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When Should I Apply For Graduate Jobs?

Karina Oluwo

26 April 2019

by Karina Oluwo

( Words)

​Your final year at University can seem like a never-ending whirl. Dissertations, essay, final exams. And then people keep asking you what you plan to do when you graduate. So when should you start looking for work?
Graduate Recruitment Schemes.

Many companies take on a batch of graduates each year to train up for various management roles, which usually start in September. If you miss the deadline – don’t panic. If the company can’t recruit the right people from the first batch of applications, they may well re-open for more applications. The main advantage of this type of scheme is that it allows you to enjoy one last summer before bucking down to a “proper job.” La Fosse's graduate scheme is currently open for applications – in fact, we've already accepted individuals who finishing uni this summer, to start from then onwards. If you're wondering whether to start your career or travel first, check-out our article on how you can do both.

Applying for Other Graduate Jobs

Companies which don’t have a regular graduate training scheme are still worth considering when applying for jobs. Hit the internet and do some serious research into the sector you’re thinking of working in. If graduate jobs are advertised, apply as soon as you see them. Keep checking back if nothing appears on first search. For the right candidate, companies may be prepared to wait until after your exams for you to start work. The downside to this strategy is that you might be competing against all of the previous crop of graduates who are yet to settle into their ideal career.

Go through Recruitment Agencies or Apply Directly?

Recruitment agencies are one way to find a graduate job. Most of them will work very closely with clients to fill specific vacancies, so are usually looking for people who can start with a minimal delay. Register with agencies during the Easter vacation, in between studying for Finals. Let them know when your exams finish, and when you’d be free to start work. However, it's also definitely worth doing your own research about the kind of company you'd like to work for, and applying to businesses directly if you like the look of them. The Sunday Times lists of Best Companies to Work For might be a good place to start thinking about contenders, and you can use online tools like Glassdoor to get a feel for the organisation by looking at anonymous reviews from current employees.

Other Strategies

It’s never too early to start thinking about other ways of securing that perfect job when you finish your degree. Even before you start your final year, you can start getting your CV in order, setting up profiles on sites like LinkedIn, and putting the word around that you are in the market for a job. In the spring of your final year, consider uploading your CV onto some of the big job websites, and getting in touch with people at companies you think could be a good fit – doing a bit of research earlier on will make you feel way more prepared when it comes to making a decision later on.

If you'd like to learn more about why a career in recruitment could be the right step for you, please don't hesitate to get in touch at or view all roles we're hiring for here or check out our internal openings here.

If you are a graduate and found this blog insightful, give these a read:

What Does a Graduate Recruitment Consultant Do?

Top 10 Tips for Graduate Job Hunting

Top Careers For STEM Graduates