Graduate Recruitment

In these tough economic times, and after a period where central government pushed an agenda of more students through higher education, the amount of competition is often leaving many graduates frustrated, exhausted, disappointed and either unemployed or not in the type of job they ever envisaged after they went through clearing some four years before

But graduates who do their careers homework can easily improve their chances, and still get into the career they desire.

Graduate jobs
There are five questions that any job seeker, including graduates, should resolve before and then while looking for a job:

What do I offer: skills, qualifications, experiences
What do I seek to do: job in which market, level, geography and income
What does the market want: is what I am looking for actually being recruited for at present? If not, go and look again at (2)
What does employer specifically seek: think about company and its culture, as much as the job
What does that employer/job offer you: what could you write on your CV after doing the job for two years? That’s what you are taking to the next position/employer, that is what progresses your career
Graduate scheme
While most job seekers have some considerable length of skills application, most graduates – even including your part time or weekend job – do not have trade or market specific skills that are immediately deployable. So what do employers look for?

The best way to answer this question is to think about what type of “job” they are offering you. Graduate scheme are designed to provide graduates the additional bespoke skills and training in both that companies systems/methodology and that market/specialisation. Progressing through this scheme will nominally enable you in a 12month period to fully enter their productive workforce, and most often in 24months to be a fully integrated and highly productive employee.

All graduate schemes are designed to provide you the graduate with training in suitable work experiences, turning you into a productive employee. Hence what they all need is the right basic skills and qualifications in those that they input to their scheme, plus one other important ingredient.

Graduate careers
So what do graduate employers look for in potential new hire graduates? This is best summed up in one word: chemistry. This relates wholly to your attitude to life and work, resultantly creating complimentary work chemistry between you the job applicant and them the potential employer.

It is the classical marketing sell: they are not buying the sausage, they are buying the fact that it can sizzle in the way that they require!

Hence it is essential before applying to any graduate scheme to do research on the company, and understand their corporate approach and their corporate social systems. Firstly it gives you an advantage in your job application, and secondly it means that you won’t end up in an organisation that doesn’t suit you.

Job application advantage?
So how do you go about researching a companies approach and social structure? Firstly, although the majority of companies these days will have a careers or recruitment section to their website, also look thoroughly at their main website and press coverage. What you are looking for is signs of how they and their people address problems and their customers needs, not just the nice things that they are trying to sell to you.

Secondly, look for online discussions about the company, and places where their social media presence meets either their market, their customers or their suppliers. What questions are being asked, and how are they answered?

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