When should I apply for graduate jobs?

Okay, there is no best time to apply for a graduate job, except for as soon as possible. So there you go! Sort and sweet. But there is some important dates, facts and everything in between that you will need to know before applying for a graduate job.

Applying for a graduate job

Let’s begin with the when to apply. In the UK most graduate jobs begin in September after graduation (which gives you enough time to find yourself on the shores of Bali in July and August). When applying for a graduate job it’s important to understand that the top UK graduate employers start their application process up to a year before the start date. So, in order to not miss out on the big companies, start applying for graduate jobs as soon as you know what you want to do. If you are reading this and have missed out on your dream graduate job then go find yourself on the shores of Bali for an extended period and apply again next year.

The key in the application process is the summer of your final year. Over that summer when you are carrying out a summer internship, having a few pints with your friends in the local or watching the entire boxset of breaking bad for the 8th time (haven’t seen it? Enjoy the next 62 hours of your life), you can also be thinking about what it is you want to do. Bryan Cranston aside, your final year summer should be a research overhaul. Researching the skills, qualifications and experience that are needed for your desirable career should be at the top of that list…. Next to “how can I move on with my life after Breaking Bad”.

Myth vs Fact

“I’ve missed my chance at a graduate job; all of the deadlines have passed in January”

Don’t worry! We have some statistics to turn that frown upside down. Although 24% of the Times list of top 100 graduate employers have a deadline between the months of October to January, 71% work on a rolling recruitment process. So put the Haagen Dazs down and get looking for those 5% graduate employers that have deadlines between February and July. Clearly, there is plenty of time to send an application for a graduate job during your final year. However, if you’re unsuccessful in bagging that dream job, you may have to wait a year before you can re-apply. So maybe this day does have Haagen Dazs written all over it!

“If I don’t get a graduate job after I graduate university – I have definitely missed my chance of ever getting one”

Wrong. After your graduation there is no limit on when you can apply, especially with rolling recruitment. It is noteworthy that you would be more successful within your first three years of finishing university. But, new graduate jobs are created every day and industries are always changing and expanding, so don’t be put off applying. It’s cool to drive a minivan into work on your first day as a graduate employee.

“I can’t apply if my degree isn’t exact to the job role.”

So let’s say you studied Fine Arts (it’s a degree!) and you want to pursue a graduate job after university then it is not necessary to have studied a specific degree to get placed. Even in the big 4 companies of Deloitte, KPMG, PwC and EY, most companies are looking for candidates with the ability to learn on the job and that have the potential to succeed. For many employers offering a graduate job, having a degree in itself shows that you are able to learn, meet deadlines and are committed. It’s important to check that out on the job description before applying. Some companies might be specific on what type of academic candidate they are looking for.

To conclude…

When applying for a graduate job it is important you understand one thing… To know when the applications open and close for the graduate jobs you are looking for. As a final year student, the application process for a graduate job comes with many hurdles. It is important that you manage your time well. Don’t stress about your finals and graduate job application. Take your time and do what is best for you… and when all is said and done, find sometime to find yourself on the shores of Bali!!

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