Getting a £30k Graduate Job in London - My Journey

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jalby1992
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Hi All,

I am hoping to get a graduate job paying £30k within 6 months of Graduating, I Graduated September 16th, I am working full-time in a dead end job but it's paying £25k, I am looking for £30k so I can get a mortgage on a small flat as I live in London and have a deposit. I thought I'd note my journey on here.

Getting a decent graduate job is not for the faint hearted, I work 8:30am-6pm and then apply for jobs 6pm-9pm.

So far I have applied for 76 jobs, I have not got 40 (mainly because of the tests you get not having a high enough score) these tests and the questions a lot of them are identical so eventually you end up getting better at them even if you fail the first few.

I am waiting to here back on 30 jobs. I have around 6 interviews, 4 I have done awaiting feedback 2 I have upcoming.

I tailor a cover letter for each job using a template I have which I rewrite half of it takes me 10-15mins I spend about 1 hour 30 filling out the application form and answering the long dreaded essay questions 76 times "why do you want to work for us" "....I want money and a good job god give me the job" I feel like writing now.

A lot of the jobs are a September start what a pain!

My persistence will pay off hoping to have something by 1st April.

The interviews I've had

Fisher Investments Project Management Graduate £27k + £8k bonus - Telephone interview getting feedback Monday, then 2 final face to face interviews to get the job.

Whitbread Accountant Graduate - £28k+ - Passed all the tests, passed the skype interview with HR, I now have to do an Assessment Day and beat 20 people to the job.

Babcock Leadership Graduate £28-£32k+ benefits - smashed the telephone interview almost certain will get to the next stage an assessment day

Rolls Royce Procurement Graduate £30-£35k - Interview date pending

Arup Investment consultant about £35k - Smashed the telephone interview now my application is being reviewed by the hiring managers...fingers crossed

Swiss Re Investment Consultant £55-£61k! - Face to face interview soon

Bank of Ireland £30kish - Awaiting Video Interview Feedback
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UWS
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Good luck mate! £30k is a very healthy salary to get after graduation! I know people who have done it so I know you can too!
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jalby1992
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Thanks mate. Now applied for about 85 Graduate Schemes each application I spend on average 3 hours, researching the company and roll, tailoring my CV (although only slightly) and cover letter from scratch for the role, then the on average 45-60 min tests and application form and 1000 words on average essay questions...getting sick of what interests you about this role and why do you want to work for us!

About 40 no's as I wasn't in the top for the 3-4 tests they give you.

Waiting to hear back on about 25

Don't know what you want to do? Nor did I....it is much easier to say what you don't want to do, I done this and limited it down to anything in investments, management or marketing!

Had 2 Face to Face Interviews for non Graduate Sales Engineer Role at Keyence out of 400 got through to the Final 10 no luck.

Had Telephone/Skype/Video Interviews with Coca Cola, Whitbread, Fisher Investments and Bank of Ireland (didn't get) all graduate roles except Fisher Investments which was an experience Sales Role.

Passed the following T/S/V Interviews waiting for the next stage Arup, Babcock (hear back Feb 28th), Rolls Royce, National Grid

Waiting to hear back on a Balfour Beatty Video Interview.

Got a Face to Face interview with Swiss RE in the new year

I have 8 years work experience I'm 24 living in London with a 1st class hons in business management, been a Sales Assistant, Finance Officer/Admin and a Recruitment Consultant (recently promoted to a manager) this promotion should open doors to management roles. I'm only going for roles paying £30,000 as I get about £28k with commission now and I'm hoping to get £30k so I can buy a flat.

So for those of you who are losing hope, keep fighting you will get something!

Good luck all, I'll keep you updated on my journey
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jalby1992
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Got another interview with Mars Wrigley for a Sales Rep not the best but better than I am doing now and close to home paying up to £28k + company car fuel card + bonus + lunch allowance...big interview Wednesday fingers crossed
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LucyDM4G
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Hi Jalby1992, good luck wth it, it sounds like you are applying for a multitude of roles and are focussed solely on the salary level. I completely understand your reasons for that, and agree that you should be able to get a role paying that salary with your experience. I hope you don't mind me offering this one piece of advice: I find that when you are passionate about something and you love what you are doing, the money is likely to follow.

So perhaps rather than applying for loads of roles, it could pay dividends to write down the things you love doing at work, write down a list of the companies you'd love to work for, and then either contact them directly or scour their company job boards with a really tailored application that explains why you want to work for them, and why your skills and passion is a great fit.

Your natural passion and enthusiasm will shine through when you do this, and you will be more likely to bag the 30k job! Hope that helps and good luck with it all. I know from first hand experience how utterly boring it is to keep applying relentlessly for jobs.
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josh_v
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Took me around 40-50 applications to get an offer.

I never imagined it would be so difficult. Most of the roles I applied to I had relevant masters degree for from a top 5 uni, as well as intern experience. The constant cycle of answering the same questions, typing out the same information, doing numerical and situational judgement tests was terrible. But it does eventually pay off.
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jalby1992
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(Original post by LucyDM4G)
Hi Jalby1992, good luck wth it, it sounds like you are applying for a multitude of roles and are focussed solely on the salary level. I completely understand your reasons for that, and agree that you should be able to get a role paying that salary with your experience. I hope you don't mind me offering this one piece of advice: I find that when you are passionate about something and you love what you are doing, the money is likely to follow.

So perhaps rather than applying for loads of roles, it could pay dividends to write down the things you love doing at work, write down a list of the companies you'd love to work for, and then either contact them directly or scour their company job boards with a really tailored application that explains why you want to work for them, and why your skills and passion is a great fit.

Your natural passion and enthusiasm will shine through when you do this, and you will be more likely to bag the 30k job! Hope that helps and good luck with it all. I know from first hand experience how utterly boring it is to keep applying relentlessly for jobs.
Hi Lucy, thanks that is sound advice, I completely agree that is the exact words my lecturer said "do something you like and the money will come" he told me to do something on motorbikes but unfortunately there isnt much loool! I am very lucky that I have a passionate for business I get satisfaction out of improving businesses so anything in finance, or business management in an innovative company or marketing I will enjoy, but yeah defo something for me to consider when I get to offer stage.

I now have 7 interviews upcoming waiting to hear back on 5 so should have something soon, I set myself a target of April 1st!

I am writing this post mainly because I am very confident and an optimist most of the time, but I know people can get really put down when keeping on applying for jobs, if they apply for 137 like me, spend 3 hours per application tailoring cover letter, CV answering questions I know they will defo get a job! Also it is sort of proving that people should not undervalue themselves, some agencies try offer me less than I am on now, young people should have the right to be able to afford a home at some point! And with student loans being so high they should be able to pay them off before they are 50!

Sound advice thank you I will go for the one I think I will enjoy the most. I work in recruitment which really helps me getting my own job lol.

137 applications now, 107 proper ones, and 30 are click apply off LinkedIN/Reed etc
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jalby1992
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(Original post by josh_v)
Took me around 40-50 applications to get an offer.

I never imagined it would be so difficult. Most of the roles I applied to I had relevant masters degree for from a top 5 uni, as well as intern experience. The constant cycle of answering the same questions, typing out the same information, doing numerical and situational judgement tests was terrible. But it does eventually pay off.
Yes it is highly competitive I always ask HR how many have applied and it is normally 400-1000 for 1 job!!! Closest I have got is to the last 10 so far.

Yeah that really pisses me off the top 5 Uni thing, not everyone can afford £50k a yr for Oxbridge lol it is almost discriminating and I may be wrong, but I have 8 years work experience and a 1st whilst working full time, surely I should be worth the same as a Oxford Uni student with same degree a 2:1 and 6 months work experience if that! But then from the other side of the fence paying £50k a yr fees surely they should get the job over me

Haha thanks I feel your pain, going through that now but got so many interviews and 50 odd applications to chase up that I think I will give it a rest unless something amazing comes up now!
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LucyDM4G
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(Original post by jalby1992)
Hi Lucy, thanks that is sound advice, I completely agree that is the exact words my lecturer said "do something you like and the money will come" he told me to do something on motorbikes but unfortunately there isnt much loool! I am very lucky that I have a passionate for business I get satisfaction out of improving businesses so anything in finance, or business management in an innovative company or marketing I will enjoy, but yeah defo something for me to consider when I get to offer stage.

I now have 7 interviews upcoming waiting to hear back on 5 so should have something soon, I set myself a target of April 1st!

I am writing this post mainly because I am very confident and an optimist most of the time, but I know people can get really put down when keeping on applying for jobs, if they apply for 137 like me, spend 3 hours per application tailoring cover letter, CV answering questions I know they will defo get a job! Also it is sort of proving that people should not undervalue themselves, some agencies try offer me less than I am on now, young people should have the right to be able to afford a home at some point! And with student loans being so high they should be able to pay them off before they are 50!

Sound advice thank you I will go for the one I think I will enjoy the most. I work in recruitment which really helps me getting my own job lol.

137 applications now, 107 proper ones, and 30 are click apply off LinkedIN/Reed etc
Great stuff! You will certainly get one of them, and your enthusiasm and optimism shine through here, so I'm certain that will come across at interview too. Keeping my fingers crossed for you!
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manny0121
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I am in a similar situation. Graduated in 2015 and I work 9-5 Monday - Friday. I'm also currently applying for graduate scheme's.

Took a year off after university to decide what I wanted to go into, so I missed the application deadlines for 2016 graduate applications. However, I'm now applying for 2017 intakes.

Currently I have applied for 26 graduate schemes. Majority of them I failed the video interview! (hate them so much!)

So far I got 3 assessment centre's coming up and 2 phone interviews.

Hope I get something soon!

Please keep me updated on your journey and good luck!
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tehforum
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(Original post by manny0121)
I am in a similar situation. Graduated in 2015 and I work 9-5 Monday - Friday. I'm also currently applying for graduate scheme's.

Took a year off after university to decide what I wanted to go into, so I missed the application deadlines for 2016 graduate applications. However, I'm now applying for 2017 intakes.

Currently I have applied for 26 graduate schemes. Majority of them I failed the video interview! (hate them so much!)

So far I got 3 assessment centre's coming up and 2 phone interviews.

Hope I get something soon!

Please keep me updated on your journey and good luck!
(Original post by jalby1992)
Yes it is highly competitive I always ask HR how many have applied and it is normally 400-1000 for 1 job!!! Closest I have got is to the last 10 so far.

Yeah that really pisses me off the top 5 Uni thing, not everyone can afford £50k a yr for Oxbridge lol it is almost discriminating and I may be wrong, but I have 8 years work experience and a 1st whilst working full time, surely I should be worth the same as a Oxford Uni student with same degree a 2:1 and 6 months work experience if that! But then from the other side of the fence paying £50k a yr fees surely they should get the job over me

Haha thanks I feel your pain, going through that now but got so many interviews and 50 odd applications to chase up that I think I will give it a rest unless something amazing comes up now!
When do the majority of the graduate schemes open/close?

OP - I reckon I'll be in your position this year...
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manny0121
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(Original post by tehforum)
When do the majority of the graduate schemes open/close?

OP - I reckon I'll be in your position this year...

I also think OP will be in his/her position this year. Sound like they are doing really well and confidence is high!

Some graduate scheme's have already closed but some are open/yet to open.
It really depends on what you want to go into? its probably best to start applying now if you haven't already before they all close! otherwise you will have to wait a year.

I believe getting a job is 20% luck, 50% experience and 30% being well spoken/persuasive.
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(Original post by jalby1992)
Yes it is highly competitive I always ask HR how many have applied and it is normally 400-1000 for 1 job!!! Closest I have got is to the last 10 so far.

Yeah that really pisses me off the top 5 Uni thing, not everyone can afford £50k a yr for Oxbridge lol it is almost discriminating and I may be wrong, but I have 8 years work experience and a 1st whilst working full time, surely I should be worth the same as a Oxford Uni student with same degree a 2:1 and 6 months work experience if that! But then from the other side of the fence paying £50k a yr fees surely they should get the job over me

Haha thanks I feel your pain, going through that now but got so many interviews and 50 odd applications to chase up that I think I will give it a rest unless something amazing comes up now!
Keep applying OP and tell us how it goes. The competition out there is insane and sometimes I feel it's just luck.

I'm at university right now and last year I was applying for a part time job, I had very very little previous experience, so I knew it would be difficult but I applied literally everywhere most of them being minimum wage, Lidl, Aldi tesco, security etc and not one interview.

On a whim I applied to a bank and actually got my first interview and Job, with a salary that was double then any of the other jobs I applied to, It feels amazing when it happens. You'll get that 30k Job OP!!
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tehforum
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(Original post by manny0121)
I also think OP will be in his/her position this year. Sound like they are doing really well and confidence is high!

Some graduate scheme's have already closed but some are open/yet to open.
It really depends on what you want to go into? its probably best to start applying now if you haven't already before they all close! otherwise you will have to wait a year.

I believe getting a job is 20% luck, 50% experience and 30% being well spoken/persuasive.
I'm applying for law vacation schemes, but I am disenchanted with the law in general.

I need to hedge my bets and go for general graduate schemes.

It has dawned that I cannot let all my hard work at a top uni studying law just because I have not succeeded in obtaining a training contract.
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BerryLovx
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(Original post by jalby1992)
Thanks mate. Now applied for about 85 Graduate Schemes each application I spend on average 3 hours, researching the company and roll, tailoring my CV (although only slightly) and cover letter from scratch for the role, then the on average 45-60 min tests and application form and 1000 words on average essay questions...getting sick of what interests you about this role and why do you want to work for us!

About 40 no's as I wasn't in the top for the 3-4 tests they give you.

Waiting to hear back on about 25

Don't know what you want to do? Nor did I....it is much easier to say what you don't want to do, I done this and limited it down to anything in investments, management or marketing!

Had 2 Face to Face Interviews for non Graduate Sales Engineer Role at Keyence out of 400 got through to the Final 10 no luck.

Had Telephone/Skype/Video Interviews with Coca Cola, Whitbread, Fisher Investments and Bank of Ireland (didn't get) all graduate roles except Fisher Investments which was an experience Sales Role.

Passed the following T/S/V Interviews waiting for the next stage Arup, Babcock (hear back Feb 28th), Rolls Royce, National Grid

Waiting to hear back on a Balfour Beatty Video Interview.

Got a Face to Face interview with Swiss RE in the new year

I have 8 years work experience I'm 24 living in London with a 1st class hons in business management, been a Sales Assistant, Finance Officer/Admin and a Recruitment Consultant (recently promoted to a manager) this promotion should open doors to management roles. I'm only going for roles paying £30,000 as I get about £28k with commission now and I'm hoping to get £30k so I can buy a flat.

So for those of you who are losing hope, keep fighting you will get something!

Good luck all, I'll keep you updated on my journey
Thanks for this! You'll definitely get something soon! Quick question, I've been smashing the tests and phone interviews but get cold feet when it comes to the assessment centres and end up not going. Any advice? Thanks!
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tehforum
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(Original post by BerryLovx)
Thanks for this! You'll definitely get something soon! Quick question, I've been smashing the tests and phone interviews but get cold feet when it comes to the assessment centres and end up not going. Any advice? Thanks!
You can't win if you don't play?
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Conzy210
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Why not focus on a particular sector/role instead of chasing the immediate salary?

Applying for so many different jobs can hardly be productive. I applied for 5 internships, got 3 and received 2 job offers after them as I was 100% sure of what I wanted to do and had been tailoring my CV to match the job for a year or so.



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manny0121
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(Original post by tehforum)
I'm applying for law vacation schemes, but I am disenchanted with the law in general.

I need to hedge my bets and go for general graduate schemes.

It has dawned that I cannot let all my hard work at a top uni studying law just because I have not succeeded in obtaining a training contract.
Just go for it! whats the worst they can say? no?.. then apply for more until you get a yes!

One of my friends who is currently in a graduate scheme had 2 new employee's join his group. None of them had amazing experience, but they were aged 28 and 32!

Never give up. Ive already accepted I might not get something for this intake but at least I saved all my applications so it will be a lot easier for me for the next intake.

Also don't limit yourself for just graduate jobs, try to apply for entry level jobs in the sector you want to work for.
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josh_v
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(Original post by BerryLovx)
Thanks for this! You'll definitely get something soon! Quick question, I've been smashing the tests and phone interviews but get cold feet when it comes to the assessment centres and end up not going. Any advice? Thanks!
So are you not too concerned about getting a job?
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username738914
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(Original post by Conzy210)
Why not focus on a particular sector/role instead of chasing the immediate salary?

Applying for so many different jobs can hardly be productive. I applied for 5 internships, got 3 and received 2 job offers after them as I was 100% sure of what I wanted to do and had been tailoring my CV to match the job for a year or so.



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