19 February 2023

Applications Closing Early? Be One Step Ahead!

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Imagine you’ve just found your dream job on RateMyPlacement only to realise that the deadline to submit your application is fast approaching.

One week later, your research is complete. You have carefully prepared and put your heart and soul into your work. However, when you go to access the application page, you are disappointed to see that the deadline has closed early.

Sound familiar? You are not alone. 

A lot of students use the deadline date to prioritise their workload and make sure they get their applications in on time.

Shoaib Ahmed, our most recent placement student, did some research to understand if anyone within his peer group had missed out due to application closing dates being brought forward..

“Every student I’ve spoken to is really struggling with jobs, I was lucky enough to secure one (out of many applications) but the roles I was rejected from stated the job had been filled (a handful of those closing considerably before the initial application deadline).

There’s also widespread concern with students around the lack of feedback from employers, who are citing ‘high volume of applications’ as the reason this year.”

But why do employers close their applications early?

#1 Volume of applications

The general feedback from employers has been that they are seeing an overwhelming number of applications sooner than initially expected.

By closing the application date early, they can screen the applications they have already received, instead of encouraging students to continue applying.

#2 High-quality candidates

Many employers screen and process applications before the deadline.

If they have enough high-quality candidates to invite to assessment centres, it’s likely they may close for applications early because they have found the quality they need to fill their roles.

Over the last year, we estimated that around 20% of employers who advertised on RateMyPlacement.co.uk, closed their applications early.

If an employer has chosen to do this, not only does each applicant now face significant competition, but they also have the added pressure to submit their application as soon as possible.

Want to set yourself up for success in any future work experience application? Sign up to our FREE Career Coaching Course, a four-day virtual programme in October, to upskill yourself on CVs, applications and interviews.

So how can you make sure you do not miss out on your dream opportunity?

  • Register your interest – With your desired employer, so you will be emailed as soon as their applications open.
  • Early – Prepare early and get your application in before the deadline, to avoid disappointment.
  • Search – When searching for a job on RateMyPlacement.co.uk, default your search by the job deadlines, so you know which ones to prioritise first.
  • Upskilling – Focus on the work experience you can gain right now and stand out from the crowd by completing the RateMyPlacement’s Work Ready Virtual Experience Programme. This will arm you with all the soft skills you need to seek and secure placements, internships and graduate roles.
  • Focus – Try to limit your applications to a maximum of 5 at each time. Gemma Hunt, Early Careers Leader from GE Aviation, suggests that this is the best way to ensure you have enough time to tailor your application to each role and conduct enough research without getting too overwhelmed.