The Graduate Job Market: The Lowdown for 2018

Graduation season is nearly upon us! Soon-to-be-grads are already starting to grapple for the best graduate jobs and schemes. Despite the looming shadow of Brexit, things are looking positive for the Class of 2018. Graduate vacancies are on the up; opportunities are out there, but competition is fierce. It’s vital, therefore, for ambitious graduates to stand out from the pack.

What else can you expect from the graduate job market in 2018?

More Graduate Opportunities

Employers benefit greatly from investing in graduate recruitment, and they know it. Research conducted by the ISE (The Institute of Student Employers) has shown an 11% increase in the graduate jobs that are available this year – great news for graduates! Some sectors are showing more of a rise in graduate recruitment than others, with the public sector, IT and utilities leading the way.

That being said, this is no time for entry-level applicants to rest on their laurels. Although more opportunities are available for university leavers, the best vacancies will be in high demand. With many applicants having work placements, internships and extracurricular activities filling up their CVs, it’s even harder to stand out.

It’s advisable for graduates to take every step possible to ensure application success; brush up on your interview technique, give your CV a polish and take any opportunity to boost your employability.

Is the CV Dead?

With tech taking over most aspects of our daily life, it would be naïve not to expect the same from recruitment. Employers have more tools than ever at their disposal in order to make hiring decisions. Virtual meetings and interviews with robots are amongst some of the stranger ways employers and recruiters are using tech to screen candidates.

Some companies are resorting to innovative and more holistic ways of assessing job applicants including the use of psychometric tests, ‘whole person’ interviews and even using children’s books as a tool.

However, career-hungry graduates shouldn’t throw their CV in the shredder just yet. The traditional CV application is still the top choice for the first stages of the recruitment process – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

Video interviews are in

With so many keen graduates vying for the same positions, employers need to be efficient with their interview processes. While assessment centre style interviews are on the up, many graduate employers and recruitment consultancies are opting to conduct interviews via video.

In fact, the ISE figures show that, a mere 5 years ago, just 6% of their member employers were using video interviews, but now a massive 53% are employing this interview method. What does this mean for graduates?

New grads on the hunt for their first career steps should be prepared for both telephone and video interviews. Get yourself set up on Skype and familiarise yourself with the platform, ensuring your username and profile are appropriate. Like with any interview, succeeding in a video interview requires thorough research and preparation.

Enjoy it!

Company culture and working environment have become increasingly high on graduates’ agendas when job hunting. People want to be happy at work! Remember, that as much as you need to impress a potential employer, they need to impress you, too. There’s no point in you being perfect for the job if you aren’t enthusiastic it.

This means that employers are more likely to take all of the necessary measures to ensure that graduates feel comfortable throughout the recruitment process. They want to show you that working for them will be a pleasant experience and that you will be taken care of. So, even though applying for jobs can be daunting and interviews can be stressful, try to enjoy it!


Gaining feedback after being rejected for a graduate job at any stage can be fundamental in allowing you to make any necessary improvements to your approach. Luckily, most employers are happy to offer feedback – just don’t be afraid to ask for it.

If you do request feedback from employers, remain professional and polite; this makes it clear that you are looking for constructive advice rather than being defensive or rude.

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