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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.

  • BDO - Summer Internship Programme

    Shortlist Location: Nationwide
    Salary: Competitive + benefits
    Opportunity details We know how to make sure our people give their best. Quite simply, we let them. We hire those who show potential and then we help them put it to work, turning business dreams into realities. BDO is about

  • Thales - Engineering Internship Programme

    Shortlist Location: Nationwide
    Salary: £17,000 + benefits pro rata
    We’re inventing the future, right here, right now, at Thales. By combining the curiosity to explore, the intelligence to question and the vision to create, we’re transforming the world around us. Together, we ponder the positively perplexing problems our customers face

  • Graduate Sales Executives - Central London Multiple

    Shortlist Location: London
    Salary: 22000 + OTE
    Graduate Sales Executives - Central London *MULTIPLE* £30K OTE, £22K Basic This is an amazing opportunity to join the author of an award winning financial accounting software used by organisations across the globe in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Australasia

  • Graduate FX Brokerage Role. Graduates Wanted Immediate Start

    Shortlist Location: London
    Salary: 25000
    Salary: £40k OTE 1st year earnings, £70k+ 2nd year OTE Location: Central London Our client is looking for money-motivated graduates who are eager to work in a fast-paced environment with the ability to learn and develop within the role. Working alongside

  • BDO - Graduate Programme

    Shortlist Location: Nationwide
    Salary: Competitive + benefits
    Start Dates: Autumn and December Opportunity details The best-kept secret of accountancy work is how diverse it can be. What we do is better described as “business advice” – and there are almost as many kinds of advice as there are

  • Graduate Trainee Recruitment Consultants - Hays Life Science

    Shortlist Location: London
    Salary: £20K BASIC + UNCAPPED COMMISSION + benefits + OTE + Bonus
    AMBITIOUS TRAINEE LIFE SCIENCES RECRUITMENT CONSULTANTS POWER THE WORLD OF WORK - JOIN HAYS Hays plc is the leading global professional recruiting group and a FTSE 250 business. We are the world's leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled work.

  • Teoco - Graduate Software Engineer

    Shortlist Location: South East, London
    Salary: £25,000 depending on experience
    Role Description You will develop sophisticated software solutions within a productive team environment. This is an excellent opportunity to progress your career via working with a highly professional team. The individual must: •Be capable of creating detailed design specifications •Have strong

  • Graduate Trainee Accountant - HAT Group of Accountants

    Shortlist Location: Nationwide
    Salary: Up to £27,500
    Training with a HAT group firm means you will get the very best of both worlds; early responsibility that comes from training with a small or medium-sized accountancy firm as well as a highly reputable three-year training package. Full paid study

  • Trainee Sales Executive, Media Company, Manchester

    Shortlist Location: Manchester
    Salary: £17,500 + benefits + OTE
    Established in 2011, our client is now the second largest daily deal site in the UK. Their site uses the power of group buying to get unbeatable deals on the best stuff to do, see, visit, eat and buy in a

  • Accenture - Industrial Placement

    Shortlist Location: Nationwide
    Salary: Competitive
    Be > You Imagined Bring your talent and passion to a global organisation at the forefront of business, technology and innovation. Collaborate with diverse, talented colleagues and leaders who support your success. Help transform organisations and communities around the world. Sharpen

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