Graduate vacancies are up! But there’s a catch

The results of the Association of Graduate Recruiters‘ most recent survey of their members (typically the large employers with their large graduate scheme intakes) have been announced and there is good news to report. The report finds that those UK employers are reporting a 17% increase in the number of graduate vacancies this year compared to the previous graduate season. Positive news!

The perplexing additional news is that 23% of these employers still had unfilled vacancies at the end of the 2013 recruitment period. Anecdotally, graduate employers suggest this trend is continuing in 2014. It’s a sobering message. A growing graduate job market doesn’t mean the competition is any less fierce.

As Stephen Isherwood, Chief Executive of the AGR, says Continue Reading


How to demonstrate your interest in an organisation in cover letters and application forms without sounding bland, pedantic, predictable and unconvincing

One of the most common questions careers advisers get asked by students is “What should I say about why I am interested in a particular organisation in cover letters and application forms?”. Students often say that they find it hard to differentiate between one organisation and  another.

Avoiding bland replies to this question is crucial, yet everyday in the Careers Centre, bland and predictable statements are what we are presented with to check over! Whether an investment bank, law firm, technology start up, hospital trust or secondary school – all organisations are looking for a personalised approach that reflects more than surface level website research.  Without evidencing this, you will probably not get beyond the application stage. So here are some ideas:

  • Evidence knowledge of the organisation’s core values and culture. Show you share their values by perhaps Continue Reading

Always read the label: part 3 of 3

A parable exists of a recruiter that specifically asked for candidates to give them descriptions of each of their work experiences that each time covered (1) what their main duties and responsibilities were, (2) a key challenge they overcame in the role and (3) what they learnt about themselves as a result.

The recruiter rejected every candidate that did not answer all 3 parts of the question. Which just happened to be 6 out of 10 applicants.

This isn’t just a parable. It’s also a true story. Always read the label.


Always read the label: part 2 of 3

A parable exists of a recruiter that specifically asked for candidates to give them one example of a time when they’d worked as part of a team in the competency section of their online applications form.  The recruiter rejected every candidate that gave them more than one example of doing this. Which just happened to be 3 out of 10 applicants.

This isn’t just a parable. It’s also a true story. Always read the label.


Always read the label: part 1 of 3

A parable exists of a recruiter that included an instruction in the job description of the graduate job for candidates to reply by email with their cv and cover letter and include in the subject header of the email the job reference number and job title.

The recruiter immediately rejected every candidate that did not follow that instruction. Which just happened to be 9 out of 10 applicants.

This isn’t just a parable. It’s also a true story. Always read the label.


There’s no deadline ≠ there’s no rush!

A couple of students have said to me lately that they are applying for placements, internships or graduate schemes but that they are not in a rush because “there is no deadline”, or that the employer does “ongoing recruitment”. I thought I would write this post to clear some confusion.

What does “no deadline” or “ongoing recruitment” actually mean? Certainly, it doesn’t mean that you can rest on your laurels! Continue Reading


It’s obvious really, isn’t it? Quantity versus quality

The problem with relying on statistics to prove a point is that it’s always possible to find a statistic to back up any given point you want to make. However, I couldn’t help but smile when reading www.graduate-jobs.com recent survey where lo and behold it was found that “the lower the number of job applications students have made, the more likely they are to have succeeded in securing invitations to interviews“. So, fewer better quality applications seem to work more than more poorer quality ones. Which is your approach at the moment? And are you prepared to change it if it isn’t working?


Snapshot: One week to deadline

Only one week left to apply for the Snapshot: Your Insight into Industry Scheme!

If you haven`t yet applied for the Snapshot: Your Insight into Industry Scheme, this is the time to do it!

With the applications deadline fast approaching (Thursday, 31st October 2013), you have 7 more days to put in an amazing application and to get an interview for a place on the Scheme.

What are you waiting for?

You are missing out on….

…participating in challenges and team-building exercises – some are run by us and others will be facilitated by top recruiters.

…taking part in community fundraising projects and receiving funding to get you started with your entrepreneurial ideas.

…meeting with employers and Alumni from your chosen industry(ies) of interest.

…being awarded prizes, personalised references and employability scholarships.

…taking part in some cool social activities for you to network with your peers.

Put your application in today by going online to: http://www.city.ac.uk/careers/for-students-and-recent-graduates/insight-into-industry

With love from the Employer Liaison corner – Victoria


Tailor your cv! But what does that actually mean?

The cv season is upon us!

Tis the season to get your cv up to scratch to win that fabulous part-time job, internship, placement or graduate scheme. In the next few weeks, my colleagues and I will be checking some 250 cvs per week. One of the messages that you will hear us repeating each time is that your cv must be tailored to the job for which you are applying. But what does that actually mean? Continue Reading


A warm welcome from the Senior Careers Consultant!

I’d just like to add a really warm welcome to our new and returning students. Plus as with every year I’d also like to emphasise that we are very much your career service no matter which school you belong to. The autumn term is our busiest period – particular October. This is no surprise since we understand the importance of applying for internships and graduate schemes to secure a future. Many of these you will be aware have already opened. Some may have even opened at the tail end of the summer.

Our short (20 minute) appointments are perfect for advice and support on opportunity search and applications. Then as you move to the later part of the term you may wish to take advantage of our longer (45 minute) appointments either for career guidance and coaching or a mock interview.

To help you get off to a flying start we have also put together some excellent workshops (our Skills Session + Plus + series) run by our professionally qualified team of Careers Consultants. These focus on essential topics which will aid you in gaining that key opportunity. They are designed also to help you accelerate the time it takes to prepare an application or for selection.

For appointments and events, which include our workshops please go to: www.city.ac.uk/careers

All the best for the coming year! We very much look forward to meeting you and accelerating your career!