Get it in early. Calm down, I’m talking about applications. Job applications, year abroad applications and placement applications.
Many companies run rolling applications where they process applications as they receive them, not from when they close the applications. As such it’s really important to get those applications done as early as possible to make sure your application stands out right at the start.
Getting in early also helps you to prepare for any psychometric testing, assessment centres and interviews you may receive because these are typically done at a set time and date so having your application in early gives you weeks more to prepare for these daunting steps, and as everyone knows: PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT.
You need to be setting aside at least 1-2 hours per application, (I know you just cringed, I did as well- just as I did when I was doing my applications)It is long, boring and frustrating filling in all this data again and again but you just need to remember the end goal. Trust me, the time when your inconspicuously faffing about (take me for example; making toast) and you get that phone call inviting you to an assessment centre or an interview or better yet; the job offer it all becomes worth it.
I know you are tempted to put it off until the last minute, everybody is! I was the same at the start until I was in a fluster sending off applications I’d rushed and didn’t notice until an employer emailed me saying they were happy to offer me an interview if I could clarify whether or not I was born in 1895. That’s right, I wrote to a prospective employer that I was a 120 year old undergrad. I was mortified and luckily they saw the funny side but they didn’t have to, I should have balancing my time better, they had given me all the info I needed about deadlines and I just wasn’t prepared enough for it.
All this forward planning and organisation is going to work out great for you in the long run as well! It is a great skill to take to the work place and if you have an imminent deadline approaching for that module you hate (we all have one, don’t deny it) you are covered! The applications have been sent, you can rest safe in the knowledge that you have done all you can for now and it’s up to them to decide if they want you or not.
A great way to get a head start is to go to the Careers and Employability service in the little building by Keynes and the bus stop. The team there are fantastic, they really know their stuff and they run all kinds of workshops and CV classes throughout the year for you, host employers at the University for talks and even have a drop in session where they will one-on-one sit down and work on your CV and covering letters to maximise your chances.
How do I know all of this? Well, I was once like you! I too was desperately applying for jobs left, right and centre and I’ve managed to secure a fantastic internship at a massive company by utilising the skills, tools and dedication I have talked about above.
Kieren, Employability Rep, Sciences