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5 Things To Do When Applying For A Graduate Scheme

Are you looking to apply for a graduate scheme? Follow our 5 tips to help you feel prepared and ready for the application process!

Do your research

This is our number one tip. We recommend learning all there is to a company prior to your application. This is because the more you know, the more you can tailor your CV and job application. By doing so you can prove to the potential employer that you have a genuine interest in the company. In addition to this, the more keywords you include within your CV that match that of the job description will result in your application ranking highly if the employer uses an applicant tracking system.

Write lots of notes, research the company online and find out all there is to know. Don’t rush this stage as it can be the difference between you and another candidate. For example, if you are someone who incorporates the companies values and beliefs into your application it can give you an edge over someone who didn’t do this.

Strong organisational skills

If you consider applying for multiple grad schemes, you will have to be organised. You will need all the time you can get to be able to tailor each application and submit them before the deadline. To achieve this, try creating a visual timeline of when the upcoming schemes are open and when they close. This will help you to not forget any important dates. If you’re really scared you will miss one, set a reminder on your phone!

By being a bit more organised, it will hopefully enable you to manage your time more efficiently and reduce the risk of submitting any rushed last minute applications. Graduate scheme applications require concentration and care so the more time you have to do this, the more effective your application will be.

Tailor your CV

A tailored CV specifically designed for the select role you are applying for demonstrates a true interest in the proposed job. Whereas if you choose to submit the same/very similar CV to multiple different grad schemes, it can be perceived as very generic and demonstrate no imagination or effort into your application. Therefore take the extra time to carefully adjust details to ensure your CV matches that of the job description.

How can you differentiate from the rest?

Yes, you may have the same degree and grade/predicted grade as others, but what gives you that edge over them? Do you have any valuable work experience that can increase your employability? If you don’t have this, now is a good time to go out and look for it. Whether this is in the form of an internship or even shadowing somebody in your chosen profession it gives you something extra to add to your CV.

Preparation is key

Unfortunately applying for a grad scheme isn’t as easy as just uploading your CV. Instead, there can be many stages to the process. Such as,  a numerical test, a personality assessment or even informational questions regarding the role and company that you may have to answer. Therefore it is important you do your research and make lots of notes beforehand. It’s not something you can necessarily ‘wing’ so practice your answers using online tests or ask friends and family to look over what you propose to say.


It doesn’t end here. If your application is successful you will likely be invited to attend an assessment day. Or the employer may want to contact you to arrange a phone/video interview. If you are in this situation (well done!)

However, if unfortunately, your application does not progress further remember there will be other opportunities and don’t give up! You could try looking towards smaller companies who may not have been your first choice but can still provide you with a great opportunity. You will be likely to gain a real hands-on experience, extra responsibility and the chance to learn on the job, when working with a smaller employer.

Good luck!

Still looking for a job? Take a look at these graduate opportunities here 

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