Graduate Development Programme: Applications Now Open for 2017

Kate Poade
The seven tips that will help you 'stand out from the crowd' when applying for our graduate programme.

Ever thought about a career in quantity surveying, building surveying or project management? Ever considered working for one of the world's leading project and programme management consultancies?

We advise on some of the world's most exciting construction related projects - from giant petrochemical plants to the world's tallest hotel, and from major airports to iconic landmarks. Our clients include some of the world's biggest organisations and we're one of the world's leading project and programme management consultancies - proud to be part of the Atkins group.

With over 65 years of construction expertise and twice crowned Construction Consultant/Surveyor of the year (Building Awards), you'll be working with people who thrive in our strong team environment and are committed to doing more than what’s expected to provide exceptional solutions for our clients. Your contribution will be valued and you’ll be offered a competitive salary, flexible benefits and structured professional development opportunities in return for your hard work.

So…not sure how to make an application? Let me give you a few hints and tips as a graduate recruiter. We all know the basic format of a job application; contact details, education, work experience and references. It's not very exciting is it? So how do you make sure your application gets the recruiters attention?

Here are seven tips you can use that will help you 'stand out from the crowd'.

1. Tailor made

Recruiters want you to talk about their role:

  • Focus your application on the graduate job and the industry you are applying to.
  • Have job adverts/descriptions to hand and pull out the key skills and experience the employer seeks.
  • Use these to help you work out what information to include and make sure you have shown how your skills, qualifications and experience match the requirements.

2. Style it out!

Poor spelling, grammar or layout could be holding you back:

  • Decide on your layout and style and be consistent with the use of headings, dates and fonts.
  • For CV’s specifically there are many ways to organise the details so aim for clarity.
  • Check any guidelines the employer has provided carefully to ensure you will be submitting your details correctly.

3. Plug the gaps

Employers notice gaps, so unless you explain the 'gap' we can end up assuming and interpreting this as negative:

  • Any gaps in applications are easily spotted as continuity and consistency are key.
  • So make sure you include all relevant details such as exam results and any information around extended breaks in education and work experience.

4. Ask about me!

  • Avoid general personal statements like enthusiastic, energetic and committed and add some value.
  • Instead write about what you want to do as a career and why. This will show some focus and direction in a CV and help give you ideas when answering application questions.
  • Make sure you acknowledge your achievements and responsibilities and use 'I' and not 'we' when describing your actions.

5. Take your time

  • Don't be too hasty in sending off the application.
  • Some applications may require you to complete different stages before you submit the final applications and CV so remember to take advantage of opportunities to save your progress.
  • Tailoring every application and CV may seem time consuming but don’t be tempted to copy and paste. Employers want you to apply to the job they have, not just any job. By taking the extra time you are showing you have really made an effort to understand their requirements.

6. Check it out

  • Always spell check – first impressions count so use the correct spelling and grammar in your CV and application forms. Many forms also don't let you go back and make corrections so ensure you do this before you move on to the next question.
  • Targeted – check your CV or application is appropriately targeted for the role you are submitting it against and you haven’t left any blanks.
  • Attachments – ensure CV’s, cover letters, references etc. are correctly attached.

7. Save your stuff

  • Keep a record of all of the roles you have applied to and keep a copy of your CV and application.
  • Print out or save copies of the job advert/descriptions as companies could have removed or closed the roles before your interview. Plus it will help remind you of the roles requirements.
  • Check your online presence i.e. LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and any other blogs or comments and make sure they reflect the information you would like to show an employer.

Graduate Career Events

Wednesday 28th September Heriot-Watt University Construction Project Management and Quantity Surveying Careers Insight
Friday 7th October University of West England Meet the Employers
Thursday 13th October Liverpool John Moores University Faculty of Engineering and Technology
Monday 17th October Oxford Brookes University Real Estate, Planning and Construction Fair
Wednesday 19th October Northumbria University Engineering and Environment Careers
Wednesday 19th October Salford University School of the Built Environment Careers Fair
Wednesday 19th October Kingston University Built Environment Careers Uncovered
Thursday 27th October University of Westminster Property and Construction Fair
Wednesday 2nd November Nottingham Trent University Property, Design and Construction Recruitment Fair
Thursday 10th November Sheffield Hallam University Natural and Built Environment Fair
Tuesday 15th November Leeds Beckett University The School of the Built Environment and Engineering Employment Day
Thursday 24th November London South Bank University Employability Week, 21-25th November (presentation)

Closing date for applications is Wednesday 21st December 2017.