With confidence in British business continuing to rise, it’s fair to say the great job market downturn of the past few years is exactly that – the past. In fact, a report cited the BBC claims the graduate job market has recovered to its pre-recession peak, with a 12 per cent rise in the number of jobs for those saying a fond farewell to university.

While this may sound like music to graduates’ ears, it is not all good news. Graduate numbers have increased by 85,000 to 365,000 since 2007, showcasing the sheer amount of competition that graduates face when attempting to get a job. A 12 per cent rise in vacancies is welcome, but more are needed to accommodate the swelling numbers of those graduating from university with dreams of getting a job right from the bat.

But there’s another twist…

According to a poll by the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR), employers appear to be struggling to fill graduate posts despite the astronomical rise in numbers looking for vacant roles. The survey suggests out of 189 top employers, just under a quarter had been unable to fill graduate posts in 2013-14.

AGR chief executive Stephen Isherwood explains why: “There are still unfilled graduate vacancies as employers are not always able to find the right people, with the right knowledge, skills and attitudes, for the job.

“Graduates must ensure they really do their research, target their applications and ensure their CVs do them justice if they want to be in with a good chance of securing a place on a graduate scheme following university,” he added.

Landing a graduate role

With the news the graduate job market is recovering – in line with the increasing numbers of alumni looking for jobs – competition remains as fierce as ever. It’s in the hands of graduates to heed Isherwood’s advice and do everything in their power to ensure their applications and CVs are highly targeted to vacant roles.

For graduate roles in the property industry, it is highly-recommended that graduates get some related work experience – whether that’s with a local estate agent, a national branch or for a local council’s planning department for example. Summer internships, week-long experiences or part-time volunteer work can all help when applying for graduate positions.

A university degree or work-experience is ideal but most of all, a willingness to learn about property is key for interviewers. The sheer breadth and depth of the property industry means graduates won’t know everything and it would be remiss for an applicant to give the impression they do. Again, a university degree is useful but an eager, keen desire to learn is just as good.

Overall, the resurgence of the graduate job market is reassuring for the many graduates leaving universities every year but the acquisition of a degree is not a golden ticket. Graduates still need to work hard and gain as much experience as they can in order to get a foothold in the property industry.