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The remnants of the recession: This year’s graduates will face tough competition for vacancies


Research from the Association of Graduate Recruiters has found that on average 48 applications are received for every graduate job – and it seems that this year’s candidates are competing not only with each other but with a ‘backlog’ of struggling 2009 graduates who completed university in the grip of an unstable economic climate.

Aware of last year’s levels of graduate unemployment, the Class of 2010 is expecting to enter into a tense graduate careers climate. A recent survey of 16,000 finalists found that most thought available entry-level positions were likely to be filled by members of last year’s graduating class, and competition as a result is extremely high.

With many employers still reporting a discrepancy between candidates’ skills base and the job attributes necessary, this year’s graduates will need an acute awareness of their own individual employability to stand out from the crowd as a suitable applicant and beat the stiff competition.

In his capacity as a senior university lecturer, and now as in-house academic consultant for Meet The Real Me, Martin Patrick has built up 20 years’ experience of academic practices and procedures in further and higher education, and he is quick to affirm the importance to undergraduates of building an awareness of transferable employment skills. He comments: “Recent graduates must be better prepared when it comes to recruitment in the climate that we are in. A university student, be they a fresher or a final—year student about to graduate, develops transferable skills. These skills may be derived experientially, but they are still of value: dynamic professional graduates with excellent communication skills attract the interest of employers. A strong candidate is aware of the strength of both personal savvy and academic skills.”


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