Students are brushing the dust of their textbooks and re-tuning their body clocks as the new term begins.
This year’s graduates are facing a market that is more competitive from a candidate perspective than we have seen in years. Below is our guide for approaching the graduate recruitment season to ensure you stand out from the sea of your peers.
- Firstly, as the saying goes “knowledge is power”, this is certainly true when approaching applications. Many students tend to shoot off applications to as many companies as they can with reckless abandon. Recruiters can easily spot candidates who have invested time researching a firm. It is important to focus your applications and apply to firms where you genuinely believe there will be a work and culture fit. Think quality over quantity.
- University careers fairs can be a great launch pad for directly meeting employees from a firm and finding out why they differ from their competitors. Furthermore, they will also enable you to develop your own impression of a firm’s culture, which can then be discussed from a personal perspective at interview.
- Amongst the hectic term-time schedule, candidates can become complacent regarding application deadlines. Whilst it may seem obvious, there is real merit in being on the ball regarding the timelines of campaigns. Many candidates are met on a rolling basis, and the longer a campaign goes on, the higher the benchmark can become.
- Finally, in the words of Charlie Chaplin, “you’ll find that life is still worth-while if you just smile”. Recruiters are often faced with brilliant candidates who let their nerves take over and forget to let their personality shine through during an interview. The interviewer is certainly assessing technical skills but they also really want to get to know you and judge whether you would enjoy working at a firm, not just be able to do the job. Don’t underestimate the importance of being yourself.
These tips may appear obvious, however, our experience running graduate campaigns means we have seen many students fall at these simple hurdles. We often find that successful candidates ultimately enjoy the recruitment process and do not allow the graduate season to dampen their personalities or their enthusiasm.