Feel overwhelmed with application processes? Check out these tips for every student looking to apply to graduate programmes.

Every student/graduate finds job applications daunting and time consuming, which takes valuable time away from your academic studies. But following these simple steps could help make this intimidating process a little easier.

1. Before you start - make yourself visible to employers
Are you on LinkedIn? Is it up to date? More and more employers are now looking at online platforms to find the candidates that they are looking for, as well as posting their jobs. Use LinkedIn as your online CV, keep it current!

Real life example – Abby, our 2017 Technology graduate was approached on LinkedIn by a member of the BGL Group Talent Acquisition team!

2. Applications
Research and get to know the company inside and out. This will help you to make your answers and CV tailored and relevant to the company that you are applying for. It will increase your chances of being noticed by the employer. 

If the company has strong cultural values, try and incorporate these into your application and demonstrate why and how you meet those values. In addition to this, use your work and academic experience to demonstrate your skill set against the requirements the employer is looking for.

Hint – We’re really big on values at BGL… just saying.

3. Psychometric Tests
Practice, practice, practice! The best way to improve at these tests is to practice and PSI provide some free online tests to help you.

Make sure you are in a quiet environment with no distractions and have all of the required materials to complete the test.

4. Telephone Interviews
Avoid an awkward first minute. When the employer calls, always answer with “Hello/Good Morning/Good Afternoon *YOUR NAME* speaking”. This then informs the employer that they have got through to the correct person, as well as letting them know that you are ready for this conversation.

Make sure that you are in a quiet area, with good phone signal. If the line is bad, some employers may terminate the call and even abandon your application.

It is extremely important that you research the company and prepare for your telephone interview.

Telephone interviews are usually based on your application form and CV. Make sure you have made a note of your application answers, so that you can refer back to them during the telephone interview.

Interviewers may ask spontaneous questions. Don’t be put off by these, they are just after an insight into your personality – so be yourself!

5. Assessment centres
Contribution is a must! Just ensure that you contribute fairly and avoid dominating the group discussions or presentations.

People often feel quite nervous about assessment centres and feel that they have to fight for the attention of the assessors. Assessors look for skills in a number of different competencies as well allowing others to communicate their ideas, so it’s not about who is the loudest.

Assessors aren’t trying to ‘trip you up’ at assessment centres. They are designed to allow you to show how your competencies will suit the company as well as finding out your motivations.

Avoid comparing yourself to the other candidates. Concentrate on your own performance.

6. Asking us questions!
Make sure you know the company, and why you want to work for us. Avoid any industry-wide or generic questions.

Interviewers are very impressed if you are can ask a question or mention something concerning a recent topical development within the company or industry. Reading newspapers, related articles and scouring the company’s website will enable you to do this.

Applying for graduate schemes and progressing through their recruitment process is all valuable experience, regardless of the outcome. Take on board any feedback you are given, learn from it. Remember, you are not being judged against other candidates, but the criteria the employer is looking for. 
 
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