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HOW TO SUCCEED AT: WRITING APPLICATIONS

THE UNIVERSITY OF SHEFFIELD

WEEK 1: PREPARING TO APPLY


KEY SKILLS

Sophie Ives, Adidas: I think the number one skill that as a recruiter I look for in
all candidates is commercial awareness. All candidates need to be able to
make business decisions and understand why we make business decisions.
Without being able to understand the operations of the organisation and why
we do it, it's unlikely that you'll be able to have a long career within the
organisation.

Lucy Hines, Mott MacDonald: So one of the key skills that we really look for,
for applicants coming through, is the ability to be flexible. And that starts right
at the beginning of their career. So you can demonstrate that on an application
form by really considering any area of the business that you're willing to, really.
We are such a large organisation, and we have many opportunities that people
don't even know exist until you start.

John Whitney, Grant Thornton: We look for people that show ownership. So
when you've been part of a project, we're not looking for someone who's been a
passenger, we look for someone who's really taken it on and taken ownership
of what they've worked on.

Emilie Garvey, GlaxoSmithKline: Teamwork would be another skill that we look


for. And that could be leading a team at work. It could be in sports or social
activities. At university it could be getting involved in clubs, or societies, or
even just study groups, and demonstrating the role that you played in that
team and how you really made an impact on that team, as well.

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Alex James, Siemens: One of the key skills that we look for is team working.
Because working with colleagues, key stakeholders and partners in an
organisation is a key part of our culture at Siemens.

Andrew Derlien, Cancer Research UK: Well, if I was going to name skills off the
top of my head, I would say that the ones that we really would like to see are
the raw skills. We're looking for good communicators, people who are going to
be able to go on to a placement and they're naturally inquisitive. They're going
to be able to develop relationships across the business by asking people about
their jobs and what they entail.

Alison Taylor, Balfour Beatty: We look for candidates that can communicate
well. So that's both verbally and written skills. So in their application form, all
their answers to the questions, are they well-written, well-structured? Is the
spelling and grammar good?

Pok Hay Ng, Hoare Lee: We are looking for candidates who are flexible and
who can adapt to change quickly.

Katie Ward, Frontline: We also look for leadership. But when we talk about
leadership, we're really looking for someone who can lead a family to change,
so leading into positive outcomes. So we're not looking for someone who's
necessarily been a manager, but someone who can really lead positive change
and lead other professionals to bring around a fantastic outcome for children
and families that they're working with.

Alex Bloxham, Metropolitan Police: We look for people who try and develop
themselves outside of work. We look for people who seek other challenges, be
that in different employment elsewhere. We also appreciate the candidates
that can really focus on diversity and appreciate the needs of different
communities.

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John Whitney, Grant Thornton: We look for people who've shown adaptability,
so someone who can respond to events. We also look for people who have
shown initiative, so someone who's gone out and created opportunities for
themselves.

Lucy Hines, Mott MacDonald: We like to see applications from candidates


coming through who really want to make things better for the good of the
organisation, but also for the good of themselves. It shows that they're all
going to be driven and really work as hard as they can to better themselves.

Ian Lawton, Boots: A really important skill is customer care. It's at the heart of
what we do as a business, so we look for that in the people that we employ.
It's really important that they're "people persons", that they can get that
across. They need to be people who can relate to the people that we sell to,
both from our retail side, working in stores, but also from our support office
side. So they really need to get that across. It's important we all aim towards
that same goal of being number one for customer care.

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