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BCS launches competition to find best IT graduate

Opportunity for students to develop and practice required soft skills at interview

IT graduates are being urged to take part in an event that aims to help them stand out in graduate recruitment processes.

'The Graduate', backed by BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT and industry partners, is an event that gives IT students and recent graduates experience with demonstrating soft skills in a mock graduate recruitment process.

All applicants will get feedback on their initial applications and they will also be in with a chance to win an Apple iPad 2, a training course and other prizes.

"The graduate recruitment process is by no means easy. From the application process to the assessment centre, graduates are faced with a variety of tasks and interviews, all of which require a different set of skills and competences. While university prepares graduates academically for the job they are applying for, very few will have ever experienced the interview process.

"The Graduate event equips graduates with a valuable toolkit of skills and importantly, provides the feedback they need to help them develop further," said Jennie Strickland, principal consultant at Capgemini, one of the employers involved with the event.

Other partners of the event include KPMG, University of Leeds, Leeds Metropolitan University, Graduates Yorkshire, GradCore and techmesh. Yorkshire Water is a founding partner of the event.

"Our organisation thrives from having a workforce which generates new ideas and competitive advantages. The Graduate provides a win-win opportunity whereby university students gain valuable experience in preparing for life after graduation and Yorkshire Water is able to showcase our industry-leading graduate trainee programme," said James Lockwood, CTO of Yorkshire Water.

The first stage of the event is a competency-based application form, based on partners' own graduate recruitment processes.

Around 30 of the most successful applicants who make it to the second round will go through interviews, group exercises and psychometric tests in a high-stress environment. They will also do a presentation to the panel.

Last year's winner Alex Vaughan is now employed by Capgemini, although The Graduate chair Chris Cahill, an IT professional at Yorkshire Water, stressed that the event is not a recruitment day. The day does provide an opportunity for students to network with the employers present, however.

Strickland added: "Graduate unemployment figures remain high and events like this are few and far between. I would strongly recommend students to get involved and give themselves the chance to stand out amongst their peers in the interview room."

The deadline for applications is 30 January 2012, with the final to be held on 19 March 2012 at Esholt Hall, in West Yorkshire. Graduates from anywhere in the UK can apply to the event.

More information about how to apply can be found here.


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