How To Get A Summer Internship

You’ve landed on this webpage because you’d like to know how to get a summer internship! Well you’ve come to the right place!

The competition for graduate jobs in the UK is fierce. Statistics show that half the people graduating from university will never find work that is suitable for their level of education – a graduate job. Most will end up in jobs that they don’t even need a degree for.

There are thousands of applications for every graduate job advertised in the UK. Many people from other countries apply too, intensifying the competition.

Internships, paid or unpaid, or summer jobs, are a valuable way for graduates to gain crucial work experience, hone their skills and learn more about business and the marketplace.

They provide a foot in the door for future employment and help graduates to get to know themselves and their capabilities and find out which career will best suit them. This entry-level work will assist enormously when it comes to applying for and landing that dream graduate job.

Graduate Coach is a company founded by Chris Davies that specialises in helping graduates find employment. It has helped 500 graduates land great jobs so far. We offer a variety of services, from defining your skills set to helping you compile a professional CV to coaching for interviews and more.

The following video by Chris Davies will outline how to get a summer internship.

1. Write an achievement-based CV

Write an achievement-based CV This is the first and most important step. It is critical as employers, whether they are offering jobs or internships, receive hundreds of applications. Your CV is your introduction to them and it has to stand out. It must be properly organised, professional-looking and list all the attributes that will make you an asset to their company, even if you do not yet have formal work experience.

One of these attributes is your skills set. What are you good at? Skills such as getting on with people and being able to work in a team; communication; organisation; persistence; a good work ethic and a willingness to learn all count, even if you do not have work experience. You have been at school, taken part in sport and hobbies and graduated from university.

Along this path you inevitably proved that you are good at some things and acquired skills in learning to do them well. List these skills Many will make you eligible for a job or an internship.

If you are daunted by the prospect of compiling a good CV, get professional help from Graduate Coach. It’s worth it.

2. Write an outstanding cover letter

How to get a summer internship

This, with your CV, is your introduction to the company you are applying to and it is competing with hundreds of others. State who you are; what you are interested in and why you would like to work/intern at their company. Impress them with some knowledge about the company that you have researched. Show that you are keen to work there. Again, if you are not confident about doing this properly, Graduate Coach can help.

Do an internship search to find internship opportunities.  Thousands of companies in the UK advertise internships online. Doing a search, for instance, on UK companies offering internships, will produce a long list of firms and charities looking for interns and their contact details.

After adapting your CV and covering letter to make them appropriate for where you are applying to, send them off. The more companies you contact, the better your chances of getting an internship. You can also look at job listing websites such as indeed, jobisjob, totaljobs, jobrapido, trovit etc for more leads to help you find your dream internship.

Cold canvassing can also work. Call the companies you are interested in and ask to speak to someone in HR or whoever is in charge of hiring or internships. This is another way of introducing yourself which you can follow up by sending you CV and covering letter.

3. Go to job or career fairs or expos

Take your CV and a covering letter and hand it out to everyone. Speak to people. Network. Take their contact details and give them yours. Make sure they remember you so that you will be in their mind when they recruit.

4. Volunteer

Charities and other organisations working in welfare and even animal welfare are always looking for volunteers. It might not seem to make sense to work for nothing but it does. You can prove yourself as a volunteer and get letters of recommendation at the end of your stint, which will stand you in good stead when you apply for a job.

5. Employment rights and pay for interns

If an intern is classed as a worker, they should be paid the national minimum wage of £7.70 per hour if aged 21 to 24 or £8.21 per hour if aged 25 or older.

6. Prepare for your interview

If you get past the first step and are asked to go for an interview with the company or organisation offering the internship, be prepared. You would never have gone into an exam without preparation at university and an interview is just that – a test to see if you are the candidate they are looking for.

About 85% of graduates say they are nervous about being interviewed. This will be a huge stumbling block in landing a good job or an internship for that matter. You can build confidence by being prepared. Research the company.

Find out as much as you can bout its ethos, position in the marketplace, what it offers that is unique, for instance.

This will help you ask intelligent questions and impress the interviewer. The trick is to appear confident but not arrogant. Expert coaching will help you be successful in this critical part of any job or internship application. Graduate Coach can help you and remove any nervousness which will hamper your chances.

7. Visit internship websites

There are websites that direct people to available internships in all sorts of fields. Doing a simple search like Internship websites UK, for instance, leads to a listing of internships in fields as diverse as publishing, graphic design, website design, digital marketing and more. You can also find lists of companies offering internships or summer jobs. Get busy. Do your homework and start applying!

How To Get A Summer Internship

Thanks for reading our post on how to get a summer internship!

Our founder, Chris Davies, has published two books packed with invaluable information: The Student Book and The Graduate Book. Also visit our website where you will find a series of blog posts with more excellent advice, a list of the services they off and contact details.

Good luck!

6 Tips For Finding a Graduate Job

Congratulations! You’ve graduated. But what’s next? You probably want to turn your degree into a graduate career. If you need help finding a graduate job, you’ve come to the right place. 

Here at Graduate Coach, we have helped 500+ students and graduates to land the job of their dreams. They are now highly successful and are thriving in companies such as Google, Facebook, JP Morgan and many more, check out our successes

1. Get a Graduate Coach

Finding a graduate job can be difficult. Only 52% of graduates land themselves a graduate-level job the remaining 48% work in roles that do not require a degree. 

However, finding a graduate job is one thing, but finding the RIGHT graduate job is quite another. 50% of graduates that do land a graduate level job quit after 2 years after realising the job isn’t right for them. 

Our one-to-one coaching program will accelerate your journey of turning your degree into a graduate-level career. 

We are the only graduate career coaching company in the UK who can guarantee you a graduate job. 

2. Learn how to write an achievement-based CV

The aim of your graduate CV is to convince the employer to invite you in for an interview. 

Think of it as a sales pitch. 

Include the following sections on your graduate CV: 

  • Personal statement 
  • Key skills and achievements
  • Academic achievements 
  • Non-academic achievements 

For more information on how to write an achievement-based CV read the blog post that we wrote in collaboration with Chris Pennington from Your CV consultant on 4 of the best tips for writing a graduate CV.

If you are thinking of sending your CV to graduate recruitment agencies, make sure that your CV is the best it can be.

Along with an achievement-based CV, it is important that you learn how to write great covering letters. 

3. Optimise your Linkedin profile 

Graduate recruiters are increasingly using social media platforms such as Linkedin to look for suitable graduates to fill graduate-level positions. 

If you do not have a profile, or if your profile has not been completed you could be missing out on great opportunities and narrowing your chances of finding a graduate job.  

With an optimised LinkedIn profile more potential employers will visit your page and reach out to you directly if they feel you’d be a good fit for their company. 

Secondly, many graduate employers post ads on LinkedIn’s job board. Before applying to any of these jobs via the platform, it’s a good idea to improve your profile so that you give off the right impression. 

Here are some tips on how graduates can create an eye-catching LinkedIn profile

finding a graduate job

4. Work out what jobs are right for you 

Before you start job hunting, identify your career typology.

Graduate jobs can be divided into 3 broad categories: 

  • Specialists 
  • Knowledge architects 
  • Communicators 

Grads are hired into each of these categories for different reasons. 

Specialists such as doctors, nurses or pharmacists are hired for their expert knowledge in a particular field. 

Knowledge architects such as consultants for financial analysts are hired for their ability to interpret data and derive valuable insights from them. 

Communicators such as account managers and salespeople are hired for their ability to maintain profitable, long-term relationships with clients and to relay important information to other team members. 

Identifying which of these career typologies you identify with the most will help you to narrow down your job search so that you’ll be more likely to apply for jobs that are more aligned with your skill set. 

5. Brush up on your interview skills 

Here are 4 key points when it comes to graduate interviews: 

  •  You must prepare adequately for your graduate interviews if you want to boost your chances of successfully finding a graduate job.

    This sounds obvious, however, the average candidate spends on average 36 minutes preparing for their interviews. This is not enough time.

    Before your interview, make sure that you know everything that is humanly possible to know about the job description of the role that you are applying for, the company and the industry.

    It is a good idea to review all of the work placements and internships you have done in the past and write answers to common competency-based questions using the STAR format.

    The more prepared you are for the interview the more confident you’ll come across to the interviewer.

    Confidence is very important in interviews. If you are not confident in yourself and your ability to do the job really well, how will the interviewer be confident in you?

  •  You must demonstrate that you have the skills required to do the job really well.

    If you have adequately prepared for your interview, you’ll be able to confidently draw upon your work experience and skills to articulate why you should be selected for the job over other candidates.

  • You must show empathy to the interviewer.

    It is important to show the interviewer that you truly understand what they are looking for. It’s about showing the interviewer that you care about what truly matters to them.

    Again, your ability to understand your interviewer’s thoughts, motivations and feelings will depend on how prepared you are.

  •  You must ask for the job! 

The idea of asking for the job may seem daunting at first, but with practice, you’ll get the hang of it. 

You get a couple of minutes just before the end of an interview to ask questions. 

Use this time wisely. 

Reinstating why you really want the job and asking for it will help you to leave a lasting impression on the interviewer. 

Remember they may be interviewing several other candidates for the role. How you end the interview is vital. 

If you have been continually rejected after interviews, you probably have a good CV, but a poor interview technique. 

Our founder Chris Davies wrote a post for CV-library where he explained in detail the reasons why you’re failing your interviews

6. Embrace the process of Finding a graduate job 

Many graduates struggle to find a job after university

Sometimes the process of finding a graduate scheme or job can make candidates feel stressed. 

However, we encourage you to use this stage to gain some lifelong skills such as learning how to interview really well and how to write strong CVs. 

You’re not taught these skills at school. 

The chances are that you’ve never received proper careers advice. Many students do not visit their universities career service for help. 

That’s why we step in with our graduate coaching programmes and courses to help you to bridge the gap between your academic career and your graduate career. 

Want everything you need to know to find the graduate job you really want? Check out this book written by our founder Chris Davies.

HELP! I’m Struggling To Find A Job After University!

So you’ve finished your time at university, but it is taking longer than you’d have hoped to bag yourself a graduate-level job.

We’ve put together this actionable blog post to help graduates who are struggling to find a job after university.

We’ll first cover why some graduates struggle, before providing a step-by-step list of actions to take in order to help you to land your dream job.

Why graduates are struggling to find a job after university

struggling to find a job after university

If you’ve been struggling to find work in a graduate position or have been applying to several graduate schemes without success, the first thing to note is that you are not alone.

Whilst it is a distressing fact, 48% of graduates never land a graduate-level job and remain underemployed.  

That’s why it is our mission here at Graduate Coach to help students and graduates to turn their degrees into careers – and so far we have helped over 500 people to do so.

Over the past decade of offering career coaching to hundreds of graduates around the world, we have been able to pinpoint the main reasons why graduates struggle to find a job after university.

Here are the top 3 reasons:

1. They don’t know what graduate jobs are right for them

Many people start their job hunt by applying for jobs that they think will be right for them or they ‘panic apply’ for jobs.

The problem here is that there are around 1200 different graduate job titles out there so if you are unsure of what you want to do, it can be very overwhelming.

Here at Graduate Coach, we highly recommend that before you even send out a single application that you take some time to identify your transferable skills and career typology.

We help our candidates on our coaching program to do this with the help of our online course called “discover your career path”.

By the end of this course, candidates will be able to:

  • Confidently list their skills
  • Identify the experiences that have given them transferable skills
  • Explain the graduate job market and the key attributes all grad recruiters look for in candidates
  • Understand their career typology and know what jobs are suitable for them
    And more

By the end of this process, you’ll be able to pinpoint the graduate job titles/roles that are aligned to your skillset, interests and ambitions.

2. They haven’t put together an achievement-based CV

Writing your graduate CV can be quite tricky, especially if you haven’t yet gained much or any work experience.

Regardless of how much work experience you have, it is vital that you highlight the skills you have gained from the experiences you have had – even if this is from your academics, unpaid work experience or extracurricular activities.

The aim is to create a CV that ticks enough boxes so that the graduate recruiter simply must interview you.

We have put together a really useful document on how to create an achievement-based CV. It is available to download as a PDF from our website on the recourses page. We highly recommend that you read it! For even more guidance on how to write an achievement-based CV and to see several examples of excellent graduate CVs, read chapter 6 (page 69) of The Student Book.

As part of our full graduate career coaching program, we not only help candidates to create an excellent CV and cover letter, but we also teach them the art and science of doing so, as we recognise that knowing how to do so is a life-long skill.

3. They are not preparing for interviews adequately

Did you know that people only spend on average 36 minutes preparing for their interviews?

This is not enough.

We find that most of the graduates we coach are not confident about interviews unless they have done activities like drama or have been to theatre school.

The reason why most people are so unconfident about interviews is that they have never been taught the science and art of interviewing and have never refined their interview technique.

What We Offer Here At Graduate Coach

Unfortunately, many of the candidates who come to us after failing several interviews have started to lose confidence in themselves. This has a negative impact on their interview performance because being able to convey confidence to the interviewer is a must. Think of it this way – if you aren’t confident in yourself, why should the interviewer be?

That’s why we offer interview coaching as a stand-alone course and as part of our full one-to-one graduate coaching programme.

Like being able to write excellent CVs and cover letters, being able to perform well in interviews is a very important lifelong skill.

Being able to clearly articulate that you have the skills employers are looking for and confidently demonstrate your aptitude for the job is very important.  

These are the main 3 reasons why graduates struggle to find a job after university.

If you are in this situation, the key is to try not to beat yourself up about it. We find that many of the graduates who come to us have never received proper careers advice or that the support they got from using a career service in the past was not enough.

Whilst it may be disappointing that you put so much time and money into pursuing a degree with the hopes that it would help you to get a graduate job there are still several actions you can take to get yourself on the career ladder.

What to do if you are struggling to find a job after university

The short answer is to get help. There’s no need to struggle alone. Here at Graduate Coach, we have help available regardless of what you studied, where you studied and what your budget is.

If you are struggling to find a job after university there’s no point continually sending out applications and hoping that you’ll eventually get lucky.

The right help can accelerate your job search and help you to get the right job for you.

Next steps…

Book a FREE career consultation with us here at Graduate Coach and we will put together a bespoke career coaching plan and outline exactly how we can help you to get a graduate-level job.

Also, don’t forget to grab your copy of The Student Book and The Graduate Book!

A Third of UK Graduates Are Overqualified

With university students across the country now, or soon to be, taking their exams, many will be looking ahead for when they enter the job market. The hope that many graduates have is that they will be able to find a job that allows them to use their degree.

Unfortunately, this often isn’t the case with The Week reporting that a third of UK graduates are over qualified for their job.

The Numbers

The number of overqualified graduates has been steadily increasing for a long time with the figure at 22% in 1992 and 34% in 2007. 

Current figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show that “London had the highest proportion of overeducated workers in the UK”. Graduates from an art and humanities background are the most likely to be under-utilising their education. This is despite the fact that UCAS reports that 78% of graduates now achieve a first or a 2:1. With more students going to university than ever before and getting higher grades, the issue of over qualification is only going to increase. 

Negative Psychological Effect on Employees

So what does this mean for graduates who aren’t using their education to the best of their ability? A study published on the Metro explains how employees that are overqualified for their jobs are more likely to experience ‘psychological strain’. Workers who feel they aren’t using their qualifications can feel deprived and undervalued. This, in the long run, is detrimental to the workers’ mental wellbeing and can cause a decrease in overall productivity. Workers who spent time underemployed are also more likely to earn less than their peers, even after finding a job that fits their academic credentials. This is because they will have started much later.

Are University Degrees Still Worth It?

The answer is yes. The Department for Education published statistics which show that graduates are still paid 30% more, on average, than those who don’t have a degree. It’s also worth noting that most employers require a degree as a bare minimum when applying for a job. Not having a degree puts prospective job seekers at a much greater disadvantage. 

The State of the Job Market 

While a third of students are overqualified for their job, the good news is that the UK labour market is currently strong. The ONS reported that unemployment fell to a low of 3.9% between January and March this year. However, there are still many factors that could change that figure with the economic calendar on FXCM showing high volatility for the ILO Unemployment Rate. Much of this is partly due to the ambiguity over Brexit and its potential effects on the job market. Graduates need to be aware that the job market could change and get a lot worse in the near future. This is something they need to take into consideration when applying for jobs. 

With record high student enrolment figures in universities this year, coupled with progressively competitive industries, this issue is unlikely to go away anytime soon. While it may make for hard reading, this is a reality that graduates have to face. 

The Future Graduate Job Market is Digital

In a month’s time, when 750,000 first degree and Masters’ graduates will emerge onto the job market ready to work, what will they discover? More importantly, will they understand how to make what they find out about the graduate job market work in their favour?

Despite the doom and gloom of a media obsessed with Brexit and predicting its negative effects, our UK job market is doing a fine job of remaining robust.

Those searching for a graduate job right now should feel encouraged to know that more people than ever before are employed in the UK. In fact, the nation is enjoying one of the lowest unemployment rates in Europe.

New graduates should, however, keep in mind that competition for graduate jobs remains as tough as ever. 

Over the past 12 months blue-chip companies have advertised 22,000 graduate level positions, and while that might sound like a lot, you should be aware that these employers receive upwards of 500 applications for every role.

What does this suggest about the competition?

That while graduates are encouraged to apply for the best jobs, what applicants are often not aware of is just how competitive the job market is. Not all recruiters will tell you that.

One recruiter for a major investment bank we spoke to recently informed us that for every 100 new entry-level vacancies they have, they receive well over 100,000 applications, from different parts of the world. What’s more, 85 of these 100 positions were filled from Summer 2018 Internships at the bank last September.

What does this mean for UK graduates?

  1. For every entry-level graduate job, there will be a huge number of applications from around the world (not just the UK).
  2. With so much choice of candidate, it’s an employers’ market.
  3. It explains why only 52% of graduates land a graduate level job.
  4. And it explains why anyone who has gone through the angst to invest all that money, time and effort needs to be clued up on the graduate job market, and how to navigate it. Otherwise, they will find it a total waste.

The baristas of the UK have never been so highly academically qualified as they are today, and this is quite possibly the reason why!

Employers have not been shy in telling us that they are just not interested in interviewing a graduate who lacks employment experience in the field they want to work in, and/or has not completed an internship.

That may seem like bad news, but it is not. Far from it. It’s an insight into what a graduate must do to land one of these highly sought-after positions. If you can see it for what it is, and run with it, you will be better off than most.

Those who enter the job market without the certainty of knowing which careers are best suited to them, or without the skills and confidence to handle interviews or without appropriate non-academic experience, have zero to little chance of succeeding on the graduate market.

How do you go about that?

Any graduate with the will and desire to land a graduate level job role can land one, particularly with the knowledge of a company like ourselves.

We believe the high level of insights we offer will help. One of these is about knowing where to look when searching for employment.

Start by reading this article by Douglas McWilliams the President of CEBR:

This is a wake-up call for government and opinion-formers alike, about the importance of the digital economy and its relevance in creating success for UK plc.

The article was prompted by his 2015 book, The Flat White Economy, which led to some further reflections.

(In case you were wondering, the immense amount of flat white coffee consumed in Shoreditch and other “digital hubs” is what gives the book its title!)

In discussions with Douglas, he said to us,

What actually mainly drives it (the growth of the digital economy) is the huge scale of online business – a much higher share in the UK than in any other major economy. The online activity drives massive amounts of online marketing. In addition we have a relatively large fintech sector.

Douglas McWilliams

It is predicted that 60% of all jobs will have digital elements by 2025.

Yet, we have discovered something interesting – that 60% of all new graduate entry level jobs are already digital in some way.

This information was gathered from insights about the jobs the graduates we’ve helped have been landing since January.

Take a look at this list:

  • 2 in Machine learning or Artificial intelligence (AI)
  • 4 in digital marketing
  • 2 in IT consultancy
  • 2 in app development

We have also been running daily checks on new graduate positions consistently over the past 8 weeks. We have used, which is recognised as one of the largest UK job sites.

They advertise 25,000 graduate jobs approximately on a daily basis, and 60% of these are prefaced with words such as (Graduate) Tech, IT or digital.

This is good news for every single graduate (and their parents)!

While some of these are coder jobs or require degrees in computer science, 85% simply require some interest in digital, as well as the determination to make a career in this fast-paced and future proof way of creating a career.

If I was to offer any advice to the parents and young people out there who are searching for a job right now, it would be this: look very carefully at the variety of tech and digital options available.

These companies vary in size and type yet the majority of them are willing and keen to train up their future employees in the role. There are simply not enough graduates out there with the digital skills required to do the job.

In addition to this, these companies simply seek the typical skills and competencies that employers usually look for…

master 6 employability skills

I think it is fitting to conclude with our spin on this well-known advertising slogan as it sums it up perfectly, “The future is bright; the future is digital”.

How we help

The Student Book & The Graduate Book: Get (& Thrive In) The Job You Really Want

Chris Davies is the author of The Student Book, All you need to know to get the job you really want and The Graduate Book, All you need to know to do really well at work. The Student Book has made it on to the list of the 21 books every 20-year-old should read!

One-to-One Coaching: Stages 1 to 6

If you’re a student or graduate looking for help, our 6 stage one-to-coaching includes learning about yourself, creating a career plan, creating your CV, cover letters and LinkedIn profile, applying for jobs, interview coaching and job coaching and mentoring.

Our coaching follows a six-stage process. You don’t have to do all six stages. You can simply choose the help you need most. But when you choose all six stages, we guarantee success.

Do you need help finding your dream graduate job?

You can book a FREE 15-minute coaching call with Chris Davies!

4 Of the Best Tips for Writing a Winning Graduate CV from Your CV Consultant

An excellent graduate CV is the difference between getting a positive response from prospective employers and no response at all.

We’ll take you through 4 of the best tips for writing a graduate CV that demonstrates what you’ve accomplished in the past and indicates what you are capable of achieving in the future.

So if you need to write an accomplishments-based CV that makes you stand out from other candidates, keep reading!

➡️ Editor’s comments: For this post, we’ve collaborated with Chris Pennington, the Director at Your CV Consultant.

#1: Identify your Career Typology

Leaving University can be an exciting but also daunting time. After studying hard and taking your exams, entering the job market can feel like a large leap into a new world.

During this time, many graduates panic and apply for multiple jobs without taking the time to first assess their skills and work out what graduate job roles are right for them.

Chris Davies from Graduate Coach always advises candidates to do two key things before writing their graduate CV.

The first thing is to identify your career typology, as graduate jobs can be categorised into the following 3 groups:

  • Specialist: This category includes roles within fields such as engineering, science and medicine. These graduates are hired for their core expertise within a particular area.
  • Knowledge Architect: This category includes roles within consultancy, logistics, marketing, finance etc. Graduates are employed in these roles due to their ability to interpret data and deliver insights from them.
  • Communicator: Graduate roles within this category include account managers, salespeople and hospitality.

➡️ Action point: from this list, identify which of the three categories describes you best.

#2: Complete a Skills Audit

Once you’ve identified what career typology suits you best you’ll be able to identify suitable graduate roles.

With this knowledge, you can then perform a tailored skills audit.

➡️ Action point: Identify the job role that is suited to you. Then using job descriptions online compile all the skills and competencies you need to demonstrate in order to be successful in that role.

In a table format, list out the required skills and competencies in one column, and in the column next to it, using the STAR format, give an example of how you have demonstrated that skill in the past.

The STAR format

  • Situation – What was the situation that you or your employer faced?
  • Task – What tasks were involved in that situation?
  • Action – What actions did you take?
  • Result – What were the results of those actions?

Your completed skills audit will provide a solid foundation for you to write your achievements-based graduate CV.

#3: Writing your Achievement-based CV

The next step is to write your graduate CV. Your CV must convince the employer that you should be given the job that you are applying for. Think of it like a sales pitch.

You’ll want to include:

A Personal Statement – this is the first section the interviewer will see. Use it to attract attention. In a few short sentences, tell the employer who you are, what you are looking for and what you can offer in return.

Key skills and achievements – Try using powerful opening action verbs to describe each achievement you have completed in relation to your roles, and more importantly University experience.

Then follow up with impressive results or outcomes so your achievements can be measured, An example could be ‘Successfully transformed’ or ‘Inspired fellow classmates’.

These openings can then form the start of a bullet point where you can go on to state what was achieved. Think about writing your University experience like you would a job role.

This style can really help when entering the job market and it also shows the reader you have thought through what is needed from the CV.

Academic achievements – in this section you’ll need to include your degree grade.

You can also include other achievements that you gained whilst at university. Many graduates omit achievements from activities such as volunteering, marketing for the student union or organising an event for a society or club.

Non-academic achievements – Once you have your University and College experience on page one of the CV, then add any employment experience you have.

This can include placements you may have undertaken and also part-time or summer jobs.

Again, highlight what skills and achievements you have made and pick ones that would help in the role applied for.

As your career develops your work history will eventually move to page one above your education; so remember to keep your CV updated and change its style as you become more experienced.

4: Review the structure and formatting of your CV

How your CV looks on paper is very important.

Ensure that the typeface (font) and the font that you are using is consistent throughout your CV.

Conventional typefaces such as Times New Roman or Arial are best when it comes to writing your CV. Avoid using informal fonts such as Comic Sans.

When it comes to font size, you’ll want your name at the top to be larger than the rest of the text so that it stands out. You may also use a slightly larger font size for headings. The remaining body text should all be the same size and no smaller than size 11.

Final Thoughts From Chris Pennington, Founder of Your CV consultant

Once you have completed the steps above, review your finished CV. Then review it again!

It’s really important there are no spelling or grammatical errors as that can lessen the impact of the document.

You should now have a well designed, thought-provoking, and professional looking CV that showcases your skills and shows how you can benefit the company and role applied for.

If this is done correctly it can really help you stand out from the crowd and your University peers.

Your CV can then give you the edge so you can get those important interviews and all your University experience will have added depth to your history.

It may also have given you an advantage over more experienced applicants making YOU the ideal candidate for the role!

About Chris Pennington

Your CV Consultant was founded by Chris Pennington who has had a successful 15-year career within Financial Solutions Management and as a Personal Insolvency Specialist. Within this time he has built up experience within CV Assessment, Recruitment, Interviewing Candidates, and Career Coaching.

Nail That Interview Online Course

Once you have a winning CV, the next stage will be ‘the interview’. A CV is all about getting a candidate to this part of the process. Not everyone though is a natural or experienced at them. Interviews can be improved by practice. However, sometimes that is not enough. Your CV Consultant have therefore teamed up with Graduate Coach. Using their expertise, they offer a ‘Nail That Interview‘ course. We believe this course can make all the difference in getting offered the job you are looking for. Module 1 – I CAN do the job – contains the Graduate Coach Skills Audit and the 9 Employability Skills.

How to ensure your son or daughter lands a Graduate job!

Most of the parents we speak to believe that if their son or daughter gets a 1st or 2:1 from a good university, then it will guarantee a graduate job after University.

Sadly this is no longer the case.

With 78% of students now achieving a 1st or 2:1 with honours, a good grade no longer helps you stand out from the crowd. Many students work hard on their studies but neglect building the employability skills employers look for in graduates.

With 500,000 students graduating each year, how can you ensure your son/daughter gets ahead of the competition?

This article outlines how to help them land a great job, all is not lost!

But first of all, here’s a bit about Graduate Coach.

Who are we?

Over the past 9 years, the team here at Graduate Coach have helped students and graduates to transform their degrees into careers. We’ve helped 400+ people to land opportunities at great companies such as JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Google, Facebook, Walt Disney, Amazon The NHS, and many more.

How to help your son / daughter get a graduate job

1) Encourage them to get work experience

Why is work experience so essential to career success?

There are far too many graduates competing for too few graduate jobs. Some vacancies receive over 100 applications. For roles at Blue Chip companies, it can be well over 500.

As a result, employers only consider employing Graduates who can hit the ground running from day one. To hit the ground running you need extensive, demonstrable work or work-related experience.

  • 85% of graduate employers automatically reject candidates with no work experience
  • 91% of employers believe work experience is more important than a degree.

Work experience is vital for two reasons;

  1. It teaches graduates vital employability skills
  2. It helps graduates understand what they WANT to do as a career.

1.2) Employability skills

The infographic below shows you the nine key CBI employability skills that employers look for in Graduates.

You must encourage your son or daughter to acquire these life skills via work, volunteering, any other form of experience. Anything that enables them to demonstrate to employers that they are work ready.

But what happens if they have already graduated and don’t have these skills?

Essentially, they need to acquire these skills via a graduate level internship or any other form of employability/work skill acquisition. It’s quite acceptable to do a short stint as an intern after University.

1.3) What the Graduate WANTS to do

Graduate employers’ biggest frustration is that most Graduates do not know what they want.

How many of us went into a job blindly at the start of our career, only to realise that it didn’t suit us at all?

Years can be wasted, confidence lost, potential earnings lowered – the negative impact on our well being of working in the wrong job can be astounding. We have seen examples of these symptoms time and time again in the Graduates we coach.

The more work experience that a student/graduate has, the better they understand their preferences and values and thus; what their ideal career is.

They can, therefore, be clear with employers about their wants and desires for their career. The employer can have confidence that the graduate will put 100% into the role and are likely to commit to the job and stay for a number of years.

This is a huge area that most people overlook.

For these reasons, work experience is vital for your son and daughter.

2) How else can you help?

  • Encourage your son or daughter to find work experience that is related to their areas of interest and passions.
  • Consider your network, who could help them in these areas?
  • Encourage your son or daughter to activate and build their own network, former teachers, lecturers, re-contacting old acquaintances.
  • Contacting companies with a carefully prepared cover letter which highlights the skills they will bring to the company.

3) Hire a graduate coach

As your son or daughter grew up, they will have undertaken extracurricular activities such as learning a musical instrument or playing a sport. To help them learn the violin, you’d get them a music teacher, to excel as a tennis player, you would hire a tennis coach. More recently, to learn to drive, your son or daughter will have utilised a driving instructor.

Graduate coaching is no different. 

To land their dream graduate job, it makes sense to get them a graduate coach to help write excellent CVs, perform well in interviews, navigate their early career and more.

We are the UK’s leading Graduate Coaching company. Please schedule a call with our Head Coach and founder, Chris Davies at a convenient time for you.

Graduate Coach: What We Do

We help Graduates who struggle to secure a graduate-level job. We have seen countless examples of Graduates who have failed a couple of job applications and as a result, are now working in bars and coffee shops. This is a tragic waste of talent and ability.

Our mission is to help Graduates find the jobs that their education deserves.

We help Graduates to understand their unique strengths, skills and values and to select graduate job types that suit them best.

We also help guide students who are currently at university to build a career plan to increase their chances of securing a Graduate level job after graduation.

We offer a wide range of services to suit every budget from ebooks to 1-2-1 career coaching sessions. We invite you to check out our website for more information.

Our mission is to help as many students and graduates as possible. No matter what your son or daughter’s situation is, we are here to help.

Our Resources

  • Check out, and share our blog with your son or daughter. We share careers advice specifically tailored to students and graduates.
  • Encourage your son or daughter to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more tips on interviews and other career advice.
  • Our founder and Head Graduate Coach Chris has published 2 books. The Student Book is designed to tell your son or daughter everything they need to know to get a job. The Graduate Book helps Graduates to thrive in their career.
  • We offer a range or Online courses and 1-2-1 coaching as part of our core services.

Contact us via email or call 02070 149547 to find out more.

Top Tips for Getting an Internship at Rainbow Trust

If you’re currently at university or have recently graduated, getting an internship is a great way to build your skills and gain valuable experience.

Getting an internship can give you the skills that employers are looking for, including;

-Communication skills
-Business Acumen
-Prioritising skills.

So how can you boost your chances of landing an internship?

➡️Editor’s comments: Gemma Melhuish, The Director of Human Resources at Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity has collaborated with Graduate Coach, the UK’s No.1 Graduate Coaching Company, to share top tips including;
-how to get an internship
-how to maximise your chances of converting your internship into a graduate position.

Without further ado, let’s get started. 🤗

So Why Choose Rainbow Trust? 🌈

Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity supports over 2,500 families with a seriously ill child.
With eight care teams across England and a Head Office in Surrey, the charity is proud of its varied and successful internship programme.
It offers unpaid work placement opportunities to students and recent graduates, which offer an introduction to a particular field of work, supports learning and enhances employability.

Opportunities at Rainbow Trust

Interns are as important to Rainbow Trust as a member of staff or regular volunteers.
We provide work placements in all areas of work both front line in our care teams, working with our Family Support Workers, who support families with a seriously ill child and in our Head Office in all support functions.
These range from opportunities in:

The internships typically last three months with interns working at least three days a week.

We are open to supporting interns in all aspects of what we do. 😃

Converting your internship at Rainbow Trust into a graduate role

If you’re looking to get into a graduate programme at Rainbow Trust my advice would be to:
-Work hard
-Be open to try new things 💯
-Don’t be afraid- Everyone at Rainbow Trust is always willing to help where they can.
-When applying, show passion in your area of expertise and Rainbow Trust as an organisation.

➡️Key Employer Insight: You will have a varied skill set from University or College, identify how these are transferable to the role you are applying for and what you can offer and how you stand out.We will be looking for professionals who show versatility and capacity for growth. Rainbow Trust will work with you and will support you to be the best you can be.

➡️Graduate Coach’s comments: For even more tips and advice on how to thrive in the workplace, check out The Graduate Book, written by head Graduate Coach, Chris Davies. 😎

Benefits of interning with Rainbow Trust

It can sometimes be difficult to see the immediate benefit of working in an unpaid role. However, the long-term gain can be the difference between gaining paid employment in your “perfect” role, pipping your competitor to the post! 💪

Your internship will give you a competitive advantage in terms of; gaining experience, developing skills, making connections, strengthening your CV’s and learning about a particular field or the Charity sector more widely.

Case studies

One of our previous interns Max joined Rainbow Trust as part of the digital team after his second year of university.
His experience with us clearly outlines some of the tangible benefits you can get interning at Rainbow Trust.

“Working an unpaid internship as a twenty year old was always going to be a challenge, and sometimes it was tough. However, when you hear the feedback from families saying “your work is invaluable” and “we wouldn’t have been able to cope without you” it feels very worthwhile and gives you an immense sense of pride to know that you are making the lives of families with a seriously ill child, easier. I know that Rainbow Trust will continue to grow and help more families across the country who need their support, as their work is truly remarkable. The experience I have gained from working at Rainbow Trust has given me invaluable experience, which I have thoroughly enjoyed. I can now go into interviews knowing that I have the transferable skills employers are looking for.”

Sophia was an intern working with our PR Team:

“As my internship was in the PR department, I wanted to develop my writing skills and begin a portfolio of work that I could showcase to potential employers. This worked a treat! My supportive team helped and encouraged me the whole way and I was delighted when I received coverage from lots of different publications.”

How do you apply?

If you’re interested in developing your skills with us at Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity and interning at a fantastic Charity, please see our current internships here.

➡️Editor’s comments: That’s all folks! Thanks for reading this blog post. Do let us know if you decide to apply for an internship at Rainbow Trust, and we’ll be more than happy to review your CV!

5 Top Tips for Making A Successful Grad Scheme Application From Randstad

The UK graduate market is competitive, standing out as an attractive graduate to employers has never been so important.

As a graduate, you’ll have;

  • A degree 🎓
  • A decent bunch of A-Levels, or similar 📝
  • and (hopefully) some work experience. 👔

So how can you stand out from the crowd? 🤔

➡️Editor’s comments: Amanda Akien, Senior Marketing Manager at Randstad, (the largest recruitment agency in the world) has collaborated with Graduate Coach, the UK’s No.1 Graduate Coaching Company, to outline to students and recent graduates five key areas that can help to make your graduate job applications a success!

So let’s get started! 😀

#1: Express your passion for the industry, company and role

Put as much attention to detail into your applications as you do your Instagram account! 💯

It doesn’t matter if your CV is printed on the finest Conqueror paper or if the job you are applying for was your childhood dream; if you’re not able to explain your passion for the job and the organisation, you don’t stand a chance.

➡️Employer Insight: Graduate recruiters are experts in identifying motivation and are looking for candidates with real desire to get the job and work for the organisation.

➡️Graduate Coach’s comments: To be able to confidently articulate why you are the perfect fit for the job, first you need to ensure that the job is aligned with your skills, interests and ambitions.

Here at Graduate Coach, we conduct a ‘skills audit’ to help students and recent graduates identify what type of role is best suited to them.

Caption: Chris Davies, the founder of Graduate Coach conducting a 1-2-1 coaching session with a recent graduate. Find out more about Chris here

Based on the results of the skills audit, we then determine if you are:

  1. A communicator.
  1. A specialist.
  1. A knowledge Architect.

Based upon the results we then advise candidates on the types of role that is best suited to them.

Then we provide comprehensive interview coaching so that the candidate stands the best chance of nailing the interview!

#2: Conduct adequate research 

Whether you spent a week or a year researching for your dissertation, graduate employers expect candidates to be good at research. 🤓 They’ll also expect you to spend a significant amount of time researching the organisation (not just reading the website) and the roles available.

You need to look at:

  • The key issues the industry is facing and what that might mean for the organisation.
  • Who the competitors are and how do they beat the competition!

If you don’t know what’s happening in the industry, you’re at a disadvantage.

➡️Action Point: Read relevant articles/blogs from key industry experts on LinkedIn. The more you build your knowledge on these issues, the more chance you have of a successful application.

➡️Graduate Coach’s Comments: According to CV library, candidates spend 36 minutes on average preparing for an interview. This is simply not enough time. We find taking a strategic approach to interview prep is most effective. Take a look at our interview preparation documents

#3: Take your time with each grad scheme application

Graduate applications can be tiresome especially with a busy social life and plenty of assignment deadlines.😴 However, do not rush your applications.

Treat each one like a final year assessment. Pay attention to spelling and grammar as well as writing the best answers and personal statements you can.

➡️Employer Insight: Put the time in and you might only need to submit a couple of applications as opposed to dozens.

➡️Graduate Coach’s Comments: Once you have completed a skills audit and have identified which roles suit you, you’ll find it easier to compile a shortlist of companies you wish to apply for.

Then you’ll need to create an achievement based CV. One that demonstrates to the employer that you would thrive in the position. Here you’ll find a comprehensive guide to creating a strong graduate CV.

#4 Know what the graduate recruiters are looking for

Obtaining that all important graduate role (you know, the one that will be the envy of classmates and will put a smile on your parent’s faces for the next three months 😜), is not just about your qualifications or whether you get a 1st, a 2:1 or a 2:2.

It is about the other skills and characteristics you have developed throughout your studies, work experience, voluntary work, or hobbies and how you’ll apply those attributes to thrive in your graduate role. 😀

The application procedures of major graduate employers will cover:

  • Motivation
  • Company fit
  • Competency
  • Personality profile or aptitude tests

➡️Employer Insight: Be prepared with detailed examples of competencies such as ‘teamwork’ or ‘problem-solving’ on an application form or during an interview.

➡️Graduate Coach’s Comments: Students and graduates that work with us tend to be worried about the types of interview questions they’ll be asked and fear not being able to answer them on the spot.

Therefore, we put together an essential guide to interview questions! It gives model answers to 40+ graduate interview questions. Email us to request a free copy of the guide!

#5 Brush up your commercial awareness skills

Whichever sector your graduate job falls under, graduate employers like graduates who are commercially aware. 

This is an insight into how organisations operate, what is happening in the business world and the impact this could have on their business and industry.

➡️Employer Insight: leverage your linguistic skills! A second language can be useful for global organisations especially if you would like to work internationally in the future. 🌍

➡️Graduate Coach’s comments: When preparing answers to the interview questions you are most likely to be asked, demonstrate your level of commercial awareness by referencing facts and figures about the company or industry.

➡️Editor’s comments: That’s all folks! Thanks for reading this blog post. We really hope you’ll be able to apply these insights to your graduate applications!

Before you go…. 🤗

Randstad has a number of graduate-level vacancies on their website so check those out if you are looking for your dream graduate job.

They also recruit on behalf of a number of graduate employers including Ford and Ford Credit:

  • Ford: Current graduate roles available include: marketing, sales and IT coming soon.
  • Ford Credit: has current roles in business, finance and IT.


If you are a career-driven student or recent graduate who wants to land the graduate job of your dreams, check out Chris Davies’ (the founder of Graduate Coach) eBooks on Amazon.

And last but not least…

Share this post with all your friends on Twitter (because sharing is caring!😍)