5 easy steps to preparing to apply for grad schemes
Applying for graduate schemes can seem daunting and scary. When you joined university fresh faced and excited for what lay ahead, I somehow doubt you thought that two years would literally fly by faster than a jumbo jet and you’d be facing the big bad world before you knew it.
Here are some easy first steps that really helped me to get my head in the game (cheesy high school musical reference) before starting to think about approaching grad schemes. These steps can be applied just as easily when applying for any normal job or work experience or internships.
- Update and rework your CV – Add any recent work experience, and minus any cringy over-passionate statements. Your CV should show the best of you, but not be made up (obviously), and should really highlight the skills you have to offer. If you are really organised, a top tip is to read the descriptions of each grad scheme thoroughly and match the wording of skills they are looking out for – meaning when they quickly scan many CV’s yours will stand out instantly as something they are looking for.
- Write out your main selling points and unique features – this will not only build up your confidence and put you in the right frame of mind but will help you to focus. Don’t worry if you find it hard to think of things, it can be difficult to be truly objective when it comes to looking at yourself. Ask a friend, family member or colleague to help point out some of your strengths.
- Vet your Social Media – Update your LinkedIn. Add those connections you made at your summer placement. Delete any inappropriate facebook posts or old accounts that are compromising. Google yourself. It may sound sad but don’t get caught out by something silly you did five years ago.
- Do some research around the area of industry you want to go into – For me it’s marketing. It’s good to have some idea of what skills are needed for the job you aspire to or what are key themes being debated in marketing. What different types of marketing are there? Who are the big players? Why are they the bigger players? How could you fit into the industry?
- Make a hit list of the key companies you want to target – the biggest players in your industry or even just companies you love the ethos of. Watch their careers pages with an eagle eye or sign up to updates so you know when they announce a grad scheme or placement.