'85 applications per graduate job'
In some cases around 211 graduates are chasing each opening, according to a new report.
The Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) annual summer survey reveals that leading companies are predicting that there will be a 4% fall in the overall number of jobs available for new graduates this year compared to last.
But while some industries are taking on fewer staff, others are hiring more graduates, the survey adds.
University leavers hoping to land a position at a consulting or business services firm may find it easier to find work, with a 36.3% increase in the number of vacancies available in 2012/12 compared to 2011/12.
At the same time, energy, water and utility companies are seeing a 30.8% increase in openings and IT and telecommunications firms are upping their available jobs by 14.6%.
But the banking and financial services are closing their doors to new graduates with a 45% drop in the number of vacancies available, the survey found.
The survey, which questioned more than 200 leading graduate employers, found that on average firms are receiving 85.3 applications for every expected opening, up from 73 in the 2011/12 recruitment season.
Firms dealing with "fast-moving consumer goods" - low-cost items such as toiletries and groceries - are the most in demand, the report found, with these companies receiving 211 applications on average for every job.
Positions at investment banks or fund managers and in retail are also sought after, with these industries receiving 135.3 and 130.2 applications on average respectively for each vacancy.