GO Wales’ top application tips to secure your dream job!

GO Wales application forms

With the Easter holidays and another summer term rapidly approaching, there will soon be another year’s graduates entering the world of work. Our GO Wales placement officers are here to help you get the best chance of securing your dream job by putting together their top tips for making your job and placement applications the best they can be, whether you’ll be a new graduate or are an existing one looking for a new role.

Key things to include in an application.

Before you start:

  • Check that you understand the role and are confident and genuinely interested in applying. If you don’t have a genuine interest in the role then this may become apparent in the rest of your application!
  • Research the company and the career area for which you are applying. Make sure you can offer the qualifications, experience and personal skills that the employer is seeking.
  • Make sure you are available and are prepared to commit to working for the specified time and duration. Check your eligibility, availability, etc.
  • Read the form through and follow all instructions. Some employers ask you to address specific questions and provide evidence of previous work, i.e. graphic design, web design, so make sure that you are able to fulfil these requirements.
  • Keep a copy of the application in a Word document, it is useful to remember what you have told the employer when it comes to the interview stage.

Preparing your application:

  • Before you draft your application, read the placement description again. Focus on the qualities that the employer is looking for, and answer the questions in ways that will show that you have all these qualities. Evidence how you meet the essential criteria through examples from academia, work experience, voluntary work, personal interests.
  • List all your education and qualifications to date including current degree, ongoing postgraduate course, etc.
  • Applicants sometimes assume that their vacation work as a shop assistant, waiter, etc is not relevant or not of interest to an employer – include them as the employer can learn more about your motivation and skills from such jobs. Likewise, some applicants assume that their voluntary work would not be of relevance to employers but detailing any volunteer work will also add a lot of substance to your application.
  • Demonstrate why you are the right candidate for the job, make the most of your talents and highlight your skill-set. This does not necessarily have to be exclusive to role-specific skills either and it is always a great idea to demonstrate how you’ve developed transferrable skills.
  • Include relevant extra-curricular activities as well as work experience – these can make your application stand out from the crowd and demonstrate skills the employer is looking for in addition to academic qualifications.
  • Check spelling and grammar. Some employers have zero tolerance towards poorly written applications no matter how relevant your skills and background are. Some candidates use text language – this might be acceptable in your social media communications with friends but it creates a poor impression with a potential employer. When applications are below the required GO Wales standards they are returned to you with advice about how to improve them.
  • Make your applications placement or job specific; customise each application and do not send out the same one for other applications. It is good practice not to copy and paste a covering letter for another job into the Additional Information section. We have seen many unsuccessful applications being submitted simply because applicants had copy and pasted covering letters without changing anything.
  • Read the application before you submit; ask a friend or family to proof read it if necessary. This is the first impression that the employer gets from you so make it an impressive one.
  • Jobs applications are a legal document so you must tell the truth, you can be found out later when they ask you to demonstrate your competency. Some placements have ended early as placees did not deliver the the qualities they claimed they had on their application.
  • Well prepared and written applications by suitable candidates normally result in an interview and a placement or job offer. If you wish to discuss your application with a placement advisor please feel free to contact us.  Good luck with your applications!

You can search for all current GO Wales vacancies here.