Applications

How to make your ScotGrad application a success

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Avoid basic application mistakes with our tried and tested do's and don'ts:

  • Apply well in advance of the closing date. Leave enough time for any questions you have to be answered, and get in touch with the ScotGrad team with any application queries or issues.
  • Remember the purpose of the application and demonstrate that you have the skills and qualities required for the role.
  • Match your experience to the placement specification. This will make it easy for the employer to see how well you would suit the role.
  • Use the 'STAR' format when articulating your experience:
  • Situation – set the context. Was it during a part-time job? A final degree presentation at university?
  • Task – explain what was required of you and what you were trying to achieve.
  • Activity – what you did and remember to be specific!
  • Result – how the situation played out and the end result. Again, use specifics - if it involved raising money for charity, how much did you raise? If you were working to a deadline, did you meet the deadline early?

Even better, include what you learnt from the experience, or what you would do differently if faced with a similar situation again. This understanding shows that you are adaptable and self-aware to employers.

  • Pay attention to the accuracy and quality of your application; from the spelling to the grammar, to presentation. Read it out loud to yourself - does it sound natural? Get someone else to proof-read it for you and don’t purely rely on the spell check or the auto-correct function.
  • Be as professional by email as you would if you were communicating by formal letter.
  • Enquire about the status of your application if you haven't heard back by a fortnight after the closing date, but don’t pester the company for feedback immediately.
  • Take feedback graciously. Of course, it's hard taking rejection, but see the feedback as an experience you can learn from, then use it to make your next application better.
  • A potential employer may look you up on social media to get a picture of who you are. Keep this in mind when posting content to make sure your pages are suitable and represent you well. Avoid using rude or discriminatory language, posting over-the-top photos of nights out, or offensive imagery.

Remember, you can contact your Careers Service at university for expert advice and one-to-one sessions on applications, interviews, and much more!