The John Lewis Partnership headed up last month’s Skills for Success session and gave an interesting talk detailing what students need to do when applying for graduate schemes. Competition for graduate schemes can be fierce and the pressure to succeed academically is constantly increasing, especially as around half of university students in the UK currently achieve 2:1s. However, although grades are important, it is no longer just enough to rely on your strong academic credentials; you have to show employers why you stand out from the crowd.
The session provided information on how students can enhance
their applications and performance in interviews and assessment centres. The
key points from the session were that students should focus on highlighting
their skills and extracurricular activities when writing applications. Students
were asked by the speaker to identify some important skills and attributes that
employers look for, such as teamwork skills, leadership skills, motivation,
commitment and the ability to go the extra mile. Volunteering, previous
employment and work experience are great ways to demonstrate that you possess
these key skills and are crucial in making your application stand out. Also, the
longer you have done these additional activities for, the better!
Finally, the John Lewis Partnership explained how it is
important to recognise your potential in order to get the most out of
assessment centres. For instance how do you make decisions? What’s your role in
group exercises? What are your strengths? By identifying these you can realise
the impression you make on an employer and develop your skills so you get the
right job for you.
Eleanor (Student Blogger)