A marketing graduate has found employment after spending hours walking around Waterloo station advertising his skills and handing out his CV. By Alex Xi Zhang
Same spot. Different sign. pic.twitter.com/1lGuuKUf7g
— #90sBabyShow (@Fr3dSantana) January 22, 2015
Alfred Ajani, 22, eventually found a job with the unconventional approach and says: “I knew it works, so I was confident.” He also says that universities should do more to help students gain relevant experience.
After sending out 300 CVs without luck, Ajani decided to sell himself by holding a sign in the bustling London station.
“I was nervous at first, but people started to approach me so I started to relax a little bit.” He successfully got a job within two weeks with 12 employers approaching him.
Following this unique effort, Ajani is now a marketing and PR project manager in the recruitment company Asoria Group , with the task to ‘bring innovative solutions to traditional challenges within the recruitment industry.’
“I had some other interviews and this is the best one. I like it. It is my ideal job,” he says.
Known on Twitter as ‘the CV man’, Ajani has had a large amount of media exposure. “I’m not famous,” he says modestly. “It keeps me good. I am inspired that people are inspired by me.”
Really inspired by @Fr3dSantana interview coming very soon. Given me an idea on how to find a mentor. Let's see how successful i will be.
— Usman Mahmood (@usmansmvp) February 2, 2015
Ajani’s story highlights the plight of many graduates. Although he gained the job from thinking outside of the box, his lack of experience was the main reason behind his failure to find a job. Graduates also find it hard to stand out from the crowd of graduates all seeking work.
UCAS admissions service states that university applications for 2015 autumn full-time courses have reached record level. Ajani says both universities and graduates need to be responsible for employment skills. Although universities can help graduates for CVs and interviews, it really depends on graduates themselves to stand out from the crowd.
Not everyone is lucky as he is. “They liked how I marketed myself and stood out from the crowd,” says Ajani.
Despite this rather desperate effort to gain employment, graduates have reasons for optimism. A CBI/Accenture Employment Trends Survey says more than 50 percent of British businesses are planning to grow their workforce in permanent jobs in 2015.
High Fliers’s The Graduate Market in 2015 report points out more entry-level vacancies will be provided to graduates.
“There are more opportunities now and a lot of people are looking for graduates,” said Ajani.
Listen more from Alfred Ajani and his suggestions for graduates: