Graduate jobseekers failing to make the grade

Students
are not acquiring the skills or focus necessary to secure good jobs after
graduation, research reveals.

A
study by Lewis PR, based on more than 1,000 applications for trainee positions,
highlights problems with presentation, lack of research and an ignorance of the
media.

The
company’s third annual graduate review also reveals the majority of
applications contain spelling mistakes, are addressed to the wrong person or
refer to the wrong job.

Toni
Castle, HR director at Lewis, said: "Of the 80 applications we received
this week, only six were worth following up by phone.

“A
Swedish applicant demonstrated a better understanding of the UK media than his
UK counterparts by knowing facts such as the differences in readership of the
Guardian and the Daily Telegraph."

"On
this evidence, students are needlessly acquiring debt at university. They’re
simply not acquiring the skills worthy of a job that will enable them to pay
off their loans," she concluded. "In many ways, the best educated
people in the country are also the greenest when they leave higher education.
It’s certainly an area where universities must do better."

The
record for the worst application contained 17 spelling mistakes in the covering
letter. An incredible 90 per cent of applicants disqualify themselves before
the end of the first page.

In
an effort to gain attention, many applicants go completely over the top. One
wrote: "I exist! I live! Seize me!" Another burnt the edges of their
CV, saying: "As you can see from the singe marks on my application, I’m
red hot."

Even
if they pass the CV stage, another recurring problem among candidates is lack
of interview preparation. Many have done little or no research into the company
before attending.

By Ben Willmott

Comments are closed.