Graduating this summer and not got a job yet? Don’t panic!

 

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Graduating this summer and not got a job yet? Don’t panic!

 

The study and exams are finally over, and you are now thinking about your next steps. Whether that is postgraduate study, or a move into the jobs market, you know it is time to focus on the future.

Here are our top reasons you shouldn’t worry about not having a job lined up by graduation day.

  1. You have time to focus now

By waiting until after you finish to secure that job of your dreams you are now able to put proper energy into your job quest. Finding the right opportunities, crafting your applications and attending interviews all take time. Time you now have to focus on your job search.

  1. Graduate jobs are available all year round

The big ‘grad schemes’ may recruit each autumn for starts the following year – but the majority of employers recruit when a vacancy arises, and that can be at any time!

Just look at www.gradsouthwest.com to see jobs for recent graduates in the South West available right now!

  1. Many employers want immediate starts

Applying now that you are available for work, and being ready to start straight away is a positive for employers. They don’t have to wait on you finishing your studies.

  1. Get experience and test out ideas

If you’re not sure what to do, this time once you have finished your exams is perfect to explore your options: spend time volunteering; do part-time / temporary work in different fields or sectors; travel; learn what you want to do; and gain valuable experience to boost your CV. And then when you are ready to apply for positions on your chosen career path you will have the focus you need to secure your ideal role. (Don’t forget you can always change your mind… people have multiple portfolio careers nowadays!)

  1. Need a few pointers?

Have a look at our CV and covering letter advice to get you going!

 

Dr Deborah Watson

Director, Gradsouthwest

Careers Fair Top Tips for Students

We recently attended the University of Bath’s Careers Fair and it was fantastic event, with lots of different businesses and opportunities for students. Having a load of recruiters together under one roof can make things a lot easier for job-hunting grads, it’s like Gradsouthwest come to life in the real world. Great opportunities and a good chance to get some exposure to different companies, to put yourself out there and make yourself known, after chatting to the recruiters at the fair we’ve put together our top tips to make sure you make the most out of your day.

To find out what our top tips are, go to Our Careers Fair Top Tips for Students and make the most of your day!

 

Nick Crawley

Gradsouthwest

Invitation: Stakeholder Workshop for #TalentSW campaign – 26 April, from 10am-1pm, Plymouth Science Park

In 2016, the UK Commission for Employment and Skills found that there were over 70,000 job openings in the South West region and around 17,000 of them difficult to fill because of a lack of skilled recruits. The number of job vacancies going unfilled, is reported to be linked to candidates lacking appropriate skills, and the FSB (2015) found that this is the third biggest barrier to growth.

Devon and Cornwall Business Council are therefore developing a campaign in partnership with Gradsouthwest and the Western Morning News to promote the region as an excellent place to build a career, with the aim of attracting and retaining highly skilled people. This campaign will be aimed at both graduate skills, and individuals who have developed their skills base throughout their working history.

Thus, we would like to invite you to join us on Wednesday 26th April, from 10:00 till 13:00 at Plymouth Science Park for a stakeholder workshop. At this session, we will identify what’s currently being delivered in support of this agenda, what’s working well and what’s not, and where the gap’s are. We want to pinpoint the challenges that we face as a region, and develop innovative approaches working towards overcoming them, which will form the basis of our campaign activity.

We would really value your input at the event, to help to inform and focus our efforts.

If this is something that you would like to get involved with, please register your interest via our Eventbrite page – here.

We hope to see you there,

Ben Rhodes (CEO DCBC) and Deborah Watson (Director Gradsouthwest)

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Talented people needed to build careers in region

FindingWMN-Article-30Mar17-02 the right skills for the job is no easy task in the South West.

In 2016, the UK Commission for Employment and Skills found that there were over 70,000 job openings in the South West region and around 17,000 of them difficult to fill because of a lack of skilled recruits.[1]

The number of job vacancies going unfilled, is reported to be linked to candidates lacking appropriate skills, and the FSB (2015) found that this is the third biggest barrier to growth.

Devon and Cornwall Business Council are therefore partnering with Gradsouthwest and the Western Morning News to develop a campaign to promote the region as an excellent place to build a career, with the aim of attracting and retaining highly skilled people.

With unfilled vacancies, and untapped potential, business growth and our continued prosperity will require employers to retain and upgrade the skills they already have, and to attract more highly skilled people to work within the South West.

Aligned with the South West Growth Charter’s commitment to “invest in productive people and retain talent within our region”, our first job is to develop a strong and inclusive partnership of employers, educators and regional champions.

Launched at DCBC’s spring budget conference, our aim is to focus on the key industries in which we excel, where the potential for building a career here is assured.

Therefore, we want you to join us and showcase your opportunities in comparison to those in other major cities, with the added benefits of living and working in the South West. In return you will be part of a national campaign, and receive help to attract, retain and develop the talent that your business needs.

Ben Rhodes, CEO of DCBC said “This campaign will need to be different and innovative in its approach. We need to inspire talented people to build their careers in the SW and to do that we need inspiring companies. We aim to champion the best companies from across the SW, to highlight those who have already chosen to build their careers here and to seek out those who might”

Dr Deborah Watson, director of Gradsouthwest, the region’s specialist graduate job board said “retaining graduate skills in the area is crucial for future jobs and business growth and recent graduates are often unaware of the careers open to them here in the region. Our aim is to make businesses consider recruiting new talent, and to encourage students to work here.”

As well as graduate skills, we recognise employers are also keen to employ individuals who have developed their skills base throughout their working history.

If this sounds like something you want to get involved with, to begin to overcome the skills and productivity shortage not only in your business, but also here in the region, please get in touch via campaigns@dcbc.co.uk / admin@gradsouthwest.com or tag us with #TalentSW and we will contact you with a range of opportunities and a timetable of activities.

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[1] http://www.tbebathandsomerset.co.uk/skills-shortages-leave-17000-of-south-wests-jobs-unfilled/

 

 

Avoid the #1 Graduate CV Error

We see a lot of CVs. And we know it’s really hard to make sure they’re perfect. But there’s one area where we see lots of graduates shooting themselves in the foot; attention to detail.

Attention to detail is important. Recruiters like it. But if you’re going to claim you have it, you’d better be sure that your CV is absolutely perfect – and that’s not easy. Even when you’ve spent hours on it and checked it the requisite a million and one times.

The problem is clear. As soon as you claim you have attention to detail, anyone reading your CV will immediately be looking for evidence or counter evidence.

Here’s an example of where things go badly wrong – an amalgamation of the most common errors we’ve seen in CVs lately. How many errors can you find?

errors

So, what to do?

Well firstly, do you really need to include ‘attention to detail’? It’s not generally a skill prioritised for graduates so maybe you should use the space to give evidence of something else. Creativity? Initiative? Teamwork? Ability to learn?

And if you must include it, can you get three people to check your CV first? Don’t just ask them to read it but ask them to find  five mistakes in it. Even better, take your CV to your university careers service to give it the once over.

Few skills as attention to detail are so easily debunked. And, when they are it makes recruiters sceptical about the other skills you list. So exercise caution – or extreme proof reading and checking – before you claim Attention 2 detailed.

Do you see what we did there? Recruiters certainly will…..

Charlotte Weston

Charlotte is a graduate with many years’ experience in both large and small organisations. She now works as a consultant to a range of SMEs across the south west and is a Non-Executive Director of Gradsouthwest.

Just Jobs. Fabulous Graduate Jobs.

Because sometimes we just want to cut to the chase and show you what we do best….

Head on over to www.gradsouthwest.com to check out these beauties.

Latest jobs

What are students telling us?‏

Speaking to students and graduates is one of the great CareersFlierMarch16things about working with Gradsouthwest. Having spent last Friday at the University of Exeter’s Creative, Public and Third Sector Careers Fair we were mulling over the many conversations we had with students and a few things sprung out as worthy of a blog post.

 

Messages for Employers:
1. Students are actively thinking about their careers from the earliest stages of University. We spoke to many first year students, who still have at least two to three years at University, but they were at the Careers Fair seeking information about the jobs available locally: summer placements, longer internships and permanent jobs for when they graduate. We’d certainly encourage employers to consider offering more summer placements and internships: they are a great way for the employer to get an extra pair of hands and some fresh eyes/new ideas and for the students to get real experience. Summer placements and internships can be seen as a long job interview and can lead to permanent employment at graduation when both the employer and student hit it off.


20160311_123551.jpg2. Many of the students were heading towards dissertation deadlines in the run up to Easter… so we think employers need to give plenty of time on their closing dates at the moment to enable applicant’s to do a good job on their applications. Recruiters: if you want to add a couple of weeks to your job advert with us, we’ll do our bit to help you and our students and will add the extra time for free. Just tell us if you want us to add an extra couple of weeks.


Messages for students:
3. Lots of the students we spoke to were unaware of the great opportunities for recent graduates to work in the South West. When we showed them the jobs currently available they were pleasantly surprised. Many students wanted to remain local, but didn’t know if it would be possible – it is! We recommended registering with Gradsouthwest to get a better feel for the local graduate jobs market.


4. A few of those we spoke to really didn’t know what they wanted to do upon graduation. We recommended thinking about the things they love, the skills they have (or want to develop) and the type of work they’d like to do. We also recommended looking at what types of graduate jobs were currently available, what employers were seeking in terms of skills and experience, and thinking about what they could do before they graduate to fill the gaps.


So if you are a student considering a career here in the South West then we would recommend you register for our job alerts. This way you will get a feel for the employers and the types of jobs available in your chosen field. And if you haven’t chosen your field yet, keep the search wide and use the job alerts as a way to test what is out there – something you see may inspire you!


Gradsouthwest attends the University of Exeter Careers Fair


Finally, we wish all those we spoke to graduating this summer all the very best in their finals and imminent job search – good luck!


Dr Deborah Watson, Director Gradsouthwest

Our 2015 Highlights

2015 was a momentous year for Gradsouthwest with the management buy-out of the service in June 2015 ensuring the continuation of this well respected service for graduates and employers.  Initially founded in 2001 by SW university careers departments, the service is now run by a small group of experienced graduates and still enjoys the support of universities in the south west peninsula.

Over the summer of 2015 we launched this blog to enable us to share our experience with both graduates looking for jobs and employers wanting to recruit.  We hope you find it useful.  Our most popular post was “Why graduate training schemes are seen as the gold standard. And why you should re-think.”  Click on the link to read it if you missed it first time.

September 2015 saw the redevelopment of the platform meaning that our tried and tested service to match great graduates with great jobs got better:

Better for candidates
Great jobs for recent graduates plus:
– Job browsing open to all
– Use social media to register
Upload your CV to get in front of recruiters
– Apply online with one-click applications
– Manage your applications online

Better for recruiters
Unlimited access to graduate talent plus:
– Higher visibility for your vacancy
– More candidates
– New CV database – browse before you buy
– Alerts when new talent registers
– Streamlined Post a Job and payment options

Our closely targeted approach focuses on quality and relevance – and it works!  On average each vacancy receives 6 quality applications.

GSW%20Small%20infographic-AvAppsandQuote

We’re passionate about what we do and we’ll go the extra mile to help so talk to us!

And finally, over 2015 we have continued to build our social media presence, and here are our year end stats:

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Let’s make 2016 a year of new opportunities, new jobs and new employees.  Happy browsing to all our candidates and recruiters – now go find each other!

Dr Deborah Watson
Director, Gradsouthwest Ltd.
Images from:
Piktochart

Gradsouthwest delivers on the ground support for students and graduates

Over the past few weeks Gradsouthwest has been helping students and graduates with their next career steps by working directly with Universities and Colleges at their recent events.  We have seen literally hundreds of students and new graduates as they enter the graduate job market in the south west.

University of St Mark & St John - Graduation November 2015

On the 28 and 29th October we were at the University of St Mark & St John’s graduation ceremonies held at the Guildhall in Plymouth.  What a couple of fantastic days we had celebrating graduation and providing all the graduands with careers material to help them with their job hunting.

From early years studies to sports science, from BA’s to PhD’s, Gradsouthwest were on hand to provide advice and information on our services. It was great to hear so many had secured a graduate job since finishing their degree, particularly those completing their PGCE’s. However we were able to highlight some great job opportunities to those Marjon graduates that were still looking for their first dream graduate job, many of whom wanted to stay in Plymouth, Devon or the surrounding area.

Gradsouthwest were delighted to be part of this important event and work alongside the employability team who showed their heartfelt admiration for their graduands.

This week we were again in Plymouth – but this time at Plymouth College of Art at their employability festival for 2nd and 3rd years “I’m a creative, what next?”  We had the pleasure of meeting some of the college students considering the options available to them and the types of graduate job in Plymouth. We were pleased to answer questions about the graduate job market as well as the importance of gaining experience with a summer or industrial placement. Several of the students were keen to find out more about the jobs in the creative industries in Plymouth, Devon.

Gradsouthwest are looking forward to returning in early February to present to the final year students at Plymouth College of Art discussing CV’s and the graduate application process.

We will be appearing again throughout the year at various careers and employability events including:

  • Plymouth College of Arts – Feb 2016
  • University of Exeter – May 2016
  • Falmouth University – dates tbc
  • University of St Mark & St John – dates tbc
  • Petroc – dates tbc

If you’d like us to attend one of your events then please do get in touch – we will if we can!

Fiona Boyd, Gradsouthwest Ltd.

Fiona is a Management and Public Relations graduate from the University of St Mark and St John, having specialised in customer relations for the last 14 years with specialisms in website account management. She is proud to be a dedicated member of the Gradsouthwest team and remaining in Plymouth to help manage the day to day service of this well renowned graduate job board.

Graduate Outcomes feature in Government’s HE Green paper

The UK Government has just released its Higher Education Green Paper “Fulfilling our Potential: Teaching Excellence, Social Mobility and Student Choice”, BIS/15/623. This is a wide ranging consultation, but there are interesting aspects of it that will drive a greater focus on graduate employability and career paths after graduation. Why? Because it is recognised that employers want highly skilled graduates who are ready to enter the workforce; and that the country needs people with the knowledge and expertise to help us compete at a global level.

The foreword by Jo Johnson MP, Minister of State for Universities and Science states: “While employers report strong demand for graduate talent, they continue to raise concerns about the skills and job readiness of too many in the graduate labour pool. Recent indications that the graduate earnings gap is in decline, and that significant numbers of graduates are going into non-graduate jobs, reinforce the need for action.”

So what is proposed? A Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) – a mechanism to identify and incentivise the highest quality teaching to drive up standards in higher education, deliver better quality for students and employers and better value for taxpayers. One of the aims of the TEF is to help employers to identify and recruit graduates with the skills they require by providing better and clearer information about courses and degree outcomes.

Here are some statements from the consultation that put the proposals into context.

  • Demand continues to be strong for employees with high level skills; over half of the 14.4 million jobs expected to become vacant between 2012 and 2022 are in occupations more likely to employ graduates[1]. However, at least 20% of graduates are not working in high skilled employment three and a half years after graduation[2], and most employers of STEM graduates are concerned about shortages of high quality applicants[3].
  • More needs to be done to ensure that providers offering the highest quality courses are recognised and that teaching is valued as much as research. Students expect better value for money; employers need access to a pipeline of graduates with the skills they need; and the taxpayer needs to see a broad range of economic and social benefits generated by the public investment in our higher education system.
  • The average graduate is expected to earn comfortably in excess of £100,000 more over their working life compared to someone with only 2 or more A-Levels, the graduate earnings premium is less evident for many and non-existent for some. At least 20% of graduates are not working in high skilled employment three and a half years after graduation[2].
  • Information about the quality of teaching is also vital to UK productivity. In an increasingly globalised world, the highest returns go to the individuals and economies with the highest skills. However, the absence of information about the quality of courses, subjects covered and skills gained makes it difficult for employers to identify and recruit graduates with the right level of skills and harder for providers to know how to develop and improve their courses. For example, the Association of Graduate Recruiters (2015) found that almost a quarter of employers had open vacancies because they couldn’t find the right skills in the most recent graduate cohort[4].

And why is this really important to employers? As the consultation says in para.14 “TEF should also prove a good deal for employers and the taxpayer. The aim is to improve the teaching that students receive, which in turn should increase their productivity and help them secure better jobs and careers. It should enable employers to make more informed choices about the graduates they recruit, providing better understanding of the range of skills and knowledge they bring from their course, and deliver graduates who are more work ready following an active engagement in their studies. With higher returns, more graduates will be able to pay back more of their loans, reducing the amount that needs to be subsidised by the taxpayer in the longer term. This is on top of the benefits to taxpayers from having a stronger economy powered by a higher skilled workforce.”

For more on the consultation go to: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/higher-education-teaching-excellence-social-mobility-and-student-choice

Dr Deborah Watson, Director, Gradsouthwest Ltd.

[1] UKCES Working Futures 2012-2022 report – https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/298510/working-futures-2012-2022-mainreport.pdf
[2] Longitudinal Destinations of Leavers from HE 10/11 – https://www.hesa.ac.uk/dlhelong1011_contents

[3] Understanding Employers’ Graduate Recruitment and Selection Practices – BIS research report 231, forthcoming publication

[4] “Mind the skills gap –whose responsibility is it?” (NCUB, 2015)