Ernst & Young says job offers for graduates with work experience under their belts is up a third
Leading recruiter, Ernst & Young, says job offers for graduates with work experience under their belts is up a third
One of the UKs leading recruiters, Ernst & Young, is warning students not to underestimate the value of work experience to potential employers, revealing that over a third of its graduate job offers for 2010 went to candidates who had completed internships with the firm.
Ernst & Young says that while they have increased the number of graduate jobs available for 2011, competition for places remains tough. However, graduates can help to differentiate themselves by ensuring they have good quality, relevant work experience on their CVs.
The call comes on the back of a major biannual study by the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) out today (25 January 2011) which shows that graduate vacancies in the UK have increased by 8.9%, but that the demand for jobs still greatly outstrips supply.
Commenting on the AGR figures, Stephen Isherwood, head of graduate recruitment at Ernst & Young, says: Securing that dream job remains tough. We have 30% more places on our graduate recruitment programme than last year, but weve also received double the number of applications. Now more than ever, graduates need to ensure they are doing everything they can to stand out from the crowd, by having quality work experience on their CVs. Theres no room for complacency.
Isherwood says that over 35% of Ernst & Youngs graduate trainees this year had been on one of the firms internship schemes. Work experience programmes, like our Summer Internship Scheme (which offers 200 places per year), are a great way for undergraduates to get a real feel for the world of work and it gives them something extra to talk about during the interview process.
For a future employer work experience also shows that a candidate is serious about their chosen career path, has invested time and energy in to pursuing it, and joins the organisation work ready, with skills they can put to use from day one.
In addition to having quality work experience, graduates also need to be much more flexible about where they apply for work, looking beyond the traditional capital cities for opportunities in a competitive jobs market.
The towns and cities a graduate chooses to apply for work in can also make a big difference to their chances of success. Graduates need to look beyond the UKs major cities, where vacancies can often be oversubscribed. There are some fantastic opportunities to work for major organisations like Ernst & Young in locations across the country such as Reading and Southampton, which provide the same career development opportunities, Isherwood concludes.