It’s the beginning of a new year! You can see the light at the end of the tunnel as you step foot into your final year of study and everyone’s telling you to start looking for a job.
Wait… hold on. Can’t I just focus on getting through my degree before I start thinking about a job?!
Well… no. Not if you want a graduate job.
But what exactly is a graduate job? Isn’t any job that you do once you graduate a “graduate job”?
Well, again… no. In the graduate recruitment industry (and yes, this does exist!) a graduate job refers specifically to a ‘Graduate Programme’.
Most large companies have “Graduate Recruiters” whose job it is to employ students for their one or two year training programmes. A graduate training programme helps to bridge the gap between study and the world of work. Some will offer graduates the opportunity to spend time working in several different areas of the business before choosing a final career path within the company.
Graduate programmes exist in almost all sectors. Traditionally, they have been most common within finance, logistics, IT and science, but they have become increasingly popular within education, government, design and architecture.
There are many advantages to securing a spot on one of these programmes. You will:
- Be offered lots of support from the company right from the beginning of your career
- Have access to a number of valuable training and development opportunities
- Most likely be given a mentor to help you talk through problems and answer questions
- Sometimes be supported in obtaining a professional qualification (funded by your employer!)
- Be given the opportunity to experience working across a number of departments within the business
- Maybe be able to apply for global secondment opportunities!
Because of all of these benefits, Graduate Programmes are highly competitive. Thousands of students might have their sights on a company only offering 100 places. Companies invest a lot of money to scout out students who have demonstrated impressive academic ability, often keeping tabs on promising students from their first year of studies.
So how do you get a spot?
Be aware of early deadlines. Many companies start recruiting in March for roles beginning the next year. You can find a summary of these deadlines on our website.
Start your search early. Most of these companies advertise on CareerHub and you’re likely to find them on campus at one of our Career Expos, hosting a presentation, or attending one of the many networking events over the course of the year.
Get your foot in the door. Apply for summer internships, attend presentations, get familiar with the companies you are most interested in working for. Introduce yourself to their recruitment team and make yourself memorable. When they see your name in the pile of CVs on their desk, they’ll look a little closer.
Do your research. Find out what exactly each company looks for in a new graduate hire, and include all of your relevant experience on your CV. How do you find that info? Give them a call! They’ll be able to send you through a job description (and they WILL remember your name).
GOOD LUCK! We’re rooting for you.