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Applying for graduate schemes after being in work

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    Hi, I graduated in 2007 with a 2:1 degree from UCL, after a year of unemployment I've now been in work for 3 years after getting on a grad scheme.
    Last year I had an opportunity to change jobs and didn't.

    Now I am realising the role I'm in has no room for growing or expanding and I am feeling very fed up. Most grad schemes have closed for this year now, I found one that was open but they only want 'new' graduates.

    It's constantly in the news that the number of high quality graduates is declining and that recruiters are struggling to find suitable people, yet someone who has real world experience they're not interested in.

    Yet, at the same time I can't apply for experienced roles for what I want because I've learnt very few technical skills and am no way near qualified, so leaves leaves me in a position where nothing is suitable.

    Surely someone with a few years business experience who is still young would be an asset?? I don't get it and feel really fed up at being excluded just because I've not only just graduated.
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    (Original post by kgc)
    Hi, I graduated in 2007 with a 2:1 degree from UCL, after a year of unemployment I've now been in work for 3 years after getting on a grad scheme.
    Last year I had an opportunity to change jobs and didn't.

    Now I am realising the role I'm in has no room for growing or expanding and I am feeling very fed up. Most grad schemes have closed for this year now, I found one that was open but they only want 'new' graduates.

    It's constantly in the news that the number of high quality graduates is declining and that recruiters are struggling to find suitable people, yet someone who has real world experience they're not interested in.

    Yet, at the same time I can't apply for experienced roles for what I want because I've learnt very few technical skills and am no way near qualified, so leaves leaves me in a position where nothing is suitable.

    Surely someone with a few years business experience who is still young would be an asset?? I don't get it and feel really fed up at being excluded just because I've not only just graduated.
    Interesting- your own experience is fairly similar to mine. Graduated from a reputable uni in 2007 with a 2:1, was unemployed for a bit, went to work abroad, came back, worked in the UK (not on a grad scheme, but worked my way up) and now I find myself in a low-level management position earning a pretty good salary and with good experience for my CV, but no real technical skills and probably not enough experience to count as a 'qualified/experienced hire'- but at the same time a bit too old and experienced for some graduate schemes. I don't really have too many options for upward progression in my current role, so while I'm more than happy with the money I am considering future alternatives. The main problem is that most graduate schemes pay less than what I am earning now, and I'm not sure if the pay cut is necessarily worth it. Some schemes clearly involve more responsibility and possibilities than I have now whereas others seem to offer less than what working in the 'real world' has given me- a lot of window dressing but no real substance. For the right scheme I'd take the cut.

    However I've noticed that many schemes do take on experienced hires, I'd say those specifying 'recent graduates' are in the minority- you seem to only have one example. And don't discount other options such as applying for non-graduate management positions commensurate with your experience, the Armed Forces (if that is something you might genuinely be interested in), government jobs etc- positions with real responsibility which are not marketed as graduate schemes but which offer similar levels of career progression. Not getting on to a graduate scheme does not mean you can't enjoy similar benefits (or better). It might be worth getting a relevant qualification to boost your credibility, depending what is relevant for your business and what roles you see yourself in in the future.
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    (Original post by kgc)

    I graduated in 2007 with a 2:1 degree from UCL,

    I've now been in work for 3 years after getting on a grad scheme.

    Most grad schemes have closed for this year now, I found one that was open but they only want 'new' graduates.

    Yet, at the same time I can't apply for experienced roles for what I want because I've learnt very few technical skills and am no way near qualified, so leaves leaves me in a position where nothing is suitable.

    I'm sorry. but you are talking utter rubbish. Yes, the job market is very tough at the moment, but you are just looking in the wrong places for the wrong thing. You are now just an adult who works, you aren't any sort of label ie recent graduate, experienced hire etc. The whole job market is open to you and you should be able to put a competitive application in for any job that is looking for 1-5 years experience.

    Experienced hire is just a word that means not a first job. Sometimes companies mean a senior manager, most times they mean not a brand new grad, ie you. It is up to you to learn how to read job adverts and to work out which they mean - the salary usually indicates that.

    Look at the job you are in and sort out the job descriptions and titles of people in roles one step above you. Work out what skills they use - easy because you can almost certainly find their job spec from HR or from them. Ask them how they got where they are, ie what previous jobs they had. You can either tell them you are thinking about your next career step or you can ask in a general conversational way.

    Bookmark the vacancy sites of similar organisations/companies and look at them regularly to get a feel for what they are asking for, how often, what salaries etc. Include the proper professional job sites eg Guardian, Telegraph, Times and sector specific job websites, not Monster, jobs4life etc.

    Regularly buy any business specific magazines etc, where you will get a wider overview of the businesses, careers advice and examples, and adverts for jobs.

    You are an adult now, and there are no schemes etc that support you. You have to build your own professional skills by asking and learning from colleagues more senior to you, from the in-house literature, business magazines, company websites, job adverts, newspapers, LinkedIn, twitter, books etc. That's why all that information is out there.
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    I signed up to this forum just to add my experience. I am:

    30 Years Old
    Graduated in 2007 with a 2:1 and MEng

    Started working in IT straight after University and have worked my way up a little. Been on a management development programme as well. But for the last year or so it seems to be going no where and I am not enjoying what I do or learning anything new. So I decided on a career change and I am currently applying for Accountancy Trainee jobs. I have been to a couple of interviews without any success. I have had a few phone interviews, numerous reasoning tests and things are not looking very positive. I haven't given up just yet and I am using all these failures as feedback. Things are tough, I agree but you must hang in there. There are a lot more like you. The few places I applied to, I worked really hard on my application and did a lot of research so it is difficult to take in rejection and it is very easy to go in to depression but that is not going to help. So good luck to us all and keep trying.
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    Graduate schemes are a lottery, there are plenty of other routes into graduate / trainee roles.
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    what kind of scheme did you get on?
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    (Original post by RomeoDunn)
    Graduate schemes are a lottery, there are plenty of other routes into graduate / trainee roles.
    Please explain? Where can I buy tickets?
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    I have just been offered a place on a grad scheme. I have been working for a few years having graduated in 2006.

    I think if you're sure you want a career change then keep applying.

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Updated: May 19, 2012
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