You’ve got an essay due in at the end of the week, a group presentation next week, it’s your housemates birthday night out tonight AND you’re going home at the weekend for your Mum’s birthday. How on Earth are you going to find the time to submit a quality application form before the looming deadline? With your academic and social calendar stacked out, don’t be tempted to cut corners when it comes to those all-important application forms to save a bit of time!
Whilst copy and pasting application form answers may seem like a quick-fix solution, it ends up being a bigger waste of your time. Reusing previous answers word for word won’t often stand you in good stead for getting through to the next stage of the selection process and put you right back to square one.
Okay so you may be running on a tight deadline – follow these top tips to avoid turning to the tempting Crtl+C and Crtl+P
- Adapting previous phrases/ examples. Adapting is the key word here – not copying word for word. So you’ve been asked to provide an example of when you have demonstrated successful leadership qualities, last week you filled in an application form which asked you to describe a time when you lead a team through a difficult situation. Great news – you already have an example you can edit – just make sure you shift the focus to ensure you are answering the new question.
- Focus your research. Make clear objectives for your research instead of mindlessly browsing through the company’s website and social media accounts. Consider conducting SWOT or PEST(LE) analyses to help you be selective with your research – this will build both commercial awareness and provide you with unique points to articulate your motivations for applying to the specific company in question.
- Use the job description to guide you. You can use the person specification to help structure a personal statement style question – for example “Please explain in your statement why you consider yourself suitable for the post.” Using the listed criteria for your structure will ensure you keep to the point. Be sure to provide evidence for how you meet all of the essential points and any of the desirables you possess. Job descriptions also provide you with a readymade list of key words to highlight in your application- use it! If part of the criteria is to be adaptable and resilient, make sure your application reflects your adaptability and resilience.
- Book an appointment with the Career Development Service! Having a fresh pair of eyes look over your application form can make all the difference! If you’re unsure of availability don’t hesitate to give us a call on 0116 252 2004 as we often have appointments become available on the day. We can also conduct appointments over the telephone so if getting dressed and traveling into Uni would eat into your already limited time, this is a great option!