Unemployed graduates must ‘sell’ themselves to get a job

Graduates who are struggling to find work need to learn how to sell themselves to employers and change their game plan if they are serious about finding work, says a leading careers and recruitment expert. Responding to yesterday’s news that unemployment among graduates in England and Wales is at its highest in almost two decades, Paul MacKenzie-Cummins, one of the UK’s leading careers experts and director of Newport-based MacKenzie-Cummins PR – Wales’s only PR firm specialising in the recruitment industry, said that today’s graduates lack the know-how to get a job.

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Are you being unrealistic about your job search?

Throughout the application and interview process you have remained positive and confident that it will only be a matter of time before you get that all-important job offer. Instead, you get the dreaded ‘thanks but no thanks’ letter informing you that, ‘on this occasion’, your application has not been successful. And now you find yourself continuing to send off more applications to newly advertised jobs. But, stop. If your CV is winning interviews but you aren’t getting offers – or perhaps your application never gets that far – then take a step back and consider the reason why; you may; find that you are applying for positions where you don’t match the requirements.

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Should you hold out or sell out?

So what do you do when you need a job but, the job you’ve just been offered isn’t your dream job? Should you take it or hold out until the ‘right’ one comes along? After all, it may be some time before another offer comes your way.

This is more than a simply a question of yes or no. If the bills are piling up and the mortgage company is knocking at your door then yes, you may have to accept the job on offer. But if you’re financially set and can afford to hold out for a while, then do so.

If you make the choice – forced or otherwise – to accept a position that is below your potential, you have to approach it in the right mindset. Instead of being resentful, look at it as an opportunity – albeit in the short term – to learn new skills or even try your hand at an entirely different industry, whilst at the same time never taking your eye of your overall objective to land the job you really want. Besides, if you are as good as you say you are then your ability to hit the ground running during this interim period combined with your penchant for short-term success could be a welcome boost to your self-confidence.

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Will caution prevail during the January 2010 jobs rush

With the UK still in the grips of recession, will January’s traditional ‘New Year, New Start’ rallying cry turn to one of muted overtones or will job seekers be more determined than ever to get a new job?

Last January the number of people who claimed they were looking for a new job reached record levels, according to online CV expert iProfile.org – a fact supported by Jobsite who found that as many as 42% of people planned to find a new position with a further 13% planning to start their job search upon receiving their first post-Christmas pay-check.

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The pros and cons of job hopping

Fans of football will have heard of Nicolas Anelka. Currently at Chelsea, Anelka made his football debut when he joined Arsenal in 1997 for a fee of £500,000. Three years later he moved to Real Madrid for fee of £22.3m before returning to his home club Paris St Germain for £20m and then a further 5 clubs in as many years in the English Premiership, netting him over £43m. The point to this analogy is to illustrate that regardless of what profession you are in, job hopping inevitably occurs.

Indeed, it is common knowledge that the job for life culture that once existed during the Babyboom generation has all-but disappeared. Today, it is widely acknowledged that workers in their 20s and 30s will change jobs as many as 8 or 9 times. So does this make you an erratic employee that any recruiter in their right mind should avoid at all costs? Or does it actually make you a highly experienced professional and an attractive proposition for any would-be employer?

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Cherry-picking employers will pay the price for being too choosy

Competition for jobs is at a 14-year high and employers have never had it so good. So good in fact that they can afford to be selective and cherry-pick their ideal candidate based on competency, enthusiasm and experience, according to a new report published today. But in their bid to recruit the best talent available in the market it seems that employers are being overtly-selective to the extent that their indecision to make an appointment is costing their organisations in the long term.

The cost and time-to-hire has been a major consideration for all recruiters since time and memorial. Yet despite a wealth of talent at their disposal only 23% of recruiters claim that it is easier to find suitable candidates. Yes there are more applicants per job and of course this means more time being spent sifting through applications.

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Official figures confirmed that the UK is experiencing its worst recession in over half a century. And with more job losses expected over the coming months the pain of recession will continue for many people. But employees can take matters into their own hands and safeguard their jobs from the threat of redundancy, says Paul MacKenzie-Cummins, one of the UK’s most well-known career advice and guidance experts.

He says: “This time last year the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development warned that 2008 would be the worst year for jobs in a decade in the UK. It was. But it now seems that 2008 was simply a prelude to what has since become the worst year for jobs in two decades, 2009. With 600,000 jobs lost since the start of the recession and many more yet to come it is no wonder that many of us are concerned about our own future prospects.

So if your company is faced with the unenviable task of short-listing those people who are up for redundancy, how can you ensure that the red pen doesn’t strike through your name?

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Britons work longer hours than our European neighbours and we are told that looking for a new job is a full-time job in itself. But when do you have the time to look when you are spending over 40 hours a week at work, running errands and fulfilling family and social commitments in addition to stealing some time to sleep? The answer is: you do it at work. 

However, you don’t want your current employer to know that you are looking elsewhere because if they find out, you could jeopardise both your current position and future references.

Here is our advice on keeping your job search a secret from your employer. 

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