24 January 2024

Top Applications Tips: Hear from Key Student Employers

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It’s deadline season, which means you’re probably rushing to get your placement and internship applications in on time while juggling everything else. You’re also competing against 7467373 students.

That might sound like a lot, but there’s no need to panic. There are ways to make sure your application stands out from everyone else.

We spoke with the experts – key recruiters from top employers – to get an inside scoop on how to get an edge on your application.

Craig Cobb at Computacenter

“Complete your application and respond quickly to invitations for tests or assessment centres to secure your place.”

“Put the effort in – At assessment centres, whether it’s for your dream job or you’re not 100% certain it’s right for you, treat the experiences exactly the same.”

Grace Welford at Cummins

“Give examples of your skills/qualities and how they could relate to the role rather than just adding a bullet point list.”

“Expand on any project work, volunteering or extra-curricular activities/hobbies. This helps you come across as a more experienced, rounded individual and can allow employers to see your transferable skills and your commitment to activities.”

“Learn a little about the company you have applied to, particularly ahead of an interview. Knowing a bit of background about the company, its values, products, culture etc., can help you stand out in an interview and build a rapport with interviewers.”

Andrew Bargery at PwC

“Invest time in doing your research to try and find out about roles that are available. Don’t make any assumptions, and try and attend employer events (either in person or virtual). Make sure you come to events prepared with questions and think about what you want from your future employer.”

“Regardless of what anyone tells you…don’t try and cheat the system! Integrity is a key attribute of every employer, and employers have sophisticated ways of tracking what you’ve done during the process.”

“Do your research in advance of your interview and assessment day – make sure you know about the organisation and role you’ve applied to. Consider the skills that the organisation and role require and ensure you keep these in mind at all times.”

Want more application advice? Click below to make those applications golden.

Aisha Hawkins at Travelport

“Expand: It’s important to have a real conversation with the interviewer where you expand on your answers and allow them to get to know you, rather than just answering the questions with single-sentence answers. When hiring an intern, hiring managers are looking for potential, someone who can use their pre-existing knowledge to help them adapt to their new role.”

“Speak up: In Assessment Centres, don’t be afraid to speak up. The hiring managers are there to assess you and want to watch how you communicate within a team. How you perform in the group tasks is equally as important as how you perform in the interview.”

“Interview Prep: It’s great to know key details about the role and company but a way to stand out is to research about company values, look into what matters the most to the company. Find elements of the internship program you are interested in and talk about that in your interview. Interviewers want to see that you specifically want a placement year with their company!”

Holly Diamond at Rothschild & Co

“Personalise both your CV and Cover Letter to the company and role you are applying for. This should go beyond just changing the company name, as the motivations and skills required for the role will be different depending on where you are applying.”

“Do your research! Make sure that you have a good understanding of the company, it’s goals and accomplishments, as well as an expectation of the role itself.”

“Make sure to advertise your strengths. Use your experiences and interests to illustrate the skills that you have which can help you in the role.”

There are only a few weeks before applications for internships and placements officially close, so now’s the time to get them in. 

If you’re ever in doubt, just refer to the above. After all, it’s coming from the people you’re trying to impress. We believe in you.

Good luck!