70% of graduates get a 2:1, so what? 2015 graduate job guide

70% of graduates get a 2:1, so what? 2015 graduate job guide

The number of graduate level jobs available is forecast to increase, but the competition has never been fiercer. You may have only just vacated your university campus, but it’s time to shift your focus to what makes you stand out to an employer. Want our advice? Here are the top tips to go through before you hit “send” on that online application:

Research is your best friend
Sending 15 applications in one day might make you feel like you’re smashing that graduate job search, but you need to take the time to tailor each application and research the company you’re applying to. Research the roles available within the industry and what skills you may be expected to demonstrate. Is it a technical or data driven job? Are your required to be creative with content or experiment with new market research ideas? Match your skills and personality to the internship or job and company you are applying to work for. This will strengthen your application and prepare you for interview. If you can, include facts and data to support your claims, whether that’s sales figures or awards you have won!

Personality, enthusiasm and ambition can be as important as education or relevant work experience when an employer is choosing between candidates. Convey your enthusiasm by devoting time to understanding the company’s values and what drives the people who work  there.

What makes you special?

70% of graduates achieved a 2:1 in 2014 and the number of 1st class degrees rewarded has risen 14% since the same year

The stakes are high and recruitment is moving beyond Microsoft Word. It’s time to film your video CV, create a social CV including a kick-ass LinkedIn profile complete with up-to-date information and a professional profile photo! Engage in industry debate on social media and forums, Google free educational or networking events in your area or sign up to free online courses to boost your CV while you job search. How you can sell your skills to an employer to persuade them to invite you to interview? Highlight what you’ve done in work, education or outside of the office and classroom that demonstrates desired traits like: entrepreneurship, management, tech-savvy IT skills, creative design, sales or other. If you don’t fit a mould, talk about how your volunteer work, hobbies or interests have influenced you and the subsequent skills they have taught you.

Perfect your proof-reading
100s of applications are put forward for almost every role advertised online and eliminating CVs with mistakes is a quick way to narrow down candidates. Typos and grammatical errors indicate laziness and a lack of attention to detail. To an employer, the quality of your CV and cover letter correlates directly with how much you care about the role. A badly written CV riddled with mistakes indicates that you are likely to apply the same lack of attention and organisation to the internship or graduate job you’re asking to be put forward for. Perfected the written word? Read it, send it to your Mum to read, ask your housemate to read through it, you get the idea! Fresh eyes can spot mistakes you might not have seen if you’ve been staring at the same screen for hours.

Practise psychometric tests
These tests might seem impersonal, but employers use them to weed out unprepared candidates. Preparation shows your dedication and determination to succeed and there are free practice tests available online or in most bookshops if you want to go old school.

The moral of the story?
Don’t undervalue the importance of enthusiasm and hard work. Employers understand that it’s tough out there and it’s not always possible to gain relevant work experience. You aren’t expected to be a polished professional, but you are expected to be willing to learn. This comes across instantly at interview.

Fast 5: the top graduate jobs to apply for this (rainy) summer weekend

Fast 5: the top graduate jobs to apply for this (rainy) summer weekend

Summer-Sun-Deck-Chairs-Motivation-Inspiration-Inspiring-InternsAttacking the job hunt this weekend? Excellent! Let the summer rain wash away those post-university blues, hit the links below to apply.

Private Equity Internship – Paid – London
This is an exciting 6 month internship in banking & finance based in the heart of the City, with a view to convert into a full-time job. With an equivalent salary of £25,000 per annum, the role will cover analysis of deal flow, trends and investments and supporting portfolio management. Get it before it’s gone!

Healthcare Administration Support Officer – Paid – London
This is a fantastic role at a national organisation where we have placed a number of talented graduates who continue to move up the career ranks! This is a 4 month internship, starting salary: £22,914 per annum (equivalent), with a view to converting into a full-time job at the end of the 4 months. Based in North London, your day-to-day role will be varied and require a degree of responsibility and professionalism. Expect fast-track progression and a great team to work with.

Digital Marketing Internship – Paid – Blackburn
This is a 4-6 month internship based in Lancaster, with a view to start immediately and convert into a full-time position after the internship. The growing company is a digital marketing specialist and in your day-to-day role you can expect to be involved in innovative campaigns, PR and social media strategies, identifying new trends and analytics. Starting salary: £15,000 per annum (equivalent).

Online Learning & Development Coordinator – Digital Advertising – London
Fancy a full-time job in West London at a new venture formed through a Google partnership? Thought so. If you’re interested in technology, digital media and professional development through online learning, this one is definitely for you. Start on a £21,000 salary, join a friendly tech-savvy team and get access to great business contacts and gadgets.

Finance & Account Internship – Paid – Preston
Graduate with a degree in accounting or a finance related degree? This company specialises in the supply of high quality garments, predominantly jeans and trackies, reflecting current market trends and are looking for an ambitious graduate to join their finance team. 3 months. £1,000 per month.Katie is Senior Marketing Executive at Inspiring Interns. A dancer, sport and health & fitness enthusiast, she likes to move, tweet and blog.

The eHarmony of recruitment: matching graduate job-seekers with top employers

The eHarmony of recruitment: matching graduate job-seekers with top employers

eHarmony’s focus is on meaningful matches and the candidate-employer relationships Inspiring Interns curate are equally long-term. Our internships often lead to permanent positions at the host company and we’re here to guide graduates throughout their aspiring careers, from their first job to their last.

FFFAcebook Like Inspiring InternsSo you’ve posted your graduation photo on Facebook, what happens next? It’s difficult when applying to a job online to visualise the company culture, what it’s really like to work somewhere and whether it would be right for you – that’s where we come in! This summer has seen the launch of a new online filtering system at www.inspiringinterns.com which asks recent graduates and employees the same questions about their needs, strengths and motivations in order to find the perfect match.

Who do we recruit for?
Global advertising agencies, fin-tech start-ups, large healthcare organisations, sports marketing agencies, international newspapers, we work with employers across the UK in a variety of industries.

How doclock tick tockes it work?
We offer an innovative employment solution for employers and are a free tool for graduates, providing a careers advice service as well as a recruitment service for graduate jobs and internships (with a view to become permanent positions after three months). To apply to a specific role(s) or send a more general application if you are unsure which career direction to go in, an online candidate application form must be completed. This takes around 5-10 minutes and includes a skill section, the opportunity to upload a CV and questions to determine which sector you would be most suited too. Successful applicants are then contacted by our talent development team to discuss the next steps, filming a video CV and preparing for interview.

How do we know they are a match?
Employers get in touch with our business development team, discuss the requirements of the role they are recruiting for and are sent a shortlist of quality, relevant candidates. The same questions are asked to employers and candidates, enabling their answers to be analysed and compared. Oh, and we have six years experience placing over 5,000 graduates into graduate jobs and internships and all Inspiring Interns employees start out as interns, so we know what it’s like to be a graduate and an employer!

What is a video CV?
Lights camera action93% of millennial consumers (18-35 year olds) visit Youtube at least once a day. Video is HUGE. Visuals receive much higher engagement than just words and to capitalise on that, we wanted to give our graduates maximum exposure to top quality employers and the chance to really show off their skills. A video CV is a 60-second direct introduction between a graduate and an employer, giving graduates an opportunity to communicate their education, experience (if applicable) and where they aspire to work. Employers select from a shortlist of relevant candidates to gain insight into the communication and presentation skills of an individual pre-interview.

So, what next?

Ping-Pong-will-ferrel-inspiring-internsPrevious interns have gone on to management and director positions, even hiring their own interns as their careers continue to skyrocket. For advice, to find a career match or if you just fancy a game of ping-pong (our office is famous for it), get in touch!

Graduates can view our latest jobs and internships (all available now) and filter any search or head over to our online careers advice service.

Employer? Find out more about how we work here or send search requirements to: sales@inspiringinterns.com

Katie is Senior Marketing Executive at Inspiring Interns. A dancer, sport and health & fitness enthusiast, she likes to move, tweet and blog.

Inspiring graduate jobs & internship success stories: London, Manchester & the UK, Summer 2015

Inspiring graduate jobs & internship success stories: London, Manchester & the UK, Summer 2015

This summer we’re bringing you a selection of our brightest success stories to inspire, motivate and restore your faith in the graduate job hunt!

Dinesh-Hansla Dinesh is a fantastic French-speaking graduate from Cambridge University with a BA and MEng in Engineering. He sailed through the interview process and was quickly offered a graduate job at a social advertising company in London, where he continues to thrive in his analytical role.

Cassie had previously worked in buying, marketing and events during her time at Cassie-Melroseuniversity in Bournemouth and after graduating with a degree in retail management & marketing. What happened next? Inspiring Interns sourced an exciting client-facing role at a FMCG company and the rest is history! She’s doing a great job and loving her time at the digital agency.

Christopher-YuAfter studying hard for an LLB law degree from Manchester and securing internship experience in London and Hong-Kong, Christopher came through the Inspiring Interns wardrobe (aka the unique entrance to our London HQ) looking to figure out his next career steps. What did he find? A business and marketing internship at an international retail software company – of course!

Hannah-HunterHannah left university in Newcastle with a degree in English Literature and wondered what to do next! After successfully registering with Inspiring Interns and soaring through the interview process, she landed an internship in operations at a transport company. Nice one Hannah!

Sophie-SimmondsMeet Sophie – she stormed through life at university in Leicester picking up awards for employment and leadership and learning Spanish. After travelling through South America to perfect her grasp of the language, she was offered a graduate job as an account executive at an pioneering energy company.

Send us your CV if you’re actively seeking a graduate job or internship and we’ll match you to exciting, new opportunities.

Katie is Senior Marketing Executive at Inspiring Interns. A dancer, sport and health & fitness enthusiast, she likes to move, tweet and blog.

Focus your graduate job search this summer

Focus your graduate job search this summer

Search “graduate jobs” on Google and 313,000,000 results hit you at a speed of 0.35 seconds. Search “internships in London” and you can get over 27,500,00. You get the idea. The question is, how do you filter this overload of information? For graduate job application information and CV advice, you’ve landed on the right page. In this particular post we focus on the words of graduates who have recently found work and how that can help you in your graduate job hunt.

target-jobs-rising-star-award-2015-gradaute-careers-advice-inspiring-interns-careers-blogTARGETjob’s Rising Star of The Year 2015 graduate nominee, Stefano Persico, had this to say:

“Take on extra responsibility and challenges; it helps show you can learn and picks things up quickly. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, but try to ask the right ones!”

“Show your enthusiasm, energy and passion. Think about how you can add value, take the initiative and be proactive.”

Ciaran Hickey secured an Ciaran-graduate-careers-global-m-recruiment-inspiring-interns-sucess-story-graduate-job-search-adviceinternship in recruitment after graduation and went on to become a full-time consultant at Global M Recruitment. His advice?

“Talk to a recruitment agency, like Inspiring Interns, as they deal with hundreds of people who are all in the same boat.”

“By voicing what you really wouldn’t want to do, as well as areas of interest, you can really identify what would suit you best and an agency can then use that information to guide you in the right direction!”

Laetitia-graduate-careers-advice-inspiring-interns-success-story-quotesUCL graduate Laetitia successfully completed an internship in affiliate marketing and went on to be offered a full-time job in marketing. Here’s what she had to say:

What were your biggest internship challenges?

“The biggest challenge was probably working in an area which, initially, I had limited knowledge of. I was given lots of work from the get-go and had to learn a lot of things. While this was the most challenging aspect of my work, it was also the most enjoyable! I found myself learning quickly and taking on a lot of responsibilities.”

What insight would you give graduates looking to get into affiliate marketing?

“Try and get some experience – whether that’s through an internship opportunity or doing some personal affiliate activity on a blog at home. These things will help when you’re trying to get your foot in the door.”

Katie is Senior Marketing Executive at Inspiring Interns. A dancer, sport and health & fitness enthusiast, she likes to move, tweet and blog.

Sales: graduate careers advice 2015

Sales: graduate careers advice 2015

Considered a career in sales? No? You’re not alone. Listen closely young grasshopper, because we might be about to open your eyes. This is a career path shrouded in a little mystery and a whole lot of misconceptions about how you can expect to spend your day and how great your future prospects could be as a result of work experience in sales. Get ready to explore an environment where entry-level salaries start anywhere between £18,000 and £24,000, fast-track progression opportunities are high and enticing company perks exist; from coffee to a car allowance.

Famous faces



A whole host of famous faces in business, technology and media started out in sales, so if you can’t beat them, join them? Steve Jobs, Richard Branson (pictured), Oprah Winfrey and Bill Clinton are all in this alumni, along with David Ogilvy – the legendary advertising executive responsible for creating iconic campaigns for Rolls-Royce and Dove. Ogilvy’s first job was a door-to-door salesman selling cookers. He was so successful, he was asked by his employer to author a guide (for the benefit of his co-workers) revealing the tips of the trade.

Transferable skills

An internship or grad job in sales can lead to great things, so it’s a fantastic place to start. Interpersonal and transferable skills learnt on the job will boost your CV and future employability in turn. These include; the ability to communicate effectively and learning the art or power of persuasion. You can use business connections and professional relationships developed to move into other areas of expertise like business development, marketing or consultancy. Alternatively, venturing into a specific area of sales is a common career path. You could be working in media focusing on advertising, planning and buying, or working your way up in the pharmaceutical, educational or technology industries. Are the possibilities starting to sound endless? Well, they are!

Why start out in sales?



In this instance, hard work pays off! Literally. Employers pay a basic salary, plus commission and a bonus structure when individual and/or team targets are met. Some companies even have uncapped commission structures, meaning there could (in theory) be no limit to your earnings. One thing you can expect from an internship, graduate scheme or job in sales, is a great deal of support, quality training and clearly laid out progression plans. The fast-paced nature of the environment means you can also expect to learn on the job.

What does an employer want?

Previous experience in retail or otherwise is always desirable, but if your experience is limited, do not despair. Companies look to take on graduates who are eager and quick to learn, and train them to be expert salespeople. If you’re still a student or in the interim between graduation and employment, there are ways in which you can shape your CV in the meantime. Consider volunteering for a charity or organisation where you could support a sales team and experience working in a target-driven environment. It’s also useful to think of examples you could quote in an interview situation to demonstrate your skills and impress an interviewer. Examples of presenting to big crowds at an event or managing a budget as treasurer of a university society will be of interest to an employer. If you can support your claims with numbers – even better! How many people were at the event? How big was the budget? Specifics will ensure you come across organised and professional, with good attention to detail.

What do I want?

If you’re a graduate ready to set yourself up on a financially rewarding career path, head over to the Inspiring Interns vacancies page and browse by sector. Hit ‘sales’ and peruse the job specs for more information about salary, different companies, perks and more.

Katie is a digital marketing executive at Inspiring Interns. A dancer, sport and health & fitness enthusiast, she likes to move, tweet and blog.



Nisa is a marketing intern at Inspiring Interns.

Start before summer: 5 ways students can spring into action

Start before summer: 5 ways students can spring into action

Life after university ain’t easy, but you can make the career decision-making process a little easier with the following tips and advice:

1. Use the free tools available

You may be unaware, or unsure, of some of the services on offer in life after university careers services and on-hand tutors. Recruitment agencies can be an asset to job-hunting graduates; opening your eyes to new opportunities, or matching your education and experience to roles in companies you didn’t previously have access to.
(Here’s a snapshot into the kind of company culture you can expect at Inspiring Interns HQ!)
Make the most of a service that is not only free, but tailored to your needs and requirements. Finding a company culture that matches what you’re looking for is equally as important as an employer wanting to find the right fit for their business; it’s a two-way street! Aside from agencies, there’s a wealth of information online whether that’s a blog series offering advice or a free online course to teach you how to code. CV-boosting activities such as these are incredibly useful, particularly when your relevant work experience (as a graduate) is likely to be limited.

2. Apply to internships

The summer rush to secure that dream graduate job or scheme is just around the corner, but if you’ve already said “see ya!” to university, why wait? There are opportunities available now that could put you ahead of the competition. Undertaking an internship in spring could ensure you’re employed full-time by the host company come summer. Enhance your employability as a direct result of relevant work experience; check out our latest vacancies for inspiration.

3. Volunteer

Still a student? It’s not too late to offer your time to university societies or charities and make your job application shine at the same time! Volunteering looks great on your CV and it’s a great feeling to be able to give something back to a community or cause. In between exams and making the most of the last few months at uni, it’s great to get involved. Remember, employers want to see flashes of your personality in job applications and they will be interested in activities you’ve been involved in outside of the office or classroom.

4. Research requirements

It’s okay to be unsure of the demands of certain industries or who the “ideal candidate” really is, but there are ways you can find out. For starters, check out the graduate reading list for industry-specific advice on which websites to check out and publications to read. Next up, it might not sound like the most exciting thing you’ve heard all day, but reading job specifications will give you an insight into the qualifications and characteristics required for different roles. You can also expect to discover more about the type of companies hiring and the perks different roles have to offer. Look out for career progression opportunities, fun activities and super smart team members to learn from.

5. Make connections

If you think you know which career direction you want to go in, start reaching out and trying to network with the industry insiders. Try to stand out, but be professional at the same time! Basic etiquette when it comes to phone calls and emails, and common sense are important here. It sounds obvious, but acknowledging that people are busy and showing appreciation for any help or direction they can give, can open doors. Network, email, enquire and establish relationships so when it comes time to sending an application, you have a way in.

For undergrads looking for summer work experience, check out this brand new APSCo recruitment internship, available in locations across the UK. Click here to apply!

Katie is a digital marketing executive at Inspiring. A dancer, sport and health & fitness enthusiast, she likes to move, tweet and blog.

7 top graduate roles to apply for this weekend

7 top graduate roles to apply for this weekend

Spring into action! Here’s our pick of the top 7 graduate internships and jobs to apply for this weekend:

Graduate Scheme | London

This graduate scheme is a great mixture of business development, marketing and sales, and you’ll develop strong skills in all of these areas. The company culture is fantastic with a young, dynamic team and perks including; free on-site gym and Costa coffee! If you’d like to be considered for this immediate exciting opportunity, please send your CV direct to: sam@inspiringinterns.com

Financial Investment and Fund Management Internship | London

This is a three month internship paying £1k p/m, with a view to going full-time. Established by two experienced investment bankers from Goldman Sachs this company are launching a new fund focused on investment into British precision engineering. This is an exciting opportunity to fast-track your experience in investment banking and fund management and learn from the best. Hit the title link to send your CV and apply today.

Rugby World Cup Sales Internship

As the licensee for the Official Rugby World Cup 2015 Travel Guide, this company is looking for dynamic, ambitious grads seeking experience in sales and marketing within a publishing company. Expect a vibrant office in Covent Garden, an experienced team, free breakfasts and free drinks in the office! Hit the title link to find out more and apply.

German-speaking Business Development Internship | Manchester

Start on £17k-£21k at this global company with the opportunity to travel to the US and work across different departments. Put your language skills to good use and gain an understanding of the business and help it grow.

Media Planner Buyer Internship | London

Join an ambitious team with experience developing and managing successful multi-channel lead generation campaigns for some of the UK’s biggest brands! From marketing campaigns to detailed analysis, this is a fantastic opportunity to start your career in digital and learn and progress quickly.

International Business Development Consultant | London

One of the fastest growing companies within education technology sector needs you! Join the small but rapidly growing team and expect your career to skyrocket. This is a great chance to make an impact in a fast-paced environment. What are you waiting for?

Financial Sales Advisor | Manchester

This Sunday Times Top 100 company is looking for confident, dynamic grads to join their ranks! If you’re proficient in IT with the numerical skills to match, this Manchester based company could be the one for you. This role is full-time, starting on a salary of £15k with an OTE of up to £35k.

Katie is a digital marketing executive at Inspiring. A dancer, sport and health & fitness enthusiast, she likes to move, tweet and blog.

Social CV: the graduate guide to LinkedIn

Social CV: the graduate guide to LinkedIn

The paper CV is a staple in the traditional job application process, but it’s as important to consider your online presence and how this could help you kick-start your career. Inspiring Interns introduced the video CV as a way to inject some personality into an otherwise faceless application process and give candidates a chance to showcase their communication skills to prospective employers. Right now? It’s all about social media and using the available tools to propel your job applications to the next level.

Step 1. Create your profile. It might sound obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people start sending requests to make connections and join groups before they have added any information to their page. Take the time to build your ‘social CV’ before you start using the tool to engage with people and professionals and you’ll be taken seriously. If you have no photo, connections or education/experience listed, you’ll look suspicious!

Step 2. Consider what you should (and shouldn’t) advertise online. Think about what you are trying to achieve through being on LinkedIn and the kind of people you want to be clicking on your profile. Which words are going to get you noticed? Try and avoid generic jargon about how motivated you are or your ability to work as “part of a team and independently”. Employers have heard this all before! If your experience thus far has been more behind the bar than in the boardroom: don’t downplay it. Draw attention to the soft skills you have developed whilst in this role(s), whether that’s delivering a high standard of customer care or taking a position of responsibility such as management.

Step 3.Take the opportunity to fill in the sections about your skills, interests and volunteering. Recruiters or companies looking at your online profile will be just as interested to find out a bit more about you, through your extra-curricular activities and achievements outside of the classroom or office. If you have any entrepreneurial experience or have learnt/are learning key skills in IT or languages for example, this is the time to shine!

Step 4. LinkedIn allows you to join groups and engage in relevant discussion. Consider the industry or industries you are looking to go into and research the types of people, businesses and communities that could be of interest for you to follow. A strong presence online is crucial in order to stand out in today’s competitive graduate job market. When a potential employer types your name into Google… how much better would it be if a LinkedIn industry discussion you have engaged with appeared on their screen rather than a selection of your old Facebook profile pictures? If you’re looking for internships in London or Manchester, join our groups for interesting updates and useful careers advice.

Step 5. Grow your network! Not sure who to connect with? Start by adding your friends, reach out to your university alumni and connect with recruiters you’re working with to find opportunities. Join groups of interest like football fan clubs as well as the more obvious industry-related ones. The wider you cast your LinkedIn net, the more people you will be able to connect with and the stronger your network will become. Use features like the ‘people you may know’ tool to assist you in making relevant connections and raising your profile.

It’s important to be honest, but positive about your job hunt. If you’re not working, use the space at the top of your profile to write a few catchy lines about the types of opportunities you are actively searching for. Now consider the rest of our simple solutions above and let social media boost your job applications!

Katie is a digital marketing executive at Inspiring. A dancer, sport and health & fitness enthusiast, she likes to move, tweet and blog.

Why January can be awesome for your career

Why January can be awesome for your career

Inspired by Time Out’s mission to stay in with style and make “your living room one of the most exciting places” to be this month, we’ve got another reason to keep the couch warm – job searching! January and the job hunt go hand-in-hand and here’s why. We’ve already got the whole dry Jan/get fit/have a healthy start to the year vibe going on, so let’s add it to it. The time has come to secure that career-starting internship or job. Ready?

• According to the latest figures published in the annual Graduate Market study, published by High Fliers, the number of graduate vacancies is on course to reach a ten-year high this summer. As well an increase in the availability of paid internships and summer or course-based placements, starting salaries look set to rise. This is great news for those looking to go into an entry-level position, but it does come with a warning. Employers are urging students and grads to seek valuable work experience during breaks in education or employment in order to put themselves ahead of the competition. A third of roles are anticipated to be taken by those who have already completed internships or placements, so seize the moment and seek experience to boost your CV now.

• January is prime job hunt time! There are a variety of industries and different roles out there, so doing your research is crucial. Head to LinkedIn and Twitter to create your own profiles, make connections, follow industry figures and engage in debates. Discover careers blogs for advice on applications and tips on what you should be reading and where you can access this information. Now channel what you have learnt into creating a kick-ass application.

Image via connexica.com
• Big data is a significant growth area for the UK economy, with a growing number of jobs available. What is big data? A huge amount of data is generated every single day, from social media to internal data, opening up opportunities for graduates in analytics, administration and support.

“It’s vital that we attract new talent into the industry to ensure that businesses have the skilled staff they need to grow and be successful”

Karen Price, Director of the Tech Partnership

• An increasing focus on company culture and finding the right candidate to match the values and environment of a business has meant employers are now doing more to entice graduate talent! Your skills, background and personality need to shine through in a job application, but it is also important to find a company that suits you as much as you suit the role. Great perks, exciting career development plans and dynamic, sociable (but professional) environments are all on offer from certain companies, so what better time to get fully involved in the January job hunt?

If you’re after more information about the kind of roles that are out there and how you can apply, head to Inspiring’s latest vacancies page where you can view all opportunities or filter by industry.

Katie is a digital marketing executive at Inspiring. A dancer, sport and health & fitness enthusiast, she likes to move, tweet and blog.