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Five things that hold back graduate job seekers

What you don’t know, that you need to know

Are you one of hundreds of recent graduates in East London, applying for those high flying graduate jobs you hoped your degree would open the doors to – only to find you’re not getting to the interview stage let alone getting the job. Did you know that only 15% of graduates get a graduate role on completion of their degree?

Employers may not tell you why they are not offering you the job, so you may still feel that your approach is a good one.


Before you continue to apply, read this. 

Here’s what you need to know, if you are trying to get your first graduate job.

1 All degrees are not equal

Some universities are highly respected and well thought of by employers and feature in the Top 20 lists of universities to attend…and some are not. Is your university one of these sought after institutions - and what you can do about it if it’s not?

2 Your CV/application – spelling, structure and content

Around 200 applications are received seconds after a job is posted. An employer/recruiter spends 5-7 seconds looking at a CV. They consider a whole range of things within those few seconds, including your personal profile, how clear the structure is and, crucially, spelling and grammar. How do you know if your CV is fit for purpose in order to get you that interview?

3 Your competition – it’s not just your fellow students

So you’ve graduated top of your class with a first class honours degree. However, your competition is not just coming from your cohort. Some of them attended one of those “Top 20” universities and they may be going for the same job as you. What can you do to ensure you get to interview stage and get that job?

4 Your family network – who you know AND who knows you.

80% of jobs are now not posted on job boards – they are only accessible through word of mouth and networking. Your network may be your family and friends – but they may not know about any jobs you can apply for. So if it’s not our Mum, Dad or your best friend – who is it and how do you connect with them?

5 Looking the part at interview

Congrats! You’ve landed an interview and everyone tells you to “dress to impress” But what does that mean? Is what you wore to your graduation ok or what you wear going out with friends? How do you know what’s appropriate and what’s not?

Find out the answers to these questions, and more, by signing up to our two-day careers programme on 30, 31 Oct. To claim your free place email 


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