5 Essential Application Tips
With companies such as GSK, BASF and Rolls-Royce advertising placement for 2018 I thought I’d compile a short list of essential application must do’s so that your application stands above the rest. Places for placements and internships are only getting more competitive so use all resources available to you, especially those offered by the careers service.
1. Make Them Remember You
- During my placement, I had a meeting with my manager where I enquired on what made certain applications stand out. I was surprised to find out that this wasn’t grades but having something that made you rememberable as a candidate. It needn’t be something that you’d immediately link to the placement either. However, having something rememberable keeps you as a candidate in the hiring managers mind. For me this was writing these blogs but for others it was being president of quirky societies.
- Hiring managers may get hundreds of applications for a single placement with everyone having high grades and skills such as teamwork, communication, time management and adaptability become the norm so having that little something that makes you standout is becoming more essential.
2. Everything included in the “ideal candidate section” you include
- When a hiring manager first receives your application, it will be quickly scanned to see if your skills match those which are included in the ideal candidate section. Due to the high number of applications a single internship place will receive if your application doesn’t include those skills listed your application will be placed further and further down the list.
- You can include additional extra skills if you believe they will strengthen your application but your priority should be matching your application to their ideal candidate.
3. Don’t be afraid to blow your own trumpet
- I will admit this is always awkward to do as you feel as though you are being arrogant but your A4 description of yourself is the only thing hiring managers have to go off.
4. Follow the STAR method
- It may be arduous but following the STAR method is a full-proof way to make sure what you write has maximum impact. It’s tempting to write just about the task but you must include what you did, why you did it, how you did it and what skills you used and this should comprise around 50-70% of that paragraph. The STAR method is as follows:
- Situation: i.e. during my degree, whilst working as a waiter.
- Task: what it is that you had to do.
- Action: what you did, why you did it, how you did it, what skills you used.
- Result: what happened as a result of your actions.
5. Proofread (pretty standard but essential)
- It’s harsh to think that a single spelling mistake can result in you not getting a placement but it’s the reality. The first stage of the application process is about taking out as many “unsuitable” candidates as possible and if you make a spelling/ grammar mistake you could be removed from the list. Ask your friends or family to proofread your applications and the career service also offer a service to do this.
Best of luck with the applications and as always feel free to ask any questions about applications/ my experience/ interviews.