A couple of students have said to me lately that they are applying for placements, internships or graduate schemes but that they are not in a rush because “there is no deadline”, or that the employer does “ongoing recruitment”. I thought I would write this post to clear some confusion.
What does “no deadline” or “ongoing recruitment” actually mean? Certainly, it doesn’t mean that you can rest on your laurels!
Here’s how it works: these employers (an increasing number of them!) advertise their opportunities in September (or some even earlier). As soon these open, they start receiving applications, and recruiters start to shortlist. Successful candidates are then progressed to the next stage, which might be a telephone interview, for example. And then the next stage, which could be a personal interview or psychometric tests. So, shortly after the employers open for applications, there might be some candidates who are half way down the recruitment process, whereas others are still working on their applications. And as soon as the employer has found enough successful candidates, they stop looking at more applications. That is ongoing recruitment in a nutshell. In principle, you can apply any time, but if you don’t act quick, you might miss the boat.
Some employers might have a fixed deadline in November for example, but they will still stop recruiting early if they have found the right talent in the right amounts.
So, my advice is that you prioritise the opportunities that you are really interested in, that you work on the application at a steady pace, and that you submit them as soon as you feel confident that you have aced it. Why not get your application checked by the Careers service before you submit it?