When to look for a internship or graduate job - Magnet.me Guide

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When to look for a graduate job or an internship?

It’s safe to say that all over the internet there are tips and advice on how to find your ideal graduate job or internship. Yet, there are no blogs out there on when to actually find them. So we here at Magnet.me want to make up for that mishap and offer you the best tips and tricks on when to find a graduate job or internship.

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When is the best time to look for a graduate job or an internship?

The idea of “timing” your search for a job might sound a bit odd to you. After all, we only ever really look for jobs or internships when we need to! This can be due to various different reasons such as:

  • Earning money to pay the bills during university
  • Wanting to gain some much-needed work experience
  • Your graduation date is drawing closer and your relatives are starting to ask you more frequently what you are planning to do with your life…. Gotta love family gatherings!

For many university students, these events may seem pretty randomly scattered through university life. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth! In fact across the Netherlands, the UK and many other different countries there is a growing pattern in the job or internship search.

The graduate recruitment season can be a minefield. With graduate schemes, graduate jobs, work placements and internships to consider, it’s no wonder many graduates get confused.

So here is a general guide to the application process to decide the best route for you. Whether you are a final year university student or a first year here’s all you need to know:

Graduate Jobs

Graduate jobs are available all year round, with seasonal peaks usually around May – July and September – November. Why? Well, most graduate job applications are opened between September – November. The beginning of the application process for the graduate jobs in question. Then, most graduate jobs that were not filled during the interview processes are then made available between May – July.  

It’s important to note that smaller firms and businesses aim to fill most of their graduate roles within 4 – 6 weeks after making them available.

Whereas most larger firms and companies can take upwards and to both the Autumn and Spring university semesters to fill their available roles.


Most internships take place in the summer, with their applications opening usually in September the year before. With that said, there are still plenty of internships available throughout the year.

Most internships at smaller organisations like startups don’t usually have an open application and instead require a reach out or enquire to be made, whereas larger firms will have an interview process in order to obtain their internship roles.

Internships can vary in duration depending on the needs of the employer or the availability of the intern.

Some internships can run on a less formal basis, with some internships even designed around your studies.

Below is an example of the year-round search for students with regards internships and graduate jobs:

Going against the crowds

Okay, great, now you know the format most students follow when searching for jobs, through for instance Magnet.me, etc. But there are those who search for graduate jobs and internships when they aren’t ‘in season’.

While students often orient their job search according to university schedules (semester breaks, exam times and graduation), organisations and companies are governed by different timelines and you might be able to use this to your advantage in searching for graduate jobs or internships.

  • Inquire about industry schedules – Most jobs have a time that is busier than others. Accounting firms have most of their work during the beginning of the year, whereas retail and e-commerce make most of their revenue in November and December. Therefore, planning your job search during a period when the company is usually busier could work in your favour.
  • Check Magnet.me and build a job pipeline – Unlike more traditional job search sites, Magnet.me advertise for companies of all sizes and therefore have opportunities for companies with different hiring needs.

Job hunting during peak season

In certain cases, you can’t completely avoid the job search rush hour. Companies usually have set periods and deadlines when it comes to accepting applicants for their graduate jobs and year-round and summer internships. But even then you can do certain things to get a head start before the masses, such as:

  • Prepare for additional application requirements – More searches and applications always translate into more competition for jobs. Summer internship programs or graduate job openings at larger firms usually require additional steps. Therefore, be sure to check the application requirements and plan accordingly on required information needed.  
  • Update your CV and Magnet.me profile as you go – Most people start building their CV or online profile only moments after finding a job posting they want to apply for. However, customising your CV and Magnet.me profile regularly so as to avoid starting from scratch in every job or internship search. Instead of updating as you go along.

So don’t miss out! Give yourself enough time when searching for jobs. Remember, as a final year student the period between September to January is crucial, particularly if you are applying to larger organisations with established graduate programs.

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