What to do when Graduate Schemes have closed




You may be finding out that the deadline on many graduate schemes has gone and you are concerned about having missed the boat. Or you haven’t managed to secure a place on one, despite applying.

Do not despair!

Whilst graduate  schemes are really good opportunities they are not the sole entry point into a graduate level job.  So this blog can give some practical advice to those of you who are wondering what to do now.

Firstly let’s makes make sure the term ‘graduate scheme’ is understood.

Graduate schemes are offered to recent graduates* and are actually paid permanent employment opportunities.  They usually last between one and two years and are often available in a number of specialisms – or streams as they’re known – ranging from finance, retail, HR and marketing, to management and law. As a trainee, you will be given responsibility from the start  and you will gain practical experience. The structure of the scheme could vary depending on the employer and industry, but it will usually involve training, mentoring and often the possibility to gain a professional qualification. At the end of the scheme you will then go into a position  with the company. often with management responsibility. These opportunities often involve a lengthy recruitment process and opportunities are often advertised in the autumn of the academic year with  closing  dates  around Christmas to late January.

*The term ‘recent graduate’ can cause confusion. Some schemes are quite strict about you being a graduate of the past academic year whereas others can be more flexible so check their advice if you are thinking of applying for them in the next round.

If you are faced with closing dates having already been and gone then here are some top tips to help get you going again.

Look out for any schemes that re-open or are even still recruiting

Some graduate schemes  do open their doors again if they haven’t  recruited enough  during the first round or they find as an organisation they require more people. These would be advertised in the usual sources – details of which are on our website. This section has details of graduate schemes but also details of how to access all kinds of graduate opportunities which we discuss below.


If they are in this position that may also attend the large careers fairs in major cities the summer. We will post details of these on our social media channels.

Attending events and careers fairs

Attending the large fairs in the summer which are external to the university ( often in London or other major cities) can be really useful as many employers there will have vacancies , possibly including graduate schemes. Take any opportunity you can to network with employers.


Look for vacancies with other organisations

Many smaller to medium companies often known as SMEs will advertise vacancies on an ‘as and when’ basis. They are still plenty of opportunities available again through the usual channels.


Set up a LinkedIn account

Getting  a good profile on LinkedIn with your key skills clearly laid out can help employers find you. We have a really good section on our website around starting this an account off. If you have one already are you moving it to the next stage, so connecting with employers and getting recommendations.


Don’t forget if you have a LinkedIn profile we have our Careers Service competition which closes on the 15th March. Further details were included in a previous blog and are given below.


Get your CV up to scratch

Ensure your CV is up to date and again help on how to do this can be found on our website.


Lastly if you have your heart set on applying or even reapplying to a graduate scheme next year then make sure they still allow the class of 2019 to apply and get ready for the whole process by following our advice.

However try not to overlook other opportunities which may prove just as valuable.

Nik Golding via Compfight


careersCVemployabilityemployersemploymenteventsgraduatejobsnetworkingrecruitmentskillstransferable skillsundergraduate

Pamela Coppola • 06/03/2019

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