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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.

  • KPMG - Audit Opportunities for Graduates

    Shortlist Location: Nationwide
    Salary: Competitive + benefits
    Start date: Autumn 2015 At KPMG, we provide Audit, Tax and Advisory, services to some of the world’s biggest businesses. And we believe that all business and solutions boil down to one thing: people. So whatever we do, we see people

  • Property Negotiator - Foxtons (Pinner)

    Shortlist Location: South East, London
    Salary: Competitve + benefits
    Foxtons offices are incredible landmarks situated in the very best locations across London. Foxtons minis not only stand out from the typical branded car but also act as hundreds of mobile billboards moving through Surrey's many different towns and villages. Foxtons.co.uk

  • TK Maxx - Business Technology European Graduate 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. The Business

  • Deloitte - Graduate Opportunities in Technology

    Shortlist Location: Nationwide
    Salary: Competitive + benefits
    Whether you’re interested in the technical aspects of IT or the commercial possibilities technology offers business, these roles offer a first step into a whole world of opportunities. What we do in Technology Technology underpins almost every aspect of the work

  • IT Consultant – Intensive Graduate Training Programme - London

    Shortlist Location: South East, London
    Salary: £18,000 to £24,000 + Bonus + expenses
    QA is the UK’s leading learning company. We are looking to recruit high calibre graduates of science, engineering, technical, mathematical, and computer science degrees to join our company as an IT consultant after completing an intensive training course, which we will

  • Trainee Recruitment Consultants - Central London

    Shortlist Location: London
    Salary: £35k to £40k OTE
    Trident International is looking to expand its existing team. We have a proven track record working with fresh graduates who are committed to joining a market leading recruitment consultancy. Candidates who share our ambition and aspire to provide a specialist consultancy

  • Industrial Placement - IT - GSK

    Shortlist Location: Nationwide
    Salary: Competitive + benefits
    Who are we? One of the world’s leading healthcare companies, GSK discovers, develops, manufactures and distributes life-saving vaccines, prescription medicines and consumer health products such as Maximuscle, Sensodyne, Aquafresh and Panadol. The size and scope of our organisation allows our people

  • Retail Placement Scheme Decathlon - Scotland & N Ireland

    Shortlist Location: Northern Ireland, 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

  • Industrial Placements at Deloitte

    Shortlist Location: Nationwide
    Salary: Competitive
    Exposure to complex businesses. Insights into major sectors. Experience of whole industries. This is what you can expect on an industrial placement with Deloitte, one of the world’s largest professional services firms. What a placement at Deloitte offers Our Industrial Placements

  • Industrial Placement - Finance - GSK

    Shortlist Location: Nationwide
    Salary: Competitive + benefits
    Who are we? One of the world’s leading healthcare companies, GSK discovers, develops, manufactures and distributes life-saving vaccines, prescription medicines and consumer health products such as Maximuscle, Sensodyne, Aquafresh and Panadol. The size and scope of our organisation allows our people

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Spencer HarringtonHigher the TalentSpencer OgdenGraduate FasttrackturnstoneRandstand
Just IT Training LtdFDMsmith williamson logoGSK
Uniqlo
Barclays
next
CapGemini
The Army
Thales
BAE
qa logo
Enterprise Rent-A-Car
Lloyds Banking Group 2015
KPMG
Kent Council
Matalan
Hampshire Council
NFU Mutual
Decathlon
Softcat
explore learning
HILTI
Accenture Oct 2014
Co-op Bank
Atos 2015
CHP Consulting
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