My son graduated from uni but can't get a graduate job

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My son graduated from uni but can't get a graduate job

Postby FullTimeFather » Tue Mar 29, 2011 4:32 pm

Hi everyone, I am new to the site.

I am beginning to get worried about my son who graduated with a marketing degree in July 2010. He has been applying for graduates jobs non-stop on the on the internet, through recruitment agencies,by post - anything we can think of but to no avail. Now I know about the state of the economy and the recession but after the amount of jobs my son has applied for without any success, you begin to feel that you must be doing something wrong??

Does anybody else have a similar experience with their children? What can we do as parents to help?? I keep trying to suggest different avenues and help hi with his CV etc but nothing seems to be working and has become very frustrating!

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Re: My son graduated from uni but can't get a graduate job

Postby Skarlet » Tue Mar 29, 2011 10:18 pm

Hi there,

Sorry to hear your son is having so much trouble, unfortunately graduate jobs can afford to be picky. Has your son worked anywhere since finishing university? Did he work during university? When you say graduate jobs, do you mean the graduate placements? or any job that he sees?

Has he talked to agencies that he is applying through, have they given him any feedback on his cv or application forms?

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Re: My son graduated from uni but can't get a graduate job

Postby jen » Wed Mar 30, 2011 9:26 am


I don't have any first hand experience of this but one of my best friends did a marketing degree and she is having the same problems. Her main problem is that companies tend to want people who have had work experience rather than just the degree.

In the end she's ended up working in the same shop that she worked in when trying to pay her way through uni.

Unfortunately with the way things are at the moment, it really is an employers market. I think the only thing he can really do is just get a basic job so that he is gaining experience and then once in that job look to maybe progressing further.

Sorry if i haven't been much help.
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Re: My son graduated from uni but can't get a graduate job

Postby ILoveChristmas » Wed Mar 30, 2011 3:07 pm

The marketing industry is no different to any other - you need experience to get experience. A lot of graduates leaving university have done 'sandwich' years, meaning they had a job in the relevant industry during years 2 and 3 of their degrees.

If you have 2 graduates applying for a position and one has that year's work experience they're instantly more attractive. I suspect similar situations are arising with the jobs that your son is applying for.

There are a couple of things i'd do. First and foremost i'd make sure he's getting proper feedback from any interviews he has gone for. That would hopefully lead to him improving his interview technique (which is critical, and ideally should be tested by you or someone else and critiqued) and finding out where his CV falls short.

You don't mention what other employment your son currently has if any, but the next thing i'd do is find out if there are any summer, or even better full time, placements available at any local firms. He may have to accept that these will either be very low paid or not paid at all, but it will give him the crucial experience he lacks.

Working somewhere to gain experience in that way shouldn't over qualify him for a graduate position. In fact in my industry (software), the term 'graduate position' is used more to describe the level of responsibility and pay grade of the job than it is anything to do with us actually seeking out a graduate. You should bear that in mind. There is no guarantee that your son is interviewing against fresh graduates, which makes my points above all the more critical.

Lastly, remind you son that universities regularly post jobs on their notice boards and intranet systems from employers who don't go anywhere near the usual recruitment channels. He would be wise to take a walk round the various noticeboards in his university and see what's on offer. There isn't a moment to lose though. A lot of graduate positions are actually filled well in advance of the end of term.
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