Loads of graduate jobs available – good news and bad news

iStock_000036976436Small Graduates wantedThe good news is graduate recruitment is up again this year

So no more excuses to say there are no graduate jobs!  Go out there and get one!

No, you are not too late, June is actually our top month for vacancies each year 🙂

The bad news is about the standard of applications so far

Some of the reasons that places of graduate schemes are still available is down to bad applications.  That’s not a comment on the candidates, they may be great but if the recruiter can’t tell from the application whether you make the grade, the end result is a “no thank you”.

1 It’s a fairly simple equation – employers want skills – so you need to tell them about them.

So stop being so modest, you have skills and have achieved things you never thought you would.  You too can enter competitions like Undergraduate of The Year, and if you don’t want to do that you can quietly put it all on your CV, and talk about it later, at interview!

2 The quality of applications – do fewer applications but spend more time on them

If I see a job application and my first thought is “why are you sending this to me? “, that’s not a good start.

Your CV must be tailored to the job you are applying for. This means…

  • look carefully at the information about the job
  • assess what skills, personal qualities and experience is needed – use a highlighter to identify all the skill words and make a list
  • reflect on yourself to assess if you have what they need, how many things on your list can you tick?
  • choose good evidence of times when you have done the “thing” they want or used the skill they need
  • write it clearly and concisely on a CV

Take this tutorial on tailoring your CV

Checking for spelling and grammar mistakes is also essential. You can get away with a lot in education, in the business world however, poor written skills could create a bad impression and lose a company business,  it’s as simple as that.

Cover letters

You cannot reuse a cover letter for another job and expect it to work.  So don’t tell me about your technical engineering skills if you are applying for a teaching assistant in a primary school, simply inserting a line on your passion for XXX simply doesn’t cut it if the rest of the letter doesn’t follow.

Skills can be transferable from different jobs or sectors, but employers won’t take a leap of faith, show them how you match their requirements.

Guide to writing a cover letter

Application forms

They ask you all those pesky questions when the information is on your CV. Even worse they want you to explain why you want to work for them or tell them about your skills.

Just play the game,  answer questions carefully, stick to word limits and don’t leave questions blank or with the cursory “see attached CV”.


If you need help identifying your skills, working out how you match a job description or just how to get it all down on paper – come and see us!




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