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How Competitive Are Graduate Jobs In London?

Published: Wednesday 22nd January 2020

London is the land of opportunity for many fresh graduates who are eager on making a move and ready to kick-start their careers. With plenty of jobs in London as well as high salaries to boast, the appeal of working there is highly understandable.

Westminster Bridge at sunset, London, UK

Finding graduate jobs in London

The city is an exciting place when it comes to graduate recruitment with a common graduate perception dominating, that if you’re ambitious, you need to go to the capital. But working and living there isn’t always what people hype it up to be. When it comes down to job hunting in London, it may also be an impossible task as it’s highly competitive. From applications to interviews, the process of finding a job can be exhausting and nerve-racking. Hence, many graduates are too easily seduced by the lure of the capital, and they don’t properly weigh up the pros and cons of job hunting in London.

The challenges of graduate job hunting in London

Getting your first graduate job can be a sticky process that feels totally overwhelming, if you’re not ready. And if you’re fresh out of uni, applying for jobs is unfamiliar territory too. So, what really are the challenges of graduate job search in London?

Group of students holding a flag of Great Britain on the university campus background. Friends in United Kingdom. International language learn course.

Fierce competition – With the capital being the number one most popular location for graduates from a possible choice of 45, London is highly competitive for UK graduates and students, while ranked as the first-choice destination. In fact, a study by Centre for Cities found that from all UK universities, 24% of employed 2015 graduates were working in London within six months of graduating. In particular, London experiences every year a surge of Oxbridge and Russel Group grads with top degrees under their belts.

As a result, it’s common for employers to receive applications from hundreds of suitable candidates for a single graduate vacancy. More applicants make it a lot harder for you to secure a fantastic graduate role in London. And although you may be perfect for a job, there’s likely to be 10 or more other graduates that are perfect too.

Slow progression and career development – There’s plenty of competition when it comes to graduate jobs in London and once you get a foot in the door, progression is tough too. This is particularly true in larger companies where you will have to compete with other colleagues to get ahead.

Career with woman using her smartphone on a couch

On top of that, employers know that there are plenty of candidates out there who could easily take your place. Therefore, employers have little incentive to push you up as they can easily replace you, if you decide to leave due to lack of room for career progression.

The benefits of London graduate jobs

The salary hike – London salaries are higher than in any other part of the UK, comparing favourably with salaries offered in other major cities of the world.

World-class employers – Many world-class companies and high-profile organisations have a home in the city, which means you have an excellent chance of landing your dream job! London is renowned as the business centre of the UK with a wealth of job opportunities in all industries and levels.

Endless networking opportunities – The connections that you’ll make whilst working in London will be invaluable to your career. Whether these are people that you meet at after work events or company away days, you’re sure to be making new connections the whole time that you’re working in London.

What should you do?

View of fashion young woman using smartphone in london on tower bridge, looking at her phone, job hunting

Be prepared – If you’re going to apply for graduate jobs in London, be ready for a tough job hunt and plenty of interviews. You’ll need to have a thick skin, as you’re likely to face a few knock backs on the way.

Be persistent and proactive – When looking for graduate jobs in London, it’s vitally important to keep positive, keep job searching and know when to apply. Whilst it may seem challenging at first, gaining the right experience via part-time jobs, internships or voluntary work and being willing to start at a lower level and work your way up can give you a big advantage over other applicants. Another great idea is to make a list of job fairs with potential employers and make sure to attend them in order to benefit from any networking opportunities.

Take your job search on the road – When job hunting, it’s good to always stay up-to-date with the latest job vacancies. Therefore having a job search app, like Zoek in your phone is a must.

Thousands of graduates every year make the move to the capital. With a clear job search process in place, finding a job in London doesn’t have to be hard, whether you’re getting a job with no experience, or considering a career change in London. So, if you’re ready to kick-start your career, find your graduate job in London now on Zoek! For more advice on how to advance your career and land your dream job, check our InfoHub.

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