The Graduate Unemployment Sector

After weeks of economic cut doom and gloom (you can see our report on how the Chancellor’s cuts will affect graduates here) the most current graduate forecast isn’t (surprise, surprise) looking any brighter.  The Telegraph today reported that the number of graduates going from degree to dole has hit 8.9%, equalling a total of 21,020 unemployed graduates.

The report, based on official figures obtained by the Higher Education Careers Service (Hecsu), found graduate unemployment has now reached a 17-year high, up from 7.9% in 2008, and 5.5 % the year before.

It further revealed that IT and media degree holders were the worst hit in terms of finding work, with those entering construction and engineering also struggling, particularly within architecture and building.

And in what seems a final twist of the ‘recession knife’, the public sector was shown to be one of the few areas still recruiting through the economic crisis – a small ray of light expected to be considerably darkened when the recent spending reviews prediction of  490,000 public sector job cuts starts to kick in.

But even as the extent of the challenges today’s graduates face when it comes to employment is further heightened, it’s important to retain a strong head. The job market is tough for everyone right now, and rejection shouldn’t be taken personally. Instead, time needs to be used productively, and graduates need to ensure that rather than giving up, they put that extra energy into snapping up that ideal job as soon as it becomes available (things are expected to improve for graduate prospects in the new year).

Check out Friends Provident’s ten great tips listed below to help graduates secure and keep a job (you can read the full article here) and keep checking our blog this week for more Inspiring Intern advice to help our graduates stop being an unemployment statistic and instead get started on their careers.

Friends Provident’s top ten tips to help graduates secure and keep that all important job are:

  1. Career map – Map out all the possible ways that you could break into your chosen industry. There is always more than one way. For example if you can’t secure the role you want perhaps consider applying for an assistant / co-ordinator/ or PA role. Lots of companies promote internally and if you prove your ability you could eventually climb the career ladder and secure the role you want.
  2. Be proactive – send CVs out to companies, get on their database – don’t wait for roles to be advertised. If you are on their database there’s every chance they will consider you before advertising a role publicly.
  3. Networking – Use the people you know and the ones they know too. It’s amazing what you will find out / learn from people in all aspects of your life. Make good use of them- if you don’t ask, you don’t get! Remember digital delivers – Social media is not just for friends. Use your social network to look for work, and to share your experiences with other graduates.
  4. Internships (foot in door) – Not only do they help you clarify your chosen career path, they also give you an invaluable opportunity to continue networking, the chance to build your communication and teamwork skills and help build confidence in the workplace.
  5. Experience pays – Take every opportunity available to you, big or small. You learn from every experience, good or bad and never know what it could lead to. If you are struggling to get paid work consider working for free in the meantime in an area you want to get into. It is beneficial and will look good on your CV.
  6. Business seminars – Go to business seminars and events – this helps you keep up to date with what is going on in your field and also helps with building your network.
  7. Research – find out as much information about the business as possible before going for an interview so you have a better understanding of what the business is about and what it is looking to achieve. This will give you a better chance of responding well to questions.
  8. Positive Mental Attitude – always work with integrity and respect for your colleagues, people are more likely to give you chances if they trust that you will do the right thing even if it is as simple as admitting if you have made a mistake.
  9. An energetic approach – An energetic and enthused approach will help show how much you want a job. Say yes and be excited about the prospects of the job, even if it is not your dream role. Remember to have fun – you spend so much time at work, try to enjoy it – you will find if you are happy it rubs off on those around you and makes the office a more pleasant place for everyone.
  10. Speak up – Your fresh ideas will be extremely valued by prospective employers so don’t be afraid to suggest new ways of working – even if you are just on work experience.

What is your opinion on graduate employment prospects? Got any extra tips you want to add? Let us know now!

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