CAREERS BLOG: Putting pen to paper – York Award applications (for 2016 grads)

UoY Careers Imagine the possibilities LARGE dark green Careers blog written by Jo Gee, York Award Restructuring Officer 

As the deadline for York Award applications from 2016 graduates approaches (Friday 22 January 5pm!) it can be difficult to find the best way to articulate all the skills you have developed and still stick to answering the questions asked.  You have probably got so much to tell us about it’s hard to know how to start.  Here are a few tips to help you with your application.

Understand the process

Get to grips with the assessment process and allot points to your different experiences to make it to the magic 100.  Then you need to tell us about how exactly you have gained the skills so precious to employers.

Read the questions

What is being asked?  What are the key words?  How many parts does each question have?  Is this a question specifically about your academic studies, work experience or your personal interests?  Or could it be up to you to decide from which area to draw your examples?  What might an answer to each question look like?

Match your experiences to questions

Think about the range of experiences you have had and where you have claimed points for these experiences – in work experience or personal interests.  Look again at the questions and plan out where you will talk about your experiences, including your academic studies.  Aim to cover all the experiences you have listed in your points claim in some way (except Elective Courses as these are allocated separately).  Some experiences will have been more valuable than others so you will probably talk more about them in your application.

Follow the CAR approach

You will be discussing specific examples of what you have done, so a great way to structure answers is to use the CAR technique.

C-A-R stands for Context, Action, Result.

  • Context – explain the situation/context briefly.
  • Action – describe what you did – how did you go about the task or solve the problem/challenge?
  • Result – what was the outcome of your actions? How did you or others benefit?

Using CAR will help you focus and give clear, well explained examples.

Support with your application

Finally, for a last chance to discuss your points allocation with the Careers team, come along to a York Award drop-in, held in Careers any time between 2-3pm on either Wednesday 6th January (week 1) or Thursday 14th January (week 2).  Plus don’t miss the final Applying for the York Award session on Wednesday 13th Jan (week 2, 13.00, V/123).  No need to book, just turn up.  See our events page for details.

If you can’t make these sessions, you can also book one of our daily information appointments (via Careers Gateway)  to discuss your points application and ask about anything you are not clear about.

Just remember to feel proud of all that you’ve done and everything you’ve achieved whilst at York.  Good luck, we look forward to reading your application!