Graduate job hunt 2.0

This is an article by Laura Smith.
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First came the credit crunch, then the recession. We’re now facing the hardest part of all: the cuts.

Laura Smith: graduate job seeker

We’ve had the tough news, now it’s time to do something about it. It’s no longer about saving money individually but collectively instead, in what David Cameron likes to term the ‘Big Society’.

The internet has seen a boom in websites offering money-saving tips and ways to make our salaries go further, but what about those who don’t yet have a secure income, and further still, aren’t looking at gaining one in the near future?

This year will see yet another large number of students graduating with fantastic results, but what use are hard-earned degrees if the country has no jobs to offer?

Not all doom and gloom

How bad is the graduate jobs market? Obviously this varies depending on the field you’re graduating into, and it may not be all doom and gloom, especially when it comes to PR and the creative industries.

Failure and a lack of prospects sells newspapers, but as with all newspaper copy we should take what we read with a pinch of salt.

Companies still need employees. Our degrees aren’t pointless after all. I must reiterate I cannot speak for every industry out there, but in the grand scheme of things there are still jobs to be done and seeing as we haven’t quite caught up with our space-age predictions prior to the 21st century of robots taking over every human function, there are still jobs for us to do.

The jobs are there, but the ads have gone

What I believe we are seeing is not a slow down in recruitment as the media reports, but that companies are looking to save money. They’re saving it by spending less on advertising rather than halting recruitment altogether.

I’ll use myself as an example. Scouring The Guardian’s website for jobs does seem to lead to the conclusion that if I don’t want to work in sales and marketing then I may as well give up now.

However, an alternative job search via contacts on Twitter tells me differently. By cutting out the middle man I have secured myself two interviews. Both of these came from a ‘I’ll pass your CV on’ scenario, costing the company absolutely nothing in advertising.

The difficulty for companies is that they may not receive a wider range of applications as in conventional job advertising. But it costs them nothing and if they don’t find the applicant they’re looking for then a quick tweet or notice on their website will soon alter that. I believe it’s not only due to the recession, but also a sign of where we’re heading.

Being a media student and taking a close look at trends in PR and social media has told me this is generally the way things are going, spending cuts or not.

The problem is not the recession, but competition

So now we can look at applications in a different way, the problem is not recession, but competition. Many students in the last few years have opted to study what I like to think of as ‘open degrees’; degrees which don’t specifically lead into only one career. Not only do we have to fight off other graduates from different subjects, but those who are still scouring the market from last year.

Professionals are all offering the same advice to students hoping to begin a career during these financially unstable times: promote yourself. By blogging, tweeting and networking you are more likely to succeed if companies recognise your name, no matter how unstable the economy may be.


  1. Brialliant post. I completely agree. I was one of the several graduates at the peak of the recession. And luckily for me, I could find a good graduate job after a hiccup. I did have to compromise with what I was exactly looking for and then, as things got better- I jumped jobs to get into what I love doing!

    So, this post completely reiterates that there are graduate jobs but not well publicised. In a way, it is good as a deserving graduate will definitely find the opportunity and his/her way into the employment world.

    Really enjoyed reading this post as it is encouraging.
    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Great post – in a time when all we hear is that there aren’t any graduate jobs its lovely to find a positive post – the jobs are out there – you just have to look for them!!

  3. Its such as you read my mind! You seem to grasp a lot approximately this, like you wrote the e book in it or something. I believe that you can do with a few % to force the message home a little bit, however instead of that, this is fantastic blog. A fantastic read. I will certainly be back.

  4. Your last point is especially true and lines up with the recent statistics. The jobs are still out there it’s just the amount of competition for the graduate roles that can be disheartening when you receive yet another rejection letter. There are currently around 60 graduates applying for each graduate job so you need to make yourself stand out from the crowd, market yourself, by blogging, forum posts, set up your own site anything that lets people know who you are. The bigger presence you have on the internet the better!


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