Top tips for graduate applications

Alumnus Jonathon Nicholls (BSci Maths, 2016) gives his top five tips for making a success out of your graduate applications.

  1. Be enthusiastic: Enthusiasm and drive to succeed are worth a great deal to employers. They are looking to hire the graduates with the greatest potential and desire to perform in their role. Show them your interest in the company at every stage of the process and convey how much you would be able to contribute.
  2. Be persistent in applications: For every one rejection, apply for two more roles. Most people find being turned down upsetting, but if you have ten other active applications it will not sting for long and you can learn from their feedback.
  3. Put in the effort: Spend time on the application forms, research the company and role, and be as prepared as possible for interviews by writing out model answers or listing the traits you want to portray most.
  4. Be smart about it: Phone interviewers are not going to be able to see you, so you can have all of your perfectly written answers pinned on the wall ready to be read out, and the computer on with the company's main details on the screen. You will be able to dazzle them with ease at this stage.
  5. Presentation is key: When meeting employers, dress smartly, speak clearly and be polite; you want to become an ambassador for their company. Take your time with written applications; double check and reread them before submitting. Applications with grammatical errors and typos will be rejected when competing with flawless applications.

You can also get help and advice with your with CV, applications and interviews from the University’s Careers Network, during your studies and for two years after you have graduated.

Jonathon recently published an ebook, A Game of Grad Jobs, with information on the entire graduate application process.