Securing a graduate job – my top 3 tips!
My first month of final year is almost over, as I am about to reach week 5 in my first term back. Whilst this month has been jam packed with studying, nights out, society events and sports; I have also been thoroughly occupied with applying to graduate schemes. Since the end of August, I have been scouting out all the graduate positions which I would like to do after university, and trying my luck with a few companies to see if I can land a spot on their 2018/19 roles.
Admittedly, applications have been incredibly time consuming – especially when I have gotten to the later stages and had to venture to the companies’ offices to complete interviews/assessment centres. However, it’s something that everyone has to go through, and you can’t complain when by the end of it, you come out with an offer. For me this has fortunately been the case – after 8 weeks of interviews, online tests and CV checks, I have finally been offered a graduate position at Bloomberg! I am absolutely over the moon about this offer, and am eagerly awaiting my time there next year. With that being said, I want to dedicate this blog with some useful tips/tricks regarding applications that have helped me along the way. So, without further ado…
1. Don’t just apply early, research early
Everywhere you go for graduate scheme advice, they will tell you to "apply early". Whilst that is all well and good, I have found that in order to apply early, you need to have done your research early! The most effective way of being able to send off your application in good time is to know exactly which companies you want to apply to before their graduate schemes have even opened. It takes a long time to figure out what schemes are available and what they require, so if you do your research early (around July/August is the best time for this) – then you’ll be in the best position possible to get your application in before everyone else.
Key things to consider before you apply:
– What type of job do I want to go into?
– Which companies do I like?
– What graduate schemes do these companies offer?
– What are they looking for me to include when i make my application? CV? Cover Letter? References?
2. Don’t apply for something you don’t want
Applications and grad schemes will undoubtedly be a big talking point amongst you and your friends at uni. Whilst it is good to share your thoughts about the applications you’ve made, and fill each other in on where you’re all applying to, it is very easy to get swept up and apply for jobs just because you friends are. This is the last thing you want to do, for two very big reasons. Firstly, it will be apparent across any application if you don’t actually want the job – recruiters are experts at what they do, and will be able to tell if someone ‘really’ wants the job or not – so don’t waste your time trying to convince them otherwise. Secondly, there is no point allocating time to apply for a role that you don’t want, when you could spend that time applying for something you do want. The last thing you want is to sacrifice time on a company that you really like, just so you can squeeze in an extra application to somewhere you don’t care about.
3. Network, network, network…
Careers fairs, network evenings, office open days, company presentations, speed recruitment sessions – you name it, they’ll be going on extensively at Warwick. The best way to get your foot in the door and make a good impression with a firm, is to network with their employees and make yourself known to them. Visit them at a careers fair, connect with their recruiters on LinkedIn, mention to them that you have submitted an application – these are all things you can do to help yourself stand out to a company and improve your chances of success ever so slightly.
So that’s it for my top 3 tips when applying for graduate schemes – I hope you have found them useful and good luck with your applications!