Top job hunting tips for graduates
By Sarah Wood
Like so many other areas, the graduate job market in the UK has been drastically changed by Covid-19.
The Institute of Student Employers website (ISE) reported a 23 per cent reduction in student recruitment numbers for 2020. But this means that over 75 per cent of student recruitment vacancies still remain, even in the midst of an unprecedented recession and global pandemic.
While job hunting may feel more challenging than ever, many graduate skills are still in demand and are highly valued by employers. These are some of the top job hunting tips for graduates. according to Jobcentre Plus:
Change your searches - Most graduates search job sites for the keyword 'graduate', so any job title with the word 'graduate' in it will get 10 times more views than one without! Search for words related to the field you are interested in, or more general words like 'co-ordinator', 'assistant' or 'administrator'. Don't forget that if an employer has made the effort to put the job on a university or graduate jobs board, it means it is a graduate level role, regardless of the title.
Broaden your horizons - Over 70 per cent of graduate vacancies in the UK are open to applicants from any degree discipline, so don't confine your job search to roles directly related to your degree.
Use your careers service - you might not physically be at university right now, but you can still get support from your university careers service. You can access services remotely, including advice and guidance, interview preparation, job vacancies and mock digital assessment centres.
Develop your skills - whilst job hunting, keep developing your professional skills and knowledge by:
- Joining professional or membership organisations and making the most of learning or networking opportunities
- Engaging with social media posts and articles from people in the sector you are interested in
- Attending webinars or to support your transition into work
- Completing online courses to develop your professional, technical or soft skills. The Open University website has a wide range of free ones to choose from
This sort of self-motivated learning demonstrates your drive and commitment to your continued professional development to a future employer. Make sure you add this additional learning to your professional portfolio and/ or LinkedIn profile.
Good quality applications - The odds of progressing to the next stage of any graduate recruitment process are often 20:1 or higher. So take your time to carry out some research and tailor your application to the specific requirements of the company to improve your chances of progressing. Rather than spending 30 hours on 30 applications, spend 6-8 hours on 4-5 applications each week.
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