Alternative Job Hunting Strategies: Graduate internships and other temporary roles

Posted in: Advice, Finding a Job, Graduate Jobs

Alternative Job Hunting Strategies: Graduate internships and other temporary roles

These last three weeks we have published blogs giving advice on alternative job-hunting strategies. First we looked at at speculative applications, last week we looked at using recruitment agencies, this week is something a little bit different, graduate internships and other temporary roles.

What are graduate internships / temporary roles?

Simply put, these are temporary roles within a small, medium or big organisation that are only open to someone with a degree! There are many reasons why employers advertise these type of roles (or remember, you may find them speculatively), it may be a recruitment tool for more permanent roles, they may just need someone for a short period of time or it may be to cover someone’s absence, for example as a maternity cover or secondment. These roles are often 3, 6, 9 or even 12 months long, and can be titled graduate internship, internship, fixed - term role, temporary role and more. Some companies also offer 12 months graduate placements, don’t confuse these with the sandwich year placement that many undergraduates undertake as part of their degree.

Why should you as a graduate consider these roles?

There may be many reasons why these roles may be useful for you:

  • Get a foot in the door

Some sectors, such as in the non-profit sector, an internship is often a good way in to an organisation and may open up job vacancies which are only open internally. This is also relevant for jobs in think tanks, behavioural science and more, so make sure to research your desired sector as much as you can to find out if internships or fixed – term roles are a typical way in.

Another sector, the finance sector, often offer off – cycle internships for graduates who want to get in to investment banking and finance, targeting students who have not applied or have not been successful at earlier internship or graduate scheme applications, or students from non-finance degrees. If you are interested in these, make sure to bookmark your favourite finance firms and check their career pages regularly or use general job sites like Indeed as general search tool, as we don’t always advertise these opportunities on MyFuture.

These are also good opportunities for graduates who don’t have a lot of work experience as often entry requirements are lower for fixed – term roles than for permanent graduate roles. They may lead to a permanent role in the same organisation or it will be advantageous when you are applying to other roles and organisations to have the experience on your CV.

  • Explore industries and sectors

We often meet graduates who are really unsure about what they want to do next and want to spend a year working in short – term roles in different companies and organisations to gain awareness of what they want to do and their own skills and strengths. It is fine to explore different industries and sectors as a new graduate but make sure you don’t have too many short – term roles on your CV, as employers may then start to ask questions. Many employers will however value that you have spent time on your own self and career awareness before you decide on a job role and sector. Be aware, however, that it will take a lot of work to set up different short - term work experiences throughout the year and you will definitely have to use networking and the speculative approach, in addition to applying for advertise vacancies.

  • You need a short – term role as you have other plans

Some of you are considering travelling, taking a gap year or for other reasons, or perhaps you are an international students on a graduate visa and are planning to go home after the two year visa validity. You may then want to focus on internships and fixed – term roles, however make sure you are honest with the employer as internships are sometimes a recruitment tool for an employer, and the fact you are not staying can be costly and frustrating for an employer and can have future consequences for you if you change your mind and would like to work in that organisation at a later date.

Where do you find these roles?

You can find graduate internships and fixed – term roles on all the major websites, although we always advise to check sector – specific websites as well if you are sure of what industry or sector your want to work in. We always have some advertised on MyFuture, and particularly LinkedIn is useful for internships. You may also want to bookmark your favourite organisation’s career pages and or subscribe to their jobs alert. As mentioned earlier, Indeed is also a good general search tool for internships.

You can find a list of sector – specific website in our Search for work guide.

As with earlier blogs in our alternative job hunting strategies series, also consider sending speculative applications, use recruitment agencies and/or use networking as a way of finding internships or other fixed – term roles.

We wish you all the best in your job search and remember, we offer support to you even as a graduate!

Photo by Emmanuel Ikwuegbu on Unsplash




Posted in: Advice, Finding a Job, Graduate Jobs


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