The 5 stages of writing a graduate job application

Stage 1

You’re sat at the kitchen table with a hot beverage and a couple biscuits, poised to sell yourself and make the 40,000 pound student debt you’ve acquired worth it. You’ve had your eye on this job for a while putting off actually filling in the application in favour of burying your head in the sand and clinging on to the final few months you can legitimately still call yourself a student. You’re here though, ready to seize the proverbial day and get your first step on the career ladder.

Stage 2

The application starts with the obvious questions, asking for personal information and for you to upload of your CV. Naturally you’ve already spent months perfecting the one document that holds all your lifelong achievements, even mulling over which font choice reads capable, sophisticated, and ‘I really deserve this job’.

You look over the final document wondering whether employers will really be impressed with the accolade of prefect you gained at school or the fact you were elected treasurer of your university society – let’s be honest the role didn’t require much on your part and you only ran so you’d be guaranteed a free ticket to the socials. There’s no going back now though, there’s only so many synonyms for ‘hard working’ and ‘dedicated’ in the English dictionary.

Stage 3

CV uploaded, it’s now time for the covering letter or personal statement that most applications ask for. You refill your mug and grab another few biscuits, bringing the packet to the table in case things get really bad.  Now you’re muttering to your Mum who’s nipped in to offer encouragement for fear she’ll be stuck with you for the next year that you’re basically being asked to rewrite your CV and really how many different ways can you phrase ‘good communication skills’ and ‘passionate, driven individual’.

Stage 4

You’ve blagged your way to the 500 word limit emphasising your passion for the company which you’ve claimed you have been following for years, when the reality is you spent a few minutes on Google getting yourself up to speed and were actually drawn in by the appealing £23,000 starting salary. Now a few hours in begins the questioning of whether it’s even worth it. You’ve not convinced yourself of your suitability for the role let alone an employer.

You’ve rambled some more answering questions about your experience, suitability and what you would ‘bring to the role’. You’re now questioning the working life full stop, pondering a future as a reality TV star; let’s face it the Love Island contestants are making thousands from shameless Instagram sponsorships. Maybe if you promised to wash your own socks your Mum would let you stay at home for another year to ‘find yourself’.

Stage 5

You send off the application, holding on to the false hope that you will be the best candidate and that your A* in GCSE PE will seal the deal. That’s enough job hunting for a few weeks, it is so incredibly tiring.

Need help avoiding these steps and writing a great job application without the stress? Look under our “Getting a job” section

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