The real cost of job hunting

The real cost of job hunting

The FINANCIAL -- New research from Barclays reveals that landing a job after university costs over £500, with the bank offering free accommodation to graduates across the UK to help cover the costs

UK graduates spend an average of £506.55 attending job interviews before securing a full-time role
A quarter (25 per cent) of graduates attend five or more interviews before securing a job offer
Half of graduates (50 per cent) didn’t apply for a job they wanted because of the associated cost of attending the interview

To give university leavers a helping hand in their job search, Barclays is offering those attending interviews in three of the most popular UK cities the chance to apply for free accommodation

New research from Barclays reveals that graduates across the UK are spending an average of £506.55 to secure a job after leaving university, on top of the average student debt of £50,800.

With the average graduate attending 3.3 interviews before being given a firm offer, the cost of buying appropriate clothing (£58 per interview), travel and accommodation (£52 per interview), as well as other smaller costs, quickly adds up. And with a quarter (25 per cent) of graduates attending five or more interviews before they are hired, the financial burden can be significant.

The findings showed that more than 43 per cent of graduates hadn’t been able to attend interviews they had been offered because of how much it would cost them, while half (50 per cent) didn’t even apply for jobs in certain locations for the same reason. With an already limited budget, many are having to turn to their family and friends (42 per cent) to fund the cost of interviewing and even use their overdrafts or credit cards (32 per cent) to cover the costs.

To support those looking to start their careers, Barclays will offer graduate interviewees the chance to apply for up to two nights’ free accommodation in some of the UK’s most popular cities. City centre apartments will be available for free to graduates interviewing in London, Birmingham and Manchester for one month, from the 30th October 2017.

Sue Hayes, Managing Director of Personal Banking at Barclays commented: “It’s shocking to see the true cost of landing that first job out of university. Graduates already face a challenging job market on top of record levels of student debt, so it’s disheartening to see how many of them are struggling to cover the costs of even attending an interview.

“We hope that by offering free accommodation in some of the most popular cities for graduate jobs, we’ll go some way to helping those who would otherwise struggle. We also offer a range of additional benefits for graduates who bank with us including the added security of a £3,000 fee-free overdraft in the first year, as well cashback on over 150 retailers across the country.”

Available for two nights at a time per graduate, the apartments will offer a home-away-from-home for the 56 per cent of graduates who choose to work outside of their city of study, giving them a comfortable space to prepare and get ready for their interview, and a base from which they can explore their chosen city.