Where and how do employers advertise?
There is no single, preferred means of searching for graduate employment opportunities. It is important to be aware of the different ways in which employers advertise and adapt your job search strategy accordingly. It is useful to remember that a significant number of job opportunities are never advertised. This 'hidden job market' presents a rich vein of opportunity that can only be mined through very focused speculative application and networking.
Indirect vacancy advertising
Employer directories contain details of the majority of large graduate recruiters: who the employers are, their structure and the available opportunities. Also outlined is the preferred application method and specific entry requirements (e.g. degree discipline). A number of free directories (Times Top 100, Prospects Directory) and sector-specific graduate recruitment publications (TARGET) are available from the Careers, Employability and Enterprise Centre. They can also be accessed online using the links in the right-hand menu.
The Careers, Employability and Enterprise Centre provides a means for employers to forward information to students via email. This service is managed by us so that you are not overburdened with employer literature/marketing material. We also facilitate a large number of employer presentations and events throughout the academic year. Our online vacancy database contains a broad range of graduate employment and internship opportunities.
Advertising in the press and specialist magazines
The national and local press is still a major source of graduate vacancies; the matrix below details the vacancy provision in the national papers. Opportunities are also publicised in sector specific publications and journals relating to areas such as local government, economic/social research, professional health and social care (such as assistant psychologists, social workers), the environment, arts administration, media and the not-for-profit sector. To access details of job or sector specific publications refer to the relevant careers articles on the Prospects site.
Finding opportunities on the web
Most employer websites will have a section on employment and career opportunities. These provide sources of information on the company which will help you to assess whether you would like to work for them, help you plan an application and prepare for interview. Many professional bodies allow you to access vacancies by registering (often free) on their websites; the professional bodies are also an excellent source of network and training opportunities. There are some very good graduate jobsites in existance (e.g. Milkround, Graduate Jobs); it is also useful to refer to sector specific job sites (if you have a strong career focus) and non-graduate job sites (e.g. Monster) for entry level positions. Jobs Today is a useful site for searching for local jobs across the UK. For details on sources of vacancies for specific career roles please refer to the 'typical employer/vacancy sources' section of the career profiles on the Prospects website.
Recruitment agencies can be helpful near the end of the academic year, or after graduation, particularly when looking for work in specialist areas or for short-term opportunities. If you register with an agency, it is important to establish their suitability and the level of support that you will receive regarding e.g. notifying you of opportunities or forwarding your CV to prospective employers. An agency may also undertake an initial sift of application forms for an employer. The Recruitment and Employment Confederation has excellent information on recruitment agencies; there are some agencies, such as the Graduate Recruitment Bureau, that specialise in helping graduates. For further information refer to the 'Recruitment Consultancies' section of this website.
Graduate recruitment fairs
Organised by university careers services throughout the country. They take place throughout the year and attract a broad range of local and national employers. If you haven't found a job or course it is important that you attend one or more of these. Refer to Prospects for further details. The Careers, Employability and Enterprise Centre runs a series of employment fairs and events; our largest event, the Information Fair, takes place over two days every October and attacts a wide range of employers.
There are many approaches to looking for job vacancies but the national press remains a useful starting point. Vacancies can also be accessed on the online versions of the papers and the University Library has a subscription to a lot of these which current students can access for free. You can also check out the jobs pages online:
- The Times
- The Guardian
- The Financial Times
- THES - Times Higher Education Supplement
For local vacancies, regional newspapers are a useful source of opportunities.