As summer approaches, it's time to start applying to internships and graduate jobs. You've put in years of hard work, and it’s time to think about what you’d like to do next. You don’t have to know exactly what you want to do with your life, but now is the time to start getting work experience. This will help you get closer to choosing a career that you find rewarding. When you apply you'll have to get through a few different stages. Here are Accommodation For Students' top tips for getting that internship.
1. Put yourself out there
Attend any Careers Fairs your university holds and speak to as many employers as you can. Look for your university’s Careers website and create a profile. Make a profile for yourself on LinkedIn. Lots of companies use this website to advertise opportunities. You may even find that some of them will contact you directly.
2. Use your university Careers Service
They’re there to help! Take your CV along for polishing up, and discuss what makes a good covering letter in the area you’re applying for.
3. Expect to be applying for a lot of positions
Competition is tough. Apply for as many positions as you can. Make sure to tailor your application to each individual job advert. Don’t just copy and paste the same covering letter. Look at what skills they’re asking for and focus on what you can offer them.
4. Written applications
Usually the first stage. Present your skills and experience as in as concise way as possible. Companies with hundreds of applicants will only spend a minute reading your CV! Use the STAR method to give evidence of your skills.
Situation:describe a situation)
Task:what your target was)
Action:what you did to overcome problems)
For example: ‘Skills in time-management. During university I completed an dissertation project. The target was to do individual research and analyse data for a detailed project. I managed my time by making a strict working timetable for the year. I met all my goals well before the deadline for the project. I enjoyed the responsibility and opportunity to show my research skills.’
5. Phone/Video Interviews
Lots of companies use this as a quick screening process. This is a chance to show a little more personality. Always smile when speaking on the phone, you’ll sound more positive and enthusiastic. Sometimes they’ll ask you to complete a video interview – either live via Skype. Prepare your answers to be concise, dress smartly and smile directly at the webcam. VideoRecruit offer free video interviews which might be useful, if you want some practice.
For more information, go to http://www.videorecruit.com/videointerviews
6. Assessment Centre
Not all places will do this, but if they do, you’ll be asked to come down and complete a group task whilst being observed. The key is to show your personality and stand out by really getting involved, but make sure to work well with the other applicants. It’s good to show you’re capable of teamwork and helping others out. It’s also a great chance to talk to people at the company and make a good first impression. Depending on the job, you may also have to do a psychometric test. Your university careers service may offer practice for this so do some research!
7. Face-To-Face Interview
Usually one of the final stages. Just be confident of your skills, give goodbody language with handshakes and posture, know about the company(why do you want to work for them specifically?), and ask them questionstoo!
We hope this is a useful starting guide for the graduate recruitment processesyou may come across! Most importantly, stay positive and you’ll be veryemployable.
By Emily Peddle
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