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Graduate job application tips


Graduate job application tips Nearly half of graduates succeed in securing graduate placements as the ‘E-Factor’ becomes better understood

Graduate job applications are becoming sharper and more targeted as university-leavers realise the importance of improving their employability – or ‘E-Factor’. As a result, talent management specialist Alexander Mann Solutions reports that more candidates – an increase of 4% to 47% this year - are now successful in securing graduate placements with major employers.

Alexander Mann Solutions is currently seeing an average of 31 applications per hire, compared to 46 applications per hire in 2012. The total number of graduate applications has also fallen by a substantial 37%.

The investment banking and IT/telecommunications sectors have seen a drop in graduate applications of 15% and 14% respectively, confirms Alexander Mann Solutions, while the financial services sector has seen a 33% increase. Some 55% of graduates applying for IT and telecommunications and investment banking jobs are successful, compared to 33% for financial services roles.

Sonja Stockton, Global Head of Diversity and Emerging Talent, Alexander Mann Solutions, said: "This trend is set to continue - as the process of graduate recruitment becomes more rigorous, universities are required to share more graduate data, more career coaching is provided and candidates become savvier about finding work and improving their ‘E Factor’.

"Employers are therefore reaching the most talented candidates more rapidly by being a lot clearer about their needs, while universities are under increasing pressure from government to prepare students for the job-seeking process.  This is a great opportunity for employers to home in on those graduates who are best suited to their business.”

Alexander Mann Solutions advises that to attract the best quality graduates, employers should be explicit about what they’re looking for, and look beyond academic grades to understand what else the candidate has accomplished. This is particularly relevant when employers are dealing with high volumes of candidates with 2:1 degrees. Companies interested in this information should request a copy of the graduate’s Higher Education Achievement Report.

Beyond basic literacy and numeracy, key ‘E-Factor’ criteria are commercial awareness, consistency of grades, extra-curricular activities and relevant work experience.

But Ms Stockton adds that the E-Factor criteria are themselves changing in line with those of the business world.

 "Employers are increasingly looking for qualities that indicate the future ability and agility of graduate, and what the graduate can bring to the company. Graduates who display curiosity, self-motivation, those that are innovative thinkers, agile learners, resilient, pragmatic, collaborative, and have the cultural agility to work across time zones and cultures are becoming highly valued – these are the E-Factors of the future.”

Alexander Mann Solutions specialises in ‘Business Outcomes RPO’. It takes responsibility for delivering the right quality candidates to fulfil specific business aims, including increased retention rates, improved employer brand image, reduced risk and increased sales. The company recruits for 3,880 graduate roles a year and handles 120,000 graduate applications across 42 countries globally.