Be a standout candidate & land your first graduate job with our top tips

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FEWER than one in six graduates seeking their first job have been successful since the pandemic hit in March, new research reveals.

And only two thirds still feel positive about their prospects, with confidence levels plummeting 20 per cent in a year, the study, by staffing firm Walters People, shows.

Less than one in six grads seeking their first job have been successful since the pandemic hit

To help this troubled generation of university leavers, Monday saw the launch of the first National Graduate Week.

Set up by job experts Careermap, the event features free online talks, webinars from key graduate recruiters and events focusing on the sectors that are still hiring.

Today’s itinerary includes a talk from campaign group UK Music on how graduates can help launch innovations in the music industry.

Spokeswoman Sharon Walpole said: “Entry-level jobs are hard to come by at the moment, and they are more competitive than they have been in a long time.

“It has never been so important to put the extra leg work in to set you apart from your competition.

“In the current convoluted job market, it is important that graduates are given all the necessary resources, tools and insight to provide them with the platform to secure their dream job.”

  • See nationalgraduateweek.co.uk

HOW TO CLINCH FIRST JOB

WITH graduate jobs at a premium, how you apply and perform at interview is vital.

Here, Rob Worrall, of accountancy and business advisory firm BDO LLP, shares his tips on how to be a standout candidate.

Mockup an interview and ask friends and family to help you practice

  1. Know your strengths. Your covering letter or application form is your first impression so make it count. Employers want to know where you can offer real value, what positive attributes you might bring to a team and, of course, what you are passionate about.
  2. Be prepared. Before you apply, research the company and its clients. LinkedIn can be a great tool to get to know a bit more about a company and its culture.
  3. Mock up an interview. If you haven’t had much interview experience, ask friends and family to help you practise or use one of the many online tools available.
  4. Ask questions. At interview, be inquisitive and don’t be afraid to ask about things that may not have been answered through your own research.
  5. Be yourself. Businesses are powered by people, and people give a company its DNA. It is important to be professional, but your interviewer will want to see the real you, too.
  • For graduate jobs at BDO LLP see bdoearlyincareer.co.uk/graduate-programme.

‘LEARNED SO MUCH’

EVERY little helps but Tesco is taking on lots of graduates for its popular 2021 scheme.

The supermarket needs 100 new starters across its finance, tech, business and store training programmes. Applicants need a minimum 2:2 degree or predicted result.

Trainee Ammar Younis said: ‘I’ve learnt so much through hands-on experience’

Emma Taylor, people director, said: “We’re looking for self-motivated and entrepreneurially-spirited graduates, who can work collaboratively in our business.”

Recent trainee Ammar Younis, 23, from North London, said: “I’ve learnt so much through hands-on experience and useful training such as how to present with confidence, resilience and empathy courses. I’ve worked on some great plastic packaging projects such as the refillable and the unwrapped schemes, where we’ve unwrapped all our multipack cans.”

Apply now at tesco-programmes.com/graduates.