Timing is everything and knowing when to apply can be the difference to your career.

Graduate recruitment might not be as seasonal as it once was, but final year students need to be on the ball to make sure they access the best opportunities. If you want a placements, insight week or internships - Listen up too! Don't let some of the best opportunities open and close before you submit an application. 

Here are the traditional seasons for graduate and internship opportunities.

Graduate Schemes

When to apply: RIGHT NOW!

The majority of graduates will want to join a graduate scheme. A set period of training and employment, often with some of the biggest companies around. We are currently amidst the Graduate Scheme recruitment period right now.

Employers advertise their Graduate Scheme Vacancies between September and December/January – with the view for successful applicants to start in the following. If you haven't already, you need to get a move on and start firing off some applications. If you don't, most of these amazing won't open again for another year.

Check out Graduate Schemes 2017.

Internships & Placements

When to apply: Now!

Internships and placements give you some fantastic experience to help you with your career. They show employers you're keen, experienced and passionate about your chosen path. Internships are usually (but not always) set aside for the period between second and third year and, like Placement Years, they need to be organised well in advanced.

Some placement opportunities might be straightforward – Engineering, for example – but for business students it is important to get an application in before they close. Internship and Placement application processes are similar to Graduate Schemes, but will start in the summer, so plan ahead and make sure you make the most of your summer.

Take a look at Internships and Placements starting in 2017.

Graduate Jobs

When to apply: All the time!

Graduate Jobs are open all year round. There is no set time period for you to submit applications to graduate job opportunities but be aware that some vacancies might have a later start date. You should also be aware that, as opposed to graduate schemes, individual graduate jobs might not be advertised for as long as graduate schemes.

One issue many students face when applying for jobs is they forget when applications close. Make notes, use a calendar, bookmark web pages or set a reminder on your phone to apply later on. Because once they're gone they're gone and we don't want you to miss out on fantastic graduate opportunities.

Start your search with the latest graduate jobs.

A coda: Changes to the seasons

More and more employers are opting to for all-year recruitment instead of tradtional September to December application windows. However, like all graduate jobs, schemes and placements you should try to apply as soon as possible. It has been known for employers to close their vacancies early when they have received a suitable volume of applications.

Image Credit: Eder Pozo Pérez