Graduates

 

If you’re going to be graduating this year, now might be a good time to start thinking about how you plan to spend at least the next few years of your life – time ticks on and soon enough the 10p rise in the price of a pint at the union will be the least of your concerns.

 

While the graduate job market is definitely improving, with a recent study of employers predicting a 9% rise in graduate recruitment this year (BBC News), finding work can still be an incredibly trying experience (particularly if applying to the ultra-competitive grad schemes).

 

One major way in which a recruitment agency can help is in providing a trusted conduit to employers. The numbers in which graduates apply for jobs are such that many businesses simply don’t have the resources to cope with the recruiting process; for reasons of expediency, many potentially excellent candidates will be filtered out immediately on the basis of something minor. Recruiters play an important part in combating this: come to us, we’ll run through your options with you; provide impartial advice; and if we have an appropriate role, we’ll send you over to our clients with the Media Contacts seal of approval.

 

This way, candidates aren’t wasting their time applying for jobs they’re unlikely to get and, on the other side of the coin, employers aren’t seeing people that are unsuitable – everybody wins! That may sound a bit cheesy but there’s no denying the logic.

 

So, if you fancy yourself as a graduate trainee / Account Executive/ Sales Executive in the media sector and feel that your talents need bringing to the attention of a top class organisation, don’t hesitate to get in touch. We have a number of open jobs and you can click here to know more about job search/ interview preparation.

Interview questions on Strengths and weaknesses.

 

Having recently been through the job search and interview process myself, I can testify that there is one thing that you’re always likely to get asked: what are your strengths and weaknesses?

 

While everyone knows what to say when asked about their strengths (clue: it’s the things that you’re good at), there are two trains of thought when it comes to how to respond to enquiries into your shortcomings.

 

Firstly, tell the truth. Of course there’s no need to go overboard – if you’re not a fan of collaborating with colleagues, then “I think I’m more suited to working independently” is infinitely better than “I don’t take kindly to being put in a team with idiots”.

 

The alternative, generally espoused by loud-mouthed city boys when giving advice to some terrified graduate they’ve cornered in the pub, is to cloak a strength in the self-deprecating language of a weakness. The best one I’ve ever heard (clearly ‘best’ is used advisedly here) is: “If anything, I’m too much of a perfectionist”. Quite what this means is a matter of debate, aside from meaning that the interviewer is going to think you’re a bit of a prat.

 

Like most things, the right answer probably lies somewhere in the middle. If you can think of an attribute that is generally useful but has caused you the occasional problem, that would be reasonable response. The most important thing, however, is to be honest. You won’t be doing yourself or your potential employer any favours if you fail to disclose your poor numeracy skills when applying for a job as a maths teacher. Click here to see some of our current vacancies.

 

By Joshua Havers

Impressing The Daleks. (Julia Walton)

I sometimes think there are some trained monkeys out there writing CVs (oh, the stories I could tell) but, word is, now robots are going to be reading them. The latest news is that human contact is to be reduced during the recruitment process with intelligent software reading CVs and robots conducting interviews.

I am picturing telling one of my candidates how to prepare for an interview with a dalek. Will I get to talk to the robot myself, what will he/she/it be like? Hmm, we’ll see.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-19440255

Everyone’s Good at Something. (Alys Barber)

In recruitment, we are preoccupied with ensuring that candidates’ CVs showcase their skills – in particular, skills that are relevant for the role for which they are applying. Often, a skill is something which one is so good at that it has become second nature – you don’t even notice you possess the skill precisely because you are so skilled. Humorist Andy Selsberg has created a checklist of “unsung skills” from “noticing new haircuts” to “making a big production of yawns”. Admittedly, the tone of the checklist is not serious, and I would urge anyone to avoid putting skills such as “noticing new haircuts” on their CV… However, the point Selsberg makes remains true – many of us are skilled in ways we never notice. It makes for a rather uplifting exercise writing down everything you’re good at and why not include the silly things too? I, for instance, am particularly good at finding things in a (messy) flat – it’s possible I have developed this skill as part of a necessary evolution. It’s worth noting that I would prefer to have developed “tidying up more regularly”, but we can’t have everything. I am also highly skilled in the art of carrying almost everything I possess around in my handbag and never clearing it out despite not needing any of it. I like to think this is a throwback from caveman days, when it wouldn’t have been safe to leave your wallet/diary/random bits of paper at home in case a beast came along and half-inched them… But perhaps I’m merging my childhood in Hackney with the Flintstones and mistaking it for history. After that wild leap of imagination, back down to Earth. What unsung skills do you possess?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2012/jun/29/change-your-life-unsung-skills