The team have been up and down the country at university fairs, meeting lots of undergraduates all eager to sign up in order to search for the best graduate jobs, internships and placements that has to offer! However, the question we get asked a lot is how hard it is to secure a place on a graduate scheme and what can be done to improve the application.

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Many students believe that simply by doing a good degree means that they will automatically get into a graduate scheme afterwards - unfortunately this is certainly not the case. The key is to be proactive whilst at university. There are also many students becoming more proactive in gaining relevant work experience and developing a good job search strategy, starting by signing up to

Why graduate schemes?

Undertaking a graduate training programme is a real step into your career. They are often a great way for you to test the water before you start to plunge into the deep sea, therefore, after the training scheme you may decide it is the right company for you and continue your time there, or move onto something different. They also offer great benefits such as joining bonuses, a great salary and many self development opportunities.

Surviving the application process

There are many things I could mention in order to increase your chances in getting through the application stage such as checking your grammar but to really survive the application stage it is important to understand exactly what they are looking for. Every company has set values and competencies that they require, take note of this and apply each competency to all questions you answer followed by relevant examples. It may seem obvious, buy tailor your application and spend time to really develop it!

But I don't have examples of achieving key competencies!?

It is by being proactive at university that will help your applications. For instance, in our Brand Manager Scheme our Brand Manager's gain access to a wide variety of networks that they wouldn't have accessed beforehand and gained key skills such as influencing others, marketing and promoting a brand and strategising to think of ways to engage with students. This experience can be used in your application as examples of what you have done, what you achieved and what the result was. Employers are looking for this in a concise way, proving that you have these skills already.

Other ways to develop your skills and improve the key competencies that employers look for is by being active within societies. This can be a business society that yo u are in the committee for, it could be work you do for your students' Union or simply by internships or placements you have completed. As long as you can demonstrate how you have achieved a certain competency with strong evidence, then this will help your application.

Share your experiences!

Why not share your job hunting experiences with other students on our forum? Post something new and interesting before the 16th December and you stand a chance to WIN a £50 iTunes voucher!

Simply go to and share your experiences about your job search with fellow students whilst
gaining useful hints and tips.