Smaller companies can offer great jobs!

Wednesday’s advice: Smaller companies can offer great jobs!

Despite what everyone seems to think, the graduate job market isn’t all about Graduate Schemes! Grad schemes only account for around 14% of graduate vacancies, which means a whole lot of room for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). In fact, the vast majority of graduates find employment with an SME, and as they can cover all business sectors, going directly into an SME after graduation can be the best option for loads of people and working for a smaller organisation can offer a higher degree of job satisfaction. So don’t panic if you’ve not applied for a grad scheme, or you’ve not got through the recruitment stage – they’re just the tip of the iceberg. There’s lots of opportunities available with smaller companies, and recruitment can happen at various points throughout the year, with many companies accepting speculative applications as well.

Helpful resources:

- Have a look at our webpages on SMEs
– Search for graduate vacancies through Careers Gateway – we advertise hundreds every year!
– Check out ‘10 Minutes With‘ – free access when you sign in with your York email address to gain insider knowledge from top professionals and browse company profiles
– Read our information sheet Successful networking and start building your network, in person and using social media

Someone like you
Hannah – 3rd year Psychology


What do you want to do after graduation?
To get a graduate job (rather than a graduate scheme) in marketing in Newcastle

What have you done during your time at York to help you achieve this?

Second Year
- Researched different business areas and decided on marketing as my ideal career path

Third Year
- I’ve researched relevant companies in the Newcastle area and made a note of their details
- Had a meeting in Autumn Term with a Careers Advisor to target my CV towards the marketing industry
- I sent some speculative emails to marketing firms in the Newcastle area to build a rapport with them and arrange work experience prior to graduation
- Spoke to my manager at my part-time retail job in York to discuss transferring to the Newcastle branch if necessary whilst applying for jobs
- Contacted recruitment agencies to register my details

We’ve also put together a handy ‘hints and tips for final year students‘ flyer to help you think about what to consider in your final year at university.

Would you like to chat to someone but don’t think you need an appointment?

You can speak to our Brand Ambassadors on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday week 9 in the library foyer for information and advice.

Want to be in with a chance of winning a Christmas hamper?! Follow this link to our quick quiz to enter the draw, with the winner to be announced in week 10!


CAREERS BLOG: Applying for the York Award

YA certificate illustration

Careers blog written by Irena Zientek, Information Resources Manager, Careers

It’s that time of year again. No, we don’t mean Christmas – we’re talking about York Award application time.

Each year in late Autumn Term the application form is available for Final Year undergrads to access and begin the process of completing it in time for the submission date of mid-January.

The form consists of five sections, asking questions which require you to comment on your academic skills, work experience and personal interests. As well as giving examples of when you’ve used certain skills, you’ll also be expected to reflect on your experiences and demonstrate how they have helped your personal development while at York.

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Get ready for a bright future with Bright Network

Bright Network provides a platform to connect you with over 250 of the world’s top employers. Whether you want to work at an established blue chip, tread an entrepreneurial route or simply wish to explore what’s out there, you can find out about opportunities with exceptional companies.

EVENTS: As well as jobs and internships, they work in partnership with the best firms to create unique, career-focused events exclusively for the best graduates from the Russell Group of Universities. From invitation-only networking, to bespoke workshops and skills sessions, tailor-made events help the brightest get noticed by top recruiters.

ADVICE: We curate inspirational careers advice to help you think big. Written by industry leaders, graduate recruiters, talented contributors and Bright Network members, we bring together expertise and experience to help you gain the insights you need to stand out.

With Bright Network you can get ahead in:

Pathways Plus – Undergraduate Law programme

For the second year, the Sutton Trust has teamed up with DLA Piper, Hogan Lovells and Linklaters to run an undergraduate programme to support a group of 60 law students from low and middle income homes. Pathways Plus will offer academic and careers support to undergraduate students throughout their degree. The programme will have a focus on commercial law, with great exposure to the partner firms, but will also be good preparation for a career anywhere in the legal sector. In order to be selected for the programme, you must:

  • Be in the first year of an undergraduate Law degree;
  • Have attended a state school;
  • Have achieved AAB or ABB at A level (or equivalent);
  • Either have been eligible for FSM’s during their time at school, or are the first generation in their immediate family to attend university.

The attached brochure contains more details about the programme, which can also be found on their website, and eligible students can click here to apply. Applications close on Friday 2ndJanuary 2015. 

Practice Makes Perfect

Tuesday’s advice: Practice Makes Perfect

So you’ve secured your grad job interview but you’re worried about what to expect? Making a killer application and getting through to the interview stage is brilliant, but now that you’ve got to that stage, you need to make sure you’re ready for it. With Careers offering practice interviews as well as plenty of other resources, you’ve got no excuse to not be prepared for whatever assessment is thrown at you. You’ll also have support from Careers after you’ve graduated, too, so you don’t have to worry about feeling alone in your preparations once you leave York. From assessment centres, to aptitude tests, to formal interviews, we’ve got you covered when it comes to practice makes perfect! Continue reading

Make sure you have a great CV

Monday’s advice: Make sure you have a great CV.

It might sound quite basic, but you’d be surprised how many candidates miss out on jobs purely because their CV isn’t up to scratch. You might have the experience and the skills, but can you put them onto paper? If you’re not highlighting them in the best way, you’re putting yourself at a disadvantage. Your CV is there to help you shine and stand out, so make the most of those couple of pages. We’ve put together a list of resources that can help you make sure your CV sparkles. Continue reading

CAREERS BLOG: Assessment Centre Activity Afternoon Q&A

UoY Careers Imagine the possibilities LARGE dark green Blog written by Rachel Jenkins, Employer Liaison Assistant, Careers

Assessment Centre Activity Afternoon – 19th November 2014


  • Kelly McDonald: Careers Advisor (Chair)
  • Rebecca Fullam: Nestle
  • James Brazill: IBM
  • Sarah-Annis Brookes: PwC
  • Helen Taylor-Chadwick: Hiscox 

Event Summary:

Are you preparing for an assessment centre, or planning on applying for a graduate job or internship scheme next academic year?

This is your chance to put questions to a panel of graduate recruiters from IBM (non-technical team), PwC, Nestle and Hiscox. Following this, you will be able to try the tasks and activities that an assessment centre can present to applicants.

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