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Most likely first time jobs for graduates

Your first job may not be exactly what you were looking / hoping for. However the wealth of experience you’ll gain will leave you in good stead for the future and hey you may even find a new and unexpected career. We've explained the top five first-time jobs for graduates below:


Sales Positions

For the right personality, a sales jobs can offer great opportunities for those seeking post-university employment. Why? Sales jobs are reasonably well paid, and you always have the chance of earning commission on top. Some companies even offer uncapped earning potential, meaning that if new hires are really good, they will be earning a lot in a short space of time, while other perks often include pensions and company cars. Sales positions are also available across many different fields, from pharmaceuticals to media and IT, meaning that careers can be specialised to your degree subject. This kind of role is ideal for outgoing, ambitious, and articulate people.

Recruitment Consultant

Those typing "recruitment consultant" into their job search field will need to hone their organisational and people skills. Recruitment consultants are a bit like salespeople: but instead of selling a product, they work at selling another person's skills, abilities and experience to a potential employer. Recruitment consultants also have their targets to hit, so those who are good at matching up talent with available work will find themselves in demand (and well compensated for their efforts). Good recruiters have an eye for individuals' strengths, so if someone applies with a strong CV for a position they're not well suited to, the recruiter will find a suitable alternative for them.

Graduate Schemes

Depending on your field, graduate schemes will be advertised in different places. Graduate schemes are distinguished from other graduate jobs as they have a strict time frame, as well as clear training and development opportunities. Applying early is always a good idea, particularly if your field is a competitive one. Lots of graduate schemes exist in the banking and finance sector, as well as the field of engineering, but positions are also available in management consultancy, logistics, HR, IT, marketing, property services, and even in the public and charitable sectors.


Teaching is a popular graduate career choice, offering a stable income and clearly defined progression opportunities, although dropout rates for the profession are high. There are now more ways to train to become a teacher than ever before, with many ambitious graduates training through the Teach First scheme, although the traditional PGCE is not yet dead and buried. Those who aren't quite certain if they want a career in education can tip their toe in the water before plunging into a year or two of training: becoming a teaching assistant, mentor, tutor, or classroom supervisor for a year first will mean that graduates gain invaluable experience and maturity before applying to train as teachers, and will be more likely to know if this challenging yet ultimately highly rewarding career is for them.

Retail Assistant

In the past, retail assistant jobs were seen as something for those without a degree, or as a part-time option for those still at school, college, or university. These days, retail assistants increasingly have strong educational backgrounds. With dedication and a little ambition, graduate retail assistants' talent can be spotted, and such employees can often work their way up to management level. Experience in retail can also be invaluable for those looking to start their own businesses in the future, or to gain experience in a competitive industry such as fashion. Having retail assistant experience on your CV will also show future employers that you're hard working and willing to turn your hand to anything; while achievements in the role will make excellent selling points on any covering letter.