Careers: Tips for The Application Process

When I think back to second-year, when I was frantically applying for every single actuarial placement I could find (which, let’s face it, isn’t very many…so was supplemented with analyst jobs too), I know I’d have loved honest, down-to-earth advice about applications from a student perspective. So that’s exactly what I’m doing!

 photo Application Process_zps39xhw2wd.pngHave Your CV Ready

Yes, you are probably going to want to make a few small changes to your CV for each job you apply for, but having the majority of it done, up-to-date and ready puts away a big chunk of work.

Pre-Prepare Responses

Certain questions come up in most applications, often worded slightly differently, often banded under ‘competency questions.’ Getting these right is crucial to doing well in job applications (I’ll be doing a dedicated post in a few weeks). Whilst the questions always cover the same skills, you’ll probably need to tailor response specifically – but having base answers can save so much time. What you did, how you handled it, the result.
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Don’t Rush & Check Through

Obviously there are occasions where you might be up against a tight timeline (I remember once forgetting to apply for a job until the closing date – though I did end up being offered it!). For the most part, however, try and complete applications slowly and thoroughly. Rushing can mean silly mistakes.

Spell check even simple things like your address. I would advise never using auto-fill for a job application as it can occasionally fill the information into the wrong box – now is not the time for that kind of mistake!

Research & Make Notes

Make sure you do your research on the company, it’s values and (most importantly) the role. You’ll want to tailor your CV to the job so this is crucial – and I’m pretty sure this is the main reason why I’ve had success in job applications so far.

When I apply for any job I make notes on the company and the role. I also document the application date, details about the process and closing date – then I’ll have a rough idea when I might expect to hear back.
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Personalise It

No two job applications should be the same, you need to hint at the company, at its values, drop subtle notifications that you meet that specific job specification. This is especially important if you’re applying for a whole host of slightly different jobs (i.e marketing vs advertising roles) as your application won’t seem generic.

What are your tips for job applications?

  • Siobhan Rothwell

    Great tips! I think personalising things is crucial! I was helping my sister out with her CV the other day and realised how impersonal it sounded which made me rush to check what mine sounded like


    • ninegrandstudent

      Aha, I was the same with a friend! x

  • I have a whole word document of lots of different responses to questions, it’s sooooo much quicker filling out applications that way! These are such great tips!

    The Velvet Black | UK Style & Beauty Blog

    • ninegrandstudent

      Definitely! x

  • Ah this bought bad so many memories for graduating! Completely agree with the final point, too many people blindly copy & paste covering letters and you can tell a mile off!


    • ninegrandstudent

      I completely agree with you! x

  • This is great. Absolutely hated the tiresome application process.

    Lovely blog <3

    Katie Loves ~ Fashion Blog | Bloglovin’ | Instagram

    • ninegrandstudent

      Thank you! x

  • Tanesha Marie

    Such a helpful post i remember applying for jobs after uni and i made so many mistakes along the way.

    Tanesha x

    • ninegrandstudent

      I’m dreading it! x

  • emily

    One of the best tips that someone told me was “decide if you want the job AFTER they’ve offered it to you”. Meaning, apply for anything and everything that sounds interesting-just by applying you’re not committing to taking the job. If/after it’s offered to you, seriously think over the responsibilities and the pay and then decide if it’s right for you.

    I did this with the first job offer I got out of graduate school, and I actually ended up turning the job down because I realized it was just atrociously low pay and my skills are worth more than that. At the time it was the only job offer I’d had. About a month later I got a really, really good offer and happily accepted a much better job.

    • ninegrandstudent

      Definitely – and don’t be afraid to turn down jobs too! Happy you find the perfect one for you! x

  • Corinne C

    I’m so glad I don’t have to go through this! I’d say you need your CV and cover letter to stand out. A lot of people list the same skill set that will be useful. You need to look unique.

    Corinne x

    • ninegrandstudent

      Definitely! x

  • Thank you so much for those tips. I have just graduated, so I really need advice on how to apply for jobs. I am trying to make my CV and Cover letter stand out.

    • ninegrandstudent

      Making it stand out is so important! x

  • jadiee bevan

    amazing blog post !!

    you gave some really good tips 😀 thank you so much 😀

    would love to know your thoughts on my new post Jadiee’sLittleBlog

    Have a nice day


    • ninegrandstudent

      Thank you! x

  • I’ve got to go through all of this soon, I find your posts on all this stuff really helpful! xx


    • ninegrandstudent

      I’ll be going through it all again, it’s never ending! x