Graduate Jobs

Finding a graduate programme

In many cases, Graduate Jobs are preceded by Graduate Prograrmmes or Schemes. The details of these may vary from position to position, but typical characteristics would include:

  • Opportunities with large organisations that take on many graduates each year
  • Usually aimed at final year students and new graduates
  • Annual recruitment cycle – closing dates Autumn-Spring, interviews in Spring, new candidates in post August-September
  • Competence-based selection used, such as assessment of problem-solving skills
  • Around 45% of jobs are open to students from any discipline in fields such as Retail Management, Marketing, Accountancy and Human Resource Management.
  • Competition for places is high
  • Structured training provided, often including professional qualifications

Graduate training programmes are the most visible type of graduate job and are widely advertised. However, as these can be very competitive, only a minority of graduates find employment directly through one of these programmes.

You can pick up free copies of directories listing graduate opportunities from the Careers and Employability Centre from October. The Graduate Prospects and MyCareer websites are also excellent sources for vacancies.

You can also look at profiles of graduate employers using TargetJobs Employer hub

Finding a graduate job

If you are unsuccessful with a graduate training programme or scheme, don't despair! Graduate programmes are not the only option.

Students can often apply for graduate roles often with Small-to-Medium Enterprises (known as SMEs).

The advantage of working in SMEs is that the role is more likely to be varied and you are more likley to gain a wider knowledge of the organisation. Vacancies are advertised when the need arises and employers will normally want someone in post within a couple of months.  

If you are a final year student, you should start looking out for these vacancies from March onwards. We would recommend using our in-house Graduate Recruitment Consultancy and MyCareer.

You may also wish to see out guide to vacancy sources for more ideas on where to look for jobs.  Don't forget to look on industry specific vacancy websites!   

Graduate Recruitment Consultancy

The Graduate Recruitment Consultancy as part of the Careers and Employability Service is the University of Portsmouth's on-campus graduate recruitment service exclusively for UoP students and graduates.

The Graduate Recruitment Consultancy works with over 6000 employers in the South East Region offering a range of graduate jobs in a variety of industries.

If you're in your final year of studies or a graduate looking for a job in the South East, sign up to the Graduate Recruitment Consultancy.

Meeting Employers Face-to-Face On Campus

A fantastic way to network and meet the right contacts is through face-to-face meetings.

The Careers and Employability Service are keen to encourage and organise these meetings so you can meet employers face-to-face through a range of events, workshops and fairs.

Many of these events are an opportunity for you to find out about the company as well as the roles available, giving you a true insight into the industry and job role. In some cases these events can help fast track your application!

We host a number of key employer events you should attend if you're looking for a graduate programme throughout term and vacations, so you should be able to take advantage of one of these. These can include the annual Graduate Recruitment and Placement Fair, sector specific fairs and employer-led presentations and events.

Keep an eye on the events page and make sure you are registered to MyCareer to book your place and see what opportunities are coming up. 

Applying for a graduate job

When you are applying for a graduate role, you must tailor your CV and application for each job.

You will need to make sure you have the relevant skills that are required for the job and ensure these are clearly advertised throughout your application.

Employers will expect to see competencies, but will also be looking for relevant knowledge and experience.

As a University of Portsmouth student or graduate, you can access free advice and guidance from Purple Door on CVs, application forms, interviews, networking and many more topics!

We offer this support for five years from your graduation!

 Further advice and information