Third degree burns: Your subject doesn’t matter.. too much

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Working in the UK graduate labour market provides an interesting insight into the psychosis of the ‘ambitious graduate’. At a recent trade event hosted by the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR), it was clear that many people interpret this insight in different ways. Some companies remain, desperately clinging on to ancient techniques to help graduates find work; ignoring the evolution of industry and society but most of all ignoring new and emerging recruitment and graduate trends.


The word trend implies direction. Something that many fresh graduates lack. Coupled with the delusion of false expectations, this generation of graduates are ill-informed and under-prepared. This is in part, due to a short knowledge of the market and its trends.


So, here are some of the main trends and tips to adhere to in order to give yourself the inside track to conquering the market and getting your foot in the door.




The recruitment industry is booming and embracing the digital age, revolutionising the way applicants search, apply and get placed into roles.


But what does this mean for you – the applicants? Well, here’s a little insight from GradWeb explaining the change of direction that’s being caused by all things digital.


“Social and mobile recruiting is taking off, and the advent of the digital native means a tectonic shift of emphasis”


Employers and agencies alike are creating mobile responsive sites as well as using social media to create communities and source new applicants and candidates. And if you’re thinking it’s just an after thought; something that companies aren’t investing much time and money in, you’d be wrong!


Businesses and agencies are now emerging – that not only invest heavily in social and mobile recruiting, but maintain it as their MO.


For UK graduates, having a good social media presence can be the difference between getting a job or not. At the most you risk losing out on exposure to exclusive jobs that may not be listed anywhere else. Having a strong online profile is also something to think about – and I don’t just mean spending every waking minute of your days on Facebook and Twitter. Due to this seismic deviation in trend boosting your career and professional footprint on social media can start before you’ve even finished university. Platforms such as LinkedIn are providing genuine opportunities to get head hunted and do wonders for expanding your network within the industry you want to crack.


Does your degree matter to employers?


In many cases, graduates are left regretting their subject choice and their final grade. If you were to look at both as a determining factor in getting a job, your grade will carry the most weight.


In a recent AGR study it was found that degree classification is used as a screening tool by a high proportion of AGR employers (82.1%) when recruiting graduates. The majority (81.3%) use the 2:1 as a cut off for most of their positions, 15.0% use a 2:2 and a small minority (3.8%) state that it varies according to the role.


Most graduate employers will insist on a 2:1 classification, however those who fear that their degree subject matter has let them down – due to lack of relevance – can be relieved in the knowledge that, more and more, this isn’t important.


Although depending on what role you’re gunning for, the exponential rise of the marketing & advertising and recruitment industries, in addition to many law firms accepting non-law graduates, the age of job scarcity is over. ‘Job scarcity is over?’ I hear you ask in disbelief. Well, although there may be increased choice in which industry you can enter into, there is ultimately more competition!


How to react


These may be just two snippets of advice, but they would be wisely acknowledged and followed. They key to success as a graduate is to make yourself as employable as possible. The mistake many make is thinking that the process of making yourself employable starts after you graduate. Completing your degree alone, is not enough!


It is commonly thought that a high proportion of graduates are not work ready. This, as many others within the industry believe, is due in no small part to higher education institutions. When I was at university I was blissfully unaware of any careers support departments or anything similar. Although some top universities have slightly improved in their proactiveness, most don’t initiate enough sessions, interaction or information to help students. It allows the mind to wonder what exactly is your money being spent on?


Bearing this in mind, if you are a current student, you may have to make the effort to reach out to these departments (they do exist!) in order to gain that exposure.


If you have already graduated, it’s not too late. There are a number of platforms out there that have realised this issue who are primed to help graduates gain industry knowledge, increase their commercial awareness and point them in the right direction based on their skills and experiences.


For help on how to become irresistible to employers and to increase your employability, Click Here


GradQuiz GradQuiz is an entirely new take on how you conduct a career search that flips the current stale and unhelpful process on its head; putting the power back in your hands. Just sign up with your name, university email address and degree area and you've taken the biggest step in your career search so far. We’ll take you straight to your Hub, your application management centre. From there, you can add companies, boost your commercial awareness, practice industry-standard tests and most importantly; perfect your application visit for More information
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