Continuing on from my last blog post (Applying for an Industrial placement: What does it involve? Part 1: Information sessions), here is my second post based on the application forms you need to complete when applying for industrial placements.
Take care. This is a critical stage of the application process and where many applications are disregarded because of errors such as spelling mistakes or simply not answering the question. Some application forms can be completed in under an hour (all they ask for are the basics- name, contact details, qualifications etc) although these are very few. Applications forms vary from one to another. I have seen some that simply require you to upload your CV and your cover letter whilst others also include multiple questions on how you would handle various situations and what you have learnt from certain experiences.
Alongside the general questions about your academic qualifications which allow the employer to see if you have sufficient knowledge for the role, there are also these character based questions included which are designed so the employer can see what you are like as a person and how you approach certain situations. There is no strict right answer to these (as long as your answer is sensible) and the best way to approach them is to actually act out the scene in your mind, pick up the main points of what you did and put them down in words in a way that puts you in the best light possible.
Word limits. They are very important when filling out application forms and it is stated by the questions what your maximum limit is. Countless times I have exceeded my word limit when answering questions and have had to go back and cut off large amounts of text to bring myself under the limit. Prospective employers don’t want to be reading pages and pages of what you have done in extreme detail. The trick is to keep it brief and focused on your achievements. This is a skill in itself and may take some time to master!
Know your deadlines. No doubt there will be numerous to remember as very often, multiple companies are advertising roles with very close deadlines. And don’t forget, on top of your research into your industrial placement, you also have your university work load to handle. It is very unlikely that your application form will be paid much attention if you submit it at 11:59pm when the deadline is midnight on that day. Get your form filled out in plenty of time, send it off to friends and family to look over for errors you may have missed or to clarify if anything is not clear, and submit it in good time before the deadline they have given. This will reduce your stress levels significantly and no doubt your form will be much more impressive than if you had rushed it at the last minute.
So good luck and get writing!
Keep an eye out for my next post on the industrial placement interviews.