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February 23, 2021, by Jackie Thompson

Navigating the Job Market in 2021

By Paul Charman, Deputy Director, Careers team

You’d certainly be forgiven for feeling a sense of dread and pessimism about the current job market. There  are clearly challenges for students searching for work experience or finalists graduating this summer.

However, I want to provide some context to the headlines and suggest some actions to navigate the challenges ahead. And, if you haven’t put next week’s Graduate Jobs and Internships Fair in your calendar, make a note of it now.

Graduate recruitment in the UK

The High Fliers Graduate Labour Market in 2021 survey, collates responses about the graduate recruitment market from The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers.

A key finding is the 15.1% reduction in graduate recruitment in 2020 in 13 of the 15 most sought-after industries. However, there is some positive news as the latest recruitment targets suggest that the number of jobs on offer may increase by 2.5% in 2021. On average employers have received 41% more applications so far compared with the same period last year.

While recruitment in most sectors have fallen both the High Fliers report and the Institute of Student Employers’ Student Recruitment 2020 survey identify increased opportunities in the public and charity sectors in 2021, High Fliers report a record 5,400 entry level vacancies available for university leavers in 2021.

Vacancies targeted at Nottingham students and graduates

In terms of vacancies published on our jobs platform, MyCareer, we are continuing to see a high number of employers approaching the University to recruit people into their internship, placement and graduate schemes.

During the autumn term 2020, recruiters placed almost 2,000 adverts with us. Bearing in mind that most adverts offer multiple vacancies that means more than 5,000 jobs were on offer. Our jobs board continues to be busy with internships and graduate jobs.

Virtual and in-person work experience

Half the UK’s leading employers are hoping to be able to deliver in-person vacation work placements and internships this summer.  However, spring taster programmes for first-year students are expected to take place online.

Changes to the recruitment process

Finally, the pandemic has seen changes to recruitment process with many in person activities like recruitment fairs, assessment centres and interviews moving online.

5 tips to help you succeed

The key takeaway here is that while the jobs market is undoubtedly challenging, companies are still recruiting. Some sectors more than others and there may be new recruitment activities to understand and practice. So here are my five tips to help you succeed:

Number 1: Getting started can be daunting, get in touch with us to explore your ideas and follow us on Twitter and Facebook

Number 2: Research the sectors and companies of interest to you. Talk to us and we can help you target employers

Number 3: Check out the graduate and work experiences vacancies on MyCareer. We advertise thousands of opportunities each year from companies targeting Nottingham students and graduates

Number 4: Once you have identified opportunities, use our online resources and talk to our team to help you excel during the recruitment process

Number 5: Attend our virtual Graduate Jobs and Internships Fair, taking place on Wednesday 3 March between 11am and 3pm. Register before the fair to find explore the vacancies on offer and upload your CV!

Posted in Graduate VacanciesLabour Market InsightsWork experience