.

Opportunities with SMEs

SMEs (Small to Medium Enterprises) are companies with fewer than 250 employees. Typical SMEs are web design companies and marketing agencies, manufacturers and engineering companies, local opticians and dentists, independent retailers and other service providers. 

When you consider that there are 1.3 million SMEs with employees, and that SMEs have a combined turnover of £1.8 trillion you can see how they offer some fantastic job opportunities for graduates.

Working for an SME can be extremely rewarding. Unlike a larger company, you are likely to get exposure to all parts of the business and you will learn fast! Your voice is more likely to be heard and you could find yourself in a senior role far more quickly than you would in a larger organisation. Looking for SME opportunities can also help you to side-step the fiercely competitive graduate recruitment processes of blue-chip companies.

Here are some useful resources to help you make sense of the SME world and the opportunities it offers for you. You will also find SME jobs on many of the jobsites we feature on the Finding UK Vacancies page and the West Midlands Jobs page.

SME vacancies

Aston Futures C+P

Start your search right here on Aston Futures, where we have lots of exciting opportunities with great local SMEs. Simply filter your job search by company size.

Graduate Advantage C+P

Graduate Advantage has local SME job and internship opportunities. Brought to you by a consortium of local universities, led by Aston, it has developed and nurtured strong links with West Midlands employers including many SMEs.


Researching SMEs

SME opportunities can take effort on your part to discover. The process for landing an SME job is less likely to involve lengthy application processes and assessment centres and more likely to involve building networks and even making speculative applications. This is where a little research will help. Below we have directed you to some of the best places to start your search.

British Chambers of Commerce

The British Chambers of Commerce represent businesses of all sizes in the UK. They have regional chambers which are a good place to start your research into local companies.

UK Science Parks Association

There are over 100 Science Parks across the UK. These parks are home to innovative, dynamic companies which often work hand in hand with universities.  and they are exciting places to work.

Yell.com

Yell.com is particularly useful if you are searching for jobs in optometry, law or other professions that typically have a large number of independent High Street firms. Focus by profession and by location to build a list of possible contacts.