21 September 2009 09:02 AM

10 Top Tips for Graduates: Finding a Job in a Recession

As a recent graduate you may find searching for a job a struggle in the current economic climate. There are still jobs out there but they are harder to get because more people will be going for them. You will need to think about your job-hunting strategy a little more. Here are our top ten tips for recession survival.
Review your CV 

As the job market gets tougher, it's even more important to pay attention to the fundamentals. Companies will not bother with CVs that display typos and grammatical errors.  Think about the overall layout and emphasise relevant and interesting achievements.
Utilise several job search options
Take advantage of all career fairs and campus visits by employers. Use job boards and Prospects. Recruiters also work with Facebook and Twitter. On LinkedIn you can find the company you're interested in, look up the manager and email them to discuss an internship.
Use your university careers service 

Make sure you make the most of your university’s career service. You can access online resources, vacancy services and talk to an advisor to arrange work experience and review your longer term options. Usually you can use careers services up to two years after you graduate.
Have a Plan B
Be flexible about what you’re prepared to do. Don't be afraid to take a lower level job to get some experience. Also, consider brushing up on your languages. Many employers need graduates who can operate globally. Increasing the sectors and geographical area you are willing to work in will increase the opportunities available to you.
Consider paid or unpaid work experience
Get work experience, voluntary work, or any job that can build on your skills or give you the opportunity to shine. Temping could lead to a permanent job or you could negotiate a three month trial period with the company you want to work for. If you don’t take any action then you may struggle to find a job.
Use your contacts and network
When employers do hire in a recession, they tend to ask their employees for referrals to fill a job as it's cheaper than advertising. Make the most of your informal and formal networks. You can also speak to recruiters at campus fairs and employer presentations.
Apply early
When you see a job advertised, respond as quickly as you can. Even if a company doesn't specify a closing date, make sure your application reaches them as soon as possible. If you apply speculatively to employers who aren't actively recruiting then do it at least three months before you want to start.
Further study
You are applying for jobs where hundreds of applicants have good degrees. If you can show that you have taken your study a step further it may benefit you. Do not automatically consider returning to university as your first alternative when the job search gets tough, unless you believe it will add to your employability.
Consider setting up your own business
If you have ambition and a good idea, it's worth a try soon after you graduate. There is a lot of free information available on starting a business. Banks have useful information packs and Business Link also provides practical advice. Maybe we’ll see you on Dragon’s Den soon!
Take a break and travel
Employers are generally positive about graduates taking time out to travel or work abroad, but only if the experience benefits and skills are gained. If you want to start a graduate job on your return, you need to investigate application deadlines before you go.
Guest blog post by Nikki founder of My CV and Me - CV Writing offering high quality graduate CVs, cover letters and interview coaching.

16 September 2009 11:15 AM

Graduate Jobs and Social Networking: Bridge building between Industry Professionals and Students

This is the first in a series of guest blogs by our über intern Natasha who has spent the summer with CareerPlayer

07.30 AM: Bran flakes, coffee and Facebook.

If anyone assesses my Facebook page they will establish that it is a place where my friends, family, past and present can connect to me at any time of the day. However, it's not only friends and family that we can establish constructive connections with via online networking. 

After five weeks at CareerPlayer I have realized that there are a myriad of tools that students can use to find graduate jobs. There is one tool in particular that I feel compelled to bring to your attention. Social networks! Social networks are excellent for facilitating the search for a graduate placement. “Identify what your goals are and surround yourself with the people you need to help you achieve them.” This is easier than ever before!

Twitter is my top recommendation for connecting with graduate employers. Twitter is a brilliant tool for you to broadcast what you want out of your graduate career. However, that alone is not enough. You must make sure that the right people are listening! By ‘following’ the leaders in your target industry you can grab the attention of your future employers. It is a fantastic opportunity for you to gain answers to your questions. In addition, you gain an invaluable insight into the finest minds in the business! You can find out what they watch, read and even eat! This increases the ease of understanding the people and the mechanics of the industry you intend to work in. Through maximizing your knowledge, you maximize the chances of you landing your dream graduate job! Twitter may also help prevent you making any fatal graduate career mistakes. Linking with potential employers and colleagues will enable you to paint a picture of the personality of a company. Don’t like what you see? Then you can immediately eliminate them as a target employer. Therefore, saving time in applying for a graduate position in a company you will loathe working for. 

LinkedIn is a network that is fantastic for connecting with business professionals. LinkedIn is similar to most social networks in the sense that you can exchange messages with industry experts. However, there is the additional opportunity to read their CV’s. This will help you better establish how people achieved their current positions.    

And of course we cannot forget our beloved Facebook! Loads of graduate employers are starting to create pages on Facebook so it's easier than ever before to interact with companies you're interested in...just be careful your profile reflects the kind of image you'd want then to see. You want catch their attention for the right reasons...

Graduate job hunting is certainly no walk in the park! Let the friends in your network know what you're looking for and allow them to support you online via posting valuable newspaper articles, videos and links. “I saw this and thought of you” could now enable you to nail your first graduate job!

For further information, keep your eyes peeled for the CareerPlayer video on social networking coming soon...

12 September 2009 03:52 PM

Graduate Job Deadlines for September

Slightly mixed bag of Graduate Job deadlines this month. If you're still in the market, below are some to look out for. And don't forget our big brother CareerPlayer for all the insights and advice you'll need to nail your application.

Graduate Jobs in IT

25.09.09 EMCOR IT Application Systems Support Analyst

29.09.09 Customer Systems Graduate IT Application Consultant

(send CV and covering letter to mrrecruit@customersystems.com)

General Graduate Training Schemes

15.09.09 Interconnector Graduate Trainee 

Graduate Jobs in Retail

14.09.09 Mothercare Graduate Merchandising Assistant

15.09.09 Arcadia Graduate Branch Merchandiser

26.0.09 Next Graduate Trainee Merchandisers

Graduate Jobs in Property

16.09.09 Urban Owners Graduate Trainee Property Manager

(send CV and covering letter to jobs@UrbanOwners.co.uk)

Graduate Jobs in Finance

20.09.09 NFU Mutual Graduate Trainee Fund Manager

20.09.09 City Index Graduate Programme

20.09.09 Welbeck Graduate Financial Advisor Trainee

(send CV and covering letter to Greg Knight recruitment@welbeckwealth.com)

Graduate Jobs in Marketing

25.09.09 Electrical Safety Council Graduate Communications executive

(Send CV and covering letter to feedback@esc.org.uk)

25.09.09 Meltwater Group Graduate Social Media Sales Consultant

26 August 2009 09:15 AM

What Interviewers Say Behind Your Back...

Ever wanted to know what happens behind the scenes of a graduate interview? Does it really matter what you wear? What about where you went to University? Is landing a graduate job as much of a lottery as it seems?

Take a look at the spoof video below - something tells me this may be depressingly accurate!!

24 August 2009 09:30 AM

Graduate Jobs and Diagonal Thinking...

We love psychometric tests. Not the rubbish ones you take at school which set you up for a career in fish hatchery management. And not the ridiculous ones you get in magazines. But proper, validated and relevant tests which really help act as a weather vein - narrowing down your career options and setting you off in the right direction.

We're currently finishing-up our own fully validated psychometrics zone on CareerPlayer, which will offer something completely new to the market. It's v. exciting and we can't wait to get it up and running.

In the meantime - here's a great concept for anyone interested in graduate jobs or careers in the creative industries. During our filming in these sectors one thing that became clear was that a really key skill was left brain / right brain thinking. And it turns out this isn't just a hypothesis - it has a proper name and it's called diagonal thinking.

Diagonal thinking is the ability of successful people in advertising and marketing communications to think outstandingly well in both linear/inductive and lateral/creative ways. In 2003 the IPA set out to establish whether the most successful people in the industry had this trait and after testing 5 discipline cohorts concluded that there was indeed a strong statistical link. To find our more about the research visit the IPA site.

So. What are the top brains in commercial creativity like? According to the IPA "They're innovative, can explain concepts in both rational and emotional terms, have a broad range of interests and a passion for execution. They can be highly logical, but link ideas hitherto seen as remote from each other; they want to do work that is creative, but also for it to have a practical impact." Is that you reader? Why not take the test and find out...

If you want to get a better feel for what the creative industries are like check out our films on:

Graduate Jobs in Advertising

Graduate Jobs in Marketing

Graduate Jobs in Media Planning

Or if you just want to know your perfect celeb hairstyle - here you go!

10 August 2009 09:35 AM

How Not to Interview!

Brilliant demonstration of how to ensure you don't get employed...

Get your interviewer's name wrong, wear the wrong clothes and bring-up money immediately. Done.

26 June 2009 12:40 PM

CareerPlayer loves...

Thinking of going to university or fancy a bit of postgraduate study?

Then you're going to love a new site called UnionView. They've done for universities what we're doing for graduate jobs and careers - building a library of engaging, impartial and honest videos which knock the socks off traditional static brochures or written profiles.

You can jump through different sections of video for each uni making it really interactive and you'll be hard pushed to find an institution that hasn't been covered. 

Check them out here

09 June 2009 05:08 PM

A Brilliant Guide For Baffled Graduates...

Are you someone who's always had a 'calling'? If yes, thanks for your time your eyeballs are no longer required!

If on the other hand you don't have a scoobie on how to find the graduate job for you - then we have a treat in store.

Tanya de Grunwald is our new best friend and her book Dude, Where's My Career? is the best careers advice book we've ever read. Big claim but honestly if you're struggling to figure out what to do you HAVE to read it. This isn't your typical dry and boring career guide but one that comes from Tanya's personal experience. It's a real 'by the people, for the people, of the people' account making it light years more practical and entertaining than anything else you'll find in your career library.

We particularly like the section that helps you figure out what kind of job hunter you are. For the record...we're definitely 'Squirrels'!

Check-out her blog or read reviews and get your hands on a copy of Dude.

04 June 2009 09:08 AM

Career Fair Overload!

There are more graduate career fairs than you can shake a stick at this month. If you're still looking for a graduate job take a look at our event listings - you won't find a more comprehensive guide online.

Never been to a graduate career fair before? Take a look at our video for some tips and advice.

29 May 2009 01:00 PM

Using Twitter to land your perfect Graduate Job

Check out our latest news article on CareerPlayer for an insight into how to stay ahead of the competition by incorporating Twitter into your job search armoury. 

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