11 months ago

Careermap is here to give you the full low down on what a graduate programme is, where to look for one, when to apply and how to give yourself the best chance of success with the daunting application process.

What is a graduate programme?

Applying for a graduate programme is something we’d definitely recommend to students in their final year at university or those who have recently left to consider. Not only are they a great way to kick off your career but you’ll also be paid to learn. That’s quite a refreshing change to paying £9,000 tuition fees for the past 3 years – don’t you think?

How to find graduate programmes?

Before you do anything you need to think about the graduate programme and company you want to work for.

TOP TIP: Employers are not receptive to generic applications, you need to show a genuine interest in the company you’d like to work for.

Do your research. What is a graduate programme?

Do your research – if you’ve got a particular employer in mind check their website regularly for graduate programme updates, follow them on social media and sign up for their newsletter. This way it’ll be impossible to miss their recruitment period.

Has your university got a careers service? If so ask them. This is free advice and support to students so use it to your full advantage (many don’t). Sometimes browsing the internet can be like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Having someone there who can point you in the right direction is always helpful.

When should I start applying?

Most graduate programmes recruit between September to February for you to start in the following September so you should start applying in your last year at university. Don’t miss the deadlines! Find out what company you want to work for and make a note in your diary of when the deadline closes.

deadlines for graduate programmes

How to master the application process?

Preparation is crucial. Always think ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’. Leaving your application until last minute and sending it off a rushed effort will be noticed.

It’s a smart move to create a CV also, even though the recruiter might have an online application form you need to fill out, it’s good to have a CV at hand which you can copy from as most of the questions will be easily transferable from your CV.

If you’re wondering how to write a CV there is lots of advice and templates online.

What to expect next?

The recruitment stage can be quite lengthy. Obviously, each employer is different but typically you’ll follow these steps:

  • Application Form
  • Online Tests (normally in Maths and English)
  • Phone or Skype interview
  • Face to Face interview
  • Assessment Day

When will I hear back?

There will be hundreds of applicants applying for these positions so it could take weeks or even months for you to hear back. It’s all about being patient. Having said that to maximise your chances of securing your dream graduate programme make sure you keep up to date with your applications.

What is a graduate programme?

Take a look at this short clip below to find out how to maximise your success when faced with a one to one interview:

Now you know what a graduate programme is, it’s time to find your dream position. Set aside a bit of time and start searching Careermap for graduate programmes. Good luck!



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