Graduate job shop

April 25, 2003

Simon Hamm (Soapbox, THES, April 11) suggests that "graduate recruitment is a game of trial and error". In my experience, graduate recruitment is a professional business and recruiters work hard to ensure that this is as objective as it can be.

Employers use expensive and sophisticated means, such as websites and brochures, to make sure all students are fully aware of what they are looking for from graduates. Students need to play their part by considering whether they are right for the job on offer and are committed to the company.

Graduate recruiters are aware that all applicants need to be treated as individuals. But increasing numbers of students, all with high expectations of their employers, and the tight job market mean that there are many more applicants than jobs, and differentiating between candidates is tougher than ever.

Institutions can play an important role in preparing their graduates to compete for jobs. Careers services need to take a more commercial approach to the recruitment process, particularly in uncertain economic times, and focus on providing a service to both students and employers to improve the process for everyone.

Alison Hodgson
Finance director
Association of Graduate Recruiters

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