How To Choose The Right Graduate Scheme For You [2022 Guide]

A graduate scheme can provide a fantastic jumpstart to the career of any recent university graduate in the chosen industry sector. These programs are typically offered by major companies and employers and provide unique benefits compared to a more traditional graduate job position.

Completing a graduate scheme will leave successful applicants with considerable hands-on experience in multiple different work roles, grant them an expanded understanding of the inner workings of the specific industry, and be a significant advantage in their career advancement. Understanding how these programs work is essential in picking the best one that checks all of your desired boxes.

First, although it is a bit different, you should approach applying for a graduate scheme with the same seriousness as a normal job position, if not more. Indeed, many companies offering such programs have a more rigorous hiring process in place for them than their regular job openings.

Considering the highly-competitive environment, it is important to start distancing yourself from the rest of the applicants as soon as possible. One of the earliest such opportunities is at the CV stage. Ideally, you would want your CV to be both authentic and make your candidacy appear exceptional.

Achieving such a goal on your own, especially if you do not have experience in crafting CVs, may be difficult. Even more so if you are hoping to apply for multiple graduate schemes and have to complete a new CV for each place. One way to ensure that you are submitting an outstanding CV is to get help from a professional CV writing service. The experts will pick the most relevant and applicable information and summarize it in an eye-catching and exciting way. Not to mention that using a dedicated CV writing service will guarantee that your CV meets the latest criteria, such as being ATS (Applicant Tracking System) friendly.

What To Look For In a Graduate Scheme?

Typically, graduate schemes combine the characteristics of a training program and an entry-level job. As the name suggests, candidates must be fresh out of university. The duration of the program is usually determined by the specific company and the industry it operates in, with some lasting only six months while others could reach three and more years. On average, however, the length of a graduate scheme is two years. It is vital to note that the employer is not obligated to hire the candidate for a permanent position after the program has expired.

As for the actual responsibilities of the accepted applicant, they can also differ drastically. An ordinary program will see the fresh hire changing departments, being part of various projects, and sometimes even transferring between corporate locations. As a result, the scheme provides an opportunity to experience different aspects of the business, gather impressions from multiple sources, and help determine your desired career path. Many graduate schemes also provide mentoring opportunities, helping the fresh graduates grow their professional network while also having an experienced colleague to consult with during the initial phase of adjusting to the workplace.

Graduate Scheme Requirements

Although many companies have begun moving away from strict requirements about the academic results of applicants, the norm when it comes to graduate schemes is still at least a 2.1 degree. However, do not assume that having a 2.2 degree will mean that you will be automatically rejected. Top accountancy firms such as Deloitte, EY, and KPMG have relaxed their graduate scheme requirements, stating that they are now relying on internal assessments as a way to determine whether the candidate will be a good fit for the position. In any case, it is worth a shot trying to contact the employer directly and check if every item on the list of criteria is absolutely essential or not.

Read The Fine Print

As is the case with all professional arrangements, it is crucial to read the terms of the graduate scheme in its entirety before agreeing to anything. There have been instances in the past where graduates found themselves having to pay hefty fines when they decided to leave a program early due to egregious ‘lock-in’ clauses. Others have been disappointed to discover that the graduate scheme they have been accepted for starts with several months of unpaid training. A period during which the approved candidate is expected to relocate and cover their living expenses on their own.

Starting a graduate scheme with a national or multinational company can provide graduates with tremendous opportunities. They can travel and experience new places and cultures while receiving invaluable job training and versatile work skills.

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