With a record 400,000 new graduates due to leave university this summer, you need to think about what’s going to make you stand out from the crowd – and fast.

Many graduates have already applied for the top positions to get ahead of the game. Graduate employers are receiving more completed job applications early in the recruitment cycle, and in 2017, 40% believe that the calibre of applicants has improved. 

The High Fliers’ annual study of the UK’s top 100 employers provides great insight into the machinations of the graduate recruitment process and we at City CV have picked some of the critical points from the study to help set you on your career path.

4.3% rise in opportunities

Perhaps all your friends are applying for graduate vacancies and you’re concerned that the market is already saturated – fear not. The number of vacancies was expected to rise by 4.3% in 2017, making it the fifth consecutive year of increased graduate intake.  The truth is though, the pick of the top jobs may already be taken so you can’t delay in getting started on your CV and applications.

The industries that recruit the largest number of graduates are accounting & professional services firms, public sector employers, engineering & industrial firms and investment banks who have combined recruitment targets of almost 13,000 graduate positions.  However, growth areas are likely to be high street and online retailers as well as the steadfast recruiter, the public sector.

£40K+ Salary

16% of places on the top graduate programmes now provide starting salaries of over £40,000, whilst thirteen of the country’s best-known graduate employers are paying salaries of at least £45,000 in 2017.  Investment banks continue to lead the way in offering the most rewarding packages from £47,000.

Get Social

Do you feel as though you haven’t seen any adverts about these top jobs in print?  Check your social media feed – graduate recruiters are year-on-year increasing their use of social media to promote their vacancies.   They haven’t disappeared from view completely though, and continue with face-to-face events such as careers’ fairs, recruitment presentations, skills training events and campus brand managers to market their programmes.

Work Experience

To close the loop, over a third of employers involved in the study warn that graduates who have no work experience have little prospect of receiving an offer on one of their programmes.

The graduate recruitment market is buoyant but it is as competitive as ever. If you would like some support to stand out in this competitive marketplace, as well as to arm yourself with the correct advice and preparation to achieve winning results, call us on +44 20 7100 6656 or email enquiries@citycv.com.

City CV CEO Victoria McLean is a former recruitment manager for two leading, global investment banks and is a multiple CV industry award winner, including ‘Best New Graduate CV 2016’. She leads a team of interview coaches and professional CV writers, who provide a bespoke 1-2-1 service, drawing on their in-depth hiring industry experience, across sectors and levels, right from graduates to Board level executives.

You can read the full report here: The Graduate Market in 2017 High Fliers Report