If you didn’t quite make the grade, changed your mind or made a last-minute decision about going to university then you might find yourself applying through Clearing. While it may seem daunting, there are many reasons why going through the process can boost your skillset and therefore credentials for employment.
Here, we speak to Gemma Witts, senior careers advisor at University of Kent for her insight into how a Clearing application might just bolster those all-to-important employability skills.
Rejection makes you stronger
Clearing is unpredictable and many students who find themselves going through the process may have missed out on their first choice. No one likes rejection, but it isn’t always a bad thing, highlights Gemma.
“Applying for internships, placements and graduate roles is competitive with some sectors seeing around 50 applicants for each vacancy. Although rejection is never comfortable, to succeed, students need to accept it will happen, stay confident and apply again.
“I support large numbers of successful placement students and graduates who have been rejected from multiple employers before landing their dream role, the reason they were successful is because they took advice, became more knowledgeable about the process, learned how highlight their skills and experience and kept on applying.”
Employers value adaptability
A new location or different course might seem like an upheaval but learning how to cope with changes of this kind makes for a good employee.
“At Kent Business School resilience is one of our seven graduate attributes which we have identified employers seek from graduates,” says Gemma. “Resilience is about having the adaptability and perseverance to be successful with new situations and challenges. We’ve all had to adapt to a number of changes over the past year and a half and in the workplace, we will constantly be faced with changing environments, unforeseen challenges and new ways of working.
“Employers need students and graduates who are able to work flexibly and apply strategies to cope with the unfamiliar.”
Selling yourself is integral
Successfully applying through Clearing really hinges on pitching yourself. Personal phone calls to clearing departments are the best way to talk yourself up and sell your skills and personal qualities. This will be required for every job you apply for.
“We talk about the elevator pitch which is essentially the ability to pitch yourself for a dream job to the CEO of a company in the time it would take you to move between floors in an elevator, approximately 30 seconds,” explains Gemma. “The reality is that this is in unlikely situation, however we find ourselves networking on a daily basis, whether at a formal event like a careers fair or chatting casually to someone standing next to us at a bus stop and these conversations can lead to career opportunities.
“The ability to adapt a natural tone, being confident and passionate as well as concise is key. Preparation is essential, if you practice your pitch you will have confidence in your own skills and abilities, in order to sell these to someone else.”
Not sure which course to choose? Check out Kent Business School’s wide ranging Undergraduate options here.