Sixth Form News: Graduate Recruitment

Posted on: 17/04/2018

Inspiring Life Advice from James Darley

On Wednesday 14th March, Year 13 students attended a talk on Graduate Recruitment given by James Darley who has worked in the sector for twenty years and who helped to co-found Teach First, the educational charity. The talk was delivered to students from both Harrow School and Hatch End High School in the impressive Speech Room at Harrow School: James is an old boy of the Harrow School, however, he left with just one A Level and had to spend an additional year studying at what is now Stanmore College before securing a university place to read Computer Science.  James failed to get a job immediately after leaving Chester University and has since devoted his life to Graduate Recruitment and advising today’s students on how to avoid some of the pitfalls that befell him.

James informed us that Graduate Recruitment is extremely competitive – 98% of applications get rejected as there are 400,000 graduates each year chasing just 27,000 graduate vacancies.

Tips for being successful suggested by James were:

Start researching openings in your first year at university. Work experience is an absolute essential (the more relevant it is the better, but any work experience will help you develop and show employability skills). 6 months of work experience is an average for a successful Third university student to have, so make sure you don’t leave the organisation of work experience too late.

Post-grad courses don’t always make you more employable, but do cost you more.

Consider degree apprenticeships to dodge tuition fee debt.

One third of graduate vacancies are filled by students who had already completed an internship with the organisation.

Build a professional Linked-in profile and follow companies who you might like to work for.

Academic aptitude is assumed by your degree. You must convince employers that you embody the 5 competencies that they are looking for: COMMUNICATION, CONFIDENCE, CREATIVITY, PROBLEM-SOLVING and TEAMWORK.

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