Latest on Postgrads & Recession

So far there have been 6 articles on the job market for researchers posted on the Vitae website, and although the focus is on researchers, they include useful information of interest to all postgrads.

Shiona Llewellyn (made sure I spelt that correctly – you’ll understand why if you read her article) has some insights on how recruiters select candidates for consultancy jobs. She acts as a retained recruitment consultant on behalf of employers, so is ideally placed to let you know what it takes to get through the first cut. If you don’t make it through her filter, the employing organisation will probably never see your application.

I’ve also had an article published on the variability of the job market and ideas (beyond “look at the job ads”) for what you can do to get lucky in your job search. It includes some hints on breaking into a tough job market which I haven’t blogged about so even if you’ve been following the blog or read our Recession pages, still might be worth a click.

Just to back up my assertions that not all graduate and postgraduate recruitment has disappeared, here’s the latest update from the job ads still being sent to the Careers Service at Manchester. The usual caveats apply (see my original post on what the stats might hide, plus all the earlier posts on the job market for the running commentary on the recession), but here are the stats for January to the end of June.

First, the number of new job ads for full-time jobs sent each week to the Careers Service. The graph below compares this year, last year (our best year for jobs) and 2002-3, the last “downturn year” (click on the image to see a larger version).


The next graph shown below (the cumulative number of full-time job ads we’ve received), irons out the volatility of the weekly figures:


I know there are people losing jobs right now. I know there are fewer jobs on offer generally. However, it’s difficult to be a total gloom merchant when you see evidence like that. All I would say is, “Get ’em while it lasts”. In previous recessions, graduate unemployment has lagged behind the economic recession so next year might be worse.

And on that cheery note, I’m off on hols for a couple of weeks, so don’t expect me to post unless I’m really bored, fed up with the weather or I find the odd off-topic video which I can’t resist sharing.


3 comments on “Latest on Postgrads & Recession

  1. Overall, I agree that the graph of job listings is somewhat reassuring, insofar as while it’s down, it isn’t down as much as one might fear, and in fact is still better than 2002-03. However, there is a bit of a gotcha there. 2002-03 was BEFORE the UMIST/Victoria merger, so presumably, that smaller number of advertisements was also recruiting from a much smaller pool of Manchester grads?

  2. No “gotcha” there, Dan – the Careers Service was always a combined service for both institutions (which was why it was no big deal for us when they merged).

    There are lots of other possible reasons though. For example, although we don’t do much canvassing of employers to get them to send us ads, more use of the web might be making it easier for smaller employers to find out that they can advertise with us for free, and that’s always attractive in a recession.

    I’m naturally cautious and always looking for signs that it’s all going horribly Pete Tong, but it still doesn’t look to be quite as bad as we anticipated.

  3. Some promising stats there. I think we have seen the worst / we are in the worst and so things can only get better

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