Curious to find out what impact the Covid-19 pandemic had on graduate recruitment? Are you a recent graduate looking for some advice? Well, you chose to open this blog so I'm guessing the answer is yes. In that case, keep reading!
Graduate Recruitment Market and Covid-19
A recent Graduate Market Report shows how the 2020/2021 graduates and the recruitment market are affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. So, let me break it down for you.
Class of 2020 vs 2021
About 50% of leading employers made budget cuts on the 2020/21 graduate recruitment period. Moreover, for some students who were offered graduate jobs in 2020, the start date was either delayed or even moved to 2021. What it means, is that the 2021 graduates will be in competition with previous years' alumnae for graduate programmes. Can anyone else see the Hunger Games reference here, or is it just me?
Graduate Recruitment Online - Hit or Miss?
Because of the Covid-19 pandemic many employers had to change their graduate programmes and graduate scheme recruiting promotions online. So, they took part in universities' online career fairs, virtual presentations and doubled down on their social media presence. The question is - "Was it successful?".
Well, the response to universities' virtual career fairs was ambiguous. Turns out, even 40% of the employers who joined the fairs didn't think they were much of a success. However, some employers have decided to not market their graduate jobs during the 2020/21 recruitment season and even 1 in 6 of them stopped targeting universities completely. Seems like not everyone here is ON the same LINE! Sorry, I had to...
Let's Stay Hopeful
Okay, things are hard but there's always a light at the end of the tunnel. First, in the 2020/21 round top employers received more than two fifths more graduate job applications than in 2019/20. Second, 50% of UK's top employers hope to offer in-person vacation placements and internships this summer. And yes, the recruitment targets are cautious and expected to fall a bit further in 2021. However, there's actually been a small rise in graduate jobs offered this year!
Dear Graduates, Here's Some Advice
Whatever you do, don't panic!
Employers are still offering graduate programmes and graduate schemes. Although it may seem like it's incredibly difficult, don't give up. Companies are always on the lookout for new talent!
No experience? No problem!
The key is to be proactive. Show your employer that you invest your time in developing your skills and can balance multiple commitments. So, go ahead and include in your CV that you were a member of that music society and volunteered at a local charity shop. Plus, the employer will understand that finding an internship or any type of work experience during the Covid-19 pandemic was more difficult than ever.
Time to show off
Did you take any online courses outside of your degree? If you did, it's your time to shine. Include any online courses you completed and make the recruiter know that you dedicate your free time to growing your skills. If you did not, don't worry! There are plenty of free and paid courses you can do online at any time that suits you.
Be a social (media) butterfly
First of all, check your email address. If it's anything like firstname.lastname@example.org, change it now to something a bit more professional. Your first and last name will work just fine.
After you're done with that, go through your social media channels and see if there's anything you'd want your future employer to see. Afterwards, go and follow the companies you'd love to work for. See what their company culture is about and look out for any vacancies they might post about.
Lastly, make your LinkedIn profile shine and connect with people. Yes, networking. I know, not everyone loves it but everyone will benefit from it. It's your opportunity to talk directly to the best in the industry and I'm sure they'll be more than happy to share their knowledge! Especially if you tell them how much you look up to them!
Stay patient and motivated
It might take some time. I know, it's the last thing you'd want to hear right now but the recruiting process takes weeks, if not months sometimes. So, don't get discouraged right away. Think of uploading your CV and setting up job alerts on recruitment websites, like ours, to get notified of vacancies that interest you.
Keep applying, working on your connections and your CV in the meanwhile. Think of what you can do to make your application stand out. Have a goal in mind and take one small step every day to get there!
Just breathe, relax and take care of yourself! Graduate scheme, career advice, student portal - things students must think about constantly. And now applying for jobs and graduate programmes?! That's a lot to take in. So, make sure you're giving yourself enough time to care for your mental and physical health. It's important if you want to crush each interview and come into work full of energy and excitement!
Safe to say the Covid-19 pandemic made recruitment even more difficult for 2020/2021 graduates. However, things seem to be slowly moving forward so let's not lose our hope and stay motivated! Plus, now with the advice I just gave you, you can apply for graduate jobs
and become a successful applicant. Good luck! And may the odds be ever in your favour!