Graduate and vacation program applications are pretty intense. Often, applying to these programs can be a four-step process, at a minimum.
If you’re time poor – or just not very organised – you might have only just realised applications are already opening! So, it can be a relief to discover how thoughtful employers are when they don’t ask for a CV/resume.
But don’t be lulled into a false sense of security. Chances are they still want similar info to what’s in your CV/resume and cover letter.
It’s just disguised as… the Application Form!
Application forms are crucial
Many of the big employers tell us that massive numbers of student applications are weeded out at the first hurdle. Which is? Yep, you’ve guessed it – the application form. So, what’s the best way to tackle this?
Your approach is going to be similar to applying for any job, really. First, you’re going to put some thought into it. Next, you’re going to be really accurate – no errors are permitted.
Why are you applying?
You probably wouldn’t apply for a position without knowing about the job requirements or the type of person an employer’s looking for. You’d probably make sure that any written documents were proofread and spellchecked. You’ve probably considered:
- The company culture and values
- What skills and attributes the employer’s looking for?
- Why you’d be competitive?
An application form is designed to find out all of the above. It might be packaged differently from a CV or resume, but it’s designed to retrieve similar info. It’s essentially looking for some thought behind your application.
Be prepared to be asked questions about why you’re applying and what you can bring to the program. Remember, there may be a word count limit on your answers. These questions could also take the form of some common interview questions, such as:
- Why did you choose to study your specific discipline?
- Give an example of working as part of a busy team?
- Where do you want to be in five years’ time?
Make sure you save a copy of any answers – if you get the chance to preview the questions, create your answers in a Word doc first. Check and re-check before hitting ‘submit’.
The big employers who offer grad and vac programs put a great deal of thought into their application processes. They are also very generous with their information. Don’t be surprised if they ask the same of you!
*In many cases, graduate and vacation programs are only open to applicants who have full working rights within Australia. Be sure to check your eligibility so as not to be disappointed. You may also be required to supply evidence of English language proficiency.