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We have to admit, the “baking a cake” analogy is really overused, but we think it’s actually very apt when it comes to applying for a graduate job. Something that seems so straight forward actually requires a delicate balance of key ingredients to ensure you don’t end up with a ‘soggy bottom’ – (i.e. without a job).
So without running off too many clichés (and cake puns), here’s our rundown of the perfect recipe for applying for a graduate job:
Do you want to make a banoffee pie or an apple turnover? With cake, the possibilities are endless – and the same can be said for choosing the career path you want to follow.
You need to think about what type of job roles are available in the sector you’re applying in and if you have everything that meets the specification, before you start applying for them. E.g. If you’re applying for Finance Assistant jobs, you need to think about what the employer is looking for in their potential employees and tailor your applications to meet that. Think about the content and the tone of your CV and your cover letter, and how that would entice an employer to keep reading!
Nothing makes baking a cake better than using the most mouth-wateringly delicious ingredients, and it’s a logic you should use when spicing up your CV – if you’ve got great experience (relevant to your application), then you need to showcase it.
E.g. If you’re looking to land a role in Sales, give examples of when you worked well in a team or thrived in a target driven environment. If you’re hoping to break into PR, give examples of your communication skills in action and how they’ve furthered your personal or career development.
With baking, every recipe is different and the same is true for every application you make. Always make sure you’re taking time to tailor each individual application – it will help yours stand out from the crowd!
Once you’ve got the recipe down, you can then start thinking about getting your cake in the oven for baking. Essential to good baking is timing and patience – and the key to creating a great application is (you guessed it) the same!
Check your CV not once, not twice, not three times, but as many times as it takes for you to feel comfortable before sending it! It’s also always helpful to get another pair of eyes on your CV, whether a professional or a friend, before hitting the send button.
So what’s the best icing on the application cake? A great cover letter. It’s the first thing an employer or recruiter will see, so it needs to immediately strike a chord with them. Spend time preparing your cover letter, keep it professional, don’t over pad it out and make sure you get all your relevant points across.
Cake analogies aside - it’s very rare for a graduate to get their dream job from the first application they make. These things take time and you will need to be persistent. With each application you make, ask for feedback from the recruiter or employer, so you can learn from the experience and improve your application next time.
Follow our tips and eventually you’ll find the whole process a ‘piece of cake’! (Sorry, we couldn't resist).