How graduates can make themselves workplace ready and employable

September 9, 2021

A recent study has revealed that half of university students feel unprepared for employment – citing poor work experience and a lack of jobs among the barriers.

And while industry experts are urging employers to help graduates boost their confidence rather than complete a work experience tick list; Peterborough-based Anne Corder Recruitment has some advice for the job seekers themselves.

Recruitment partner Judith Broughton said: “Traditionally, this is a busy time of year for graduates, prospective trainee and university leavers looking for permanent employment or apprenticeship places.

“We recognise that the pandemic has impacted many areas when it comes to jobs and employment, and while employers should take into account that many young people have not been able to attain high levels or any work experience, there is still plenty graduates can do to make themselves employable and get ahead of the game when employers are looking to fill roles.”

Graduates should:

  • Ensure their CV is accurate and as up to date as possible. Include an email address (one which does include any gimmicky words). And while the trend is to make a CV more creative, remember that the basics will never change. Brevity, avoiding jargon and using real examples will always be a feature of a good CV –  along with contact information, previous experience, relevant qualifications.
  • Interview preparation; research the role they are applying for and find out a little about the company beforehand. If attending an interview in person, remember to dress appropriately or if via video call, ensure all the relevant tech is working properly and there no distractions! Don’t be afraid to ask questions when invited and also engage in conversation; all the more important when being interviewed remotely to let your personality shine through.
  • Use social media for the right reasons, ensure their profile is visible to employers and recruiters – consider setting up a LinkedIn page and offer the link as part of their job seeking correspondence.
  • Make sure they spell check all correspondence; whether applying directly for a position or working with a recruiter.
  • While they may not have the work experience they currently hope for, let a prospective employer see what they CAN do – don’t be afraid to include volunteering, sporting interests, university achievements etc on their CV. Given the past 18 months, employers shouldn’t expect to see a host of ‘work experience’ on CVs – expectations should reflect ‘actual’ experience of how graduates have filled their time.