Navigating the job application process with confidence

8 November 2023

While exploring potential job or internship opportunities, it's important to understand the ins and outs of the application process. Navigating the application process and meeting the requirements can be challenging, but with the right guidance, you can make a strong impression and increase your chances of success.  

Here's a step-by-step guide to help you navigate this first step of your career journey: 

1. Research Thoroughly 

Before applying for any position, invest time in researching the company or organisation. Understand their mission, values, culture, and the specific role you're interested in. You'll be able to use this information to tailor your application to each role. 

2. Refine Your Resume 

Your resume is often the first thing potential employers see, so make it count! Highlight your skills, capabilities, experiences, and achievements, keeping it concise and well-organised. Be sure to customise your resume for each job application by including experiences and keywords that match the position description. 

Check out this helpful checklist when refining your resume. 

3. Craft a Compelling Cover Letter 

A well-written cover letter is your opportunity to express your enthusiasm for the role and explain why you're the perfect fit. Address it to the specific person if possible and use it to showcase your best self and your professional journey. 

Check out these top tips for writing a compelling cover letter

4. Review Application Instructions 

Pay close attention to the application instructions provided by the employer. They may request specific documents, information, or responses to selection criteria. Failure to follow these instructions can lead to your application being overlooked

5. Gather Your References 

Prepare a list of professional references who can vouch for your qualifications. Typically, a professional reference is a former employer, client, colleague, teacher or supervisor. 

Be sure to approach your potential referees politely and let them know they may be contacted. 

You can find more information here

6. Proofread and Edit 

Avoid simple but costly errors by thoroughly proofreading your application materials. Typos, grammatical mistakes, and formatting issues can leave a negative impression. 

7. Follow Up 

After you've submitted your application, consider sending a follow-up email or message expressing your continued interest in the position. This demonstrates your enthusiasm and professionalism

8. Prepare for Interviews or Assessment Centres 

If your application is successful, you may be invited for an interview or to attend an assessment centre. Prepare for this stage by researching common interview questions, practicing your responses, and dressing professionally. 

9. Seek Feedback 

Even if you don't get the job or internship, don't be discouraged. There are many factors that influence this decision and often it just means someone else was slightly more suited to the role.  

Request feedback from employers when possible, to understand how you can improve your future applications. 

10. Keep Records 

Maintain a record of your applications, including submission dates, contact information, and outcomes. This will help you stay organised and keep track of your progress. 

Use this handy template to help you. 

11. Stay Persistent and Positive 

Job or internship hunting can be challenging, but persistence is key. Stay positive, learn from each experience, and keep refining your application. 

Navigating the application process and requirements is an essential skill for success in your career. By researching, customising your materials, following instructions, and maintaining professionalism throughout the process, you'll enhance your chances of landing the job or internship of your dreams. Best of luck as you embark on this exciting journey toward your future career! 

Don't forget to visit the Employability Week website for more resources and information to help you in your career. 


Want to continue your career development outside of Employability Week? Find upcoming events and workshops here.