31 August 2022

When to apply for graduate jobs

If you’re not too far from finishing your undergraduate degree, you’ll hardly need us to remind you that this is an exciting time.

Whether you are already brimming with career ideas or haven’t quite yet got a concrete plan as to where your skills will shine, we’ve got you covered for all SaaS and fintec-related roles.

However, one particular question might still be on your lips: ‘when is the best time to apply for graduate jobs?’

Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. If you have pored through company websites for details of graduate jobs, there’s a number of different answers you could be faced with – leaving you even more in the dark about when exactly you ought to apply.

In this guide, our team of recruitment experts will touch on everything you need to know about timing your application. We’ll cover:

  • What a graduate job is
  • When you should start apply
  • How many years after graduation you can still apply
  • Why graduate jobs can seem hard to get
  • How Timberseed can help you get the most out of your application
  • And much more!

So let’s jump into it. Here’s why the answer to ‘when to apply for graduate jobs’ isn’t necessarily simply ‘before the deadline’…

So, what is a graduate job?

The term ‘graduate job’ has a surprisingly fuzzy definition, as the term doesn’t strictly refer to simply any job someone takes up after graduating.

Traditionally, this is because graduate jobs are considered to be roles that are only available to degree holders, giving serious talent the chance to make their mark within a company using their unique skill sets.

However, it’s important to remember that, with Timberseed, the roles on offer are very much the same as applying for any other top-class role within the market – which often means you’ll be hitting the ground running straight out of the gate.

Although many factors come into play when making a successful application, such as your transferable skills and any previous experience,, your degree will form a large part of your offering.

Even if you feel your degree might not fit your role exactly, if your job search leads you to an intriguing graduate position, you should ask yourself whether pursuing it would help you progress towards the career you have in mind or help you add more experience to your CV.

Not sure where to start? Talk to a member of the Timberseed team today. We can help point you in the right direction.

When should I start applying for graduate jobs?

The simple answer is: as soon as possible!

Although there is typically a big rush for UK graduate jobs immediately in the months after graduation, employers are often on the lookout for applications as early as a year beforehand – with rolling applications available on a constant basis.

So, it isn’t a matter of when to apply for a graduate job, but more so ensuring you’re being proactive with your research and planning!

Once you have decided what kind of job you would like, or if you’ve thought about a certain sector you’d like to explore, you shouldn’t delay in preparing your application.

It’s important to remember that the deciding process could take a while, so a good time to start would be the summer before you enter the final year of your undergraduate course.

What should I do ahead of my application?

This is where the good stuff begins.

At this stage, you might have an inkling of which career would be best for you — in which case, you should research what skills and qualifications are required (or at least desirable) for it.

This research should then translate to your CV – so make sure to set aside time to prepare it as best you can before heading out into the job market.

For helpful tips and practical guidance, you can easily send your CV to us at Timberseed for our own expert feedback. 

Although applications run throughout the year, meaning you should continually check and send out your CV to opportunities that resonate, one typically crucial application window runs from September to January.

This means that if you do apply during this time, you could be invited to an interview just after February.

Another thing to be mindful of while applying for jobs is to heed application deadlines, especially if you have your heart set on a particular role within a company you admire.

In other words, if you miss the deadline, it will be another year before the lengthy application process begins again and you’ll have to start all over!

But all is not lost. Most companies adhere to a rolling recruitment process, where new roles are always being added and so graduate opportunities are available throughout the year.

In any case, the general rule is that, the earlier you plan ahead, the better your chances of success.

How many years after graduating can you apply for graduate jobs?

What a great question!

You might have heard on the grapevine that, if you fail to land a graduate job straight after leaving university, it’s essentially pointless for you to prepare any further job applications for a graduate post.

Don’t worry, this is a myth.

This means that if your first round of applications is unsuccessful, there could even be practical benefits to waiting before you apply again.

For instance, you would be able to amass more experience in the sector of work you are targeting. If you failed at the interview, you could brush up your skills in this area, such as by practising answers to both basic and tough interview questions that could pop up next time.

Go back to school – literally

If you’ve decided to stop applying and are wondering what to do at this time, you could take the opportunity to complete a postgraduate course.

Even if the resulting qualification isn’t on the list of entry requirements for the graduate job you are eyeing, beefing up your CV in this way could give you the edge over applicants holding just an undergraduate degree alone.

Keep your eye on the time

Still, you probably shouldn’t take too much time out of your job search.

That’s because, statistically, graduates stand the best chance of being accepted to grad jobs or grad schemes within the first three years following graduation.


How many years after graduating can you apply for graduate jobs?

Despite common misconceptions, there’s no strict limit on how many years after graduating you can apply for graduate jobs. While many graduates aim to secure roles immediately after graduation, it’s entirely possible to apply for graduate positions several years later. In fact, taking time to gain additional experience or pursue postgraduate qualifications can enhance your candidacy and competitiveness in the job market.

When should I start applying for graduate jobs?

The ideal time to start applying for graduate jobs is as soon as possible. While there’s often a surge in applications immediately after graduation, many employers begin accepting applications up to a year in advance. Being proactive with your job search and application process can increase your chances of securing interviews and job offers. Starting your research and preparation during the summer before your final undergraduate year is advisable to stay ahead of the competition.

What should I do ahead of my application?

Before applying for graduate jobs, it’s crucial to research the skills and qualifications required for your desired career path. Tailor your CV accordingly to highlight relevant experiences and strengths. Seeking feedback from experts, such as those at Timberseed, can help improve your CV’s effectiveness. Additionally, stay mindful of application deadlines and adhere to them to avoid missing out on opportunities. Being proactive and planning ahead increases your chances of success in the job market.

As with most things in life, the early bird gets the worm – or work, in this case.  Don’t hold off seeking advice by sending us your CV or contacting us through other means, such as by emailing info@timberseed.com.


When do graduate jobs start?

As previously mentioned, many graduate jobs start in September. However, as a Timberseed graduate jobseeker with rolling application dates all year round, there is more flexibility here.

Timberseed recruitment experts are experienced in matching job candidates to graduate-level positions that don’t have a time-consuming onboarding process. You’ll access on-the-job training and development opportunities throughout your time, but you’ll be able to jump straight in and prove yourself in some of the most interesting and varied sectors around.

This means we can give you everything needed for a speedy application journey where, practically as soon as you leave university, graduates are placed in attractive roles. This is largely due to the strong relationships we have forged with employers in the SaaS and fintech fields.

Not yet convinced? Why not check out what our previous graduates have to say, who we’ve successfully placed in jobs they love.

That could be you soon. Just saying. 

How much do graduate jobs pay?

Not to blow our own trumpet, but Timberseed jobs pay well.

Many of these jobs come with a base salary of £30,000 and above, with additional bonus opportunities. These jobs can help you to grow as a person, as well as set you up for long-term success in your career.

Plus, you can naturally expect your pay packet to grow as you meet targets, excel in your role and progress to higher positions within the company.

That’s the Timberseed touch.

Why are graduate jobs so hard to get?

If you are nearing the end of your studies, you might have heard nerve-wracking  stories about many graduates struggling to find graduate-level jobs – despite having performed well academically while at university.

Well, the answer is that the job market is pretty competitive. There’s a staggering large number of applications per vacancy. One survey by the Institute of Student Employers (ISE) found that, in 2021, this number reached its highest — 91 — since the organisation started collecting data in 1999.

Another reason is that many graduates have not been sufficiently taught how to prime their job hunt for success. The graduate job application process comprises various stages, including writing a good CV, sending out multiple applications and nailing that all-important interview.

How can Timberseed help me in my search for a graduate job?

There are many different stages you will need to navigate on the path towards landing a graduate job.

However, the team at Timberseed will be able to provide you with one-on-one coaching, practical guidance and bespoke tips to help you throughout this exciting time.

While university staff might have given you application advice, we know that this is probably going to have a one-size-fits-all approach, rather than having been tailored to your specific requirements.

Luckily, that’s where we come in. Our recruitment experts can plug this gap in your preparation by providing a range of tried-and-tested advice, helping you buff up your CV and master replies to even the trickiest interview questions – so that you can nail those grad job applications with ease.

We also have access to an exclusive jobs database, giving us the power to pair you with promising vacancies before the employers offering them even consider advertising on the wider market.

No matter where you are on your job search journey, whether you’re starting out or looking to restart your applications, we can help.

Get in touch with us today and discover how we can match your talent with the graduate job of your dreams.