How to write a killer Stepping Into application

Tue 22 August 2017

A Stepping Into intern smiling at his laptop

Entering the workforce as a graduate is a daunting process. It’s one of the things that, unfortunately, university doesn’t really prepare us for. Students often find that although they have the appropriate qualifications for a job, they lack the job application and interview skills, social skills and confidence they need to get them through the door.

Stepping Into™ is designed to address this gap. The program helps students with disability gain on-the-job skills, build their network of contacts and develop their confidence and experience in the workplace, all while getting paid.

To help you have the best chance possible at being selected for an internship with a leading organisation, we’ve put together our top tips for a winning application.

1. Find your passion

The first step in your Stepping Into journey is to review the opportunities available and identify which ones best suit your interests, skills and university study.

You are more likely to be successful if you apply for something you are passionate about.

2. Be prepared (AKA ‘research, research, research’)

Research the organisation that you are nominating in your interview. Find out what their main areas of focus are, and learn about their corporate values. Employers expect that you will understand what their organisation does, and how they operate.

This may mean you need to allocate a fair amount of time to desktop research if you’re interested in more than one opportunity.

3. Read all of the information

Thoroughly reading through all of the information, including the eligibility criteria, application form and information available on the Australian Network on Disability (AND) website is absolutely critical for success in this program. Read every sentence, and make notes alongside the points you don’t understand. AND will try to answer any questions you have.

We need you to have a good understanding of what you are committing to when you apply for Stepping Into, and if you haven’t completed the form correctly we will not chase you up.

It can be a good idea to get some assistance to ensure you submit the best application you can. Ask your university’s Career Services unit for some support, or get a friend or family member to give you some objective feedback. Email the Stepping Into team if you have specific questions about the opportunities.

Make a note of all of the important dates, including the application closing dates, and the internship start and finish dates.

4. Make the most of your application

Submitting a ‘killer’ application is your one and only chance to make it through to the shortlist. Aim to impress!

The application form has been designed to provide an opportunity for you to highlight your skills and strengths, and to assist us in the selection process.

Your academic transcript, while important, is certainly not the ‘be all and end all’ of the application. Once you have been shortlisted for a role, take the time to write a strong cover letter, and think carefully about what you want us to know about you as a potential candidate.

Make sure you leave enough time to obtain a copy of your academic transcript and your Disability Support information from your university.

5. Separate your disability info

The participating organisations will not be provided with any information about your disability. It is up to you to share this information with the employer, should you choose to.

We ask for information about your disability to verify your eligibility for the program, and to guide you about asking the employer for any workplace adjustments you might require.

Feel ready? Apply now.

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