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One of the most common complaints we receive from employers is that students and graduates do not always tailor applications to the job they are applying for – automatically making them a less attractive candidate.

Recently the BBC highlighted that the need to “make it personal” starts much earlier than applying for your first graduate job with UCAS releasing the top 10 most frequently used personal statement opening lines.

Your personal statement when applying for university is your first chance to demonstrate you have done your research, stand out, and sell your skills and experience – it doesn’t end there! You need to do this for each and every job application you do to gain a potential employer’s interest.

There is no such thing as a general CV or covering letter but how do you make yourself stand out from the crowd?

  • Firstly check out our CVs and Covering Letters guide to make sure you are structuring these correctly and including all of the required information.
  • Do your research! You need to be able to demonstrate that you understand the company you are applying for, what they do, their recent news, the market they operate in etc. all within the small space available to you when applying.
  • Be sure to read the job description carefully so that you understand what the employer is really looking for and can evidence how your skills and experience fit with that.
  • Making a speculative application? When addressing your application It really helps if you can find the name of a relevant person within the company. There are a number of ways you can do this e.g. company websites, social media or by phone/email. This is much more effective than a “Dear Sir/Madam”.

What now?

Get feedback on your CV, covering letters and applications at our daily drop-in, 1pm – 4pm in the Employability Hub, Business School Building or online through Ask a Careers Question.