Antiquated resources and ineffective education establishments are killing graduate prospects

Let me start by saying that I’m no expert in Graduate recruitment, nor would I ever have the gumption to profess that I am. However, I like to think I know what I’m talking about when it comes to offering careers advice: I was the lead careers writer for Monster when they won the Best Employment Advice on the Internet award an unprecedented three consecutive years, and my articles have appeared across a range of media, including MSN, Men’s Health, Woman magazine, TotalJobs, and I was technical editor for the highly acclaimed Job Hunting and Career Change for Dummies. OK, credentials to speak on this matter over with, I find myself increasingly alarmed and concerned over this whole issue of graduate recruitment per se. Let me explain a little more of what I mean.

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Job boards guilty of recycling careers advice

With almost 30% of job seekers visiting a job board to obtain careers advice and key industry information, isn’t it about time that job boards provide current and appropriate guidance to people rather than recycling the plethora of careers advice articles that have done the rounds since time and memorial?

Perhaps I am cutting my nose off to spite my face, however, as a careers advice writer for several of the top 10 UK and US job boards I have written over 600 articles covering all aspects of workplace issues and job hunting strategies. Yet a minority of the articles I have been commissioned to produce since the onset of the current economic downturn have been aimed at how job seekers can find a job in a recession.

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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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Making waves in the desert

Log onto any of the jobs sites for journalists and you will be awash with a plethora of recruitment adverts attempting to lure you away from the UK to ply your trade in the UAE, with the promise of creative freedom, ultra-modern surroundings and of course, tax-free income. But is it really all it’s cracked up to be, and can the likes of Dubai and Abu Dhabi really live up to the expectations of ambitious hacks?

Here we will look at the two regions in the UAE that are pulling out all the stops to seduce British journalists: Dubai and Abu Dhabi.  Read more of this post

Should organisations outsource blogs?

Following the tragic death of a British soldier in Afghanistan on Sunday, it emerged that he had written a blog expressing his – and his colleagues’ – frustrations over the lack of protective body armour which had been promised and the overall poor state of equipment.

Rifleman Andrew Fentiman was not the first soldier to publicly express his concerns, and he probably won’t be the last. And this raises the question of whether organisations – whether they are public or private sector – should monitor employee blogs and even consider outsourcing blogs?

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What Peter Mandelson can teach us on how to handle radio interviews (and our top 10 tips)

From a sudden onset of dry mouth syndrome or an attack of the nerves to all the ‘ums’, ‘erms’ you can possibly muster combined with that nightmarish moment when your mind goes totally blank as you struggle even to remember the name of your kids, radio interviews can turn even the most seasoned professional into a jabbering wreck. But why? Is it the knowledge that x’thousands of people are listening to your every word? Maybe you’re afraid that one wrong word could blow the whole interview – and your chances of that big promotion at work?Whatever the reason, a little tweaking here and there can turn you from a jabbering wreck into a strong, confident interviewee.

So the next time that innocent-looking fluffy mic is thrust in your face and you imagine yourself in some sort of modern Spanish Inquisition scenario, here’s a few tips that I have picked up on how to master the radio interview.

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With social media here to stay and influence all aspects of business practice, will video interviewing become the norm during the recruitment process?

As a regular follower of Andy Headworth’s Tweets and blog I read with interest the current debate surrounding the pros and cons of using video as a central part of the job application process. Canvassing the thoughts and opinions of some of the leading players within our industry – some for and some against – his blog is a thought-provoking piece. Here’s my tuppence worth.

As the blog rightly points out, Mario Gedicke (aka Mayomann) has a vested interest in all things video – as that’s how he makes his living. However, his comment that both interviewer and candidate will be “comfortable in their own environment and therefore more relaxed and [less] nervous” is surely something of concern? Conducting an interview whereby the candidate is at home is something that I would not recommend. Here’s why. Read more of this post

A weapon called the word

For years public relations has had to work harder than any other part of the marketing mix to get its voice heard. But with recession forcing most organisations to cut their marketing budgets an increasing number of Welsh business leaders are quickly realising that public relations packs a bigger punch than its traditional marketing and advertising counterparts.

Public relations goes beyond the capabilities of marketing and advertising by using a diverse range of tactical tools to communicate your organisation’s message to the right people at the right time, whether that message is to educate and inform your audience, differentiate you from your competitors or position you as one of the leading players in your industry sector, for instance.

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Don’t abandon your green policy when recession bites

Going green has steadily made its way to the top of the political agenda in recent years, with government’s throughout the world being forced to wake up to the realities of global warming and climate change. But while we’re all being encouraged to do our bit for the environment, it seems that some employers have shelved their green initiatives until the economic storm blows over in a bid to cut costs. Yet those who don’t abandon their green initiatives will not only help save the planet but save money in the long term too.

Suppose you could save your company £6,000 by doing something as simple as flicking the ‘off’ switch on all electrical equipment at the end of every working week, would you do it? That’s how much money the average company in Wales could save every year for minimum effort, according to the Carbon Trust.

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Following my own advice

I have recently edited a senior and executive manager’s career book for TheLadders where in one chapter I talked about the importance of social networking to promote oneself when looking for a new job. The irony, of course, is that I haven’t updated my own blog for a fortnight…or LinkedIn nor Facebook for that matter. However, I do have an excuse.

Editing a 70-page book while simultaneously writing the new careers advice and guidance content for TotalJobs.com is time consuming. So that’s my justification for being so lacsy daisy. Ahem…actually, in truth, that’s a poor excuse.

I’ve written a number of articles on how to look for a new job when you’re already in one and are trying to balance your existing work and family commitments. And the mantra I have always maintained is the importance of setting some time aside, even if it’s just 30 minutes a week, to maintaining your social network.

I was a little slow to adopt to the likes of LinkedIn and Twitter et al, much like the senior executive audience I was addressing in writing for TheLadders.com. Yet now that I have tip-toed my way into the world of [business-driven] social networking I am left kicking myself for not getting to grips with it sooner. OK, social networking my never replace the handshake when it comes to forging mutually beneficial relationships, however, I am finding that that all-important handshake may never have taken place at all if it hadn’t have been facilitated by LinkedIn in particular.

So I guess I am guilty for once of not practicing what I preach.And at a time in my own career when I am seeking new opportunities the importance of beimng pro-active online cannot be understated. My half hour stats now!