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Career Options in Recruitment & Human Resources: Student

University is a time to pick up some reet good people skills, as well as your degree. Something that’s perfect for a recruitment and human resources career!

Undergraduate opportunities in recruitment & human resources

- Business placements/sandwich placements

- Work experience

- Holiday/part-time jobs

- Graduate scheme applications

Your university years offer the perfect opportunity to clock up experience for a future career in recruitment or human resources. From a standard office part-time job to internships in specific areas of the sector with companies of varying sizes, there’s lots you can do you prepare you CV to go out and do battle in the graduate job hunt in a matter of a few months’ time.

The nice thing about the recruitment and human resources sector is that it is generally open to students from any degree discipline. What’s important is your ability to make connections with people, be organised and, in the case of work for recruitment companies, have some persuasive qualities about you. Anything you can do at university, whether it’s part time jobs or involvement in university societies that can boost this will be attractive to employers in the recruitment and human resources sector.

If you’re looking to build up your experience during your university holidays, then a standard office job will be perfect to help you get to grips with an office environment and administrative tasks. However, there are also a number of summer internships and work experience schemes available with companies in almost any sector imaginable. The majority of medium-sized and large companies have a HR department. These opportunities can focus on talent acquisition for the company or more generalist roles. As a HR intern you’ll support the HR team, and it’s likely that you’ll carry out a lot of administrative tasks as part of your role. This is an ideal step into the industry.

Recruitment and human resources also offers placement opportunities for students who are taking a sandwich placement year/year in industry as part of their degree. Students can spend a year working with the recruitment or HR team, and gain more hands-on experience than they might do in a summer internship.

Top tips

Experience in a smaller recruitment company or HR department can be just as insightful, and perhaps even more useful in some respects, as some experience in a large company. There could be more opportunities to get stuck into a more varied workload. So don’t neglect speculative applications to smaller companies as well as the bigger names in the sector.

Deadlines to consider

Most internships and work experience positions will have deadlines for applications, so take a look into opportunities early on in the university year. Some intakes may be annual, usually for larger companies, but some will work on a more ad hoc basis, so keep your eyes peeled!  If you are taking a sandwich year as part of your degree, then the same goes for you: check out available opportunities as soon as you can into second year. Your university will support you in the application process where possible, but it’s similar to applying for an actual job, so you’ll have to be strict with yourself to make sure you don’t miss out on the placements that appeal to you the most in the midst of second year study.