Maximise Your Chances of Grabbing a Grad Scheme

Sep 7, 2018

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With enticing salaries, industry experience and great networking opportunities, it’s no wonder that graduate schemes are in such high demand. But with competition for places more fierce than ever, it can seem like the odds are stacked against you. Well, worry not. We’ve put together a few simple tips you can put into action now to give yourself the best possible chance.

Get Ahead

Graduation day may feel like years away but it’s never too early to start thinking about the future. Even if you’re in your first year, have a think about what industries and companies you’d like to explore.

Take a trip to a careers fair for some inspiration. Here’s a list of events coming up this year. Talk to representatives and current employees then, once you’ve found one you like, it’s time to get savvy.

Always be prepared

It was true in the Scouts it’s even truer now. Doing your research will greatly improve your chances of landing a great grad scheme. So visit your company’s website to see what schemes they run. Most recruitment windows are open between September and January but pin down your firm’s dates so you can be ready to go.

It pays to know your company inside and out so connect with them on social media for all the latest news and updates. You can even use LinkedIn to reach out to previous grad schemers and ask them how they managed to secure their spot.

Find out what the recruitment process involves.  Who’s in charge of hiring? What’s the janitor’s middle name? There’s nothing like a bit of insider info.

Get some experience

Graduates and employers will tell you that a little experience goes a long way. And with hundreds of applications to sift through, companies are always looking for candidates who stick out. So make the most of long breaks between terms and invest in some work experience.

Contact your company and see if they offer unpaid internships or summer placements. If the answer’s no, look for similar positions in the same field. It’ll give you a great insight into the workings of the industry as well as arming you with a wealth of skills and contacts.

Make the most of uni

Sometimes it’s easy to forget just how much your uni can offer. So often underused, university career services are a great way of prepping for a grad scheme. From interview practice to sample questionnaires, they’re always on hand to help you get ahead. Make sure you check out our interview hacks blog for some extra advice.

Don’t forget to get stuck in with clubs and societies too. With many recruiters looking for graduates with teamwork and leadership skills, extra-curricular activities give you the perfect chance to stand out. If there’s no society for your field, start one! Employers love students who take matters into their own hands. 

Take it One Step at a Time

All sounding a bit much? You’re not alone. Many students can get so wrapped up in preparing for grad schemes that they let their degrees suffer. And with the best programmes often reserved for candidates with a 2:1 or better, it’s important to focus on the here and now.

So take a breath, relax, and remember that preparing for the future should be a joy not a chore. Just follow these few simple steps and you’ll be well on your way to grabbing that grad scheme.

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