Live Q&A: A graduate guide to job seeking

Want a graduate job? Then be prepared to have more tricks up you sleeve than Derren Brown. At least that’s the experience of Charlotte Frenchman, who has jumped though as many hoops as the average circus performer to secure her first role.

Class of 2009 graduate Charlotte recently blogged about the gruelling lengths she had to go to to impress employers before eventually securing a marketing job. She wrote: “I’ve taken spelling tests, grammar tests and psychometric tests. I’ve presented to camera, written news articles, prepared a sample PR strategy and been asked how I would maximise the profits of a cinema in one day. I’ve been asked what animal best describes my personality and what I would say if the interviewers told me I hadn’t performed as well as they had expected.”

Phew. If you ask me, it seems a bit too close to an episode of The Apprentice. And while you might have never applied to become Lord Sugar’s lackey, sorry, apprentice, you could still find yourself participating in it – well, a version of show-style contests, anyway. That’s because Lord Sugar’s particular brand of screening candidates is becoming increasingly popular among recruiters.

Take ‘The Eventice’, an Apprentice-style series of challenges for event management students, where victory led to a job for one entrant. And then there’s L’Oréal, which last year ran a virtual business game where applicants were given avatars and faced online tasks.

So, what does all this mean for the good old CV and covering letter formula? And, if you are about to embark on a full-scale graduate job hunt, what can you expect and, indeed, what do employers expect from you? To give you a helping hand, our experts will be offering tried-and-tested advice about graduate jobseeking as well as discussing what the class of 2011 could face in the ever-spiky graduate jobs market this year. Join our live Q&A on 27 June from 1pm until 4pm – advance questions welcome below.

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