moove2london on 03 Sep 2010
Many of you will have completed your university degrees this summer and will be heading to London in search of graduate work, but as you may have heard in that refreshingly depressing way the media likes to tell us things… graduate jobs are hard to come by at the moment.
So here are some tips to increase your chances of getting a graduate job in London at the moment – it’s not all doom and gloom we promise!
Seriously, we can’t recommend enough the importance of uploading your C.V to Monster. It is TOTALLY FREE to create a profile and upload your C.V to their database where you will a)get to search for jobs in the industry you’re interested in but even better than this… b) top graduate recruiters use this database to search for the best graduate candidates to fill their positions. Imagine a scenario where a graduate vacancy has become available for a firm that you’re interested in, but the position is never actually advertised because their graduate head-hunters use Monster’s database to handpick candidates that they’re interested in interviewing. Why on earth wouldn’t you want to make yourself available for selection? Upload your C.V now.
Ok, this is a difficult one and is definitely not something we would recommend that EVERYONE does because of the sheer expense of Masters degrees and the importance of gaining relevant work experience. But for some professions, it really does pay to have a Masters degree under your belt. Think about it – if you’re applying for a graduate job and you’ve got a 2:1 or even a 1st class honours degree, how many other candidates do you think are applying with identical qualifications to you? Quite possibly hundreds. But the number of candidates with both Bachelors and Masters degrees will be substantially less. Talk to your careers advisors and people within your chosen industry for some advice.
Get yourself to some careers fairs. A great one which is coming up is the Guardian’s Graduate Fair which is free and takes place on 19th October, 2010 at the Business and Design Centre in Islington. You can already pre-register if you’re interested.
But this is only one of many careers events.
A great tip for those who have their heart set on working for one specific company, is to find out which career events the company recruiters will be attending. Then make sure you visit the company stand at as many of these events as you possibly can. Get to know the recruiters and make sure you take copies of your C.V with you and are fully prepared for informal interviews. Some may see this as stalking, but it’s an incredibly effective way to get yourself on the company radar!
We’ve thrown this one in for fun really, but some of you will have heard the story of David Rowe, who walked around the streets of London for 5 days wearing a sandwich board which read ‘Job wanted. History Graduate, University of Kent. Interview Me. Prepared to work first month FREE. Then hire or fire me. Thanks for looking, David.’ The stunt reportedly generated over 250 enquiries and he was consequently hired by JCDecaux.
Another similar story involved Alex Kearns (a 23 year old graduate) who was part of the Plinth Project in Trafalgar Square. He stood on top of the plinth for one hour with a sign reading ‘Give me a job’. He has since been hired by a London business consultancy who were impressed with his initiative.
Get some relevant work experience
When you apply for a graduate job, the recruiters aren’t going to just be blown away by your impressive qualifications and extra-curricular activities, they’re often going to require evidence of some relevant work experience within the industry that you’re applying to work in.
If your experience thus far, is a little thin on the ground, then it’s time to get some under your belt, particularly if you’re not doing any sort of work at the moment. Work experience might seem like it’s for kids and the fact that you’re not earning anything can be a little soul-destroying, but it won’t be forever. Make the most of an unpaid internship by learning as much as you can about your chosen profession, expanding your network of contacts (very important in business) and if you’re very impressive you might even be taken on as a permanent member of staff.
An excellent system to use when looking for work experience is the WEXO system.
Move to London
It’s a case of Catch 22 – we understand that. You don’t want to move here until you’ve got a job to pay the bills, but trust us, it’s really difficult to make the most of every available graduate opportunity or to be taken seriously if you don’t actually live in London or in the commutable vicinity. Remember that you can always take a survival job in London to help pay the bills whilst you’re searching for a more serious permanent job.
Follow all of the advice above and you’ll hopefully be setting your alarm for your first day at work in no time at all. Try and remain positive throughout the job-seeking process and don’t let a working day go by without taking a pro-active step (however small) to securing your dream job.
moove2london on 11 Aug 2010
With A-level results coming out next week, many of you will currently be wondering (and hoping) that you’ll get the results you need to move to London as a student and study at amazing colleges such as Queen Mary College, Kings, UCL, Imperial, LSE, Goldsmiths and the list goes on and on. Others of you might secure a university place in London through the limited number left in the clearing system. (More on clearing next week).
But what is life like for a student living in London for 3 or 4 years?
Well you’ve no doubt heard that London is pretty expensive compared to studying at other unis in the UK, (or overseas) and whilst that’s true, it certainly doesn’t mean that only wealthy people are able to study in London. What it does mean is that students in London learn how to be extra thrifty with their money. For those who are taking out student loans, you’re able to take out a bit extra as an allowance for the fact that you live in London. Many students will get a part time job, such as bar or shop work to help give them a bit of extra spending money. Contact your Student Union first of all to see what jobs they might have for you on campus.
Many students in London tend to go to things organised by their own Student Union as they’re often quite affordable. If you’re not impressed with the quality of what your college SU has to offer, then head to ULU (the University of London Union) which caters for ALL students in London. They often have pretty cool nights being held at ‘The Venue’.
For entertainment options outside of campus life, you’ll need to find some student friendly bars. Lots of bars carry discounts for students. Screampubs.co.uk in particular are extremely student-friendly – if you have a student id and £1, you’re able to obtain a yellow card which will save you heaps of cash on food and drinks. Their ‘crunch night’ has beers starting at £1.25!
Once you’ve enrolled as a student, you’ll receive a NUS card, which aside from being an important piece of I.D, is also your ticket to some great discounts at stores, services and venues across the country. Places such as Miss Selfridge, Oasis, Odeon cinemas, JJB Sports, Dominos Pizza, Play.com etc etc all have student discounts. If you’re not sure if somewhere offers a discount, then just ask them, but be warned that you’ll always be required to flash your NUS card or else the discount won’t be applicable.
Any other ways to save money?
London is a fantastic city for free things to do. Please refer to our Affordable London page for ideas on how to save a fortune and still have fun.
Another great idea is to visit Groupola and sign up for their offer of the day.
You can also get student discounts on travelling in London – see Tfl.gov.uk for details.
Where do London students live?
Good question. Students who are originally from London, often opt to live at home when they first start university as it saves money on student accommodation. Whilst this might seem like a wise idea, they find themselves missing out on many of the social aspects of being a London student and often you find that by the time the 2nd year starts, they’ve moved out of home.
So for those of you moving to London as a first-time student, we would heavily recommend moving into your college or university’s halls of residence. Student halls are a fantastic way to meet people and they’re often much more affordable than trying to find a houseshare. However, it’s typical for people to make friends with other people in university halls in their 1st year and then move into a student house with as many as 5 or 6 people for the remainder of the course.
Who will I meet at university in London?
There’s no limit to the amount of different people you’ll meet in London. We have people from all walks of life here. If you move into university halls, then you’re likely to make friends with people from other parts of the UK and international students. But then on your course, you’ll get friendly with people who have similar academic interests to you. If you start doing a part-time job, then you’ll potentially meet people who either study at different universities or who don’t go to uni at all.
What happens during the holidays?
With the exception of living in university halls, when you’re expected to vacate your room pretty much as soon as term ends, we think that London is unlike other university towns or cities, in that most students tend to stick around during the long holidays and get a job. If you’ve saved up enough money, then you could go travelling for a few weeks or a couple of months, because once you’ve finished uni, you’ll wish you hadn’t wasted those long holidays which aren’t so easy to take when you’ve got a full-time job. But if you can’t afford to go away, then just knuckle down to earning some money, reading your books (maybe!) in advance of the next term and having a great time with your uni mates.
What about getting a job after university?
Depending on the type of industry you wish to work in after university, you couldn’t be much better placed to find graduate work, by living in London. Obviously not ideal for those of you want to become farmers, but for those looking at working for banks, the media, or for big corporate organisations with impressive graduate schemes, London is an ideal place to be a student as it enables you to be able to take some relevant work experience whilst studying. Don’t wait until you’re in your final year to start looking around. Do work experience stints whenever you can and upload your C.V to Monster whilst you’re in your 1st year. You can add to it whenever you want. This gives graduate scheme scouts the opportunity to follow your progress through university and means that you’ll already be on their radar by the time you’re looking for a permanent position after you’ve finished your degree.
Finally, for any parents out there who are concerned about their child starting university in London in a couple of months time, we’ve compiled this Parents Guide to Moving to London which is designed to put your mind at ease.
moove2london on 06 Jul 2010
The results of a study conducted by the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) are hitting the papers today.
The AGR’s Graduate Recruitment Survey for 2010 looks at the competition for graduate jobs in the current economic climate and the qualities that a graduate needs in order to secure a job in today’s market.
Earlier in the year there were some optimistic signs that things were looking up for recent graduates as it was reported by CBI (Confederation of British Industry) that only 6% of firms were operating a graduate recruitment freeze (e.g not hiring graduates) – this was down from 38% in mid-2009. But the AGR are now claiming that compared to mid 2009, there is a 6.9% decrease in graduate vacancies this summer, which is 4 times what they predicted at the beginning of the year.
It seems that with so many graduates from 2008 and 2009 struggling to find work, there is now a backlog of candidates fighting for the same graduate vacancies in what the AGR deem to be a ‘diminishing pool of jobs’. It is thought that around 69 candidates are competing for the same job compared to 49 per vacancy last year.
The result? Recruiters are being forced to tighten up their selection process to ensure that they’re left with the crème de la crème!
Approximately 77.5% of graduate recruiters are now demanding that their candidates possess a minimum of a 2:1 Honours degree. This is compared to 66.7% requiring this from last year.
Over 1/3 of employers are also recognising the need to have relevant work experience in the industry that you want to work in. For more details on how to get relevant work experience, an internship or an entry-level job, please read our article on WEXO .
It’s not all doom and gloom though. Some sectors such as consulting services, insurance, accountancy and construction are anticipating a rise in offered vacancies this year.
To maximise your chances of securing a graduate job this summer, then do two simple things:
1. Upload your CV for free to Careers and Jobs UK , so that recruiters can search the database for the best of the best and you can search for positions.
2. If you haven’t already got relevant work experience, then visit WEXO. Work experience isn’t just for 16 year olds. Top employers such as James Caan from the Dragon’s Den uses the WEXO system to recruit and not all positions advertised are unpaid, so do yourself a favour and get one step ahead of the game!
moove2london on 19 Jun 2010
WEXO has been set up as a matchmaking process between recruiters and those who are seeking work experience, internships and jobs.
Specifically designed for young people at the beginning of their careers, they’re perfect for graduates and young professionals who are moving to London for the first time.
As graduate unemployment has soared by 44% in recent years, 56% of recruiters are now saying that work experience is the most important quality that a job candidate can possess. With famous businessmen such as
James Caan from the Dragon’s Den using the WEXO system to hire, this is surely a trustworthy and well-regarded system that bridges the gap between job boards and social networking and is a bit like Facebook.
The way WEXO works is that companies post their profiles and job opportunities and candidates then browse this list for FREE. If you come across a position that you’d like to apply for, you’ll then have to part with a one-off life-time membership of £10. As well as applying for positions, this fee gives you access to membership benefits such as career events, discounts, advice and C.V guidance.
But why listen to our recommendation of WEXO, when you could read these glowing reviews from The Sunday Times, The Guardian and many more.
moove2london on 11 Jun 2010
After 3 or 4 years of living in halls or a shared house at uni, the time will come for you and your friends to disband and consider where your life is going post-graduation.
Aside from those who choose to study in London, many students who have been studying at universities in other parts of the country, find that their student-friends don’t remain in their uni town after their final year. Instead, they tend to do one of 3 things.
- Go travelling
- Move back home with their parents
- Move to London to find graduate work
There are of course more than 3 options available to graduates, but these tend to be the most popular.
Now, we’re not going to try and talk you out of going travelling. So long as you realise that it won’t last forever as your money will probably run out, seeing the world is an amazing experience and you’ll never forget it.
We are however, here to convince you that moving back in with your parents rather than moving to London isn’t always the greatest of ideas.
Remember how great it felt at uni to come in at whatever time of day or night you felt like. You were answerable to no-one. You ate what you wanted, when you wanted and didn’t have to worry about being back for ‘dinner-time’. If you staggered through the door at 5am after puking in your own garden, then you might have felt a bit embarrassed in front of your flatmates, but they soon got over it because they were in the same state a couple of nights later. Most parents, even the coolest ones, aren’t going to be impressed by your drunken shenanigans. Even worse, they’ll be ‘worried’ and you won’t be able to let your hair down too much anymore because you’ll feel guilty about it.
Dating and parents don’t really mix all that well. If you already have a girlfriend or boyfriend, then you’ll have to try and suss out how cool your parents are with he/she staying over. To be honest, most parents should be fairly flexible about this as you have been away for 3 or 4 years. But you will definitely have to bid a fond farewell to afternoon ‘sessions’ on the couch with your other half.
Of course, an even worse scenario exists if you’re single. Let’s say you’ve gone on a couple of dates with someone and you manage to convince them in some sort of drunken stupor that it’s not an issue for them to stay the night in your parents home. You have a wild night of passion and then have to try and sneak him/her out of the house whilst your parents are sat at the breakfast table reading their papers. Awkward!
Ok, so this is the strongest argument for going home after uni and there’s no denying that many people manage to save a lot of money whilst living with their parents as it’s normal to pay little or no rent to the duo that created and raised you. But on the flipside you need to get out there into the big, bad world and learn how to manage your money. Children who stay at home for too long find it harder, once they do move out, to grow up and manage their finances.
Your relationship with your parents
Even if you have a great relationship with your parents and love getting your laundry done on a regular basis(!), you still might discover that you’ve been looking back on your childhood with rose-tinted spectacles and the reality is that they drive you nuts. Your dad’s obsession with gardening shows and your mum’s constant slating of the neighbours may become a little much for you to bear on a daily basis and you could find yourself either locked in your bedroom night after night for some space, or choosing to get out as much as possible and spending all that money you thought you’d be saving!
Your uni friends
If some of your university friends have moved to London immediately after uni and you chose not to go with them, then they’ll probably be nicely settled in a shared house together and you’ll be sorry that you chose not to go with them. They’ve moved on and you’re jealous of the lifestyle that they’re experiencing. What’s the point of you saving all this money if you’re not going to have any fun with it?
If your eventual aim after saving some money at home, is to move to London and seek out a top graduate job, then the best place to search for and secure such a position from, is London. Recruitment agencies and interviewers want people to fill positions NOW (usually so they can get their commission asap!) They can’t be bothered with waiting for you to take time off work and get the train down etc.
If you’re still in doubt about moving to London, because you’re worried about the costs involved, then read the following articles which might help get some figures sorted out in your head.
How Much Money Do I Need To Move To London
How Much Does It Cost To Live In London
moove2london on 27 Apr 2010
When you first move to London as a graduate, or a young professional, you might need to take a survival job whilst you’re looking for a job in your chosen company or industry.
What is a survival job?
A survival job is usually a low-paying and often customer-facing job that a job-seeker would take on a temporary basis in order to cover basic living costs such as rent, bills and food. Jobs falling under the ‘survival jobs’ category could include barwork, shopwork, waitressing, or a basic office admin role.
If you’ve recently finished university, or have been working for a few years prior to your move to London, you may find a survival job to be completely beneath you. You (and possibly your family) might have spent a great deal of money and certainly time on your further education and the last thing you ever envisaged yourself doing with your BA(Hons) degree is to be pouring pints. But try and keep in mind that there are positives to take out of accepting a job that you never expected to have to do.
First of all, the best place you can be living in whilst looking for a job in London is……. London. So if working in a pizza restaurant is a way of supporting yourself whilst going for graduate job interviews, then that’s got to be a lot better than attempting to apply for jobs from your far-flung home location.
As much as many of us dream about giving up work and sitting at home watching Jeremy Kyle all day (no, really), in reality, this is quite a depressing existence. So for the sake of your own sanity, it’s a lot better to get out of the house and into a workplace – any workplace – so that you’re able to keep yourself busy for the day. This can also help combat depression if you’re feeling that this issue is getting too much for you.
You may not want to end up being the regional manager of your local supermarket chain, but there’s a high chance that by doing a survival job, you’ll actually learn skills that you could use in your future dream job. You might be able to learn or develop customer-service skills, touch-typing, a professional phone manner, cash-till operation or new software packages. Try and look for the positive in any survival job that you decide to accept.
Of course, not all survival jobs are going to be suitable for fitting in with your ongoing job-hunting. If you end up working extremely long hours, then you may not have any time to go to job interviews or recruitment agencies. So make sure you know how many hours and shifts you’ll be expected to work before you accept a low-paid job. Also be aware, that some ‘survival jobs’ will pay better than others, so make sure you know the going rate at other companies in a similar industry before you accept anything too menial.
Remember that a survival job is only a temporary measure to help you get on your feet when you first arrive in London. So long as you don’t accept any job that’s illegal or that is against your morals, then you might even find the experience to be positive and rewarding. You could even meet great new friends who find themselves in a similar circumstance to you. In the meantime, upload your most recent C.V and cover letter for FREE to Monster and enjoy doing lots of cheap things that London has to offer.