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When should I start searching and applying for jobs in the UK?

Understanding UK recruitment timings

Many students are surprised by how early graduate scheme applications open. If you are thinking of applying for graduate schemes* you will need to apply in the Autumn / first term of your final year (or Masters year). Applications open in September and close in October, November, December and January.

Graduate jobs, entry positions and professional hires* tend to be advertised whenever that company has a position to fill. But that doesn’t mean you should leave it till graduation or the end of your course to start your job search.

*See our other video on the types of jobs available for graduates in the UK if you aren’t sure what graduate schemes, graduate jobs, entry positions and professional hires are.

How long does it take to find a job in the UK?

Many people don’t expect the job application process to take as long as it does.

Usually it takes around 3-4 months between seeing a job vacancy and actually starting the job. This is because each stage of application is usually separated by a few weeks, as shown below. 

Grad application cycle 

Plan for rejections

Don’t forget that you probably won’t be successful in the first few applications you make. It is important to expect some rejections in your job search - it happens to everyone!

What makes international students successful in getting jobs?

There are four critical things that make a difference for international students.

1) Get help from Career Zone to understand the job application processes in the UK

2) Start Early! Ideally start to explore your options as soon as possible after arriving at Exeter

3) Be Competitive - Develop your skills while you're at Exeter

4) Use the Extra Help for International Students that Career Zone Offers