Online Applications normally involve you answering a couple of short essay type questions as well as uploading the usual CV type information. Whilst the questions can be relatively generic: Why do you wish to work for this firm?; What in particular has attracted you to this industry?, you must not make the mistake of providing a generic answer. If you want to get an interview you need to tailor your applications to the specific company you are applying to. I know it seems like a lot of extra work when you feel you have already got a good answer but tailored answers get interviews and there is no bigger waste of time than applying for jobs where you never get called to interview! Obviously we are at an advantage because we are all applying for jobs in a well defined field so whilst it may take a little bit of time to do the research it at least isn’t difficult. To make sure you target your applications you need to:
- Demonstrate you understand your future employer, their business and their market share whenever you can. So if you’re answering questions about why you want to work in the industry and there are no other questions specifically about the company you are applying to, you need to say that you particularly want to work in property for that company because… If the questions is about why you are applying for a job specifically with that company, your answers need to be even more focused. Show how your interests and values align with the company’s. Most companies have a current news and company values page on their website. These two pages alone can help you research your answer.
- Make sure you answer the question you’re being asked – it is really tempting to cut and paste answers you have already used for other applications. DON’T – whilst the framework may be useful you need to write your answer from scratch.
- Reiterate that your skills match their requirements, mirror their language and use their wording it helps them locate the information when they are looking over your application.
- Write your essays in a word document or equivalent so you can check the grammar and spelling and save a copy. Do not write directly into the online box you won’t remember what you wrote by the time you get called to interview.
My final tip would be to keep an eye on the news affecting the industry and the companies you are applying to, you can add rss feeds directly to your Student Surveyor profile and don’t forget to follow our industry news feed at the top of the page.