying for a graduate job. If you are feeling lazier than usual or demoralised the way to break out of the routine is with sheer willpower by remaining optimistic and hopeful.
This is the bedrock of dealing with unemployment. Keep applying to those jobs and you will get one eventually. The reason you are not getting anywhere is most likely not because of you or your skills and attributes but simply the unfortunate job climate.
Additionally, keep yourself busy – try and get a part time job, if you already have one why not expand your hours? Similarly, if you have a hobby, engross yourself in it a bit more. This is especially true if that hobby is a form of exercise; research proves that physical exercise relieves stress, decreases lethargy and increases quality of life.
Another good tip is to take up a hobby that is relevant for the graduate jobs you are hoping to get. For example, if you have your targets set on journalism, start blogging and do it often. Graduate employers love to see enthusiasm for an activity that is applicable in the workplace and there is no better way to exemplify that enthusiasm than by demonstrating how it overflows into your private time. Furthermore, the longer you have been unemployed and participating in this activity the better it will look to graduate employers, increasing the chances of you landing a graduate job day-by-day.
If you are having trouble coping with unemployment there are two things you should keep in mind: keep applying for graduate jobs and keep active. Resorting to lying on the sofa watching daytime television will get you nowhere (and is usually more boring than job applying anyway!) so engage in what interests you and show graduate employers how your time unemployed has actually been beneficial to your skills development.
Choosing which sector to work in is one of the biggest decisions a person ever makes in his or her life. Most of your waking life will be spent working in your choice of occupation, so when choosing your sector you should be asking yourself two main questions; ‘Can I do it?’ and ‘Will I enjoy it?’
The first question can be answered quite easily. Your degree should cater somewhat to the sector you are opting for (although if you did a non-vocational degree then this doesn’t have to be specifically attributable). Hobbies and extra-curricular activities will also give you an idea of whether you are capable of carrying out expected tasks but really it boils down to you knowing your own strengths and weaknesses.
‘Will I enjoy it?’ is a harder question to answer because it involves a lot of foresight. Many jobs can sound exciting at first just because they are something different to what you are doing now and this is especially true for graduates who have been studying for their entire life so far. It may also be rare to find a graduate job where every day is packed full of exhilaration and glamour. However, it is very possible to get a job in which you take pride.
This is the real way to determine whether you will be satisfied with your job, by determining if it is something you care about, something you will have passion for, and something you will take pride in. When you care about your results you care about your work and it makes all the difference to how much you enjoy doing that work.
For those who are completely amiss as to where to place their first foot in the world of work then first remind yourself that you are by no means alone. Many people are quite unaware of the direction they should be heading right up until the first day of a job they fall into. Also remember that your first graduate job is not your only graduate career, doors have not been shut off completely. If you work in that sector for a while and find out that it is not for you then you can by all means switch to something else, find something you like and proceed to settle and advance that career path.
For example, if you have completed a History degree you can apply this to a wide array of sectors. There are jobs in advertising, human resources, management, PR, media, education and finance that are available to you, to name a few. It may be somewhat of a trial and error process but it is simply about finding the sector that suits your abilities.
Starting your graduate career can be daunting for some but it is not something that is set in stone. A graduate career is about settling in and finding the niche that you feel the most comfortable in and produce the best results.
Seek graduate career advice from past graduates with a graduate career and learn about their experience in choosing the right career. Also, there are plenty of websites that offer graduate career advice, but more important is to know what graduate career advice to consider and from where.
Although Britain is now officially out of the recession we are undoubtedly still feeling the effects, and those feeling it the hardest are graduates, many of whom are still unemployed or in part time work rather than a full time graduate job. The question that many of these graduates must be asking themselves is despite us apparently being officially out of the recession, is the job market getting any better?
The short answer is yes, it is getting better gradually. However, do not fret if you are one of those who are yet to have a graduate job. It is by no means easy or even standard to get a job now compared to what it was pre-2008.
The main point is to remember that it is slowly getting easier all the time. Day by day more and more graduate vacancies are opening up as the economic climate improves. Many graduates have recounted that it was near impossible to land a job in 2009, currently the job market is quite significantly better than it was in late last year so do not let the constant rejections from last year discourage you from job applying now.
There is the slight issue however, that the job market status varies from sector to sector. For example, reports suggest that graduate job vacancies in the technology sector are still quite low whilst there is a steady increase in graduate marketing jobs. This means that if your degree is technology related you may find it a little harder to gain employment than those pursuing a career in marketing, which is looking quite healthy in terms of graduate jobs available.
Apart from marketing, other graduate jobs that are in high demand are those in the engineering and sales sectors. Both of these have sustained quite well throughout the latter end of the recession and are especially popular amongst recruitment companies at present. With sectors like sales, the theory is that companies are willing to invest and speculate by hiring more employees in their sales team in order to gain that extra bit of profit and them out of the last hurdle of the economic crisis.
Yet this does not mean that those whose aspirations are to work in the technology sector should not try. There are after all, always jobs out there and it is very possible that you will be the person who lands one of them. If your CV shines and your interview technique is flawless then you will be the chosen candidate for the graduate job whether there are three people applying for it or three hundred.
Furthermore, looking to the future is reassuring. As previously mentioned, the job market is improving as each day passes and by the end of 2010 we may even have a fairly standard one. If you are still unemployed and looking for graduate marketing jobs then keep reminding yourself that today is more likely to be fruitful than the last.