At the end of January the Office for National Statistics (ONS) issued some new figures on unemployment rates amongst recent graduates, and I was hoping for better news. The title gave it away instantly, and it’s not great reading if you are a graduate unfortunately – ‘Jobless rate for new graduate’s doubles over recent recession’.
In essence, the ONS stated that unemployment for new graduates was 20% in the 3rd quarter of last year. This is painful, not just for graduates themselves, but for the whole UK economy too. With so many talented youngsters not using the knowledge & expertise they have just spent 3/4 years studying for, it is a loss and great shame for all concerned. There are two other things that stood out in the news release as well. Firstly, the 20% unemployment figure is almost double the rate in the last quarter before the recent recession, and it is the highest unemployment rate for new graduates in over 10 years. Ouch….
I have written a number of posts for graduates recently here at Approachthemarket.co.uk and they have attracted some interesting comments. Most notably, that graduates still feel unsure about how to approach job hunting successfully, and when they do make applications, employers are not giving meaningful feedback to them. Not much change from when I graduated many years ago then!
So, what can you do as a Graduate if you are still looking for employment? Here are 8 things you can do THIS WEEK to get yourself noticed in the employment market. If you find it useful, bookmark it so you can come back to it each week, and tick off the steps you have completed. Reviewing what you have done on a weekly basis will show you what you have achieved, and what still requires action. So, in no particular order:
- Visit Graduate Prospects if you have not done so already, where having searched the site myself over the weekend, there are 230 permanent jobs currently available. You can set up Job Alerts from the home page too which I strongly advise you do.
- Register and look around the Milkround.com site which has over 100 permanent roles and over 300 graduate training programmes listed
- The same goes for Graduate-Jobs.com which lists over 400 jobs across the UK. You can sign up to receive job alerts too, and major employers with vacancies here include Arcadia, Babcock, Bloomberg, Decathlon Retail, Mars, RM, Thales and Zurich.
- Read my blog on Jobs with companies in the FTSE100. The links in the post will direct you to the career pages of the Top 100 companies in the UK where you can search for vacancies straight away. They are the biggest Listed companies in the UK employing thousands of people, and there may well be graduate opportunities at some of them which you could apply for.
- Get yourself noticed on Linked-In, the professional social networking site which recruiters and employers use constantly. It is free to set up an account, and my colleague Sarah Cooper’s video will help you to customise your profile in just 5 minutes
- Are you on Twitter and/or Facebook? You can follow companies you are specifically interested in working for by searching for them on Twitter. A lot of employers also have unique “Graduate Twitter Accounts”. Here are 60 employers using Twitter to attract graduates to start you off. By reading their Twitter stream, you should be able to see if they have any graduate vacancies still available.
- As a recruiter myself, I would recommend approaching specialist graduate recruiters AND recruitment companies who have roles within the field you studied for. For example, if you are a recent Finance or HR Graduate looking to secure a role within Accountancy or Human Resources, talk to specialist recruiters like McGinnis Loy. For a list of well-known graduate recruiters, you can find a number of them here
- If you are more up to date with technology than me, consider You Tube to get noticed by employers. One person who has secured a role this way is Graeme Anthony. His unique approach was picked up by the BBC recently in their news report here. Could you do something similar ?
This is only a start, but will hopefully give you some ideas about how to approach things and put you on the right path.
Let’s hope the next set of figures make for better reading. After all, if graduates cannot find work here in the UK, it is very easy for them to head off to other parts of the world given they have no financial ties or family responsibilities.
*All figures disclosed in this article are from the news release of 26th January 2011, courtesy of the Office of National Statistics
Leslie has over 15 years Recruitment experience helping blue-chip corporates to SME businesses recruit for their Finance teams. As one of the founding Directors of McGinnis Loy, a Specialist HR and Finance Recruiter across the Thames Valley and London, he is still actively recruiting in the marketplace today. Follow his helpful tweets on Twitter: @McGinnisLoy
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