The application deadline for our Shared Training and Employment Programme (STEP) is 31st August 2017by
STEP is a twelve month paid internship where interns are paired with two fantastic east London creative organisations to gain experience in diverse areas of the industry. Successful candidates will undergo two internships, one after another with two fantastic creative organisations.
FYI, you can probably apply a lot of this advice to most applications you do, but we’ve tailored the tips in this blog specifically to this programme's application form...
Read all the information available before you start your application. STEP has many variables, so you won’t be able to pin down every aspect of the job until you get to placement matching. What you can be sure of is that you’ll be based in east London, the salary is £9.75 an hour, jobs start in October and training and mentorship is all part of the package. These details should give you a sense of what the year will look like and of how much it will be value it will be to you.
Next, read the job description. STEP has a person specification which lists all the attributes and skills that we expect all the programmes participants to have in order to succeed in the process. You can find this on the Application Guidance Pack that’s downloadable on the STEP page. Look closely at the person specification. For each point write down or highlight a key word. For example attention to detail, communication skills, use of office packages etc.
Take each point and write a 1 to 2 sentence example against it. Whether it’s a skill or piece of experience, write down a concrete example of a time you’ve used this skill. If it’s an attribute or characteristic, for example ‘willingness to engage’, write down an example of an activity you’ve taken part in that proves you have this attitude or an example of some responsibility you’ve been given as a result of this. For example, 'I regularly attend gigs (activity) and write blogs of my reviews (responsibility).'
You can build these sentences into a longer text in a couple of ways:
- Group the sentences into themes - e.g. planning and organisational, communication and interpersonal, customer service, interests and passions. This technique can help avoid repetition. Try cutting them out on pieces of paper and re-arranging them around.
- Make a clear set of bullet points that correspond to the person specification. This can be really clear and easy to understand but might lose a bit of the personality of the previous approach.
You should now write nice opening and concluding paragraphs that are friendly and use more general terms to describe yourself. Here you can express your passion or interest in the subject areas. Place these at the beginning and end of your statement.
You’ve now completed your statement about how you fulfil the person specification and are the perfect person for the role! You can apply this technique whenever you need to write a cover letter in future.
The application for STEP asks you to explain why you’d like to be part of the programme. Look really closely at how the programme is described and what the intentions and ambitions of the scheme are. If this really chimes with you then say so and tell us why. Also, make sure you tell us what distinctive characteristics of the programme are appealing. Is it the organisations you will get to work with? Or perhaps the fact that it is made up of two 6 month internships? Highlight these points and be enthusiastic about why they are interesting to you.
The employers who will be hosting STEP participants are exciting, varied and interesting. Do some research on each of them, what they have in common, why they are taking part and what their specialism is. If anything really connects with you about these organisations – tell us!
Use a clear format when writing out your work experience. Be sure to include dates and a brief description of your previous roles. You can transfer this from your CV but make sure it’s set out neatly and clearly. If in doubt, there’s lots of advice online about clear CV presentation. Also, if you’re just cutting and pasting, do make sure that all the information is up to date.
STEP asks you to choose two strands - think carefully about these. In the application guidance pack, we have described the programme strands and what a role in these areas might look like. Make notes about each of these areas and assess clearly which areas are of most interest. Your work experience or personal projects might make this decision easier if one obviously matches up. The reason we ask you to choose two areas is that your second internship could be in a different area of work.
When filling out you contact details make sure they are correct and that you give us an email address that you check regularly. It’s important that employers don’t have to chase you!
Proof read your application carefully. If you know this isn’t your strong point get a friend to read it over. Create Jobs has a top tip blog on proof reading – you can read it here.
You can also put it in an online programme that reads it back to you. This can highlight some errors and help you spot clunky or over-long sentences.
Once you’re happy, submit the application!
Good luck, and remember Create jobs is here to help. If you have any questions please do get in touch.