Applications Don’t Have to Be Scary

In the spirit of Halloween, we are going to be talking about applications and how the process can sometimes be a little spooky. As college students, we are constantly on the lookout for jobs, internships and graduate schools. We are given lists and lists of requirements, things we have to do, tests we have to take, hours we have to put in and it can be a little overwhelming sometimes! The good news is, it doesn’t always have to be this way. Here are some tips on how to nail the application process and relieve some of the stress that comes along with it.

  1. Get ahead of the game. You can never be too early when it comes to preparing for a job opportunity. Oftentimes, requirements for a job are posted well in advance. Even if you are just a freshman or sophomore, create some career goals and start looking at things you can do now to help you get there.
  2. Have multiple people review your application. This is so important. We are all human and we make mistakes when it comes to correcting grammar and spelling errors (and let’s be honest, who actually knows everything about grammar and spelling?). Show your application to 3-5 people and make changes. Don’t shy away from constructive criticism.
  3. Answer every question. Don’t leave anything blank on an application. This comes across as lazy to an employer. If you haven’t done something put N/A and if you need to do something in order to complete it, go do it. Present your best self and leave nothing to question.
  4. Be on top of your references. Almost every application requires references or people who can attest to your skill and ability either via letter or phone call. It is easy to forget that gathering references takes time. You need to give your references at least 1-2 weeks to write and submit their letters and give them a heads up if they should be expecting a phone call. Be thinking now of people you could potentially ask to be your references and work on putting your best foot forward.
  5. Leverage your most relevant job skills. When writing an application, make sure you are matching your skills and experience with the responsibilities and qualifications of the job for which you are applying. Tailor your resume towards the skills that will make you stand out even they are from in a job in an unrelated field. At the Career Center, we have a resource with a list of transferable skills that is super helpful in the brainstorming process.

All in all, applications don’t have to be scary! You are more than capable of submitting an awesome application and there are plenty of resources available to you at the MU Career Center.