During my sandwich placement with Step Recruitment, I have learnt about the different recruitment processes and how a candidate can ace their application. Guilty as charged – I often made the same mistakes I have seen throughout my sandwich placement. Below are a range of insights and tips I have picked up along the way:
- Start with the job description
This point sounds very self-explanarity, but it is one of the most common mistakes applicants make. They briefly read the description (sometimes just the title!) and write a few unrelated sentences with the hope they’ll be considered for a role.
Previously, I would research a company, but fail to address the skills highlighted in the job description and not show my understanding of the general duties. This means a recruiter or HR professional cannot clearly see why a candidate would be suitable for a role, which can disadvantage them if there is fierce competition.
My top tip is to re-read the job description and highlight or note down the key skills and phrases mentioned. This will help you identify which of your educational and employment experiences relate to the role and how to structure your application. Research the key phrases and technological ‘jargon’ in the description to learn more about the role and prevent an awkward situation when you are asked for the meaning.
*Remember, it is important not to repeat the job description and stick to the key points.
- Structure your written applications
If you want to write an introduction to a personal statement or question, keep it succinct in a sentence or two. This can include your latest qualifications, your career goals and a brief summary of why you applying to the role (for example, the position will help you to pursue your interests in a particular sector).
Within the following paragraphs, address the key skills asked for to highlight your suitability to the role.
Finish the application with a short summary to explain why you would like to work at the organisation. Alternatively if you are answering a question, relate your specific attributes to the role to highlight why they are useful.
- Substantiate your skills
When highlighting the key skills, use your own experiences and specific examples to substantiate this and remember to relate them back to the position.
For example, if you will be dealing with confidential information in your new role, mention your experience handling sensitive information working at a school or hospital, or as a university dormitory representative or society committee member. Succinctly explain how the experiences have taught you relevant procedures, and that you hope to contribute and develop this understanding further in the role.
To summarise at the end of each point, relate the experiences to the job description and the specific terms used. To conclude, include your own research of the company, such as the products and schemes, to show your enthusiasm.