Magazine

Editors Pick

Why you need to have a happy workforce

13th June 2024

CEO of Graduate Coach Chris Davies on How to Get A Graduate Job

Chris Davies

 

If you are looking to secure a graduate job in 2024, you must first be aware of the unique set of challenges the current graduate job market presents and secondly learn how to strategically position yourself to impress graduate recruiters.

This post shares the latest facts and figures you must understand before you embark on your graduate job search and outlines a step-by-step plan to help you get a graduate job in 2024 despite the odds.

The oversaturated graduate job market

It is important to note that there are far more new graduates each year than there are graduate jobs available. This problem is made worse when you add the graduates from the year before who have not yet found a graduate job.

Approximately 2 million graduates are seeking jobs, whilst Bloomberg quoting from Adzuna stated that new graduate jobs fell by 50% in 2023 to only around 12,500 new graduate roles each month (in 2019 there were 25,000 jobs). This means that there is an oversaturation of the graduate job market, with far too many graduates applying for the same job opening. As a consequence of this, the bar is now much higher to stand out from other applicants.

A degree from a good university is no longer enough to secure a job after graduation. Employers now want candidates who have both some kind of work experience, as well as several key skills that will let them thrive in a working environment.

This is something that universities are not communicating to their students as well as they should, meaning that many people are leaving university woefully unprepared for the challenges they must overcome to get employed. Having little to no work experience, no idea of what skills they must demonstrate, and are unable to put together a CV or cover letter that will help them stand out from other candidates.

The impact of AI

Graduates must also start to consider the impact of AI on the job market, and if their chosen career path may soon be automated. White collar roles are particularly at risk of this, especially junior ones, as many companies will decide to use AI rather than take a risk on someone who has just graduated and will need time to get used to their working environment.

There is also a higher demand for grads in digital and tech industries as the world becomes more technologically advanced. Although graduates who studied other areas can still learn these skills, they are at a disadvantage compared to their peers who did.

Understanding yourself and your skills

As previously mentioned, graduates need to have several key employability skills, identified by the CBI, to prove to potential employers that they can excel in a workplace environment. These skills are:

Business Awareness

This is the ability to know what a business aims to do, how it achieves those aims, and who its competitors are. This is often something interviewers will ask about during interviews, so you should research a company’s competitors and their position in the market beforehand.

Communication

Communication is being able to clearly and concisely make your thoughts known to others, either by speaking or writing. This includes both work colleagues and potential clients.

Entrepreneurship

This is being able to notice and take advantage of business opportunities. Entrepreneurship is especially useful in senior roles where you must make important decisions instead of simply following instructions from others.

IT

IT is using technology in a workplace environment. This includes simple things such as and email and more complex tasks like programming and is required for nearly every job.

Numeracy

Numeracy is the ability to do maths to solve problems. This is one skill that is important at a basic level for most jobs you can apply for and one that you will already be familiar with from school.

Problem-Solving

The ability to solve problems is using logic to resolve both long and short-term issues. It is something that you will need to use daily in any working environment you apply for.

Resilience

Resilience is being able to work under pressure and not having your work’s quality be negatively affected, making it especially useful in jobs with lots of deadlines to meet.

Self-Management

Self-management is being able to display the correct attitude in a workplace environment. This includes body language, tone of voice and how smartly you are dressed.

Teamwork

This is the ability to work alongside others to achieve the same objective. In a workplace environment, this can include dividing responsibility as well as brainstorming ideas.

Alongside these skills, you will also need to show that you have skills more specific to the role you are applying for, such as being a skilled coder for a job as a programmer. To figure out which jobs you already have the skills for, you can do a skills audit, comparing a list of your own abilities to the requirements listed in the job descriptions for roles you think would be a good fit for you.

How to master the Job application process in 2024

CVs and cover letters

As well as having the having the key employability skills, you must be able to demonstrate how you have used them, through your CV and cover letter. Tailor your CV and cover letter for the role you are applying for, looking through the job description and ensuring you highlight how you already have the skills they are looking for. This will make you stand out from other applicants who send the same CV and cover letter for every job they apply for.

You also need to ensure that both your CV and cover letter are tailor-written to get past the ATS (applicant tracking system), which automatically sorts through job applications and only shows the best ones to employers.

How to look for jobs

You should be looking for job openings on a regular basis to ensure you don’t miss out on any great opportunities. Expand your search by using as many job boards as possible, such as LinkedIn, Indeed and Google. You should also check websites for companies you want to apply for, as they sometimes post job openings on their own site without posting them on an external job board, meaning only the most dedicated candidates will be likely to apply.

By doing this, you should be able to send job applications on a regular basis. However, you should avoid a scattergun approach. Focus on the right job titles for you and your skillset, only sending high-quality job applications to maximise your chances of being invited for an interview.

Networking

Networking is another important part of increasing your chances of employment. Employers are far more likely to choose someone they have met rather than someone who they only know through a CV or cover letter. Attend networking events and ask friends and family if they have any useful connections.

You should also optimise your LinkedIn page to be appealing as possible to any employers who check it during the application process. Ensure your profile picture is professional, add all relevant skills and work experience you have, and make sure to add a portfolio if it is relevant to the type of jobs you are applying for.

How to become interview confident 

Being prepared for any job interview you do will drastically increase your chances of impressing employers, and therefore improve your chances of progressing to the next stage.

You can do this by having pre-prepared answers to common questions, such as a self-introduction and questions that ask you to recall a time you displayed a particular skill, also known as competency questions. However, you should avoid memorising an answer word for word, or you will sound inauthentic, decreasing your chances of impressing the interviewer.

It is also important to use the STAR method while answering competency questions. STAR stands for situation, task, action and result. First, explain the situation you were in, and the challenge you faced. Next, discuss your role in the task needed to resolve the situation. Move on to explain the actions you took to resolve the situation and describe how they had a positive result.

Another way of preparing for an interview is to re-read your CV and cover letter from your application, and review anything included that you think you will be asked questions about, such as any previous experiences. Recall what you wrote and how it is specific to the specific job and company you are applying for. This is something you should already have done when sending the initial application, but it never hurts to go over it again.

It is also vital to do research on the company you are applying for. In particular, where they are in the market, their USP and who their competitors are. This is something that commonly comes up during interviews and shows that you have put in the extra effort compared to other applicants, making you stand out and an outstanding candidate.

Conclusion 

While it is becoming increasingly difficult to get a graduate job as the market becomes more crowded, there are still steps you can take, to make yourself stand out and greatly increase your chances of getting a graduate job. Showing you have the skills necessary for the role and being well prepared for interviews are all vital, and relatively simple once you get the hang of it.

 

 

Employability Portal

University Careers Service Rankings.
Best Global Cities to Work in.
Mentor Directory.
HR heads.

Useful Links

Education Committee
Work & Pensions
Business Energy
Working
Employment & Labour
Multiverse
BBC Worklife
Work in COVID
Mentoring Need to Know
Listen to our News Channel 9:00am - 5.00pm weekdays
Finito and Finito World are trade marks of the owner. We cannot accept responsibility for unsolicited submissions, manuscripts and photographs. All prices and details are correct at time of going to press, but subject to change. We take no responsibility for omissions or errors. Reproduction in whole or in part without the publisher’s written permission is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.
© 2024 Finito World - All Rights Reserved.