Now, I love books as much as the next English graduate with a Waterstones club card, but even I know that people cannot always be comprehensively understood from a piece of paper or reductive application form. People are people, with complex lives and stories to tell. Maybe they weren't brought into the world wanting to be an (insert job title here), but they may just have it in them to make a bloody good go of it anyway.
If you're still really stuck, go out and do something that you can write about. I coached football through my DofE programme, which I used on my CV to show communication and leadership skills. Always remember that each skill you list should be backed up by a real life example of where you've demonstrated this, and then the world is your oyster.
Recent figures from the Association of Graduate Recruiters has revealed a sharp reduction in the number of jobs available to graduates, the first decline in the graduate labour market in four years. A steep decline in such a short time is highly worrying, but the issue is seemingly more complex than might first appear.
So perhaps a drama school that endeavours to train its students how to be an actor, should enlighten graduates as to just what is possible. Promotional work, corporate work, work that uses the skills they have learnt as actors to engage with the public. Somebody has to wear that Sponge Bob Square pants suit in the shopping mall on a Saturday afternoon. How much better for all concerned if it's somebody who can really make it look fun.
As corny as it may sound, you get out of life what you put into it, and Carbon Week is a great example of this principle. Aston has been a leading university for graduate employment success for over 20 years, and offering Carbon Week to students like myself is another way of helping us to increase our awareness and be one step ahead of the game.
Young people hear so much about the need to do well in their exams but virtually nothing on the need to invest in themselves as people, and yet that's what will set them up for success in the workplace--and in life. Young people face so many challenges during their transition to adulthood and employment. Giving them the tools to do that successfully is surely the responsibility of our society. Ofsted's report should be a wake-up call to make that a reality.
I am a humanities graduate. I spent tens of thousands of pounds to read things at University College London with the occasional hour spent reading things with a professor in the room at the same time. The received wisdom is that this kind of degree is actively harmful in securing a career and that anybody who doesn't choose Science is doooooooooomed...
It is a long time since I was a graduate, but I regularly work with grads as we run a 'fellowship' graduate training programme in our business. So I asked our current grads and a few of my 'nearer graduate age' colleagues at my agency, Coley Porter Bell, what advice they would give a grad going into their first career job.