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Graduate Careers

This information is provided for general reference ONLY. We strongly suggest you consult you local or University Careers Service for professional advice.

Why do employers want graduates?
All employers are looking for employees to demonstrate a combination of knowledge, skills and personal qualities.

  • Knowledge, this usually is related to the degree subject studied but also understanding of the life experiences acquired from living independently during you University life.
  • Skills, typically intellectual and other key skills used to undertake study. Critical evaluation and interpretation of evidence, which can be used to make a decision. Other skills include oral communication, team working, IT,numeracy which are not to be underestimated.
  • Personal Qualities such as adaptability, creativity, involvement, the ability to work under pressure and initiative.

How do employers try to identify graduates with these qualities? Knowledge to a degree of accuracy can be determined by your academic record. Skills can be defined on your CV and listed and adapted for specific roles. Personal qualities is slightly more tricky, recruiters look for you to demonstrate involvement at an organisational level in university clubs, societies or sports. Additionally involvement in community based activities, vacation work and / or travel is also a plus. Recruiter want to see that you are able to organise and importantly get involved in activities over and above academic study, that you have a good balance between work and recreational activity.

Significant to graduates is their ability to bring a fresh approach, innovative thought and drive to the role. It is assumed that because graduates have not had the opportunity to demonstrate their skills in the workplace, they are ambitious to succeed. Its this ambition and drive that most graduate employers are looking to harness.

Deciding what to do?
Often graduates feel that their first role after graduation will set them on a career path that will determine the rest of their career. This is often not the case, so don't be reluctant to accept a role if its does not fully meet your expectations. In the context of you career from beginning to end your first job may not represent what you do during the majority of you career. The important thing is that you can demonstrate a clear career goal and that there are no significant gaps in your employment.

The Reality
The reality is that approximately 200,000 students graduate from UK Universities each year. There aren't 200,000 graduate jobs or training schemes for each graduate so competition is fierce. Most graduates are equipped with similar knowledge, skills and qualifications so the important thing is make the most of any opportunity that presents itself. If you don't its guaranteed that someone else will.

Making the most of an opportunity in reality means going the extra yard. Be prepared to relocate to a different part of the country, be prepared to take a reduced salary initially it may not be the £22k - 25k that you have dreamt of whilst at University but if it pays your rent and gets you started its a platform from which to launch your career.

The important thing is that you get your foot in the door, you have the ability and the drive so go out there and get it!

This information is provided for general reference ONLY. We strongly suggest you consult you local or University Careers Service for professional advice.

Here is a selection of jobs from both SMEs and large organisations recruiting graduates right now.

  • Babcock - Process Engineering

    Shortlist Location: Nationwide
    Salary: £25,000 to £27,000 + benefits
    When tackling epic projects that make a big difference to day-to-day life, we often have to get right down to microscopic detail and then work our way up. That’s what process engineers do. They figure out the implications of handling, producing

  • Retail Placement Scheme Decathlon North-West & Yorkshire

    Shortlist Location: North West, Yorkshire
    Salary: competitive
    If you are looking for a 9 - 5 work placement, look elsewhere. If you are looking for a work placement that is a retail adventure where no two days are the same, read on. As a trainee Department Manager, you’ll

  • Mott MacDonald - 2015 UK Electrical Graduate Scheme

    Shortlist Location: Nationwide
    Salary: Competitive + benefits
    Job Profile Our world-leading electrical engineers bring innovative expertise to a wide range of our projects. They introduce industry leading systems to building services projects and have delivered the power industry’s most prestigious and challenging assignments. Within our transportation unit, electrical

  • Legal Recruitment: Executive Resourcer/Headhunter. London

    Shortlist Location: London
    Salary: £22,000 + bonus + benefits + OTE + Bonus + expenses
    Benefits: • Competitive salary - £22,000 • Commission on EVERY deal. • Genuinely friendly and informal working environment • Incentives such as trips abroad (NYC, Ibiza, Thailand), champagne dinners and away days (rugby, football days and day trips) • Fast paced

  • Trainee Recruitment Consultant - International Offices

    Shortlist Location: London
    Salary: £20000 to £35000 per annum depending on experience + OTE + Bonus
    Want to join the one of the top fastest growing company's listed in the Sunday times FAST TRACK 100? - Sales have grown by 145% a year for the past 5 years!Our client boasts offices in the UK and internationally where

  • Graduate Recruitment: London. Up to £50,000 Year One

    Shortlist Location: London
    Salary: £21,000 to £50,000 + benefits + OTE + Bonus
    AGENCY: Twelve Recruitment RECRUITER: Matt Sedgwick COMPANY: Based in London, my client is a fast growing international recruitment agency specialising in Automotives/ Pharmaceutical/ Technology/ Energy and Telecoms. Key clients included Shell, FedEx, Henkel and Mondelez. Sunday Times Top 100 firm in

  • Graduate Account Manager

    Shortlist Location: London
    Salary: £20000 per annum + OTE
    Looking to kick-start your career in business to business sales? Want to work for a company who brand themselves as the ultimate health drink? Like the idea of managing your own brand ambassador team? Then this is the role for you.Our

  • Finance and Banking Recruitment Consultant

    Shortlist Location: London
    Salary: £20,000 to £40,000 + OTE
    FTSE 100 Recruitment firm are looking to hire a talented graduate straight away to join their Finance Team working with the top banks and investment companies in the city. They recruit at the mid to top level, as well as focusing

  • Graduate Business Dev Exec – Social Media Software Sales

    Shortlist Location: London
    Salary: £24,000 + benefits + OTE
    London 24k Base, 38k OTE + Excellent Benefits Our client is a leading social SaaS (software-as-a-service) firm. With offices across the globe, their account base includes several leading brands, and provides a unique solution to companies looking to maximise the return

  • Trainee Recruitment Consultant Opportunities - Central London

    Shortlist Location: London
    Salary: £20000 to £22000 per annum + OTE + Bonus
    Looking for the next step in your sales career that will offer significant earning potential, fast-tracked career progression and the opportunity to work with some of the most aspirational and influential leaders in the business? If so, the role of a

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Recruiting now:

RandstandSpencer OgdenSpencer HarringtonGraduate FasttrackHigher the Talentturnstone
smith williamson logoGSKJust IT Training LtdFDM
BAE
CapGemini
Kent Council
Hampshire Council
Softcat
NFU Mutual
Department for Transport
Lloyds Banking Group 2015
Atos 2015
KPMG
The Army
next
Uniqlo
explore learning
Barclays
Hogan Lovell
Decathlon
Thales
HILTI
CHP Consulting
Accenture Oct 2014
Enterprise Rent-A-Car
Co-op Bank
Matalan