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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.

  • IBM - User Experience Designer

    Shortlist Location: South East, London
    Salary: £30,000 + benefits
    Salary: £30,000 Degree: 2:1 Location: London and Winchester We live in a moment of remarkable change and opportunity. Data and technology are transforming industries, society and even the workplace—by creating professions that didn’t exist before the emergence of data, cloud, social

  • Babcock - Civil Engineering

    Shortlist Location: Nationwide
    Salary: £25,000 to £27,000 + benefits
    Civil engineering is all about people. It’s about making public services and facilities better. Over the course of two to four years, your placements will take in our full breadth of work and show you how we help make everyday life

  • Thales - Hardware Engineer

    Shortlist Location: Nationwide
    Salary: £27,000 + benefits
    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

  • IBM - Application Specialist

    Shortlist Location: South East, London, North West
    Salary: £30,000 + benefits
    Salary: £30,000 Degree: 2:1 Location: London, Hursley & Manchester We live in a moment of remarkable change and opportunity. Data and technology are transforming industries, society and even the workplace—by creating professions that didn’t exist before the emergence of data, cloud,

  • Graduate Development Programme - Halifax and Reading

    Shortlist Location: South East, Yorkshire
    Salary: competitive + benefits + share scheme
    Are you are interested in joining a dynamic, growing, Times Top 100 Company that places its people at the heart of its organisation, then the Covéa Insurance Graduate Scheme could be the ideal springboard to launch your career… We provide you,

  • Graduate Area Supervisor

    Shortlist Location: Central
    Salary: £17000 to £18000 per annum + benefits
    Graduate Area Supervisor City of London £18k Immediate Start! Graduate Area Supervisor Company: One of the world's market leaders in corporate relocation. They provide flexible and serviced apartments to corporates and travellers alike. This company benefit from an excellent name in

  • Executive Search - Fintech Graduate Researcher, £26,000

    Shortlist Location: London
    Salary: £23,000 to £26,000 basic + Bonus depending on experience + OTE + Bonus
    Executive Search business requires an articulate Graduate to join their research team. You will be working on candidate attraction and qualification for clients ranging from Investment Banks, Hedge Funds, Insurance firms and other business who need discretion in their hiring. You

  • Graduate Role, Times Top 100 Awarded, FTSE 250 Firm

    Shortlist Location: London
    Salary: £23,500 Basic Salary+Commission 40K OTE + benefits + OTE + Bonus
    10 graduates needed for a career jump start within a globally recognised business intelligence recruitment firm. The company has offices around the world including, London, Dubai, New York, San Francisco, Singapore and Australia. This global presence is a result of a

  • Graduate Logistics Retail Scheme - Northampton

    Shortlist Location: Northampton
    Salary: £18,000 depending on experience + benefits + Bonus
    Salary: 18K upwards depending on experience, plus performance bonus and other benefits Decathlon is an international sports retailer with impressive expansion plans in the UK. The next step on our journey is our first UK warehouse. Fancy jumping to your future

  • 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

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Scottish Government
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Softcat
CHP Consulting
Co-op Bank
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Sports Direct Graduate Scheme
Enterprise Rent-A-Car
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