Students right across the UK are currently preparing for the end of their studies, meaning the time has come to start to really think about the world of graduate jobs and what you’re going to do to stand out in the application process.

Like many aspects of your career, there are lots of myths out there regarding the graduate sector.

In our latest Collegiate feature we are on hand to dispell these misleading myths and give you a steer in the right direction.

When Should I Start Applying for Graduate Jobs?

The truth to this, is that there are graduate jobs available all year round. Although it is true that there are seasonal peaks between May and July and also September and November, this can often be sector specific.

Job Type                                   When to Apply
Graduate Job                            All Year Round (Peaks during May-July / September – November)
Graduate Scheme                     September before commencement
Work Experience                      All Year Round
Internships                               September before commencement

The good news is that employers are always looking for the best young talent and won’t always dedicate a certain time of the year to this, meaning you can find graduate jobs all year round. However, you may wish to give yourself a better chance by avoiding peak periods, as employers’ desks become hidden beneath a mountain of graduate CVs.

Your University careers advisors or even potential employers themselves may be able to offer you more information regarding this – don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and ask when your preferred companies are likely to be recruiting! However, don’t become obsessive over a particular time of the year for your job application, and don’t worry about what your peers are doing! Your chosen sector may not be recruiting at the same time, or the employment process could simply take much longer with different employers!

Schemes, Jobs, Placements & Internships – Learn the Difference!

One of the biggest pitfalls when it comes to your application is that there are significant differences between graduate schemes, jobs, placements and internships. As we have mentioned, graduate jobs are always available although there are the busier periods during the summer and autumn.

Graduate schemes are usually only available for a limited period of time as they are designed to teach you core skills and give you experience, but there will not necessarily be a full-time job waiting for you at the end of it.

Placements and internships are usually completed as part of your degree course or for a limited period of time as standalone projects. The likelihood is that these have a set date or time period, and this will be rigid, regardless of how well you think it has gone. These are great for your CV but shouldn’t be seen as a graduate job as they are not a long-term solution. 

Applying for Graduate Jobs: Quick Tips

Regardless of when you choose to apply for a graduate job, you’ll need to ensure you stand out from the crowd, especially for the popular roles which can often receive hundreds of applications. Here’s some tips to help you see success in your hunt for the perfect role.

Research Your Chosen Industry

As well as having different time periods for applications, certain sectors fluctuate in terms of their popularity and the salaries offered. The digital revolution has had a big impact on this; some sectors are thriving whereas others are in decline due to the advent of certain technologies.

Do some research into the industry you are thinking of getting into; you have a long and prosperous career ahead of you so don’t choose something that could be dead and buried in a few years.

It’s Not Just About Your CV

We have given lots of advice over the years about writing the perfect CV. However, don’t spend all your time trying to craft the perfect CV as there are other considerations that are also worthy of your time.

Get an excellent CV created and then get to work perfecting your interview technique and making sure your online footprint is clean and healthy.

So many candidates forget to Google themselves to check there is nothing there that could put potential employers off. As well as Facebook and Twitter history, don’t forget to check app-based accounts such as Instagram. This is nothing that can’t be sorted by a quick run through your privacy settings, or just delete that post about skiving from your part-time job back in 2012!

We hope these techniques help you to fulfil your potential when exam season is over. Why not take a look through some of our other great guides for even more inspiration? Better, still follow us on Instagram to keep up to date with other helpful student guides from the team at Collegiate.