5 top tips for job applications
It’s application season and whether you’re looking for an internship or a grad job, it’s important to decide what career path you’re interested in, along with taking time to submit high-quality applications. I learnt a lot when applying to internships last year and I’ve written about my top tips below:
1) Apply now
Some companies hire on a rolling basis and the deadline for many jobs is much sooner than you’d think. It’s really important to focus on applying to jobs at the start of this term as the weeks will only become busier when the uni work piles up.
2) Only apply to jobs you’re interested in
Last year I initially applied to a few finance and consulting internships because it’s what every econ student does, rather than applying to companies I’d actually love to work for. Unsurprisingly I was rejected from these as my cover letters were generic and they saw right through me.
I’ve always wanted to work in industry and use behavioural economics within this; two places which offered the perfect internship for me were Kraft Heinz and Ofcom. I actually enjoyed writing my cover letters for these companies and I received an assessment centre offer from both. The moral of the story is apply to places you’d love to work at because if not, you’ll probably get rejected.
3) Practice psychometric tests
At an assessment centre I went to, they showed us a breakdown of their hiring process. Around 5,000 people applied for the internship and the first stage was an online test. Only 1,000 people passed this so it’s important to practice them to ensure you get an opportunity to get to the next stages which can include: writing a cover letter, having an online interview, assessment centre and final interview. There are many excellent resources for free but check what sort of tests will be used as e.g. PWC, RBS and Aldi are looking for different skills and hence will have different tests.
4) Perfect the cover letter
Although an employer will realistically glance over a cover letter, it’s the first impression they’ll get of you so it’s important your personality and interest to work for them shines through. You’re probably competing against others with better grades and more work experience so it’s essential that you emphasise what makes you different from everyone else. It’s also important to mention why you’d fit in well there. Also, don’t slightly tweak cover letters and send them to different firms; they’ll look generic and will assume you’re not that interested in working for them over other companies.
5) Don’t see rejection as failure
I’m glad I got rejected from the initial internships I applied for as it made me realise I was going down the wrong career path. My applications improved throughout the process and I learnt a lot about my personality and career interests. As I did my internship at a place I thought I’d enjoy, I really thrived there and got offered a graduate job which I can’t wait to start next year.
Thanks for reading and if you have any questions, please feel free to drop me a message as I’m happy to help.
See you all soon 🙂 x