The Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) recently published a report on the current labour market they found that there has been a significant increase in the number of graduate vacancies in the UK but that many employers are struggling to fill all their posts.
This could be for two reasons. On explanation could be that the number of graduate applications may have fallen. However figures suggest this is not the case as nearly half of employers surveyed had received 2,500 applicators to their organisation and nearly 13% more than 10,000 applications. A more likely reason is that employers are not finding graduate with the exact skills they need and are not willing to settle for anything other than the right candidate.
What can you do?
Like buying a new pair of jeans when it comes to applying to jobs it’s essential to get the right fit. To do this you need to think carefully about what you really want to do, where you skills lie and above all how you can fulfil the employer’s job criteria. Doing this will ensure that you apply for the roles best suited to you and that you apply to employers looking for people like you. The Careers Service can of course help you do this.
- What you want do? When you begin job hunting there is always a temptation to apply for every job out there (OK maybe not ALL of them!!!) but you need think about what you want out of a job. It’s more than just whether you want to live for work or work to live but about what kind of person you are and what do you want from life. The’ I don’t know what I want to do’ resource has some really useful exercises in the help you to think about these things. Also think about booking a guidance appointment to discuss this with a careers consultant.
- Where do your skills lie? It’s worth spending some time thinking about the skills and experiences you have developed either during your degree or through your part time work/work experience. If you’ve got lots of experience in customer service chances are you’ll have developed skills for jobs dealing with the public. If you gained technical knowledge during your degree this could be highly sought after by engineering or IT companies. Use the exercise ‘what am I good at’ in our ‘I don’t know what I want to do’ you may also be able to book a careers guidance appointment.
- Fulfil the employer’s job criteria Once you know what you want out of life and where your skills lie you should be in a position to search for relevant employers. Use Careerslink, employer websites and graduate directories to search for opportunities. Once you have found a role you want to apply for it’s absolutely crucial to tailor your application to the employer and the role. In your applications you need to highlight all the silks the employer has listed in their job description providing examples demonstrating your abilities. To help you use the CV, Covering Letters and Application Form guides as they will help you tailor your applications. Once you’ve written you application get it checked on our Applications Advice session.
Where to go from here
In many ways summer is a strange time for the labour market as one recruitment cycle comes to and end and another begins this doesn’t mean there are no jobs out there it’s quite the opposite with plenty of jobs to explore
- 2013/14 Vacancies Some companies such as PwC are still looking to fill their 2013/14 vacancies. As a graduate these opportunities may be an ideal way of starting a graduate scheme immediately.
- 2015 Vacancies Here at careers HQ we have heard that some employers have already opened or are about to open their applications for their 2015 graduate schemes.Get ahead of next years geads by applying early!
- Manchester Graduate Internship Programme Designed for 2014 graduates from the University of Manchester these internships are with Manchester based small to medium sized firms so may be great if graduate schemes are not for you. All of these vacancies can be found on Careerslink use key work MGIP.
- Ad hoc vacancies as people leave, go on maternity or retire one off vacancies will crop up in a range of different organisations (this is how I got my first job at the careers service). You can use Careerslink to search for these opportunities.