Undergraduate Careers Manager, Hilary, shares her advice on how you can develop your employability skills whilst at university.
Caroline Egan, Alumni Careers Manager, shares the careers support that's available to our Undergraduate finalists this summer and beyond.
If you don’t have any plans yet for after graduation, or your plans have had to change as a result of Covid, WBS CareersPlus are here to support you this summer and beyond.
Finishing your degree is a big step and it’s normal to feel a bit confused, worried, or even overwhelmed by the prospect of finding your first proper job, especially if covid-19 has affected your opportunity to get work experience before trying to get a graduate job.
Finding a graduate job that’s right for you – for the foreseeable future – is a process that always takes time, but it’s particularly important this year to make a start and not just hope it will resolve itself without some effort.
What does the job market look like?
In short – really good! The latest recruitment targets for the country’s leading employers show that the number of graduate jobs on offer in 2022 is expected to increase by a further 15.7%, the largest annual rise in graduate recruitment for more than 15 years. In all the key business sectors surveyed by High Fliers for their 2022 report on the Graduate Job Market, employers are planning to expand their recruitment of new graduates in 2022. The number of graduate vacancies available is now 11% higher than the pre-pandemic peak in graduate recruitment recorded in 2019.
However, there are still a lot of new graduates out there vying for jobs so here are some positive steps you can take to build your employability skills to increase your chances of success when applying for future jobs:
Transition: It’s especially important to treat the period ahead as one of transition. Focus on building your transferrable skills: there are plenty of opportunities to volunteer at the moment, which will both reflect well on you as well as giving you valuable proof of communication and people skills. Work in hospitality – bars and restaurants (currently experiencing difficulty in recruiting staff) teaches emotional intelligence. Sales and call centre jobs demonstrate resilience and potential in business development.
Timing: be realistic about the time it may take to get a paid or graduate job – although the job market is buoyant, it still takes time to go through recruitment processes.
Manage yourself and your expectations: don’t compare yourself with others – focus on your own career plan and where you want to be. As the saying goes, ‘life is a marathon, not a sprint'.
Be flexible – look for the opportunities arising as a result of societal changes over the last 2 years and make sure you know which sectors are growing, such as Tech, E-commerce (and associated logistics companies), Pharma, Food retailing, Telecomms, Media, and Home Leisure. Explore openings for what you want to do, in those sectors.
Remember, you’re just deciding on your first step, not committing yourself to one thing for the rest of your life – in fact, it’s becoming the norm for people to change jobs and even careers a number of times during their working life.
Extra Career Support this summer
If you don’t have any plans yet after graduation, we in Careers are here to support you:
- Email guidance via email@example.com
- 1-1 virtual Career Coaching appointments, organised by emailing the above address
- Comprehensive online careers resources from CareersPlus here