Looking for graduate jobs

Posted on Saturday, June 25, 2022 by Editorial Team2 comments

Finding a graduate job can be challenging, especially with the current situation but there are lots of resources to help you. It is important to start early, undertake a little research and make informed decisions to ensure you stand out from the crowd to secure that position. Your careers service is here to help you every step of the way.


Firstly, think about which direction you would like to take. There are three main ‘routes in’: graduate schemes, direct entry roles and graduate internships. There is no right or wrong route to take, it depends on what you want to gain from the experience. Any route in to graduate employment will be highly competitive so make sure you have prepared an application that stands out.

Graduate scheme

A graduate scheme is a structured, work-based training programme that allows recent graduates to gain practical experience with a company. These usually last from around 18 months to 2 years with many graduates securing positions at the end. You can expect to start from as early as the September after your graduation but this does vary as some employers take on graduates as soon as a vacancy is available.

Graduate schemes tend to be more prevalent in the fields of finance, engineering, retail, HR, law and IT to name a few. However, they can still be found in smaller numbers in the creative and public health sector. Whilst most graduate programmes will expect applicants to have a 2:1 or above some employers will still accept students who have achieved a 2:2. Discover more at What to do if you get a 2:2 degree.

One important factor to remember is that graduate schemes have set application windows. Some employers begin their application process up to a year before the start date. There will be a huge amount of competition so in order to not miss out - start applying as soon as possible. To prepare well in advance, you could organise work experience during the first year of your study. You can then begin to prepare your application in year two, so that by your final year you are ready to apply as early as possible.


Direct entry roles

Direct entry roles will also offer training and support but are usually less structured than a graduate scheme. Although you can expect some training, they will normally expect you to already have a certain level of knowledge of the job to begin the role straight away.

These types of application can be submitted all year round. You could expect to graduate and start this type of role almost immediately.

Graduate internship

An internship is a great way to gain valuable experience in a competitive sector. They are often fixed for a specific amount of time, ranging from a couple of weeks to years. Internships are usually paid and enable you to gain experience, and build connections in different areas of your chosen field. Many students apply for internships if they lack relevant experience in a particular field and therefore looking for opportunities to develop their skills.

Up to 40% of the larger employers recruit into graduate roles directly from their internship roles. Therefore gaining experience before applying for the graduate scheme route would give you a major advantage. It’s not just about applying earlier, but gaining the work experience and employer insight early.

Internships normally have shorter application periods which you can look for much closer to the end of your studies.

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