What happens if you don’t want to go on one of the big graduate recruitment schemes – how can you find work? Well you may be surprised to learn that most graduates DON’T go into training schemes with big companies – many find work with small and medium sized employers (SMEs) who employ from 10 – 250 people.
The SME sector can offer a lot of opportunities to develop new skills, be challenged and have a much stronger impact within the business, than might be possible with the much larger organisations. You are more likely to be working more closely with senior managers as well as clients and suppliers. You’re likely to get real responsibility and progress within the business more quickly. There is likely to be the chance to see how other aspects of the business operate and see how your work directly impacts on the success of the business.
SMEs don’t necessarily recruit in the same way as the big companies, who have the financial resources to put into big recruitment campaigns and structured training schemes. SMEs tend to have more immediate needs – so one approach is to search local and regional newspapers for vacancies. Find out if there is a specialist magazine focusing on the industry you’re interested in and check it out for jobs.
Don’t wait for a vacancy to be advertised – you can approach a company directly to see if they have any opportunities that may suit you. Speak to someone in Careers about making effective speculative applications.
Have a look at our web page about smaller businesses for more information.
Networking is another good way to uncover opportunities in the SME sector. You could try thinking about who you know and let them know about your career plans. Ask if they can make any introductions within the industry you are interested in. Have a look at the Successful networking information sheet for further tips and advice.
Another good starting place would be the Careers event, SME Connect on Thursday 22 May – you can come along to some or all of the event.
- 5.30pm: Working in technology sector SMEs
- 6.15pm: Informal networking (refreshments provided)
- 7.00pm: Working in creative sector SMEs.
Book your place at Careers Gateway.
Working for a smaller business can be just as rewarding as working for a large graduate recruiting company, so why not consider a SME?