Graduate job applications improve as employability becomes focus

Graduate job applications are becoming sharper and more targeted as graduates seek to increase their employability, or “E Factor”, according to research published today by talent management specialist Alexander Mann Solutions (AMS).

As a result of the increased quality in applications, there has been a 4% year-on-year rise in the number of graduates who have successfully secured placements with major employers. This figure now stands at 47%.

Sonja Stockton, AMS global head of diversity and emerging talent, said: “This trend is set to continue – as the process of graduate recruitment becomes more rigorous, universities are required to share more graduate data, more career coaching is provided and candidates become savvier about finding work and improving their ‘E Factor’.

“Employers are therefore reaching the most talented candidates more rapidly by being a lot clearer about their needs, while universities are under increasing pressure from government to prepare students for the job-seeking process. This is a great opportunity for employers to home in on those graduates who are best suited to their business.”

The research also highlighted an average of 31 applications per graduate role, compared with 46 in 2012. In addition, the total number of graduate applications saw a 37% year-on-year drop.

In order to enable them to attract the best graduate candidates, AMS advised employers to be clear about what they’re looking for and to look beyond academic grades when considering candidates’ achievements, adding that this is particularly important when employers are dealing with high volumes of candidates with 2:1 degrees.

AMS said employers should look for elements including consistency of grades, extra-curricular activities and relevant work experience.

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