Inspiring Interns is the UK’s leading graduate recruitment agency. We connect the best graduates with top companies nationwide. We work with a huge range of companies, from the newest start-ups to the likes of M&C Saatchi, OK Magazine, Virgin and Lloyds.
Inspiring Interns is always focusing on getting the best out of our candidates. We’ve pioneered video CVs to make the process of getting hired as effective as possible, allowing candidates to shine and gives employers a final interview experience at first glance.
Because we get to work with the best companies, and have an amazing, reactive team, we’ll constantly update you on the best graduate jobs around as they come in. Our team will constantly be on hand to make sure you’re in the best shape you can to land those all-important graduate jobs, including CV and interview advice. Click here to see our guide on "How to make your CV stand out".
We also make sure we match you personality with what the employer wants, so it’s not just your CV and experience that counts, but how well we think you’ll fit into the team.
Quite simply we want the best graduates. If we think you could be right for a role we have, we’ll get you into our office and record a Video CV with you, so that prospective employers will be able to see you in person.
We specialise in: Marketing, Media, Digital, Analytics, Sales, Recruitment, HR, Advertising and Ad-tech.
So if you’re looking to get into any of these industries, or want to find out more about our graduate jobs, please register with us online!
If you’re thinking about creating your CV soon, now that you’ve graduated and are ready to start applying for jobs in your chosen career, you may well be feeling a bit of pressure.
CV’s have evolved so much over the years, and there is more expectation on you nowadays to create an eye-catching CV that highlights your best skills and attributes. Competition can be high for some jobs so it’s important to put yourself across as best you can on paper, in a way that sets you apart from other candidates.
Here are 7 tips that will help to get your CV noticed by employers.
Creating a CV that has a clean, smart design will always catch the attention of a potential employer. If you use one font size throughout, write large blocks of text and stick to simple black and white colours, it’s is likely to appear boring and uninteresting against all the others they’ll receive.
Opting for various font sizes and font styles, choosing one or two strong colours, adding good spacing, using bullet points and including a small photo of yourself (although this is optional) will create a confident look that shows your dedication to getting noticed and a good eye for detail.
You don’t need to be a designer to create a great looking CV either; there are hundreds of examples and templates available online to help you start building yours.
Top tip: Keep your CV to one or two A4 pages maximum.
When it comes to writing your CV, remember that you’re not writing a short story about your life and your experience. The person reading your CV will want to hear about the important but relevant aspects of your career; the ones that prove you are a worthy candidate for the job.
Refrain from using too many superfluous words, and stick to short sentences that describe your best skills. Even if you are only just starting out and unsure of your abilities, you don’t want that to show in your CV, so ensure you come across as confident and show initiative in your desire for the job you are applying for.
Most job applications will offer you the chance to go into more detail with a cover letter, so don’t get caught out by trying to cram everything into your CV and overdoing it.
While it’s very easy to start talking about yourself in a personal way, because it comes very easily to us, you need to stick to your professional attributes on your CV – at least for the most part.
You may want to add a small section at the end to give a small overview of your personal interests, if you feel it’s relevant and it suits the kind of industry you are going into – i.e. Media and creative roles.
Your CV is an example of what you can offer that other candidates can’t. It’s easy to look at example CVs and copy the attributes that are relevant to you, but that won’t make you stand out.
Writing a CV is a little bit like marketing yourself. Your CV is an advert, and to be the best in the business you must create something unique that promotes a profound benefit to the consumer. In this case, the consumer is the employer, and your ad must convince them that you’re worth hiring.
Top tip: Before you start writing, imagine the other candidates - who are likely to have similar skills to you - and try to write a list of skills, attributes and characteristics that you believe set you apart and will make you highly desirable to an employer.
Proofread, and proofread again
You’ll be surprised how many CVs get booted before they’ve even been given a chance – because of a simple spelling mistake or grammatical error.
It might sound petty, but perfect spelling, punctuation and grammar are essential in getting your CV noticed.
If you aren’t too sure whether you’ve got it right, ask a family member or friend to read over it so that you can get a second opinion.
Don’t rely on one CV
Each employer that reads your CV wants to see that you are passionate about working for them. It’s clear when a candidate has created a generic CV and hasn’t made the effort to personalise it for that particular role.
If you know the types of roles you are likely to apply for, then be sure you create three or four CVs that will only need small adjustments before sending off.
Top tip: It will take more time at the beginning to do this, but you will save so much time once you start applying – and, hopefully, your hard work will pay off!
Possibly the simplest, but most important tip of all when it comes to your CV.
If you refer to any difficult situations in your career that you’ve learned from and you think are worth mentioning, ensure that you use positive words to explain these and mention why you feel it’s important to include them.
You don’t necessarily want to glorify yourself too much and portray the idea that you are flawless, so do include some important aspects of your career that have contributed to your personal development. It shows initiative and proves your commitment to your career.
There are many more tips out there to be read, but hopefully these will get you started and fill you with confidence in getting the job you want!
Leila Wright writes graduate careers advice for Inspiring Interns, a graduate recruitment agency which helps career starters find everything from project management roles to marketing internships. Check out their listing for both graduate jobs London and graduate jobs Manchester.
You’re fresh out of college and the time has come to put your skills to good use. You spend hours pouring over your CV to make sure it’s quirky-but-intelligent, in the hope of harvesting some interviews.
We can confidently assume that 99% of humankind hates this process and the anxiety it brings. So, here are some top tips to consider before facing the music.
Research, Research, Research
You’ve managed to blag an interview from one of the many jobs you’ve been applying to. Congrats! Now it’s time to familiarise yourself with a company you have no idea about. Thank goodness for the Internet!
Any employed person will tell you how important it is to learn as much as you can about the company before going in - what they do, the history, all that jazz – in order to exhibit your enthusiasm. Not to mention you’ll go in feeling less nervous.
So trawl through the company's site to get an idea about their vision and their values. Even an overview about their history doesn't hurt. It's also a good idea to check their social media in case they have any marketing campaigns or events occurring.
Breakfast’s the most important meal of the day
Your body jolts you awake at 6AM. It’s the day you’ve been dreading: Interview day. You’re expected at 11AM so why not make good use of this chunk of time? There’s no way you’ll be able to go back to sleep after all.
Use your time wisely and start by doing stretches or go for a quick jog to feel energised. We all know that exercise releases magical endorphins but it also keeps cerebral blood flowing – keeping you sharp and ready for whatever questions are thrown your way!
After some quick exercise, make sure you have some breakfast. Even if nerves are stifling your hunger, it's important to have something in your belly, even if it is just a slice or two of toast.
StandOutCv.com says that a diet filled with Omega-3 can sharpen your memory which could really help your performance in the interview. So if you know an interview is coming up, add mackerel to the menu and snack on some walnuts to ensure your body is in tip top shape. Remember that colourful pyramid always stuck on the canteen wall? Keep to a balanced diet so that your body and mind are completely fresh. Besides, there’s nothing more embarrassing than a rumbling belly in an interview!
Dress to impress
They say that it takes a mere thirty seconds to create an opinion of another person. So, use this to your advantage! Make sure you are looking top notch; hair brushed, clean face, and that all your clothes have been washed and ironed. Stay clear from dramatic eye-make up or an overload on jewellery. Think minimal.
If you feel like you’ve made an effort, you’ll feel good and look confident. Try and look as professional as possible, even though the attire can be a little dull. It’s probably a good idea to save that leather catsuit for another time!
Familiarize yourself with conventional questions
If this is one of your first interviews, it’s a no-brainer that you should check out some generally asked questions. Ones that can often catch you out like what are your strengths and weaknesses?
You’ve probably heard, from friends or family, some more abstract questions such as ‘if you were an animal, what would you be and why?’ It’s good to have a quick flick through some potential questions just to bounce some ideas around. For example, if you’re looking for a career in hospitality you should think of some questions around circumstance, such as ‘if a customer does x, y, and z, what do you do?’
Be sure to have a vague idea of what you’d answer but make sure you don’t rehearse it! Any response needs to sound as natural as possible.
Interviews are a two-way-street. They’re there to see if the role and the company are right for you as well. So before going in think of questions you may want to ask them. It shows your enthusiasm for the job and that you’ve come prepared.
Breathe and remain calm
You’ve been directed to a chair to wait on whilst your interviewer is finishing up with someone else. The door opens and another candidate bids farewell to your potential new employer. You freeze, your throat constricts.
Take the time to breathe as soon as you see that door open. In-and-out, in-and-out. It will calm your body and make you realise that this is going to go well. You just need to feign confidence and exhale all nervousness!
For three long years, you sweated over textbooks and slogged your way through exams. Now you’ve earned your shiny new degree certificate and your friends and family couldn’t be prouder. But since that last mortarboard was thrown, everyone keeps asking the same, dreaded question: “So, have you found a job yet?”.
While the well-prepared and well-connected smugly brag of their upcoming grad schemes at the 'Big Four', most graduates leave university without a job lined up. This scary situation is made worse by newspaper headlines warning that one-quarter of new graduates will still be unemployed a year later, or lamenting that almost 60% of all graduates work in non-graduate jobs. But don’t panic. Being jobless at graduation does not mean you’re going to be unemployed forever. Sit back, relax, and try one or more of the below:
Take some time off
University is hard work. When you’ve been spending the last few months cooped up in the library, it’s only natural to feel that you need a bit of a break. So take one! Perhaps you just want to laze about for the summer. Perhaps you’d love to go travelling or undertake a cool volunteer project. Assuming you or your family have the means to support you for a few months, the perfect time to take some time out is now. Don’t get caught up in the myth that any “gap” on your CV is going to leave you unemployed forever – career gaps are only a problem if they’re years long or incredibly frequent. Besides, taking the time to fully recharge means you’ll be able to start job-hunting feeling invigorated and excited to start on your career. Rush into a job before you’re ready, and you’ll quickly burn out.
Figure out what you want to do
If a big part of the reason you don’t currently have a graduate job is that you don’t know which job you want, you’re not alone. 44% of undergrads aren’t sure which career they want to get into. Luckily, the downtime after graduation is the perfect time to figure it out. Before you start applying willy-nilly for jobs, do some research into different industries and job types. Be honest with yourself about your interests and strengths; if you have a burning hatred of Excel, a data-heavy role isn’t going to be right for you. Don’t just research via the internet. Get out to career fairs and graduate networking events (most unis provide these for their alumni). Search through your contacts – friends, family members, friends-of-family members – and ask for informational interviews with those who work in a field that sounds interesting. An informational interview isn’t an attempt to get a job; it’s just quizzing an industry insider about what it’s really like to work in their sector.
Try before you buy
Even the most thorough of research is no substitute for actually doing a job. You may think that you were born to do marketing, only to begin a career in it and realise you hate it. Unfortunately, when you’re in a grad scheme or permanent job that expects new recruits to stay for several years, quitting abruptly can make you look flaky to other hiring managers. Luckily, there is a way to get a taster of an industry without the commitment: internships. Most internships last three to six months and are often designed to expose the intern to a variety of aspects of a company or sector. They’re also a fantastic way to build up the sort of network contacts that will help you out throughout your career. While great interns are often offered a permanent job at the end of their internship, you’re under no obligation to accept. And because hiring managers know that internships are short-term, they won’t see several short stints on your resume as “job hopping”. However, avoid any unpaid internships. Contrary to popular belief, these are almost always illegal under British law, and you should eschew employers who are willing to exploit career starters in this way.
Think outside the grad scheme box
When university-leavers think about getting jobs, grad schemes are usually the first things that come to mind. But these are generally only found at large, corporate companies, and make up a tiny percentage of the overall opportunities available. Think about whether a super-corporate, highly-structured work environment would actually suit you. For people who find that sort of thing stifling, finding a job in a start-up might be a much better option. Entry-level employees in start-ups tend to wear lots of different hats and take on much more responsibility than in bigger companies. It can be hard work and long hours, but you can also make a real difference in the company. Better yet, start-up and other SMEs recruit throughout the year, whenever job openings occur. So you’ve never missed the boat to apply!
Do some DIY skill building
Skills and experience are crucial to getting ahead in any career, but it’s a myth that you can only develop them at work. If you’re currently unemployed, you can use the time to bolster up your CV. For example, writing a blog not only demonstrates cracking writing skills (the top attribute employers would like to see more of in graduates) but also dedication and passion to a particular area of interest. If you can write a blog that fits in with the field you wish to join, even better! If you notice that the job specs you’re looking at call for specific skills like SEO knowledge or Excel Pivot Tables expertise, why not take it upon yourself to learn how to do it? A quick Google search should yield plenty of free resources. There are even free, uni-accredited online courses that you can undertake: try sites like edX or Coursera. You could even become an entrepreneur. Plenty of businesses can be run on a shoestring: hiring yourself out as a make-up artist or wedding photographer, selling handmade items on Etsy, taking delicious home-cooked food to your local market… the possibilities are endless. Being your own boss means having the flexibility to fit work around interviews, all while earning some cash and making your CV shine.
Beth Leslie is a career and lifestyle writer. She is also the editor of the Inspiring Interns blog, which provides graduate careers advice to young people looking to excel in the workplace. Inspiring Interns is a graduate recruitment agency which helps career starters find everything from project management roles to marketing internships. Check out their listing for both graduate jobs London and graduate jobs Manchester.
When you enter the world of graduate jobs without career specific work experience, it can be pretty daunting. But don’t despair, if you’ve done part-time work during your studies it can vastly improve your chances after you graduate.
It’s always important to employers that you have the kind of skills that they know will be useful in a professional environment. Displaying this experience in your CV or in an interview is a great way of providing proof of the skills you’ll bring to the role.
So if the only work experience you’ve got is in a coffee shop, on the telephones or in the student union bar, here’s how it’ll help your chances of getting shortlisted for those all-important graduate jobs.
As a new graduate working in a business, you’re always going to need great communication skills. If you’re in a client-facing role, the skills that you will have learnt from dealing with customers either over a counter or on the phone will be impressive to a new employer. At the very least, it’ll show you have the ability to communicate professionally with your new colleagues. Ensure you make it clear that you were dealing with customers on a daily basis in a professional way and they’ll know you can communicate.
If you’re competing with someone else for the same type of graduate job, one of the most important things that will set you apart is your ability to fit into a team. Make it clear that you were part of a close knit team and they’ll know you’ve got the personality to slip right into the office environment at their company.
If you’ve juggled an academic, social and work life at university, you’ve already proven yourself to have superior organisational skills. Companies looking to hire a graduate will see this and know they’ll have someone who can manage their time and responsibilities successfully.
Have you ever had to deal with a customer complaint at a bar or found yourself on the other end of the line from an angry caller on the uni phones? Then you’ve already had plenty of problem solving experience. Prepare yourself for this question in interviews, and think of a time you’ve had to deal with a potentially disastrous situation, acted calmly and found a solution. You’ll find this kind of critical thinking is a valuable skill across a whole range of graduate jobs.
If you’ve been given any extra roles at work, especially if it had anything to do with money, make this clear on your CV. Simply stating that you’re honest or responsible in a profile is unlikely to send a very strong message, while proof that you’ve handled money or more advanced roles with integrity will scream that you’re somebody they can trust.
With success driven rewards, competitive salaries and the chance to work in an area that interests you, graduate sales jobs have plenty to offer.
So long as there are things to sell, there will always be a place for graduates in a whole variety of sales roles. In fact, according to High Fliers more than a quarter of leading employers are looking to hire graduates in a sales role.
So, in the ever expanding world of graduate jobs, why might sales be the route for you?
Perks of the Job
Graduate jobs in sales can be an extremely attractive proposition. Besides the wining and dining, expenses lifestyle available, they often offer attractive salaries for graduates up to and including 24K. On top of this, the majority of sales roles involve some sort of commission package, with the exciting opportunity to achieve huge benefits based on your success.
As sales is a career that operates across sectors, there’s the opportunity to specialise in something you’re passionate about, including putting the technical knowledge you learnt in your degree to good use. Often a company car may be thrown in the mix, and career progression can be relatively speedy, as is moving across sectors.
Sell it to me
Even if you don’t see yourself as wanting a long term career in sales, it’s a great sector to get your first start in. You’ll gain invaluable skills in tons of different areas and graduate jobs are there to teach you something that can kick-start you career.
The most important thing you’ll learn from a career in sales is exemplary communication skills. Your day-to-day work life will be full of important customer contact and so you’ll have to quickly learn the best way to communicate in a professional and convincing way. The resilience you’ll gain will be essential moving forward with your career, as dealing with rejection is an integral part of sales. The confidence you’ll gain from being told “no” and picking yourself up will be huge.
Perhaps most importantly, sales will show you the best way to succeed. Fresh out of university, it will give you the drive to succeed in whatever you move on to, due to the culture of being judged by your results.
Convinced? Next Steps…
Before you start the hunt it’s worth thinking about what it is that you want, and what area might suit your skills. Sales roles are hugely varied, you need to think about whether you want to be based mainly in an office on the phones, or out in the field. It’s also worth deciding what kind of pay structure would suit you and of course what it is you think you’d be best suited to selling.
As ever, make sure you research the company before you apply for the role and find out as much as you can to work out if it’s suitable for your needs and skills.
So you’ve found the perfect sales job for you, what’s next? Even if you haven’t got any direct sales experience, any retail, hospitality or charity collection work you’ve done in your spare time will be impressive. Think of a time you’ve had to persuade someone to do something and how you did it. They WILL ask you this question in the interview.
It all sounds very Wolf of Wall Street, but the truth is they might ask you to sell them something in the interview, and it’s worth having a few practice rounds with your family and friends to prepare yourself.
Finally, remember that the interviewer won’t just be looking for your answers but the way you deliver them. They’ll be looking to see if you’re easy to get along with, friendly and enthusiastic.
Interested in sales graduate jobs London? Follow the link and search through our sales jobs!
…and none of them are translation!
If you do a quick google search of the top graduate jobs for a language degree, it would be easy to feel like you’d accidentally pigeon-holed yourself into being a translator or a teacher.
But if neither of these appeal, don’t fear! In the multinational, connected world we now live in, the demand for language skills is increasing all the time. Nowadays, any companies with foreign offices, clients or commercial interests will often specifically hire foreign language speakers, and will often consider fluent speakers favourably even for non-specific roles.
Doing a languages degree will not only leave you with the impeccable language skills needed to get these jobs but also a deep understanding of the country’s culture. More importantly you develop key softs skills, particularly a fine attention to detail and quality communication skills.
Here are our top 5 jobs for a language grad, and not a translation in sight!
One of the consistent factors to a lot of graduate jobs listed here will be that they’re client facing. Account Management involves being a great communicator and brilliantly organised, identifying client’s needs and making sure everything is delivered efficiently from your side.
These are the kind of skills you’ll develop doing a language degree even if you’re applying for companies with exclusively English clients. On top of this, your fluency will add another string to your application bow for any company that deals with foreign clients.
Your ability to communicate effectively across the whole spectrum of clients at the company will make your CV stand out, and that’s why so many multinational companies are favourable towards a foreign language when looking for account managers.
More and more recently, the world of finance is diversifying from their traditional talent pool of Maths, Economics and Science graduates and into a broader range of academic backgrounds.
With any client facing role, all large banks will be working multi-nationally and so the ability to communicate effectively is seen as a huge bonus, as well as the ability to liaise effectively with other offices throughout the world. Almost all applications will name a foreign language as ‘highly desirable.
In fact, Goldman Sachs claim they actively seek language graduates or native speakers for around 50% of its roles, and huge graduate employers HSBC and Credit Suisse both suggest a second or even third language will be a huge advantage in the application process.
A career in retail buying is all about being able to analyse trends, making good judgements and negotiating hard. As a result, language graduates can be in demand for buyer roles, due to their ability to communicate and work with suppliers throughout the world.
Whether you’ve got a passion for fashion, food and drink or stuffed animals, it’s a chance to use your knowledge of foreign culture, as well as language, to get ahead. Buying is all about noticing market trends and companies with an interest in foreign markets will want someone who has an understanding of that culture.
You’ll also get the opportunity to travel abroad to trade shows and fairs, where you can put your language skills to stellar use.
A Foreign Language degree can be useful for all sorts of marketing jobs, but particularly social media, which is generally a role filled by a graduate anyway. Many companies will have an array of social media profiles if they are working across different countries, and your knowledge of the language and culture of a foreign country will stand you in good stead to be given a lot of responsibility quite quickly.
If you want to move into other areas of marketing or advertising, you’ll find that your language skills will be useful to converting your role. The chances are you’ll be taking on ad-hoc duties from a variety of departments, due to your specialism, which will provide a boost to your CV and an opportunity to prove yourself in areas you want to move into.
If none of these suit, you can always be a spy. MI5 hire language graduates to join their foreign analyst team. If you want to listen and analyse intercepted messages, and tell all your friends you’ve got the license to kill, check it out!
It may seem like it when the grades come in and you’ve missed out on your coveted 2:1, but a 2:2 really needn’t be the end of your search for the top graduate jobs.
The most important thing to remember is to stay positive, you don’t have to give up on your ambitions by any means. A 2:2 from a top University or in a sought after subject is still incredibly valuable, and even if this is not the case you still have plenty of options.
With some helpful advice, and some hard work, the graduate job of your dreams is still very much in your hands.
Review your starting point
It is true that some graduate jobs for a number of top companies specify a 2:1 or above. However, this doesn’t mean these companies are out of your reach, just that you need to reassess your path to getting there.
It may be that your best bet is to think small, and find an SME looking to hire a graduate that suits your needs and long term job ambitions. Be selective in the company you choose, but remember that if you are applying to a smaller business they are likely to have fewer applicants. They are therefore much less likely to have the same kind of strict vetting process that companies with thousands of applicants will have.
More importantly it gives you the opportunity to emphasise the other skills you have, and find a way to relate them to the role you’re applying for.
Specific Skills and Experience
Are you a secret Adobe wizard? Are you fluent in another language? Have you run social media pages for a small business or team? Once you have the opportunity to show off the rest of your capabilities, make sure they know about any potentially valuable ‘hard’ skills you have.
If you don’t have anything you think might be useful, it’s never too late to take an informal beginners course in something like coding or Adobe Photoshop to bolster your CV.
Also don’t forget to take into account the relevance of things you did outside of your academic life at University. If you had an important role in a large society at the Student’s Union, this displays you’ve had some experience in a leadership position. Also anything to do with sponsorship shows understanding of what it takes to build a business to business relationship.
Applying speculatively by calling up companies and seeing if they have any graduate roles available is a great way of giving yourself a chance to put your best qualities across first, and avoid being filtered out of the process.
Source a company that you’d love to work for, and prepare a short pitch as you may need to sell yourself over the phone. That way when you send your CV in you’ll be memorable to the recruiter looking at it.
Get Some Help
Graduate recruitment agencies like Inspiring Interns have loads of graduate jobs online that accept applications from graduates with 2:2. They’ll be able to give you tons of helpful advice and land the job of your dreams!