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Thursday 13th June 2019

Graduation season is on it's way! Students from universities all over the country will be making their first steps in heading out into the working world.

The graduate job market is extremely competitive, with on average 40 applicants for every vacancy.

These days grads are needing to take extra measures to ensure they stand out above other candidates. In this blog we've put together some top tips that graduates can take on board to give them a competitive edge when it comes to setting their application apart in their job search.


An article by The Guardian stated that, according to Linkedin’s analysis of the 25 most in demand skills from companies, almost every skill involved either digital technologies, I.T or programming.

If tech skills are already in your key area, why not up-skill and learn more? Cross training into a new programming language is becoming increasingly desirable to employers in the technology sector along with Software Developers who also have experience in Software Testing, and vice versa. The market is extremely competitive so it’s important to set yourself apart from the competition.


As well as learning a programming language, why not drop a foreign language in there too for good measure?

Those graduates who are able to hold a conversation in another language are, and will continue to be, extremely desirable to potential employers, especially in the UK where almost a quarter of adults can’t speak another language. Having another language under your belt is a great way to attract welcome attention from recruiters.


Update your LinkedIn profile so that it best represents the field of work you would like to enter. While you are doing this, it may also be a good idea to update your privacy settings on any other social media platforms that you may not want potential employers to have access to.

Use LinkedIn to connect to relevant industry professionals and companies that interest you. This will keep you informed on topical issues in your industry as well as those companies recruiting for graduates like yourself!

Familiarise yourself with local networking events. These events can be specific to your chosen industry or inclusive to a broad range of industries. Networking events are a great way to meet other graduates and professionals. They allow you to keep your finger on the pulse of activity in your industry, which is always handy in the graduate job market. Meetup, Eventbrite and Skiddle are great websites that allow you to search for events in your area by category, date and location.


In the UK, more than a quarter of jobs require a degree, making it increasingly difficult for a non-graduate to secure a role. Graduates also have the opportunity to earn more money than those that don’t. So, whilst getting a degree isn’t the most important thing in the world, depending on your chosen career you may need to think about taking one on, if that is what the role requires.

By researching your role of choice you will become more aware of certain certifications employers are highlighting in the job specification that they would like to see. For example: if you’re looking to develop your career in Software Testing, your potential employer advertising for the Testing role may prefer to see candidates with specific Testing certifications such as ISEB / ISTQB. Just like if you were interested in a teaching position, you would be expected to have a PGCE certificate. If specific certifications keep popping up it may be worthwhile to look into obtaining one, especially if it’s going to set you apart from other candidates when getting your dream role.


A great place to start for many new graduates is at your university's careers office. 

Your university's careers office will be able to connect you to relevant graduate jobs to you as well as provide you with valuable careers advice including interview tips, CV writing and more.

Universities in your chosen region of work will often host graduate fairs, which are a great way of familiarising yourself with graduate employers. Forging a good relationship with your local careers office will keep you in the know as of when these are taking place.

The University careers office can also connect you to relevant industry mentors. Having an industry mentor is an invaluable tool to have in the graduate recruitment market. Mentors have been where you are and often have a wealth of industry experience which will enable you to have access to the best advice and tips to help you enter the start of your career.


So you have a degree from one of the best universities in the country, but so do thousands of other applicants. Experience in your chosen field could be the deciding factor between you and another candidate.

90% of employer’s state work experience as a crucial element for new hires to have. More and more internships are being offered from companies, however a lot of these are unpaid making it an unrealistic option for a lot of candidates who are supporting themselves.

However, that being said, voluntary work is also something desired by employers and is often easier to fit around work schedules, so it would be very much worthwhile to get involved in something like that to differentiate yourself in the market.


Even if you get another job to pay the bills whilst you look for your dream job. Keep your mind active, keep up to date with what is going on in your chosen industry and try to carry on learning new things so that when it comes to interview your still fresh with new knowledge and ideas.

Maybe there is a club you can join devoted to something surrounding your chosen career path. Not only will that keep your mind active and fresh, it will also look great on your CV and to employers when you’re on your job search.


Many employers recruiting for graduates will use recruitment agencies to help connect them to the right candidates.

It's worth building relationships with these recruiters. They have a wealth of knowledge about the graduate market as well as what it is graduate employers in your field of work are looking for.

If you are connected to a good recruiter, they will also be able to advise you on your CV and prepare you for any interviews. 

Here at Amsource we are currently recruiting for graduates to join our growing, talented team! Find out more by clicking here.

To browse our current roles across Software Development, click here.
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