Applying for internships/graduate schemes
Applying for internships and graduate schemes is a lengthy process and is often quite difficult, especially since businesses and organisations have altered the application process. It is also very challenging to apply for programmes and balance university work, as well as extra curricular activities, so I thought I’d write a blog to provide you all with some tips and tricks for both applying for summer/graduate schemes as well as balancing your work.
Where to look: some useful places to search for schemes would be: Indeed, Reed, myAdvantage, Target Jobs, Milkround, etc. If you have a company in mind, then looking on their careers pages to see what is available. If you have a sector and a company in mind, sometimes emailing their recruitment team directly with your CV and asking about any availablilty can open up a new opportunity.
when looking for internships/graduate schemes, it is really important to read through the role expectations and what is required to apply, but also to find out whether it is a role that will interest you and you’ll be good at. Furthermore, researching into the company and finding out their values is a great way to tailor your cover letter to their expectations. Also, be picky, I know a lot of students are desperate to get a job but there is no point applying for something that you are not interested in, otherwise you may end up in a job that you dislike.
Warwick has a brillaint Careers sector dedicated to helping students with their applications so it would be silly not to use them. There are desks in the Oculus on the first floor, for drop-in sessions where you can chat to a careers advisor. If you want some more 1 to 1 time then make an appointment with Careers in the University House via myAdvantage and the advisors can spend more time with you. Go to career events and career talks because they are more useful than you think!
CV tips: Make sure you cv is fully up to date and use the Prospects website to help you format your cv appropriately. Don’t babble, use short but concise terminology and tailor your skills to the job requirments, you will have to do this for every application. Show or send your cv to a careers advisor, a personal tutor, friends, etc., just keep showing people and getting multiple feedback, because this will undoubtedly improve your chances of getting a job. Don’t put a picture on your cv because it looks unprofessional and make sure everything is neat, with no spelling mistakes. Most importantly, don’t lie…..if you get to the interview stage, employers will ask you questions about your cv and can tell if you’ve lied.
Find out who you should be sending your cover letter to e.g. a graduate recruitment team or an individual person. The introduction should be a brief description of what you’re studying, what you’re applying for and why. Research the company so that you can describe why you want to work for their company, you can impress them with knowledge of relevant statistics or projects they’re involved in, which shows you’re really interested. Apply specific skills and work experience to the role you’re applying for, don’t use extensive language, just be short and sweet. Don’t use complicated language, trying to sound too clever sometimes means your sentences don’t make sense. Make sure your conclusion is short and polite. Again, send your cover letter to multiple people, you will often have to keep re-drafting and re-sending to advisors in order to get good feedback.
It is very easy to start panicking when you hear that other students within your subject have landed internships or a graduate job. Try not to compare yourself to other students and the majority of us are all in the same boat. Also, try not to feel too bad if you get rejected from a company, the application process is getting more and more rigorous and jobs are getting more competitive, so you’re very likely to get rejected from a few places before you get something. There are always options! If you leave university having not landed anything, don’t panic, this gives you a chance to assess your options. Maybe doing some part-time work, or applying for work-experience is the best thing for you, maybe going home for a bit and working on lots of applications will be an option. Everybody is following a different path so don’t compare yourself, you’ve managed to get into an amazing university and that will stand out on your CV!
Organising uni work: Most applications will have a closing date, so it is a good idea to make a note of it and try and get your application in as early as possible. This gives you time to plan your application and organise your university work. Creating timetables or buying a diary will help you keep track of the application processes and ensure you stay on top of your university work. If you are a 3rd year, obviously university work needs to take a lead in importance therefore try not to spend too much focus on applications otherwise you may fall behind. Doing one application at a time is the best method, for example, aiming to complete one application each week, so that you still have spare time to do readings and essays for university.
I hope this has been helpful! Obviously there are more detailed websites and knowledgable careers advisors (as provided above), that can give you more advice on applications. The main points to take from this blog are: apply for as many schemes that interest you, don’t be upset if you get rejected and don’t lose focus on your university work! Good luck everyone on your applications and of course email me if you have any questions: