What you need to know about graduate schemes for 2013 – Autumn Career Essentials


We’ve had lots of questions this week about applications for graduate schemes.  Graduate schemes are structured programmes, often with larger companies, targeting recent graduates. They range from a year to three years, combining work and training and can often lead to a permanent position within an organisation.

When are the deadlines for 2013 graduate schemes?  How many should I apply for?

The main application window for graduate schemes is from September to December, recruiting for applicants to start the following year, but there are always exceptions.  So, checking deadlines for individual organisations is crucial.  As for how many remember it is quality over quantity. Graduate schemes are competitive and the recruiter will want to see that you have spent time researching their organisation and are able to articulate why you would be a good fit.  In other words, you’re more likely to be successful with between two and four really good applications than 10-15 mediocre attempts.

What deadlines should I be aware of?

Many graduate scheme and internship applications are open now, or will open during October.

Examples of graduate vacancies and internships already open include:

  • Civil Service Fast Stream have multiple closing dates – check their website.
  • The ‘Big 4’ – Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG and PwC  have closing dates for some schemes, and others close when they are full, so early applications are recommended.
  • TeachFirst have no deadlines, but some subjects fill up early so check website.

Opening in October

  • NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme – 17 October – 9 December 2012.
  • PGCE applications – 15 October – 1 December 2012.
  • Law training contracts – lots open from 1 November – 31 July, but check websites.
  • Law vacation schemes – mainly close 31 January for Easter and Summer internships.

These are general guidelines – please always check the employer’s website for exact dates.

Where do I look for internships and graduate schemes?

We are currently advertising nearly 700 vacancies on our vacancy system. If you visit our drop-in we can advise you on where to look for your area of interest.

How do I prepare before I apply?

There are lots of ways to prepare before you start filling in application forms and writing CVs.  Make the most of the employer events on campus – we are currently advertising over 160 events in semester 1 on our events system.  Use these opportunities to talk to the employers you are applying to.  You can gain valuable information, but also make an impression!  It is always useful to mention any contact you have had in an application.

You can also get lots of information from following employers on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Again, there is useful information on our website about using social media.  We also run workshops on using social media to find jobs and internships – take a look at our events system.

Can I get my application checked?

Yes. You can use our drop-in service.  Bring your printed out application form or CV and cover letter, together with details of the role you are applying for – usually the job description and person specification.  We can help make sure you have answered the questions fully and targeted your application to the role.

If you are unable to get on to campus, you can use our e-guidance service.

We check for content and targeting, but do not check for grammar and spelling.  Always ask someone to check this for you before you submit your application. For more help with checking your own work you can use the skills@library workshop – How to proofread your own work

Is it ok to leave it until the last minute?

We don’t recommend it.  Sometimes employer systems can crash if they are overloaded with last minute submissions. Sometimes they close the vacancy early.  So our advice is to do your research, start planning and apply as early as you can.

1 Comment

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One response to “What you need to know about graduate schemes for 2013 – Autumn Career Essentials

  1. Pingback: Autumn Career Essentials – ACE your career! | leedsunicareers

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