FEWER than one in six graduates seeking their first job have been successful since the pandemic hit in March, new research reveals.
And only two thirds still feel positive about their prospects, with confidence levels plummeting 20 per cent in a year, the study, by staffing firm Walters People, shows.
To help this troubled generation of university leavers, Monday saw the launch of the first National Graduate Week.
Set up by job experts Careermap, the event features free online talks, webinars from key graduate recruiters and events focusing on the sectors that are still hiring.
Today’s itinerary includes a talk from campaign group UK Music on how graduates can help launch innovations in the music industry.
Spokeswoman Sharon Walpole said: “Entry-level jobs are hard to come by at the moment, and they are more competitive than they have been in a long time.
“It has never been so important to put the extra leg work in to set you apart from your competition.
“In the current convoluted job market, it is important that graduates are given all the necessary resources, tools and insight to provide them with the platform to secure their dream job.”
CONSULTING and digital services firm CAPITA is taking on grads for schemes including IT and property management
HOW TO CLINCH FIRST JOB
WITH graduate jobs at a premium, how you apply and perform at interview is vital.
Here, Rob Worrall, of accountancy and business advisory firm BDO LLP, shares his tips on how to be a standout candidate.
- Know your strengths. Your covering letter or application form is your first impression so make it count. Employers want to know where you can offer real value, what positive attributes you might bring to a team and, of course, what you are passionate about.
- Be prepared. Before you apply, research the company and its clients. LinkedIn can be a great tool to get to know a bit more about a company and its culture.
- Mock up an interview. If you haven’t had much interview experience, ask friends and family to help you practise or use one of the many online tools available.
- Ask questions. At interview, be inquisitive and don’t be afraid to ask about things that may not have been answered through your own research.
- Be yourself. Businesses are powered by people, and people give a company its DNA. It is important to be professional, but your interviewer will want to see the real you, too.
Improve your CV
CAN’T find a graduate job? Then try these two schemes to gain vital work experience and improve your CV.
Bedfordshire’s Time2Grow places people who have graduated from any university in the past five years into temporary jobs. See time2grow.org.uk/jobs.
Meanwhile, the TopTask app connects skilled undergrads and graduates with businesses for freelance work, from retail and fashion to media and app-building. See toptask.co.uk.
‘LEARNED SO MUCH’
EVERY little helps but Tesco is taking on lots of graduates for its popular 2021 scheme.
The supermarket needs 100 new starters across its finance, tech, business and store training programmes. Applicants need a minimum 2:2 degree or predicted result.
Emma Taylor, people director, said: “We’re looking for self-motivated and entrepreneurially-spirited graduates, who can work collaboratively in our business.”
Recent trainee Ammar Younis, 23, from North London, said: “I’ve learnt so much through hands-on experience and useful training such as how to present with confidence, resilience and empathy courses. I’ve worked on some great plastic packaging projects such as the refillable and the unwrapped schemes, where we’ve unwrapped all our multipack cans.”
Apply now at tesco-programmes.com/graduates.
ALDI is hiring graduate area managers.
A HELPING HANDSHAKE
MANY students find the graduate jobs market confusing — with some employers targeting only specific universities for recruitment.
But new platform Handshake aims to simplify the graduate jobs search.
Set up by former students, the site has just launched in the UK, connecting 900 universities, 500,000 employers and 17million students with available job opportunities around the world.
Handshake CEO Garrett Lord said: “Our mission is to democratise opportunity
“We exist to level the playing field by seamlessly connecting universities, employers and students at scale.”
To see what opportunities are available, log on at joinhandshake.co.uk.
- Check out 1,000s of jobs on our dedicated SunJobs site. Click here
GOT a story? RING The Sun on 0207 782 4104 or WHATSAPP on 07423720250 or EMAIL firstname.lastname@example.org