How to improve your chances of getting a job

At Shell we receive 10,000 applications for about 100 UK-based graduate roles: we look for three qualities: achievement, relationship-building and capacity

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At Shell we receive 10,000 applications for about 100 UK-based graduate roles, so candidates need to work hard to stand out. I often feel that students think they can achieve this by boasting, getting top academic scores and winning prizes.

The truth is that we look for three qualities: achievement, relationship-building and capacity. Academic achievement can be one indicator, but this needs to be augmented with experience such as managing complex projects.

The best candidates have been managing their own learning for some time and have relished opportunities to explore new things. Work experience is one way to do this andto show you have commercial awareness, can build professional relationships and achieve objectives under pressure. Work experience should be relevant to career aspirations and provide responsibilities. Team sports and volunteering can be great sources of experience too.

Not everything you try has to succeed, as long as you have learnt from it. Innovation is extremely important to Shell, so being that person who takes the team in a new direction and discovers something as a result is very powerful.

My biggest advice for anyone at university would be to keep a notebook and write down every time you meet a big challenge, noting what it was, what your role in it was, what you learnt and what the outcome was. It’s amazing how quickly these things can be forgotten and how valuable they are when you come to write a CV.Beth Jenkins, campus marketing manager, Shell