Communications and Engagement Assistant Fatima Malik has shared her thoughts and feelings about applying for jobs during final year. Is this a task that you feel is never ending? Read on to see Fatima’s perspective and how to effectively apply for roles.
As the day’s shrink and grow darker with looming assignment deadlines around the corner, this time of year can feel full of complete dread. You almost feel like a failing circus act trying to juggle between writing essay drafts and completing psychometric tests. The autumn term of your final year is one of the toughest periods to navigate as a student. With an endless to-do list and an omnipresent clock ticking away, it can be difficult to think of where or even how to start. Below we’ve got a few tips to point you in the right direction:
Research, research, research!
Whether you’ve got a dream job already in mind or are completely clueless on what you want to do post-graduating, it’s best to do some research. By seeking out knowledge about the range of options and career pathways out there for you, the better and more secure of a position you’ll be in to make informed decisions about your future. You might find that upon further inspection the industry you’ve always sought after isn’t necessarily right for you and doesn’t match your skill-set. Alternatively, you might also realise after your extensive research that you’d much prefer to further your education and pursue a masters before getting a job just yet. Any choice you make is completely your own but just be certain you’ve got the facts to support it.
Don’t be deceived by application deadlines that state they operate on a ‘rolling basis’. In an ever-competitive job market, the top firms receive an influx of thousands of applications from hopeful candidates from the first very day of opening. To avoid disappointment, as some companies opt for a ‘first-come-first-serve’ recruitment system, ensure you get your applications in early. Student-focused careers websites like the BrightNetwork have a handy digital calendar tool where you can add deadline reminders for jobs your interested in. The sooner you start your job hunting process, the less stress and panic you’ll find yourself in later on!
CV’s, cover letters and psychometric tests
The application process can feel hard, as though your jumping over one hurdle to the next. Application processes are deliberately made to be difficult in order to sift out and filter the best candidates. When applying for a series of jobs, it can be tempting to take the easy route and copy and paste your answers for each application. Avoid doing this as your answers turn out being vague and generic, and as a result of little attention to the employing company. Instead, attempt to be resourceful. Take your existing answers and tailor them specifically towards the bullet points highlighted in the job description. Though adapting each answer in a bid to make them unique and relevant can seem long to do, it’s well worth the time as companies will notice. If you need some extra resources or advice on how to write a great CV or cover letter, check out our KEATS page.
Prioritise what matters
Ultimately, job hunting is not the be-all-or-end-all. The majority of grad schemes have a 2:1 entry requirement, so don’t lag behind on your uni work. Your degree is one of the fundamental building blocks of success in your careers journey, so don’t neglect it. Also, aim to prioritise your mental health and well-being. Be kind to yourself during the application process, make sure your taking adequate rest and keeping yourself hydrated as you type away.
Good luck to all final-year students on both your exams and job applications, you’ve got this!