As the academic year draws to a close, recent graduates will be facing down the task of endlessly writing their CVs and covering letters, and hoping to stand out in the increasing crowd of graduates who want the same thing as they do. It’s not an enviable task, by any means. Luckily, there appears to be an answer. The Debut app promises young people the opportunity to connect with distinguished and established companies such as Rolls Royce, Teach First and Barclays, without them having to do the tedious legwork.
So, could Debut end the task of filling out endless application forms for good? We put it to the test.
When you download and boot up the app, it first asks you for some standard sign up data, such as name, date of birth, and gender. It then asks you questions about what you want from a job. The standard answers such as ‘good wage’ and ‘holiday time’ come up, as well as more offbeat ones such as ‘quirky office’ or ‘great parties’. As a potential jobseeker, I was concerned that more about benefits and working conditions weren’t addressed. You’re then asked to pick some areas that you’re looking to work in. At the moment, it feels rather restricted, but it may expand as more companies join up to the scheme.
Once all these tasks have been done, you’ll be shown the main page where you can access all the options Debut gives you. You can browse through opportunities, read useful articles in the ‘insight’ tab, or update your profile with information that makes you unique, such as your strengths, your interests, even whether you were the first in your family to go to university. The two most intriguing tabs, though, are the ‘games’ and ‘talent spots’ tabs.
The ‘talent spots’ tab proposed to bring top employers to you, rather than you hunting them down. If you have an impressive profile, Debut promises that top companies will show up in this tab though, wanting to talk to you. I received one notification while using the app, but it turned out to be Debut offering a month long internship if I could design a game for them. Perhaps, as a profile grows, better opportunities will come though.
And that leads us to the much touted ‘games’ system. The media has announced Debut by declaring ‘Apply for jobs by playing games!’, but it doesn’t seem to be easy as that. At the time of writing, the only game available is the ‘Agile Minds’ puzzle games that did promise tech prizes, but the competition is now closed. However, there are several games lined up for the future with new, undisclosed prizes on offer.
Overall, Debut is a neat idea that does appear to be able to bring new graduates to some of the top employers in the country, but it is very much in it’s infancy. Some of the features feel a bit foreshortened, but perhaps with some more time and input, they’ll be able to offer more to users. Most importantly, it probably won’t replace the more traditional method of applying for jobs, which is a sad thing to say for weary graduates. However, it will certainly help the process, and even give them opportunities they wouldn’t have had before. If you’re a recent graduate, try it out for yourself, and let us know if it helps you.