My biggest piece of advice

I am currently working as a Student Recruitment Associate based in our London office. My priorities are London universities and schools, making sure that students are aware of the opportunities that EY offer. This may include attending careers fairs, organising events on campus and establishing relationships with key stakeholders on campus. I also help with recruitment, running assessment centres and speaking to candidates.

The biggest piece of advice...

I can give you, is to persevere with your job applications. Do not give up. It took me over nine months and numerous applications to find a placement year role and after that a graduate job. Applications can take a long time but stick with it. If you work hard, practice the psychometric tests, explore interview techniques and develop your communication skills, you will be successful!

So what can you do to keep positive during the application process?

  1. Create a routine. Organise a set amount of time each week to completely focus on applying to job opportunities. Put this in your diary or on your phone calendar and stick to it. I used to block out a few hours twice a week but this will be an individual choice. Some people will only apply to one job, whereas others will need more time to apply to a few.
  2. Focus. Make sure you don’t get distracted when completing application forms. Doing an application in front of the TV or whilst you are getting ready for a night out will most always end up with spelling or grammar errors! You don’t want to be revisiting applications or getting rejected based on mistakes.
  3. Excel is your friend. Create an excel spreadsheet to document your applications and where you are at in the application process. This can contain telephone interview dates or deadlines for psychometric tests and will help you to manage your time successfully.
  4. Positive thinking. What happens when you receive a rejection email? This is probably one of the most difficult things, especially when you thought your application or interview went well. The most important thing when you receive one of these is to stay positive! Do something afterwards that makes you happy or drives you. Go to the gym, listen to music or maybe eat a whole tub of ice cream! Think about what you can improve on. If possible, try to gain feedback and then onto the next opportunity!
  5. Network. Employers like EY often go onto university campuses and hold skills sessions or insight evenings. These are great places to network with current employees and meet other students who will have the exact same application questions that you do. Try to attend as many of these as possible if they relate to your job aspirations. Speak to recruiters, get the insight and stay in touch with them on LinkedIn etc. This insider knowledge is invaluable.
Clare Tomkins
  • Clare Tomkins

About the author

I joined EY in April 2016, having previously worked at Capgemini as a consultant in their SAP HR department. My role at EY is completely different but moving over was made easier as I had worked for the company whilst in my second year at university as a EY Student Brand Ambassador. I went to Cardiff University and during my time there, I also took a placement year working in graduate recruitment and helped run Cardiff University’s employability award, ‘The Cardiff Award’. Getting involved in as much as possible at university really helped to develop my confidence and consequently my communication and presenting skills. These skills are essential to my role at EY!