Graduate placements have vastly grown in popularity over this last year. According to High Fliers report, the UK’s top employers saw an increase of 6 percent more graduate job applications in 2015. With such a marked increase in competition for a limited number of graduate placements, only the best graduates will succeed in securing these.
Graduate placements are excellent opportunities to fast-track your career. Many companies hire graduates to train them into the senior and managerial positions. These placements can last anywhere between 3 to 36 months and, upon completion, graduates will often secure a full-time company position. Furthermore, working for a big company will provide opportunities to move around within the organisation and advance your career upon completion.
Therefore, although competition is tough to secure a graduate placement, they can offer a great start to your career. Follow these tips to help you secure your position:
Your university can provide you with a considerable amount of information about graduate placements but you will still need to perform extensive research yourself.
When looking for your graduate placement, consider the kind of environment you will thrive and enjoy working in. Remember that you will spend a considerable amount of time in this working environment and it’s important you enjoy your learning experience here. If you are uncomfortable in the company environment it will be difficult to get hired initially and benefit from the placement at all.
Look for a placement to suit you. Whilst there are numerous good quality placements available, look for something that is going to interest and engage you and which will compliment your degree. If you are looking for a placement in a fast developing industry, Opus Energy, a business energy supplier, has started their first stage of the application process for graduate placements.
When it comes to graduate placements experience matters. In this respect applying for a graduate placement is somewhat similar to applying to other positions. If you have worked before look for placements which you have knowledge about or a particular interest in. This will provide a competitive edge to your application and help you stand out from the crowd.
The first stage of the application process is comparatively easy. Typically, you will be asked to complete an application form consisting of standard questions about your experience and skills.
Nonetheless, you should prepare your CV in an appropriate manner. This means you should highlight the sections of your CV which best match the positions and the company. Ultimately, you will only be afforded one chance to apply for this position so it is important to take this seriously.
Prepare examples of your skillset and achievements on a separate document. This will not only save you time, allowing you to focus on trickier questions, but also get you in the correct frame of mind to fully engage with the application.
The first stage of your application is a written argument thus make sure that you do not have any off-putting grammatical mistakes! Get a friend to look over your application too. They will be likely to find mistakes which you have missed despite having read through your own work multiple times.
An online assessment will comprise the second stage of your application. This stage is the central part of the application process.
Whilst these assessments can be considerably difficult to complete, training tasks can often help you understand what the assessment requires. Some universities provide students the opportunity to practise online assessments. This gives a deeper understanding of the assessment process and what to expect from online tests. If your university doesn’t have this service try researching the company’s application format. You might find practise tests already exist as useful preparation tools.
Take both your practice and real application seriously. Make sure that you are in an appropriate environment to concentrate and finish practice or real assessments without unnecessary distraction. Give yourself enough time to complete these applications fully and to the best of your ability.
Interviews and test centres
Preparation for the last stage of the application process may be the most challenging.
Ensure that you know where you are going. Have the map and postcode available and make sure that you are not relying too heavily on internet signal or your gadgets. Technology sometimes fails but you are not in a position to be late.
Secondly, when you are in the interview, make sure that you are enthusiastic and passionate. Some companies organise activity days and are looking to discern motivated leaders to join their team, so make sure that you are doing your best to get the position.
By the time the application process is finished it usually takes up to a month to receive results. Some companies present graduates with offers whilst others offer unconditional positions. Nonetheless, once you have secured your graduate placement you have, more often than not, successfully secured yourself a fast-track career.