How to target specific universities and courses

Most clients we work with began advertising their graduate vacancy on generic job boards. This is a good method for getting a high number of applicants but they are often not high quality or very relevant.

When we begin creating a campaign for our clients one of the earliest questions we ask is what universities they would like us to target and this directs the job board and marketing campaigns. If you are unsure of which universities you should target you may benefit from our CONSULTANCY research package. Some of the factors you should consider when deciding which universities to target include:


You can find university rankings for the courses you are targeting on THE COMPLETE UNIVERSITY GUIDE. Universities that are part of the Russell Group must prove that they prioritise academic excellence and research skills. Clients who seek academically outstanding candidates or candidates for intensive research positions often start here. Other universities are more renowned for their focus on providing students with practical skills, for example Liverpool John Moores University focus on offering their biological students practical laboratory experience.

Number of female students

If you are looking to target female candidates it can be extremely helpful to know the gender splits of the courses you are targeting in different universities. We have extensive course breakdown data which we use for the purpose of selecting and targeting universities for our clients. We are therefore able to a offer a breakdown of the top five universities with the highest number of females for your specific company needs. You can read more about this service in CONSULTANCY


Targeting universities in specific locations is often an overlooked targeting method, but some clients do struggle to find enough relocators. If there are no suitiable candiates living locally LinkedIn has excellent tools which allow you to identify candidates who are studying elsewhere in the UK but have your location as their hometown. These candidates are desirable as they will be more likely have friends and family they can stay with in the early stages of recruitment and employment. 

Education level and background

Some universities produce more Masters and PhD level candidates than Bachelors level candidates and it is worth considering these numbers. 

Additionally, some universities, such as the University of Liverpool are paired with universities overseas. As a result, their courses are often have high numbers of international students.  If you are unable to prodive VISA sponsorship, you may want to focus on non-paired universities. On the other hand, some of our specialist clients require candidates who are multi-lingual and so targeting courses with students who will are fluent in their own language and English can be ideal.

As mentioned, we are able to help clients work out type of  universities they should be targetting and provide them with a fully researched list of their top five most desirable universities. We can also manage your university outreach as we have strong realtionships with careers services and student bodies UK wide.

Request a callback

Written by Sophie Chadwick- connect with me on LinkedIn

Join Us on Linkedin

Follow us on Twitter

Like us on Facebook


Posted on Thursday Sep 14