1 in 3 job seekers say too much competition is biggest challenge

1 in 3 job seekers say too much competition is biggest challenge

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Graduates, NEWS, Personal Branding

1 in 3 job seekers say too much competition is their biggest challenge when entering the workforce, according to our latest research.

A survey of 150 people early on in their careers, conducted by Careercake, found competition to pose the biggest threat (37%). It was a pain felt by graduates in particular.

Other prominent challenges included: ‘I won’t hear back from the recruiting company’ (27%) and ‘I don’t know what to do with my career now’ (13%).

Standing out in a disrupted graduate employment market

“I’ve just graduated alongside thousands of others with exactly the same degree. How do I make myself stand out to an employer?” commented one respondent. 

“I worked really hard throughout university, secured a role and then it was taken from me. I’ve no other option but to start again” shared another. 

What’s made the situation worse is news that almost two thirds of university students have had job applications paused or even withdrawn, according to YouGov.

“The career plans of young people are totally disrupted. They’re having to deal with so many challenges in a short period of time – paused internships, difficult market conditions, rejection. This can put an immense level of pressure on them,” said Aimee Bateman, CEO of Careercake.

“Young job seekers say too much competition is their biggest challenge” – survey, Careercake

Speaking with graduates, they told us more about their situation:

That graduate job they’d spent so long gearing up for has been put on hold. That network they’d spent ages building has suddenly gone silent. All whilst they’d just started to figure out what they were going to do with their life. 

What can you do to support job seekers who say too much competition is getting in their way?

Aimee suggests the most useful strategy young job seekers – or in fact any job seekers – can pursue is to pay attention to their personal brand.

To start with, you need to understand your WHY. In other words, why do you do, what you do?

Here’s a short video Know what you’re selling a tip for creating your personal brand  as well as a blog on why personal branding is important that looks at Aimee’s personal story. 

We also suggest taking advantage of some of the free training that’s been made available to those who are out of work, for example through Google Digital Garage

Also, check out Advice for Graduates, featured on Steal These Thoughts, where Ross suggests it’s important also to think about self care too. Be kind to yourself, be flexible and practice patience he suggests as tips.  


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