Sponsored feature, words by Fay Millar

If you’ve just finished your degree and wondering what to do next you could always consider applying for a graduate recruitment scheme with one of the many different multinational companies out there.

It’s not as scary as it sounds, many of these companies are actively searching for the brightest graduates to join them, and it could put you on the path to a long and rewarding career.

KPMG, a global network of professional firms providing audit, tax and advisory services in 155 countries, has recently streamlined its interview process to make it easier for you to apply this summer for the 1,000 sought-after graduate positions it is currently recruiting for across the UK.

The accountancy giant made the change after research revealed more than a third of Millennials were frustrated by the lengthy recruitment process, 43% thought communication was poor and more than half never received any feedback when applying for a role.

Simon Collins, Chairman of KPMG in the UK, said:

“Millennials don’t want to navigate a cumbersome and convoluted recruitment process when applying for a job and this is something we as business leaders need to understand and address.

“Our own graduates have given us some hard-hitting, but really useful feedback and we’re using this to overhaul how we recruit.

“Millennials no longer feel the need to play it safe and most are now equally happy to work for a start-up or tech firm as they are a large traditional employer. We are competing with the full gamut for the best brains and talent leaving university: getting our graduate recruitment right is crucial to the long term success of our business.”
The announcement of KPMG’s Launch Pad initiative heralds a new streamlined approach to their interview process, combining first interview, assessment centre and final interview into a single day, and job offer or feedback about why they weren’t successful within two working days.
KPMG has come up with five top tips to ensure your application stands the best chance possible.

1. Do your research

KPMG is a global organisation with a huge amount of information in the public domain. Make sure you research it thoroughly before you go to interview. You won’t be expected to know specific figures but having a good understanding of the company you want to work for is a must.

2. Sell yourself

Okay, so you got a first in your degree, have done plenty of work experience in a tax office and won a competition to devise a new way of transferring money between countries. Whatever your achievements, don’t be afraid to shout about them but also in context – show how they are relevant to the job you want and what attributes you can bring with you.

3. Show your personality

The people interviewing you at KPMG aren’t going to be robots, they don’t expect you to be either. They want you to have academic achievement but at the same time they want to see what you are like, how well you will work with others and how you can get the best out of a team. Extra-curricular activities and achievements are a great way to showcase another side to you.

4. Avoid common mistakes

Don’t send in generic applications and avoid copy and paste at all costs. Write specifically for the job and company you are applying for. Check your application thoroughly for spelling mistakes and grammatical errors which will make you look sloppy.

Prepare answers to questions in advance, plan and edit them when and where possible. Don’t waffle on but do make sure you answer the questions.

Don’t lie. Integrity for employers is vital and KPMG is no different. They will check your background and any job offer may be withdrawn if things don’t add up.

5. Clean up your social media profile

Recruiters will look at information online about you. Well-informed tweets or Facebook posts linked to relevant news or issues are attractive, drunken rants or embarrassing photos are not. Change your privacy settings and make sure your personal pages are private. Use LinkedIn to showcase your qualifications and skills. You could even consider setting up blog or website where you post relevant articles or link to other people in the industry – not only will it show you can write it will show potential interviewers you are knowledgeable and well-informed too.

KPMG is recruiting for 1,000 graduate positions across the UK. Applicants can apply via the KPMG Careers website at www.kpmgcareers.co.uk and assessments will be taking place in London, Bristol, Birmingham, Leeds and Glasgow from October. KPMG’s graduate scheme is one of the most popular in the UK: the firm received 28,000 applications for c.1,000 positions in 2015.