So, you’ve decided that you want a work placement at Enterprise Rent-a-Car – all you need to do now is figure out the best way of applying. There are no better guides than Karabo Mazibuko and Jack Hayes, two of our interns who passed their applications with flying colours. They’ve put together a little something to help you get started – it’s called the A.P.P.L.Y. Guide.
‘A’ is for… Application
First up; start your application nice and early. Using the job description and company website, research the position as thoroughly as you can. This knowledge can make the difference between progression and failure – so make use of all the resources offered by the careers team at your university.
When you’ve done all the preparation, it’s time to get going on your application proper; this is your chance to make a memorable first impression. Tailor your CV and covering letter to the position you’re applying for, ensuring all information is concise, relevant and up-to-date. Don’t forget to check for grammatical and spelling errors and attach any documents relevant to your application.
The interview, meanwhile, is your chance to make a lasting impression, so get an extra edge over the competition by being yourself and letting your personality shine through. Make no mistake: you will be asked questions about the company, so prep accordingly. It’s better to be relaxed in the knowledge that you’re fully prepped on the facts than to be nervous about being caught off-guard. And don’t forget to ask your own questions. Questions show you’re interested in the position. Questions show you care.
When you reach the Assessment Centre, avoid dominating team tasks and instead strive to show off your aptitude as a team player. Keep a level head and don’t panic, make the most of this experience and stay positive. Assessment days can be very long and tiring but by remaining enthusiastic you’ll be able to keep your focus.
In terms of what to wear, ladies can never go wrong with a tailored blazer teamed with smart heels (no higher than four inches); avoid excessive cleavage and bare shoulders. For men it’s even easier – a classic fitting suit with a good tie to add a dash of colour.
Take some time to ensure your work experience is accurate, up-to-date and detailed, not forgetting to mention any memberships to professional bodies and accreditations. Finally, add a bit of flair to your profile by including extra-curricular activities and voluntary work.
‘P’ is for… Personal Networks
71% of students fear companies are using social media to do background checks. This really shouldn’t be the case – so activate your privacy settings – but, above all, make sure your social media channels contain appropriate content and are a positive reflection of the type of person you are.
‘L’ is for… Looking Ahead
When applying for placements or internships, always consider if the position will help your career development long-term. You may have an idea of where you’d like to be three, five or 10 years down the line, so it’s important to consider whether this represents the start of your chosen career journey.
Avoid applying for positions you’re not attracted to. Internships are an opportunity to get your foot in the door and will add vital ‘real world’ experience to a relatively sparse CV, so make sure it’s the right position for you.
Before you apply, research the company’s ethos and values. This will help to identify your suitability as a candidate and work out exactly what you’d like to achieve from the internship. Employers design industrial placements as stepping stones to full-scale careers. Capitalise on this by highlighting your long-term potential.
‘Y’ is for… Why?
Keep asking the right questions. Why this position? Why are you a suitable candidate? What makes you perfect for this role? What do you want to achieve? What will this opportunity lead to? Where will this position be based? When is the deadline? Who will be at the interview? Think about what you want to gain and, when you find it, apply away!
There are plenty of career paths here at Enterprise, at all levels of the organisation. Why not take a look at the current opportunities and see for yourself?