Thursday 12th June and the Kloodle boys take on the Manchester Graduate Recruitment Fair. The dedication to high standards from both the Employers present and the graduates themselves was immediately apparent.
What struck me most was the foresight from the students walking around the Armitage Centre in Fallowfield. The application demonstrated by the students present gave testament to the savvy nature of the current crop of young people entering the job market. The sheer volume of students present, cover letter in hand, having already done their background research on the employers they would be making a bee-line for in the fair.
These kids are ‘on the ball’.
An estimated 5000 students walked in and out of the doors at the fair over the two days. This was made up predominantly of 2nd and 3rd year students, with a compliment of graduates from many of the North West Universities. This represents keen, passionate, young individuals who are out there actively looking for opportunities. Our interviews from the day showed that all the major corporate employers are looking to give these young guns a chance. It was refreshing to hop along from stall to stall, quizzing these professionals, learning about the ethos of their respective companies and how they envisage Manchester Students being the future and lifeblood for years to come. They are certainly happy to trust you, boys and girls of Manchester. Don’t waste it!
“Personality” “Drive” “Enthusiasm” “Development” Soft Skills” “Outgoing” “Energy” “Well-rounded”
Events like these are always ‘awash’ with buzz words and phrases. Corporate spokespeople know exactly what to say. The difference here was that you genuinely felt they meant every word. Perhaps it was down to the abundance of spokesmen and women who were in their first or second year of employment within the company, after having been at this very venue one or two years previous, CV in hand, looking for their first opportunity. True success stories validating their companies claims that these are the candidates they are looking for… “someone like me”.
After our 15th or 16th video Interview (some of which included the likes of IBM, Sellafield, BAE systems, the department of Education, NHS, Autotrader, and many more) we were certainly attaining confirmation that these companies were in fact all looking for the same things – well rounded, characterful, enthusiastic graduates who can make a difference to their company and are great to work with. They are on the hunt for people, not numbers. The common theme from our interviews were that ALL of the graduates passing through the doors are highly skilled, highly intelligent and well researched individuals. Companies are looking for people who can grow, members they feel that can work as a team or work on new radical schemes or projects. They want graduates who they can throw into new situations and who come out the other side. Many of the ‘success stories’ we spoke to had said they started out in one role and have since changed two or three times. They have shown the initiative and the ability to adapt into more responsible and senior roles.
Listen up students! This is what matters.
If you have a degree in your chosen field, guess what – your employer knows you have shown due consideration to your academic needs. They also know you have succeeded in researching and maintaining a decent level of knowledge on your course. They will know you are capable of dedication to the subject or have a passion for it.
What is going to set you aside from the rest are your communication skills, your ability to work as a team, your interests outside of your work (they want someone who will fit in with the ethos of their company) your presenting skills, all of those soft skills you may have thought unnecessary to highlight on your CV previously.
THAT’S what may get you ahead of the next candidate.
They are not filling temporary roles when they employ a graduate, they want someone who can grow with the company and take it forward, bring new ideas and energy, and in some cases, it might come down to a simple decision… “Would I prefer to go for a beer with this guy, or this guy?”
Seriously. People work with people, not qualifications.
Showcase what makes you, you. There is no better platform than Kloodle to ‘tell your story’.