How to handle applications and studying

Don’t drown in applications and work. Here are a few tips on how to organise your job hunt and also stay on top of your university work.

Well you finally made it through second year to your final year. Only to realise that it doesn’t get easier and now you have some big life goals to hit;

  • Graduating, and making the most of final year while still achieving a great grade,

  • And getting a job.

So how do you do this;


Early bird catches the worm

Get yourself prepared and ready before term begins, there is not enough time to be writing your CV at the same time as working for your 2:1. So, start before term begins.

To lighten the load before going back, it is important to polish off your CV and get used to writing cover letters and applications again. Also try to get some initial searching done on the companies you wish to apply to so that you are prepared and ready.

The biggest benefit of starting early is that most applications open in August or September, and most lectures and universities start in October. With most competitive graduate schemes closing early, and mainly being ‘first come first serve’, why wait? The more organised and early you are to applying the better you look to companies. So don’t wait.


Do NOT spam

Sending a bunch of below average applications to a bunch of companies does not really send the right message about you. If you put no effort into your applications, why should companies put effort into reading them?

So instead of spamming, pick the roles, industries or companies that you genuinely believe you would be suited for. This will help you come across as more sincere and give you the inspiration to tailor your application towards the company, which they would be more inclined to read. Plus this will help you save weeks of aimless applying, by creating better quality applications and focusing on the ones that count.


Get organised

Now that you have your ideal roles or companies, find out their application opening dates (not the deadline!) so that you can jump the gun with your application and don’t miss out on an ideal job. Create a timetable so that you stay on top of when you have to apply and so you can organise the right documents in advance of applying.


Be relevant

In both your applications and education. If you want to go into finance then don’t take the sales module because ‘it’s easy’ or ‘it’s coursework based’. The best way to balance your final year and your applications is to align them, try to pick relevant modules that will be relevant to your career path. This will help with your interview prep as you will be studying towards relevant subject knowledge, and not have to do it during your precious evenings and weekends.

Sign up to news reports or apps that are relevant to your future career. This will save you interview prep time, as you will get daily digestible information about the state of your industry. It will also help you shine in interviews as it’s easy for good interviewers to spot someone who has crammed the night before and someone who has actually put in effort.


Daily check ins with updates

In addition to your targeted firms, keep an eye out for other opportunities from smaller firms. This is not 4 hours of searching just a quick glance over your prefered industries to see if there is anything interesting.


University deadlines have priority

When you start, make a note of all your deadlines, exams and finals on your phone calendar or on your wall. The week before these are essentially dedicated solely to your university work and knowing this will allow you to plan your applications and work in advance. Without doing this you risk jeopardising your final grade.


Get help

Do not struggle in silence and risk falling behind in everything, if you are struggling then there is no shame in getting help. Go to your careers services to let them help you plan how to organise your applications and how to keep your head afloat in this sometimes daunting world.