Who’s it worth applying to?

As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, the Autumn is the time of year that students are bombarded with employers beseeching them to apply for graduate programmes before the closing date.  These deadlines are great for the employer, but can instill panic in the student body, and panic tends to supplant reason, meaning a generation of headless chickens churning out endless non-specific and non-targeted applications – a blunderbuss hoping that something will connect, not a sniper certain that it will.

So it’s probably pointless trying to discuss how students can choose between all the endless options, but here are some thoughts:

1 Is the Company doing well?  If it is then it’s more likely to be actively increasing it’s workforce;

2 Is the Company expanding in the area that you want to work in?   If it is then it’s more likely to be actively increasing it’s workforce;

3 Does the Company have a good reputation for what you want to do?  If so, then it might be worth applying even if 1 & 2 don’t apply;

4 Does the Company employ a lot of people in the department you want to work for, in the Country you want to work in? If so, then they are more likely to recruit more people than smaller units;

5 Have you got something that they are likely to really value? E.g. language skills or cultural awareness of a key market;

6 Are they a big player in the market, but no one you know seems to be applying? Students usually act first on brand recognition – look down the FTSE 100 & you’ll be surprised how many Companies you’ve never heard of – that means that they aren’t getting many applications.

This isn’t a complete list, it’s just a mechanistic way of looking a who is likely to be properly recruiting, not just going through the motions to save face.

Of course the next question on your mind may well be – how am I supposed to know the answers to these questions? – and there’s no shortcut to this, just research – reading the relevant trade journals, speaking to people who work in the industry, that kind of thing.

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