March 02, 2018
How to write a stand-out grad application
By: Emily Gomez
Team's having a meeting

Something worth doing is worth doing right and if you’re going to spend time applying for a graduate position, why waste your time with a half-hearted attempt?

Your application reflects who you are as a candidate, so you want to make sure you are presenting the best version of yourself with a polished application and highlighting your skills in the most compelling way.

Here are some simple rules and ideas to help you stand out from the crowd.

Start the process early
Don’t leave the application process to the very last minute. Give yourself ample time to gather your academic transcripts, prepare and polish your CV. Develop your personal brand, have a compelling elevator pitch and research Accenture to ensure it is ideally suited to where you’d like to be in the future.

The good old CV
A polished resume speaks volumes about a candidate's attention to detail and often their suitability for the job. In fact, writing a great CV is the first and most important step in the application process. Don’t leave it to the last minute. Keep it concise and get at least three people to read over it before you submit. If you’re applying to Accenture, your CV will be one of thousands submitted so you want to showcase your skills in a clear concise and compelling way. Here are some basic CV rules:

  1. Aim to keep the detail no more than three pages long

  2. Aim for strong content, professional formatting with ample white space.

  3. Impeccable spelling and grammar.

  4. Have key information on the top half of the resume such as a concise summary or detail of recent achievements.

  5. Use short concise sentences and open with a 50-word personal statement that sums you up and shows what makes you an ideal candidate

  6. Use the CV to highlight your performance as well as professional and academic achievements

  7. Focus on outcomes and results rather than tasks – eg, balanced full-time work and study, created a start-up business, raised $10,500 for charity etc.

  8. Where suitable, use numbers and tangible results to highlight your achievements.

  9. Triple check for any grammatical errors or typos

  10. Get 2-3 people to read over it and give feedback

Idea: Write a short skills section on your CV
To stand out from other CVs, one idea is to create a “skills” section where you list 6-8 hard and soft skills you are particularly proud of with one sentence highlighting how you’ve demonstrated that skill.

Match your experience to in-demand skills
Can you work well on a team, solve problems or make decisions? The application process is designed to assess your skills to see how well suited you are to the role and Accenture. Think back over your school and University days and write down a list of examples of when you were innovative, proactive or responsive to change. They might not jump to mind straight away, but if you think through your Uni years in chronological order - it’s amazing how many achievements you will find. Whether it is volunteering, an internship, community work, sports, academic or recreational. Once you have identified them all, you can match them against key characteristics employers value such as: leadership ability, teamwork, analytical skills, technical skills or communication skills.

Be yourself, make a difference
Accenture and most good employers value diversity of thinking and backgrounds. Therefore, it’s important to craft a compelling personal statement to help you stand out from the crowd. Accenture has a large and diverse workforce made up of unique individuals. You could be a gaming nerd or a poet at heart and that’s just fine. When you work with us we will support you to find balance and continue to do what makes you feel more.

Many grads have similar academic backgrounds so you need to think about what differentiates you from the rest of the pack. One way to do this is to get 5 friends, colleagues or mentors to describe what they value most in you as a colleague or friend. These are the characteristics you should highlight in your “personal brand” statement and don’t be afraid to highlight them.

Don’t be wishy washy. Do your research
Impeccable attention to detail makes a difference in the application process. That’s why making sure you research the company, read up on case studies and the careers blog to ensure your values align with the company values. You want to be able to explain why this graduate position and company is a good match for you and your career goals.

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