How to get a graduate job

Final year is a challenge; completing dissertations and grad job applications are guaranteed to be stressful so do yourself a favour and read below. Less is more It can be […]

Final year is a challenge; completing dissertations and grad job applications are guaranteed to be stressful so do yourself a favour and read below.


Less is more

It can be tempting to take a look at the Times Top 100 Employers and apply for roles from every company on the list. However, in your final year you WILL be short of time and very stressed. Resist the temptation to complete as many as possible and instead focus on a few that you really want and think you can be successful in.

Choose a role (or two) and stick to it

The possibilities are endless. There are thousands of roles available across the world and it is hard to pick one. No one wants to settle down. That said, it is best to make a decision and stick to it. Job applications are extremely time consuming but many of them have really similar questions and look for similar qualities. If you apply for the same type of role, it will save a lot of time as you can manipulate previous applications and copy large amounts of your application over.

Do stuff at uni

Almost every graduate scheme will look at your activities outside academia; some will even grade you on it. Being involved in a university activity or societies can often provide great answers for competency questions which come up frequently in telephone interviews.

Have a strong CV

This isn’t just about having loads of experience. It also really matters what information you present and how you present it. Your CV should be tailored to the role that you are applying for and there really is no reason why you can’t have a good one. If you need help or support the CV clinics and drop in sessions run by the university are a good place to start.


It is unlikely that during your university career you will meet someone that will offer you a comfy role as an investment banker over a Juicy Lucy but networking can help cut your applications in half. If you meet the right people at the right events they can often fast track you straight to interview which will save you a lot of time.


A lot of people think that they can leave this till the day before interview. To do well it needs to be done before you even apply. This can be done online but networking is also a good way to go because it is a way to gain some specific insight and ask questions about certain roles…who knows what Corporate Client Solutions is anyway?


It is role dependant but a lot of firms want experience. This doesn’t mean that you will have needed to have had a full time job, just something to demonstrate that you have been interested in this sector in a while. There is usually a society for every interest but volunteering, part time jobs and even workshops/conferences will often suffice.

Apply early

Many of the more competitive graduate schemes open early and close early. Depending on your discipline this can be highly beneficial; if you get the bulk of the applications out of the way early, i.e by the end of October/November, then depending on the flexibility of assessment centers, you should have a free run until after your January exams.

Any more tips on getting a grad job? Let us know in the comments below!