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Research: This Is What Graduates Say About The Job Search

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Too often, the voices of young people are left out of the noise that proliferates about jobs and employability. Partly because many stakeholders in this space have competing agendas that lose sight of how they affect young job seekers. So, I asked graduates from my LinkedIn connections and wider network what it’s like job searching in your 20s. Their voices reflect a qualitative snapshot in August 2017 of their experiences, perspectives, and opinions. Graduates describe how the job search feels, what it’s like engaging with employers and recruitment processes, and what helps and hinders. This post gives you a flavour of the research findings.

Psychologically, it can be so tough, destabilising, and demoralising going through the job hunt – Graduate

researchIn total, 20 graduates commented with varying degrees (5 with Masters), in different jobs and sectors (not all Graduate-level). Of these, 12 are employed permanently and full-time (2 yet to start), 4 part-time (1 on a fixed-term contract), 1 self-employed, 1 internship, 1 not in work, 1 about to go travelling. The age range is spread evenly from 21 to 30.

Research themes

In summary, there are 13 themes arising from the responses:

  • There are jobs out there.
  • Work experience matters.
  • Mentors and peer support make a difference.
  • Networking is important for leverage.
  • Being resilient helps.

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