Today’s job market expects candidates to show, not tell, their skills at interview

Only a fifth (22 per cent) of the UK’s top universities1 offer up-to-date-guidance as part of their online resources to help students meet employers’ expectations in job interviews and thrive in the competitive graduate job market. This is according to the UK Domain’s analysis of the UK’s top 54 universities’ career pages2.

The main areas for a university’s online guidance are internship seeking (100 per cent), followed by tips on interview preparations and assessment days (98 per cent), and CV writing (98 per cent). While this advice is undoubtedly crucial, universities are overlooking a key area in which HR professionals are interested: online portfolios.

With the average employer conducting 14 interviews for every post4, it’s not enough for graduates to explain their suitability in person – they’ve also got to prove it. A study of 510 HR professionals showed that nine in ten (88 per cent) are more likely to hire or proceed with a candidate that can demonstrate their experience using an online portfolio in an interview.

Despite the preference by employers for graduates to take a ‘show not tell’ approach, less than a quarter of the universities (22 per cent) are providing guidance on the value of creating a portfolio website to showcase a student’s professional skills and personality to get ahead.

Eleanor Bradley, COO of Nominet which runs the UK Domain, said:

“Many students will be using their time at university to prepare for the job market but our research shows that universities are not updating their resources to reflect what employers are now looking for from candidates.

“An online portfolio not only gives employers confidence in a candidate’s professional skills but also gives them a glimpse into their personality to see if they are a cultural fit, which is equally as important in many cases. What’s more, by showcasing their skills on a personal website, students can continue to be found by prospective employers online and have a central place to store their achievements as their careers progress.”

Only a fifth (22 per cent) of the top universities surveyed offer the full spectrum of advice to students looking to clinch a role in today’s job market. These Universities include; Aberdeen, Bristol, Cardiff, Goldsmiths, University of London, Kent, Leeds, Manchester, Nottingham and Strathclyde.

If you’re interested in graduate recruitment and the issues associated with it in 2018, take a long at the programme for our leading graduate recruitment conference hosted on the 21st February.





Rebecca joined the HRreview editorial team in January 2016. After graduating from the University of Sheffield Hallam in 2013 with a BA in English Literature, Rebecca has spent five years working in print and online journalism in Manchester and London. In the past she has been part of the editorial teams at Sleeper and Dezeen and has founded her own arts collective.