Last week I attended Warwick’s Engineering Science and Technology Fair and took advantage of the expertise of several of the recruiters to ask them for their top tips- their dos and don’ts of the application process. Visiting recruiters were generous with their suggestions. The top 10 tips below were mentioned by a number of recruiters.
- Do your research; know why you are applying to the company. Demonstrate you understand the role
- Show your enthusiasm– make sure you really want the job. Be able to answer ‘why do you want this job?’ compellingly.
- Develop business insights so you can demonstrate the research you’ve done in your application and at interview. Use research databases careers resources and social media for this
- Tailor each application you make. Generic applications will be rejected. Fewer applications of high quality are a better strategy.
- Don’t cut and paste content from one application to another. It’s easy to accidentally leave in the name of another company- and this will mean your application will almost certainly hit the shredder
- Highlight your extra-curricular achievements– companies are interested to see what you’re like, so involvement in clubs, societies and volunteering will give them an insight into your motivation and demonstrate your willingness to take on additional responsibilities
- Read the questions on the application form- and answer them!
- Proof read your application several times -and then ask a friend to check it before sending
- Soft skills are at least as important as technical skills, in most cases more so
- Apply early– as soon as vacancies are advertised as many large companies will start the recruitment process before the final deadline so some may have job offers while others are still applying
Additional tips specific from the organisations I spoke to included:
Metaswitch looks for graduates from all degree disciplines who are creative and who enjoy solving difficult problems
SIG Susquehannah advises not to submit a LinkedIn CV as the formatting doesn’t work well and it won’t be sufficiently well-tailored. Format your CV and make it easy to read
Factset Don’t skip questions on the application form or you’ll be automatically rejected
Reynolds & Reynolds Understand the difference between small and medium employers (SMEs) and large corporates as their approaches to delivery and and opportunities for development will be very different
Cognizant What are the company’s values and character traits? How do they fit with yours? Look to match these in your answers through your application and at interview
Meggitt Understand the job, the team, the company, the industry. Soft skills the company values include: adaptability, curiosity, resilience, flexibility. When you start with the company you need to be willing to be ‘mouldable’ – you are not yet an expert
AECOM Start your applications in September before you are back on campus so you can focus on your studies when you return to Uni. Talk to others who have been through the application process before you
JLR Focuses specifically on behavioural recruitment. JLR is happy to accept the right applicants with a 2:2 and look for business behaviours through their assessment centre process. They focus on team behaviours rather than leadership. Listening is important so don’t try and impress by dominating group activities. Key behaviours JLR values include agility, flexibility, effective relationships, strong teams and positive impact
Rolls Royce Soft skills are always important; technical skills are required for specific roles. Rolls Royce looks for a clear talent for business, with strong negotiation and relationship skills, drive, courage and integrity
Leonardo Apply early. Mention in your application if you’ve met someone from the organisation previously. Don’t lie in your applications and make sure you provide evidence to qualify your skills examples
IBM Make sure your application reflects your personality. Make use of social media to build connections, networks and to undertake research
Amazon Will ask questions in applications and at interview to look for evidence of their leadership principles. These include: customer obsession, ownership, learn and be curious, think big, have backbone; disagree and commit
Ghyston Don’t fill your application with insincere corporate ‘waffle.’ Extra-curricular experiences are what make people interesting. Get across your passion for what you’re interested in
Cadent Be yourself- it’s not about playing a role. Don’t get too bogged down in preparation- focus on the bigger picture and what you’re trying to achieve.
N.B. If you are a Warwick student who missed the Fair, details of organisations in attendance can still be accessed through our Careers Fair App