University of Essex
University of Essex

August 23, 2012

GradFocus5

Filed under: Newsletters — Dee Hardcastle @ 3:24 pm

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Recruitment of graduates is an annual cycle, and it’s just starting over again for 2013 opportunities. That doesn’t mean there aren’t lots of opportunities still open to you right now, but it does mean that if you missed out on any graduate schemes last year, some are already open and accepting applications. Read on to find out more.

Job spot

Sainsbury’s Trainee Manager Programe

The supermarket has re-launched the programme to build on the success of last year, with 150 new places available.

Trainees will spend a year learning every aspect of how to run a Sainsbury’s department while being mentored by an experienced store manager. After this time successful trainees will have the knowledge and skills to become a department manager – a key role which involves overseeing a large team and a multi million pound budget in one of the 1,000 stores across the country.

Got at least a 2:1? As well as the Trainee Manager programme, as part of their ‘2020 Leaders’ scheme, there are Commercial, Operations and People programmes covering routes into areas like Buying, Marketing, Human Resources, Customer Service, Communications and Corporate Responsibility. They also have their ‘Own Brand Scheme’  for you science graduates with an interest in food.  

Other graduate schemes

Lots of employers have already started recruiting for their 2013 graduate schemes, targetting recent graduates and final year students, including BT, TeachFirst, Ernst & Young, Barclays, Unilever and KPMG for example.

Careers Adviser’s top tip

Don’t give up

Ever applied for a job and wondered why you didn’t get any response? Don’t be disheartened! It’s become common practice for employers only to contact job applicants they have decided to interview.

In a recent report by the Prince’s Trust, following a survey of about 3000 16-30 year olds, more than two in five regarded finding a job over the next year as “unachievable”, with three in five describing job hunting as “demoralising”.

Not having any response at all when you apply for a job can be frustrating and can feel like rejection, but it’s important not to take it personally when you don’t hear from an employer. Due to the competitiveness of the labour market and the volume of applicants for most jobs, employers simply don’t have the resources to respond to everyone. Some employers will even state when they advertise jobs that if you don’t hear from them by a certain date, then you haven’t been shortlisted. But if not, and you don’t get a response, it doesn’t mean your application was terrible, it’s just likely that on that occasion there were more suitable applicants than you. Keep trying and tailoring your application or CV to the role, and eventually you will be one of the applicants whose knowledge, skills and experience match what the employer is looking for and get invited for interview.

That said, you can always take your chances in following up with the employer if you are unsuccessful and requesting feedback on your application. Some will be willing to offer advice on why you weren’t shortlisted, which can help you to improve future job applications. Good luck!

What’s new?

Funding for graduate law studies

The College of Law is launching a Gold Awards scheme, providing up to £3,000 for top performing graduates keen to enter the legal profession by undertaking the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL).

The GDL gives non-law graduates an entry route into law professions. Students who have achieved a first class honours undergraduate degree in any subject or a distinction at Masters level and wish to study the GDL at the College starting in September 2012 or January 2013 can apply for one of the 60 awards on offer.

The Gold Awards are open to students who accept a place on the course at any of the College’s eight centres nationwide by 16 August and will go towards the cost of their tuition fees. The aim of the scheme is to attract top class, non-law students to the legal profession.

Eligible students should email gdlgoldaward@lawcol.co.uk for information on how to apply.

Are you ready?

If you’re still reading this newsletter, the likelihood is that you’re one of the many graduates who have put off applying for jobs until after graduation, and are still looking. As outlined above, many large graduate recruiters are already accepting applications for their 2013 programmes. Did you know that many other large employers start their recruitment cycle between now and Christmas, often with tight deadlines? Competition will be fierce as always, with organised final year students and postgraduates applying too, but by being prepared you can maximise your potential of securing a job. 

In past issues we’ve dealt with things like being flexible and creative in your approach to job hunting, and considering SMEs, which are really important, but many of you may still be keen on securing a place on a graduate scheme, to join a large company offering training and the scope to develop your professional career. It’s worth pointing out at this stage that quite a few graduate schemes require at least a 2:1 for entry (some also stipulate minimum UCAS points requirements), but some will accept a 2:2 so it’s worth checking the entry requirements if you’re in that category and are interested. 

While the websites used by large graduate recruiters (Prospects, Milkround and Targetjobs to name a few) may seem rather sparse at the moment, from now onwards they will be flooded with opportunities. So if a graduate scheme is your goal, and if you’re well prepared, one of these opportunities could be yours. 

One of the most important steps in preparing to make applications is to do your research. Firstly, analyse all the graduate schemes that appeal to you and prioritise the ones you feel really match your expectations. Making an effective application takes time, so making an effort with a few is more likely to lead to success than rushing through lots of them. Secondly, being in a position to indicate to an employer that you fully understand the role you’re applying for, and that you have done your homework on their organisation, is sure to impress. Employers offering graduate schemes generally make this easy for you by having a careers section on their website detailing their opportunities, as well as things like the history of the organisation and their values, achievements and goals. Swot up on these and you will be a step ahead of the game, and ready to give a convincing answer when they ask you why you want the job. 

It’s also important to believe in yourself when you apply and to show the employer that you are confident you could do the job. Are you more inclined to start sentences about your experience and skills with “I’ve haven’t really done much of…” or with “I’ve developed some experience of that through doing…”? Be as positive as you can. Employers will be interested in your potential, so even if you’re experience in something is minimal, it’s worth highlighting it rather than making light of it, and show them that you are interested and willing to learn.  Look at the skills big employers are likely to require and have positive examples at the ready to demonstrate that you’ve got them. 

Finally, review all the tips and advice we’ve provided in these newsletters, from tailoring your applications to practicing psychometric tests and you should be ready to click apply and make effective applications when employers with graduate schemes that interest you start recruiting. 

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