Trimester One hasn’t even started yet and employers are already advertising internships for next summer and graduate positions for next year. I had a look on Victoria CareerHub and as of today there are 7 different employers advertising internships and 8 advertising graduate positions. This will only increase!
For those of you who will be applying I did some digging to see what feedback we received from the employers about last year’s applications and interviews.
You have to be able to state in your cover letter or application form what interests you about the job/organisation/industry and why you want to work for them.
CVs also need to be tailored depending on the skills, attributes and experiences the organisation is looking for.
The job description will help guide you in this but if there isn’t one (which is typical for internship and graduate roles) be proactive and look at the website, talk to people who work there (take advantage of careers expos and employer events on campus), google to see if they’ve been in the news etc.
“A paragraph on WHY they want to work for us specifically is always good.”
“More customised cover letters and CV’s in relation to our programme. They could have provided more context as to why they were looking to start their career in our business.”
“Could do more company background research prior to application in order to more accurately answer competency questions in a way that would best match the values and culture of the company.”
“Doing research on what the organisation does and tailoring their cover letters to the role and organization.”
Look and Feel
There is no ‘one way’ to write a CV and cover letter but if you’ve done your research you’ll be more clued into what you should be including and how the CV will look. Look at the organisation’s website to see if they have any hints and tips and attend employer presentations as they often give advice on what they want to receive. Failing that, attend one of our CV and cover letter workshops which start up again this month.
“Research your audience as to the formatting of the CV – creative or not.”
“Have key concise information, achievements are good – what are you proud of, what have you done?”
“How to make a CV stand out? Formatting – if we struggle to read it then we have no time.”
“Photos – be aware people make judgement calls and they can open you up to unconscious bias”
“Taking the time to proofread their CVs and cover letters and making sure the formatting is consistent.”
As with the applications, do your research. Think of the interview like preparing for an exam, if you put in the work you should get the results.
“Research the organisation – look at their website, speak to someone who works there.”
“Being aware of what the organisation does, being able to speak about why they want to work at our organisation in particular, and being able to tailor their skills/selling points to the organisation.”
“To understand what we do and why we are different from other firms.”
“Know more about the organization offering the internship opportunity.”
Practice makes perfect when answering interview questions and it helps to think of the context in which a question is being asked e.g. if asked about communication think about how you will be communicating in this particular job.
“Thought more about their experience or strengths in relation to working in our area. Come prepared with well rounded answers that demonstrated their ability to perform well in a business environment.”
“Utilising the STAR/CAR method would allow the candidates to best portray their experiences. Identifying how ‘I’ contributed as opposed to ‘we’.”
Other feedback included having questions for the employer, being yourself to help with personality fit, maintaining eye contact, letting them know you want the job and why.
Here’s a few more blogs: