When should you start looking for graduate schemes?

Wednesday, September 06, 2017 09:00

Katherine Hockley by Katherine Hockley

It's coming up to the new academic year, and if you're in your final or penultimate year, it might be time to start thinking about your future. 

Penultimate year students

If you're starting your penultimate year, this probably isn't the right time to be applying for graduate schemes. However, it may be a good time to think about what sort of career you want to head towards and to start looking at internships. Your final year is likely to be the most stressful so getting in work experience now might be the best time to do it.

READ MORE: Fair play - how to make the most of a graduate fair

Final year students

Even if you're only just starting third year, this is the time to start thinking about graduate jobs and schemes. If you haven't thought much about what direction you want to head in post-university, now is the time to give it some serious thought. 

Applications for third year students who are yet to graduate are open, mostly during September and December. There are schemes in May and June, but the competition is going to be even more fierce at this time than it is in the winter months. You'll also be tied up with dissertation and final exam stress, so it makes sense to get an early start on the job hunt. 


How can you best prepare for the graduate scheme process?

First of all, you need to make sure your CV is up to date and relevant. We have put together some blogs on CV advice by interviewing a graduate recruitment consultant, so check those out.

You can also head down to your university's careers service, who will give you advice about best practice as well as point you in the direction of their job boards and, more often than not, will offer free CV and interview advice. 

Then there's attending graduate fairs, where you can meet people recruiting for schemes as well as get your year's worth of free pens for the semester. One of the things we found out from our last London graduate fair is that graduates often come looking at one company and leave interested in another. 

We're holding our next London graduate fair on the 10 October, and if you're starting third year, it is definitely worth a trip. We have exhibitors such as FirstGroup, International Committee of the Red Cross, and Pentland Brands. 

Learn more about our next Graduate Fair

Posted in Fairs and Events, Recruitment, London Graduate Fair