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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.

  • Hilti - Account Manager, Energy and Industry - Aberdeen

    Shortlist Location: Scotland
    Salary: Competitive Package + benefits
    We passionately create enthusiastic customers and build a better future! In doing so we live our values: integrity, courage, teamwork and commitment. We supply innovative solutions offering superior added value to construction professionals in 120 countries throughout the world. For our

  • HP Graduate Programme - IT

    Shortlist Location: Nationwide
    Salary: Competitive + benefits
    What do you think about when you hear the name HP? Is it printers? Laptops? Maybe it’s Beats Audio™? Most people do. It’s understandable – these are our products people see every day. But what about the other sides to HP?

  • Trainee Chartered Accountant - Smith & Williamson

    Shortlist Location: London
    Salary: Competitive + benefits
    At Smith & Williamson we recruit high calibre people with the skills, knowledge and commitment to meet the demands of the business. The successful individual will join a three year structured training programme combining practical experience with technical studies for the

  • FDM MSc Programme

    Shortlist Location: South East, London, Central, North West, Nationwide
    Salary: £21,00 to £24,000
    Kick-start your career with FDM and achieve an MSc while you work Do you aspire to build a rewarding career in Software Development but would also like to continue with further study? Are you analytical, innovative and passionate about technology? Operating

  • Arriva UK Bus, General Management, The Midlands

    Shortlist Location: East Midlands, West Midlands
    Salary: £22,500
    Location: The Midlands, UK Start date: September / October 2015 Starting salary: £22,500 Other benefits: Free travel on Arriva UK Bus services. Learn to drive a bus. About Arriva UK Bus Arriva UK Bus has a very proud heritage and benefits

  • Raytheon - Project Management Graduate Leadership Development Programme

    Shortlist Location: The East
    Salary: £24,000 + benefits
    Summary of Role: Raytheon UK is looking for dynamic and high performing Graduates to join their highly successful Project Management Graduate Programme. This is a challenging role that will be highly rewarding and high profile, working across multiple UK sites and

  • TK Maxx - Finance Placement Programme

    Shortlist Location: South East
    Salary: Competitive + benefits
    Why join the people who are TK Maxx and HomeSense? Simple. For the adventure. Ultimately, you’re not only looking to start your career. You’re looking for an unforgettable journey. You want to be part of something huge. Something global. A 12-month

  • Graduate Trainee Head-Hunter- London- Immediate Start

    Shortlist Location: South East, London
    Salary: 20,000 + benefits + OTE
    Sector: Recruitment, Executive search Location: London Salary: 20k plus commission. £30,000 OTE The Company: - Award winning executive headhunting firm - Extensive training programme involving one on one training with a senior Head-hunter - Opportunities to complete training in different locations

  • Arriva UK Bus, General Management, Southern Counties

    Shortlist Location: South East
    Salary: £22,500
    Location: Southern Counties (Kent and Surrey), UK Start date: September / October 2015 Starting salary: £22,500 Other benefits: free travel on Arriva UK Bus services. Learn to drive a bus. About Arriva UK Bus Arriva UK Bus has a very proud

  • Business Consultant

    Shortlist Location: South East, London, Central, North West, Nationwide
    Salary: £21,000 to £24,000
    Kick-start your career and join FDM’s award-winning Graduate Programme. Are you inquisitive with an eye for detail and a passion for playing a key role in the success of projects? Are you ambitious, motivated and ready to move up the career

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Recruiting now:

Spencer HarringtonturnstoneVine GraduateHigher the TalentGraduate Fasttrack
GSKFDMAldismith williamson logoJust IT Training Ltdeon
Morrison Oct 2014
National Audit Office
John Lewis 2014
Matalan
Santander
TTI
HILTI
Jeremy Gardner Assoc
Network Rail Oct 2014
BAE 2014
Scottish Power 2014
BP International
Manchester Airport Group 2014
foxtons
associated british foods graduate scheme
FCA Financial Conduct Authority
Enterprise Rent-A-Car
Hogan Lovell
The Army logo
Schroders
Decathlon
Waitrose 2014
Thales Dec 2013
KPMG