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What To Look Out For When Hiring A Graduate/Junior

Hiring a Graduate or a Junior can sometimes be a tricky one. You want them to have particular skills or experience but you know it’s probably their first ‘proper’ job. There’s no use advertising the position as a Graduate/Junior role and then stating that they need 2 + years experience. It’s unlikely that you will find anyone with 2 years experience straight out of education. There are ways of finding talented superstar candidates without scaring them away with your job advert. Here’s what to look out for:

CV & Cover letter

The number one thing to look out for is a well-structured CV, a CV that shows a keen interest in the sector that you are recruiting for. As you are looking for someone who may not have much experience, the key things to look out for are their skills, their education and any valuable extras.

Their CV and cover letter should clearly state what role they are looking for. This way you know that they are interested in that position and not just the idea of a job. An added bonus is someone who has taken time out of their social life to complete extra work experience. This may have been voluntary or paid but either way, they will have some experience under their belt.


If they state that they have completed a photography project or they have run their own blog or youtube channel – take the time to look over it. Even though they haven’t had the experience within a workplace, their work may be remarkable. Whether their CV is short or long, try to look into every detail – (within reason, no longer than 2 pages!) although they may seem inexperienced based on their employment history, they may have a lot to offer.

Have they worked voluntarily in school or helping out with a charity at University? These are key things to look for. Someone who has worked voluntarily is someone who is extremely desirable to have in your workplace. It shows their passion and motivation to get their foot in the door rather than someone who wants the job for quick, easy money.


After deciding on what candidates you would like to invite to the interview, it’s important to judge how you think they would be in an office environment. Although the skills are the main factor when hiring, you need to be sure that you hire someone who is going to fit in with the rest of your team.

Maturity is an important factor when hiring someone straight from University or College, you don’t want to hire someone who is going to mess around and distract others.The interview is a great opportunity to see what they are like as a person and whether they are punctual, professional and prepared.  


During the interview, it’s worth asking about any future plans or goals that they may have. Although you can’t guarantee they will be telling you the truth, it’s a good opportunity to see whether you are speaking to someone who wants to progress in your company or someone you know will only be here for a short while. This obviously depends on what you have to offer, if you only expect them to stay at as a junior or graduate before moving to another company then base your hiring decisions on that – but make sure that they know there isn’t much room to progress.




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