Graduating this summer and not got a job yet? Don’t panic!


Graduating this summer and not got a job yet? Don’t panic!


The study and exams are finally over, and you are now thinking about your next steps. Whether that is postgraduate study, or a move into the jobs market, you know it is time to focus on the future.

Here are our top reasons you shouldn’t worry about not having a job lined up by graduation day.

  1. You have time to focus now

By waiting until after you finish to secure that job of your dreams you are now able to put proper energy into your job quest. Finding the right opportunities, crafting your applications and attending interviews all take time. Time you now have to focus on your job search.

  1. Graduate jobs are available all year round

The big ‘grad schemes’ may recruit each autumn for starts the following year – but the majority of employers recruit when a vacancy arises, and that can be at any time!

Just look at to see jobs for recent graduates in the South West available right now!

  1. Many employers want immediate starts

Applying now that you are available for work, and being ready to start straight away is a positive for employers. They don’t have to wait on you finishing your studies.

  1. Get experience and test out ideas

If you’re not sure what to do, this time once you have finished your exams is perfect to explore your options: spend time volunteering; do part-time / temporary work in different fields or sectors; travel; learn what you want to do; and gain valuable experience to boost your CV. And then when you are ready to apply for positions on your chosen career path you will have the focus you need to secure your ideal role. (Don’t forget you can always change your mind… people have multiple portfolio careers nowadays!)

  1. Need a few pointers?

Have a look at our CV and covering letter advice to get you going!


Dr Deborah Watson

Director, Gradsouthwest

Careers Fair Top Tips for Students

We recently attended the University of Bath’s Careers Fair and it was fantastic event, with lots of different businesses and opportunities for students. Having a load of recruiters together under one roof can make things a lot easier for job-hunting grads, it’s like Gradsouthwest come to life in the real world. Great opportunities and a good chance to get some exposure to different companies, to put yourself out there and make yourself known, after chatting to the recruiters at the fair we’ve put together our top tips to make sure you make the most out of your day.

To find out what our top tips are, go to Our Careers Fair Top Tips for Students and make the most of your day!


Nick Crawley


Gradsouthwest makes National Online Recruitment Awards Finals

We are extremely proud to have been named as Finalists for the 16th annual Broadbean National Online Recruitment Awards.


From over 25,000 nominations for almost 600 separate recruitment websites, Gradsouthwest has been named as a Finalist by the NORA Shortlisting Judges. In the category BEST REGIONAL JOB BOARD Gradsouthwest makes a short-list of 5.

A final judging panel will now assess all Finalists from a job seeker’s perspective, and select this year’s Winners, to be revealed in mid November.

For more information see:

Wish us luck!

Avoid the #1 Graduate CV Error

We see a lot of CVs. And we know it’s really hard to make sure they’re perfect. But there’s one area where we see lots of graduates shooting themselves in the foot; attention to detail.

Attention to detail is important. Recruiters like it. But if you’re going to claim you have it, you’d better be sure that your CV is absolutely perfect – and that’s not easy. Even when you’ve spent hours on it and checked it the requisite a million and one times.

The problem is clear. As soon as you claim you have attention to detail, anyone reading your CV will immediately be looking for evidence or counter evidence.

Here’s an example of where things go badly wrong – an amalgamation of the most common errors we’ve seen in CVs lately. How many errors can you find?


So, what to do?

Well firstly, do you really need to include ‘attention to detail’? It’s not generally a skill prioritised for graduates so maybe you should use the space to give evidence of something else. Creativity? Initiative? Teamwork? Ability to learn?

And if you must include it, can you get three people to check your CV first? Don’t just ask them to read it but ask them to find  five mistakes in it. Even better, take your CV to your university careers service to give it the once over.

Few skills as attention to detail are so easily debunked. And, when they are it makes recruiters sceptical about the other skills you list. So exercise caution – or extreme proof reading and checking – before you claim Attention 2 detailed.

Do you see what we did there? Recruiters certainly will…..

Charlotte Weston

Charlotte is a graduate with many years’ experience in both large and small organisations. She now works as a consultant to a range of SMEs across the south west and is a Non-Executive Director of Gradsouthwest.


Some fabulous graduate jobs for you to apply for over the bank holiday weekend. All listed over at Gradsouthwest. Good luck!


Latest Graduate Jobs Bulletin – 13 May 2016

Jobs are coming in thick and fast at the moment! If you’re looking for a job with a company that will value and use your graduate skill, check out the full list over at Gradsouthwest!

Here’s a taste of what’s on offer right now….


Calling Graduates! We’re Hiring!

Our latest jobs with companies across the south west that value graduate skills.

You’ll find them all at Gradsouthwest

Time to get applying!

April 2016 Vacancies GSW


Just Jobs. Fabulous Graduate Jobs.

Because sometimes we just want to cut to the chase and show you what we do best….

Head on over to to check out these beauties.

Latest jobs

Graduate Internships: The Chicken and the Egg

Cracked Egg
The Chicken and the Egg

So, you’ve slogged your guts out for three years and the goal posts have just moved. You’re reading job adverts and a degree isn’t enough. They want experience too. *Head in hands moment*.

Yep, it’s the typical chicken and egg scenario. How on earth are you supposed to get experience if you need experience to get started?

This is where paid graduate internships come in. Whilst you can – and should – apply the experience you gained as a Barrista or Shelf Stacker to job applications, graduate internships help you to develop your skills and track record in more specialist areas.

Offered on a short, fixed term basis, paid internships are you – and an employer’s – chance to ‘try before you buy’ and they can help you discover whether you really do want to work in a particular field. If you love it, great – you’ll have 6 months experience under your belt. If you hate it, you’re not tied in for long and you’ve still bridged the experience gap. Everyone’s a winner.

Graduate internships are widely available and can offer an outstanding opportunity to kick start your career. You do however need to exercise a little caution to make sure that you know your rights and are paid a fair rate for your contribution.

For this reason, we recommend graduate internships managed via university careers departments. Our friends at the University of Exeter run a host of internships that are open to graduates of any UK university. Graduate Business Partnerships (GBPs) are managed by the university and as part of the scheme, you benefit from a day of employability training plus 1:1 support should you need it. Plus, you get paid and minimum of £17K and every quarter one intern gets to attend the Business Leaders Forum to network with senior professionals from the local business community. What’s not to love?

Graduate Business Partnership vacancies are listed on Gradsouthwest – just follow the link below for current vacancies, or type GBP into the keyword search box. That’s one chicken and egg dilemma solved. You’re welcome.


Charlotte Weston

Charlotte is a graduate with many years’ experience in both large and small organisations. She now works as a consultant to a range of SMEs across the south west and is a Non-Executive Director of Gradsouthwest.

Interview Tips

There are a few useful things to remember about interviews.


Firstly, an interview is a two way process.  It is an opportunity for the candidate to see if they think they would fit in the role and organisation, as well as the organisation testing the candidate’s fit for the role.

You need to plan for your interview – take time to prepare:

  • be familiar with the job description, person specification, and your own application – make sure you remember why you said you would be perfect for the role in your covering letter!
  • if you’ve been asked to do a task, e.g. a presentation – prepare it, and have a fall back for if the technology lets you down.  If you are asked for a 5 minute presentation, make it 5 minutes!
  • think about likely questions and your answers to them – “Why do you want the job?”, “What are your key strengths?”, “Why did you leave your last job?”, “Where do you want to be in 5 years?”
  • think about questions you would like to ask the employer – “What opportunities are there for training and progression?”, “How do you see the role developing?”

First impressions count.  Turn up at the right place, and be on time (practically plan to be early!)  If you are going to be late – let them know!  Be appropriately dressed – research the organisation to get a feel for what appropriate is – and be a bit smarter than the average employee.  Display confidence, and be polite and friendly to all the staff you meet.  Make eye contact, and shake hands when offered.

Once the interview has started take your lead from the interviewer(s) – hopefully you will establish a rapport and the interview will flow with both sides able to ask questions. Remember:

  • listen carefully to questions and clarify if you are unsure.
  • answer the question, but try not to wander too far off topic.
  • be confident and enthusiastic.
  • be clear in what you say.
  • keep your body language in mind – don’t fidget, fiddle, look aggressive, look too relaxed or disinterested – remain more neutral.
  • keep good eye contact with all interviewers if there is more than one.
  • put a positive spin on past challenges – e.g. don’t be overly negative about past employers.

As the interview concludes, remember to:

  • ask what the next steps are in the process, and when you are likely to hear the outcome.
  • restate your desire for the role.
  • thank the interviewer(s) for seeing you.

Reflect on the process:

  • what were your impressions of the organisation and people you met?
  • what about the role?  Does it meet your expectations now and as a career choice?
  • what could you have done better at the interview?

And finally, the waiting is over, and you are notified of the outcome:

  • you are through to the next stage – either another interview or some further assessment activities – so again prepare as above.
  • you are offered the role – you may have to negotiate salary, hours, start date etc. so be prepared to do so.
  • you are not offered the position – ask for feedback as to why: how could you improve on your application and interview performance; are there shortfalls in your experience or skills you could work on? By being proactive here the interviewer might well consider you for future roles or refer you to others as you are demonstrating a willingness to learn and improve!

For more top tips go to:


Dr Deborah Watson, Director, Gradsouthwest Ltd.