What to Do if You Haven’t Found a Graduate Job Yet

Exams are over, summer holiday’s are here and for many graduates it’s get a job time!

But it you haven’t managed to bag that unicorn of opportunities the graduate scheme don’t despair. This Q&A Wednesday we ask our consultants their top job hunting tips for graduates.

1. How is the graduate job market looking at the moment?

Well, 2015 saw the graduate jobs market back to pre-2008 levels, according to AGCAS, with key sectors like engineering, building and construction, and business services being particularly in demand.

Plus, a study of the top 100 destination employers at the beginning of 2016 reckoned that recruitment would be taken to its highest ever level ever!

2. What about the current political climate in the UK?

Although impending BREXIT is likely to have an impact in the future, with some large corporations already saying they might relocate to mainland Europe right now it’s real effect is uncertain.

Although the effects of globalisation and technology may already be affecting your chosen industry…

3. So, graduates should take this time to really consider their career path?

Yes. Publishing and print, for example have changed beyond recognition over recent years and will continue to do so.

It’s important to look not just at getting a job today but consider where that sector will be in the near future. Tweet: While getting a job for today consider where that sector will be in the near future @Angel_HR_UK #QAngel goo.gl/JGp26D
​It’s time to get savvy and make career choices which will help, not hinder you.

4. Does it matter if I’ve missed out on a scheme with a top employer?

While top employers like PwC, KPMG and Deloitte pay more actually most graduate roles lie with SMEs (small to medium-sized companies) and the third sector.

Smaller businesses and charities keen to hire talent aren’t always as easy to find as the blue chips – that’s why joining an agency in the know can be an advantage!

5. Could an internship help me get a job?

Internships can be great experience but be careful to get on a bone fide scheme – to some employers an internship is just another word for free labour and all too often the promise of a real job never transpires.

But the government-backed website Graduate Talent Pool helps people who have graduated in the last 3 years to find paid internships with a range of employers.

6. What if I’ve only got 2.2?

If you’ve only achieved a 2.2 don’t fret. Top names and key sectors still want you! Tweet: If you’ve only achieved a 2.2 don’t fret. Top names and key sectors still want you! @Angel_HR_UK #QAngel goo.gl/JGp26D
​In fact big players like Deloitte and KPMG are now taking a more flexible approach to assessing their graduate intake. While HMRC’s Tax Professionals programme accepts a 2.2 minimum, as does the NHS.

The Hospitality & Catering (HORECA) sector is extremely flexible regarding grades; and some construction and engineering employers don’t specify a minimum degree result.

Or, get creative and consider options outside the box…

7. You mean get proactive?

Well, yes. Like the SME option we mentioned earlier – they’re less likely to be oversubscribed and may infact help you move further faster.

Or try a bit on networking. A 2.2 graduate I knew got on a graduate scheme last minute because he visited a smaller branch of a nationwide business he was interested in and happened to catch the area manager who was impressed by his nous.

Another route could be to temp in your chosen field – that’s relevant whether you haven’t got the grade or just haven’t decided what’s right for you.

You can always get on a scheme next year if you still want to.

8. Do I have to move to London?

Most the graduate opportunities are in London, yes.

Plus the Spring 2016 Graduate Market Trends report revealed that graduates who return to their home town after completing their degrees are more likely to be employed in non-graduate roles within six months.

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look elsewhere. UK cities, in particular, will have graduate roles available – although you might earn less elsewhere the cost of living might well balance it out in the long run.

9. What else can I do?

Make sure all the soft skills graduate employers demand are top notch and evidenced on your CV. Tweet: Make sure all the soft skills graduate employers demand are top notch and evidenced on your CV. @Angel_HR_UK #QAngel goo.gl/JGp26D
The University of Kent lists essential soft skills graduates need to remain competitive in today’s market.

Employer sought after soft skills include: verbal and written communication; teamwork; commercial or sector awareness; analysing and problem-solving; initiative and self-motivation; drive; planning and organising; flexibility; and time management.

And, if you aren’t so hot in any of these areas take a course, intern or join an agency and take a temp job and improve on it.

Not sure if you’ve got the competitive edge? Then a good agency, like Angel, will have consultants who can offer sector relevant advice.

Now over to you:

Have any thoughts on what you’ve read? Are you a graduate searching for job? Got any burning questions we could put to future Q & Angel guests? As ever, we want to hear what you’ve got to say!

Some next steps:

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