2021 has undoubtedly been a weird year for job-seeking. It might even feel like looking for work is an almost impossible task. But is this really true?
Myth 1: There are no jobs to apply for
Contrary to popular belief, there are still plenty of brilliant opportunities out there, and the number is growing rapidly. According to the latest labour market information, UK businesses are currently reporting the fastest growth in activity for more than 20 years!
There’s good news internationally too, with strong signs of an increase in opportunities in China, India, and the rest of the world for 2021/22.
Vacancies are being added almost every day to the Careers Service website.
Myth 2: Employers won’t take me seriously without in-person work experience
Opportunities to get in-person work experience or internships have been limited this year.
But remember everyone will be in the same position, and that employers will recognize that gaining this type of experience has been largely impossible. Instead, focus on making the most of any experiences you have managed to fit in.
This might mean highlighting any volunteering you’ve done in your community, participation in online careers events, or online work experience you’ve managed to arrange. Opportunities like the Bright Network virtual internship, which is free and open to anyone over the age of 18, could be a great addition to your CV.
Myth 3: Employers won’t value my degree if it’s not closely aligned with their work
You may be worried that employers will only want to hire those who studied specific degree subjects. However, most graduate employers recruit graduates of any subject, and are more interested in what you can bring to the role than exactly what you studied.
Our Career Options page lets you see you the variety of different roles which students studying your degree subject have ended up in.
Myth 4: I won’t get a job in the sector I’m most interested in, because I can’t see any relevant vacancies advertised
If you’re not seeing many jobs or internships advertised that you are interested in, there are two things you should consider:
Firstly, graduate employers may be recruiting directly on their own websites, instead of through more generic job sites. You can bookmark the jobs websites of specific companies you are interested in and follow them on social media to have the best chance of seeing advertised jobs.
Secondly, be proactive. Reach out directly to employers who are not actively advertising. It’s not easy to create your own opportunity, but the Careers Service has useful guides on both speculative applications and sourcing your own internship which can help you with this.
Myth 5: There’s not much I can do over the summer to help make myself more employable
You’ve worked hard this year, and it’s really important to take a break. However, this summer offers a great opportunity to catch up on anything you’ve missed out on over the last year, and help to build your CV ready for any job applications you have planned for the autumn. The Careers Service will continue to organise employer-led events, and offer information, advice, and guidance through appointments and the live chat service throughout the summer.
Although your plans may have changed this year, this means that new types of opportunity are available to you. Keep an open mind and remember that that your next job does not need to be your ‘perfect’ or ‘forever’ job – it’s just the next step in gaining valuable experience in the workplace, and gradually realising your career goals.