Over three quarters (77%) of graduates have revealed they are unhappy with the level of careers advice they received from their university, a new study has revealed.

The research conducted by CV Centre in light of National Student Employment Week has highlighted that 87% of graduates felt the career advice they received didn't prepare them for working life (see the infographic – www.imncontent.com/Nationalstudentemploymentweek.jpg). A mere 8% said they were confident at writing a CV without any help from their university and only 1 in 10 (12%) were given the opportunity to have a one-on-one session with a careers advisor whilst studying.

With tuition fees at an all-time high, with Universities able to charge up to £9,000 a year, competition for graduate jobs is rife.

The figures showed that only 1 in 8 graduates had a job lined up before leaving university (13%), and under a quarter secured a job in their chosen field within 6 months (19%).

Graduate applicationThe study also spoke to 1,000 decision makers in business, who identified that mistakes within CVs (41%), irrelevant degrees (24%) and untailored cover letters (30%) are regular occurrences seen in graduate applications. They also reported a rise in those thinking 'outside the box' with their applications – but just under a quarter (24%) admitted this could secure the applicant an interview.

When asked about the level of support that graduates receive from university, a third (30%) felt that universities did not prepare graduates for working life, and a further 22% said that universities should be doing more in order to give graduates the best start in their career.

James Innes, Founder and Chairman of CV Centre said: "Universities are not only in place to educate young students and improve their expertise in their chosen field – they should be providing students with the skills and knowledge to prepare them for a successful career.

"Considering the rise in tuition fees, the advice students are looking for should be readily available – but the research found that many are seeking external advice to increase their chances of finding a job in their preferred sector."

Due to the increased competition amongst graduates, 1 in 4 decision makers said they would only hire someone who had participated in extracurricular activities or undertaken a work placement (27%), but only 11% of graduates said their university helped them find a relevant work experience.

James Innes went on to say that: "Despite graduates leaving university more knowledgeable in their specific field, many don't know the first thing about writing a CV or cover letter. After founding CV Centre I have witnessed first-hand the incorrect approach being taken by graduates, but there is plenty of advice out there after university, and that is what we are trying to highlight in National Student Employment Week."

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