Can studying in London improve your chances of getting your dream job?
As far as capital cities go, few can compare to London when it comes to being a student – and that’s not just us being biased.
In fact, in May this year, London overtook Tokyo, Montreal and Paris to become officially recognised as the best city in the world to study. Being a great city in which to gain an education is one thing, but does it also mean better job prospects after graduation?
There are over 2.3 million students registered with 39 higher education institutions in the capital. One in four newly qualified graduates descend on the capital from elsewhere in the country after gaining their degree, and it is easy to see why.
Indeed, Barclays Wealth & Investments recently reported that London continues to retain its position as the most prosperous city in the UK, while unemployment levels in the capital remain below the national average with the number of new jobs created on the rise.
Yet the prospect of earning more is not the key driver for those seeking to kick-start their career in the capital. A Centre for Cities report found that while London is a major pull for those with first-class and 2:1 degrees, graduates are motivated more by the opportunity for future career progression than the wage packet they will receive at the end of each month.
Against this backdrop, it should come as no surprise to learn that London is also home to the 100 biggest graduate employers in the UK – each vying to attract the best of the new crop of talent seeking to enter the workforce for the first time. Demand for graduate talent in the nation’s capital is high, but so is the competition.
However, for those already based in London, the odds are stacked in your favour. Here are three key ways to boost your job prospects as a newly qualified graduate in the capital:
Be proactive and network: The idea of walking into a room packed with unfamiliar business people can be a daunting task. But it needn’t be. London has a plethora of great networking events across the city that offer the opportunity to meet people from a range of businesses who could open doors for you. A conversation with one person can lead to an introduction to another who may have a job opening where they work that is exactly what you are looking for. It really can be who you know…
Take on temporary work: Experience is key to securing the role that you really want, and if that role is not immediately available, then working on a temporary basis with a local company will stand you in good stead. Ideally, the position will be related to your perfect role, but that is not essential. What is important is your demonstrable commitment to learning new skills, both hard (computer skills, administration, research) and soft skills (team work, communication, time management) – attributes that Employers find invaluable.
Register with a Recruitment agency: You may not have much work experience under your belt, but a good Recruitment agency will advise you on how best to sell your potential to do a great job. From providing advice on how to create a job-winning CV to preparing you for interview. Recruiters not only help you to raise your profile as a Candidate of choice, they can also tap into their network of London Employers to identify those opportunities that match your requirements – jobs that may never be advertised.