Looking for a graduate job? Check your attitude, say employers

Looking for a graduate job? Check your attitude, say employersA QUARTER OF GRADUATE EMPLOYERS UNIMPRESSED BY YOUR WORK ETHIC – BUT IS CRITICISM FAIR?

Are you looking for a graduate job? Graduate employers have challenged young jobseekers’ assumptions by insisting that their attitude towards work is far more important than the amount of work experience they have, or the university where they studied.

When picking graduate recruits, businesses say they look first for the attitudes and aptitudes that will enable them to be effective in the workplace. Unfortunately, a quarter of employers also say that graduates’ attitudes to work are not satisfactory. So, if you’re struggling to find work, could this be what is letting you down?

The stat comes from the latest report by the  Confederation of British Industry (CBI), published earlier this week, in which graduate recruiters were asked to list their top-three factors when assessing graduate recruits.

 ‘Relevant work experience / industrial placement’ was listed by 64% as being in their top three most important factors. Sixty two per cent said ‘Degree subject’ and 55% said ‘Degree class’. Perhaps surprisingly, only 17% said the university the candidate attended was a top-three consideration when hiring.

Worryingly, there are concerns that universities are not making sure that graduates leave with basic skills – and many employers echoed the common complaint that candidates are not properly prepared for job interviews for the careers they say they want.

Around one in six businesses reports not being satisfied with the numeracy (14%), use of English (17%) and analytical skills (19%) of graduates. The report states:

“These are worrying figures. Businesses should be able to expect a satisfactory level of competence in all these essential areas among those completing higher education courses.”

Nearly one in five firms (21%) is not satisfied with graduates’ problem solving skills, which the reports says ‘Should be a prime output of higher education.’ Twenty five per cent said they were dissatisfied with graduate attitudes to work, 26% were unimpressed with your teamworking skills and 29% said graduates’ communication skills weren’t up to scratch.

A third of businesses (33%) reported that graduates did not have a satisfactory level of knowledge about their chosen career.

These stats look harsh for graduates – which is why want to hear from you. Graduate Fog listens to graduates and we know that things look very different from your side of the fence.

We know that many ambitious graduates feel you have a brilliant work ethic and would love the chance to prove yourselves, but feel you are being blanked at application stage because you didn’t study at Oxbridge. Either that, or you haven’t been able to collect much impressive work experience, because the best positions in your field are unpaid and you couldn’t afford to work for free.

So, do you feel that employers’ complaints are fair, unfair – or perhaps a bit of both? Post your comments below…

Don’t forget to follow @GraduateFog on Twitter!