The Association of Graduate Recruiters has just published it’s latest update and once again it shows that its’ members are reporting that many applications that they receive are of insufficient quality.
But what does ‘insufficient quality’ actually mean? Well, let’s assume that people are only applying for jobs that they are qualified for (e.g. degree-type, expected grade, UCAS points). It must therefore boil down to 3 things:
1/ Mistakes – spelling, grammar, using the wrong company name etc.
These are the easy ones to avoid – always draft your application, save it & then re-read the next day before you send it. That gap between writing and sending will give you the distance you need to pick up those mistakes;
2/ Showing you understand and are motivated to work in their business.
Employers know that you would happily work in a range of organisations, but they want you to prove that you have bothered to research them, and analysed that research. So come up with a short list that describes why you would like to work there – quality product/service, awards, personal recommendations, the way they describe their training, position in growth cycle etc. You’ll probably need to list 3 or 4 reasons – and make sure that when added together all the reasons couldn’t apply to their competitors. If you can’t do this then forget that job & move on to apply for someone else;
3/Explain to them how you meet their requirements.
All employers tell you what type of person they want to recruit, so your job is to show them that you meet their specific requirements. No – they don’t all want exactly the same thing – so address each of their requirements head on. And if you can’t demonstrate that you meet their requirements then forget that job & move on to apply for someone else.
Points 2 & 3 are very specific skills that you need to develop and deploy – but don’t worry, that’s what us careers advisers are here to help you with.