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A Guide to graduate employment in a recession. David Henderson d.m.henderson@durham.ac.uk Careers Advisory Service. Contents. Current graduate recruitment situation Durham picture How to manage the situation Questions . Media Coverage…. Graduate jobs vanishing, says poll of recruiters

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a guide to graduate employment in a recession

A Guide to graduate employment in a recession

David Henderson


Careers Advisory Service

  • Current graduate recruitment situation
  • Durham picture
  • How to manage the situation
  • Questions

Media Coverage…

  • Graduate jobs vanishing, says poll of recruiters
  • Guardian, 14th January

Panic on the campus as graduate jobs disappear

The Independent, 14th January

Graduates hit as job vacancies in City fall 65%

Financial Times, 14th January

Media headlines reflect what is a very difficult situation but sometimes can be misleading or unhelpful
  • Graduate recruitment is different to general recruitment
  • Graduate job market always competitive
graduate recruitment
Graduate recruitment…

Employers (top 100) expect to hire 3,400 fewer graduates in 2009 than planned; levels of graduate recruitment similar to 2006. Just 13% of employers believe recruitment will be cut further in 2010

Some sectors of employment have been hit harder than others especially Investment Banking and Finance (2500 entry level positions cut), Consulting, IT & Telecommunications, Retailing, and Accounting & Professional Services

Some sectors have always recruited in very small numbers e.g. Pharmaceuticals, Property, Advertising, PR, Environment, Strategic Consultants

Legal sector experiencing difficulties; fewer training contracts and evidence of deferred offers of training contracts e.g. Lovells and Eversheds

graduate recruitment6
Graduate recruitment…
  • Graduate employers still have recruitment needs in certain areas, particularly finance and IT but also sales, HR and general management
  • Graduate employers have much smaller recruitment needs in consulting, retailing, media and investment banking roles
  • Exceptions to the rule: four major retailers planning to recruit additional 200 trainees (ASDA, ALDI and TESCO); despite 8.8% reduction in vacancies, accounting and professional service firms still largest recruiter of graduates (20.9% of all graduate jobs)
  • Areas of relative stability and some growth include public sector (including Bank of England and FSA), armed forces, oil and energy
  • Concern about employers reneging on offers of graduate schemes and internships
the graduate market today graduate vacancies in 2008 by industry or business sector
The Graduate market todayGraduate vacancies in 2008, by industry or business sector

High Fliers Research Limited: The Graduate Market in 2009


the durham picture
The Durham picture…
  • The Careers Advisory Service opened its bookings system for employer presentations in Michaelmas 2009 at the end of January and nearly 60 employer events have been confirmed…the quota for law events has been reached but spaces still exist in respect of banking and finance
  • The Information Fair (our largest recruitment event) has almost reached its capacity of 70 employers over two days. The Law Fair is also expected to be full although a couple of large firms, including Eversheds, will not be attending
  • Organisations currently actively engaging with the Careers Advisory Service to promote opportunities to students include: Corus, ECM, BT, Teach First, FSA, Barclays, Centrica, Proctor and Gamble, PWC
  • Employers are actively engaging with Durham in other ways – sponsorship of student societies, sports teams, Careers Advisory Service publications…
the durham picture9
The Durham Picture…
  • Cancelled presentations in Epiphany term
  • HBOS
  • Norwich Union
  • Capital I.Q
  • Cancelled presentations on campus not due to recruitment changes but
  • low student sign up – all still recruiting for 2009
the durham picture10
Vacancies advertised on the Careers Advisory Service website:

Graduates 71

All Students 68

Final Year (Any Subject) 74

Postgraduate Taught Students 1

Various - See Vacancy Details 57

Final Year (Specific Subjects) 36

Penultimate Year (Any Subject) 28

Penultimate Year (Specific Subjects) 6

Total number of vacancies: 466


The Durham Picture
vacancies by sector
Vacancies by sector…
  • Finance 65
  • Education 62
  • Languages 22
  • Public Sector 6
  • Administration 14
  • Legal Services 80
  • Self Employment 2
  • Health Professions 3
  • Scientific Services 13
  • Information Services 12
  • Information Technology 59
  • Insurance and Pensions 12
  • Creative Art and Design 4
  • Logistics and Transport 11
  • Engineering, Electronics
  • and Telecommunications 16

Social and Pastoral Care 8

Buying, Selling and Retail 22

Charity and Voluntary Work 35

Manufacturing and Processing 14

Human Resources and Employment 23

Leisure and Recreation Services 24

Hospitality and Events Management 13

Armed Services and Law Enforcement 3

Management and

Management Services 33

Advertising, Promotion and Marketing 51

Construction and

Property Management 4

Natural Resources

and the Environment 12

Publishing, Media and Performing Arts 9

employers believe
Employers believe…
  • That it is important to maintain graduate recruitment to
  • ensure an uninterrupted supply of management talent in
  • their organisations now and in the future.
  • Internships and work experience are increasingly important in improving job prospects.
  • Government and others predict that the overwhelming
  • majority of new jobs created in the future will be at
  • graduate level
employers outlook for 2010
Employers Outlook For 2010
  • 25% expect to take on more new recruits
  • 50% expect to maintain recruitment levels at 2009 levels
  • 13% expect to take on less (I.B/Engineering)
  • Employers remain committed to recruiting graduates for entry-level positions; key in securing supply of future management talent
developing a strategy
Developing a strategy
  • Do not abandon existing career goals but do:
  • Consider related careers or opportunities that will allow you to develop relevant skills/experience
  • Consider non-graduate jobs/temporary positions as a means of ‘getting your foot in the door’; research ‘other’ employers in your field of career interest
  • Focused work experience/volunteering (including GAP year activities)
  • Proactive networking
  • Professional courses…often available via distance learning (refer to professional bodies as a starting point) e.g. CFAB
  • Postgraduate Study…consider employability of any programme; will it lead to a professional qualification?
developing a strategy15
Developing a strategy
  • Market research: sectors of employment that are faring better, emerging markets, areas of growth/development etc; develop your commercial awareness
  • Look beyond the sector headings – e.g. challenging financial graduate jobs available in all large organisations not just IBs; PR roles not confined to agencies and media consultancies
  • Broaden your job search: graduate recruitment consultancies (e.g. GRB, Freshminds), large job search sites (e.g. Jobsite), job networking sites (Brave new talent), temping agencies, professional bodies, specialist press, career fairs etc
  • Speculate to accumulate; targeted CVs and cover letters…consider SMEs
  • Use your networks – alumni (Net Community), reports, contacts
  • Shell Step is now open to graduates (www.studentplacements.org.uk)
  • Government internship scheme - Graduate Talent Pool (www.dius.gov.uk)
  • Regional graduate employment schemes:
  • Graduates for Business – NE England www.graduatesforbusiness.co.uk
  • Graduates for Growth – Scotland
  • www.graduatesforgrowth.co.uk
  • Graduates into Merseyside www.gieu.co.uk
  • Check with regional HE Careers Services for details of opportunities
self assessment
Self Assessment
  • Skills and experience audit…identify areas for improvement
  • What do I have to offer? Relate employer competencies to specific activities or achievements:
      • Academic study
  • Previous employment/work experience
  • Extra-curricular activities
  • Volunteering
  • What key things do I want to market about myself?
effective applications interviews
Effective Applications/Interviews
  • CV and cover letters must be individually tailored to the organisation and the opportunity
  • Career and Employer motivation questions: demonstrate your understanding of the job role through effective research (company reports, news stories, market reports, company newsletter, news section of website etc)
  • Competency questions: relate to specific examples rather than general occasions
  • e.g. As President of the Wine Society I demonstrated team work skills X
  • As President of the Wine Society I worked with the executive team to organise a series of lectures entitled ‘wines of the world’. My central role...√
  • Practise talking about yourself; be able to answer questions about key competencies, career motivation, commercial and technical issues…pre-plan key points that you want to convey to the interviewer
  • Quality of application and performance at interview that will get you a job…this is the same irrespective of economic conditions
star applications and interviews
STAR applications and interviews
  • Describe Situation
  • Outline the Tasks that needed doing
  • What Action did you take?
  • What was the Result?
events to consider
Events to consider…
  • You’re Hired (9th – 11th June 2009)
  • Civil Service presentation 22nd June 2009
  • IT Jobs for Graduates (8th June)
  • Getting into Teacher Training (8th June)
  • For information on Graduate careers events and fairs across the UK please refer to the Prospects website (http://tiny.cc/rokOv)
  • Remember…
  • You can still use the Careers Advisory Service as a graduate
  • Graduate job market has been significantly affected by the prevailing economic conditions but this job market has always been extremely competitive
  • Situation exacerbated by media; organisations are still recruiting albeit in smaller numbers. Employers recognise the dangers of not recruiting new talent!
  • Graduates need to be flexible and proactive in their job search and in the types of opportunities that they will consider; longer term approach to career goals
  • Essential that graduates can demonstrate the skills employers require; identify opportunities to build those skills
  • Quality of applications and importance of effective opportunity research has never been more important
  • Don’t panic; there are jobs available but graduates need to be persistent, resilient and very focused
careers advisory service
Careers Advisory Service
  • 49 New Elvet (next to D.S.U)
  • Term Time – 10am – 5pm
  • Vacation – 10am – 1pm 2.15pm – 5pm
  • Tel: 0191 334 1424/1437
  • careers- advice@durham.ac.uk
  • www.durham.ac.uk/careers-advice