Considering working for a start-up or SME? Find out what their recruitment process is like in this week’s blog post.
Over the past few years, there’s been a noticeable increase in the number of university leavers pursuing a graduate job at a startup or SME (small or medium-sized enterprise); over 50% of graduates now say they would rather work at a small company than for one of the larger, more traditional graduate employers. And it’s easy to see why, given working for an SME can be a great way of kick-starting your career. You’ll be given the opportunity to develop a wide skill set, take on high levels of responsibility and get the chance to really have an impact on the business and its development.
This week Beth Leslie from Inspiring Interns is talking about why you should target your CV to the job and company you’re applying for and gives some useful tips on how to go about this.
Let’s be honest, job hunting is not fun. The path to that fulfilling and high-paying career of your dreams is strewn with obstacles, from all the other applicants you have to compete against, to the fact that some job openings never get advertised.
With opportunities scarce and competition fierce, many graduates are trying to up the odds by applying to every role they come across. They bung across the same CV and cover letter, cross their fingers… and get rejected 99% of the time.
This week, Contemporary and Professional Studies student Roland talks about the In:Leeds day which took place in March, and gives you a glimpse of the reasons why you should consider staying in Leeds after graduation.
As part of a team of six, we pitched an idea on the final day of the inaugural, Leeds-New York Leadership Programme. The idea would see an organisation set up, with the specific purpose of ‘retaining and attracting SMART talent in Leeds.’ We figured if talented students are made aware of what Leeds offers, they would decide to stay in the city post study and be the drivers of innovation, change and development that the city will need if it is to achieve its stated desire of becoming a global economic powerhouse. This project was titled In:Leeds!
In part two of our ‘Tackling the Application Process & Being Open about Disabilities’ series, we are continuing the discussion on whether applicants should be open about their disability and what makes an application stand out.
Should I be open about my disability at the application stage?
It is your decision whether and when to be open about a disability and a careers adviser can help you to explore the pros and cons, so that you can make that decision. There are some exceptions, for example, if you have a condition like epilepsy that has health and safety implications – beyond these exceptions it is up to you.
A graduate I saw recently was advised by her friend not to be open about her disability on application forms. After numerous unsuccessful applications she decided to ignore this advice and successfully applied and got a great graduate job!
Take time to write a quality application
Research complete, you can now start writing your application. Written applications come in different formats, generally it is a covering letter and CV or an application form. Here are some general pointers:
- Application form questions are generally based on your interest in the role and organisation (commitment), competencies (skills) and personal strengths (behaviours).
- Have you researched the organisation thoroughly enough to address your interest in them and the role?
- Examine the job description: what specific skills and attributes are they looking for?
- Select recent and relevant competency examples from your university life and degree, extra-curricular activities and work experience. The ‘STAR’ approach here is an ideal way of articulating your skills.
- Quality check your letter writing etiquette – how to structure and avoid minor mistakes that will put your application in the ‘no’ pile e.g. ending your letter ‘Yours faithfully’ when writing to a named person, grammar and spelling errors. Structure, format and write your CV succinctly. You can also check our website for more information and resources on applications.
Checking before pressing send is a must! If you have a disability that affects your written communication skills (spelling and grammar) have your application checked by someone else before sending and use all the resources at your disposal.
This is now a commonly used term associated with being successful in the workplace and you will need more of this than other applicants (add link to resilience article). Legislation will support your path to employment but you cannot rely solely on it. Be persistent, curious and learn how to articulate your added value, abilities and diversity. In addition, make good use of disability services, your careers service and other support available to you.
Need further advice/guidance? Make sure to check out the resources available on our website and book an appointment to talk to us.