Graduates should be planning their future careers while at university, one expert has said.
According to Margaret Dane, chief executive of the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (Agcas), a well-prepared undergraduate will be filling out applications for graduate recruitment schemes at the beginning of their final year.
"Leaving the thinking and the action until the last minute is a recipe for poor applications, rejections and drifting," she warned.
Furthermore, students in their first or second year of university should be thinking about what they want to do when they graduate, Ms Dane added.
She remarked that this will mean students "already have an idea what they want, why they want it and what they have to offer potential employers" by the time they are applying for recruitment schemes.
The 2007 UK Graduate Careers Survey discovered that the earliest applications for jobs were for those in the finance and accountancy sector.