Graduate Job Market: Positions Down by a Fifth

The nation is in the midst of an increasingly competitive graduate job market, where securing employment opportunities has become more challenging than ever. Just this week, The Times has reported graduate positions are down a fifth in the past five months alone!

According to the Higher Education Statistics Agency, 44 graduates will apply for every graduate job opportunity this summer, up from 36 for each role last year.

With countless candidates vying for limited positions, it has become crucial for job seekers to adopt effective strategies to differentiate and better themselves. One key solution lies in mentoring—a dynamic relationship that empowers individuals to unlock their full potential, hone their skills, and navigate the complexities of the job market with confidence.

Mentorship offers a wealth of benefits that extend far beyond traditional avenues of professional development – by matching mentees with experienced professionals who have navigated similar career paths, mentorship equips individuals with invaluable insights, guidance, and support. Through this personalised guidance, mentees gain a competitive edge, ensuring they are well-prepared to meet the demands and expectations of prospective employers and nerve-wracking interviews.

It’s no wonder then that mentoring is on the rise in the UK. Google Trends data shows that there have been 17,000 searches for ‘mentor’ in the UK over the past month, and searches generally are up 7% on last year.

Similar searches such as ‘business mentor’ and ‘how to find a mentor’ are also on the up – seeing increases of 27% and 6% year-on-year respectively.

A huge advantage of mentoring is the opportunity to drill a fountain of knowledge from mentors who have a range of industry-specific knowledge and expertise along with connections too. Mentors, who possess a wealth of experience and insights, can provide mentees with a deep understanding of their chosen field. They offer guidance on hiring practices, current trends and industry best practices, enabling mentees to stay ahead of the curve and make informed decisions that set them apart from their peers in the increasingly competitive job market.

Another element of mentoring is the opportunity for personal and professional growth by enhancing critical skills that employers value. Mentors provide constructive feedback, helping mentees identify areas for improvement and develop to overcome challenges. They can offer guidance on CVs and applications, interview techniques, and effective networking, empowering mentees to showcase their unique strengths and talents.

Beyond skill development, mentorship also cultivates self-confidence and more importantly in this market, resilience. Navigating the job market can be disheartening, especially with the current trends, with numerous rejections and setbacks along the way. However, a mentor serves as a trusted advisor and cheerleader, providing encouragement, motivation, and perspective. They instil a belief in mentees’ abilities and nurture a resilient mindset necessary for success.

Ed Johnson, CEO and Co-Founder of PushFar, an online mentoring platform, commented on the need for a mentor: “Mentoring empowers individuals to rise above the competition, which based on the new data is incredibly important. Through PushFar, we facilitate meaningful connections between experienced professionals and ambitious individuals, fostering an environment of growth, learning, and professional advancement.

“I’d encourage all job seekers and graduates to embrace the power of mentorship as a pathway to success. By seeking out mentorship opportunities, you can develop your unique strengths, refine skills, and confidently navigate the challenges of a crowded job market.”

If you’re on the hunt for a mentor to help you stand out, or are looking for career progression tips and tricks, visit where you can find your mentor, use their resource library and also sign up for free training sessions each month.

Anabel Cooper

Anabel is a graduate of King’s College London and upon graduating, she set out on a journey to inspire and empower women through her words. Besides working as a digital marketing expert, Anabel is a freelance copywriter.