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Videos: online application

Online applications are trending, especially now. With these videos, career coach Elisa Ng shares her tips for applying online with confidence.

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The video series with tips on applying online is now complete. You'll find all 5 of them on this page. We plan to offer you more relevant content in the future. Would you like to be informed when this new content is online? Fill out the form, and we'll put you on the mailing list.

  • Video 1: What should be your first focus when applying online?

    How to apply successfully in times of corona

    These are uncertain times, and unfortunately, this also has an impact on the labour market. Fewer vacancies will be offered. And vacancies that are submitted will most likely be filled online. In this blog series "How do I apply successfully in corona times?" you can read how you can still get the job or internship you're hoping for in uncertain times.

    Four tips for an attractive video application
    Maybe you've already come across it: companies and organisations asking you to send in a short video, next to your letter and CV. A trend that is likely to keep on growing. In this first blog, I'll share 4 tips on how to include an attractive video with your application.

    Tip 1: Imperfection works better
    Your video does not have to be perfect. Perfect, slick videos just don't work. They come across as too polished. Imperfect videos are more human. What's more, you'll seem approachable.
    So, it's perfectly okay if your hair isn't perfect.
    It's okay if you don't deliver your lines flawlessly.
    It's okay if your voice sounds stupid.

    Tip 2: Keep it short and sweet
    A maximum of four minutes is really enough. The purpose of the video is to arouse the viewer's curiosity. You can save your detailed explanation for the job interview. 

    Tip 3: What do you speak about?
    Introduce yourself very briefly - tell who you are, and what you have studied. Explain why you are happy to apply for this position. And finally, elaborate on what you want to contribute to the organisation. 

    Tip 4: Be enthusiastic
    The viewer will immediately assess whether you fit into the organisation and the team. So smile! Show that you feel like working there. 

    I hope these tips were valuable to you. Look for the next blog, where I'll share '7 technical tips for a professional application video'. Good luck!

  • Video 2: Technical tips for your application video

    7 technical tips for a professional application video

    This blog is right for you if you want to apply for a job or internship in these difficult times. You'll see that organisations will increasingly ask for a short video as part of the application process. I'll give you 7 technical tips for recording a professional application video. Simply. At home. Using your phone. 

    Tip 1: Fix your phone to a stationary object
    If you make a video while holding the phone, the image will shake. And that's a distraction. 

    Tip 2: Keep a little space between the top of your head and the top of the screen
    Look at how the people reading the news do it on television :). 

    Tip 3: Choose a quiet background
    White or another neutral colour is always right. And make sure there is no clutter or any distracting object in sight. 

    Tip 4: Pick a spot with plenty of natural daylight
    Make sure the light is directly on your face. And if that doesn't work, turn on all the lights in the room. 

    Tip 5: Look straight at the lens
    We tend to look at ourselves on the screen. But by looking straight into the lens instead, you'll make direct 'digital' eye contact with the viewer. That will give your video a much more personal feeling. 

    Tip 6: Be sure to show your eyes
    Check for hair hanging in front of your eyes. And avoid looking into the sun and squinting your eyes. If the viewer can look you in your eyes, it will add to the video coming across as personal. 

    Tip 7: Script what you want to say in advanceNo more unnecessary silences! If you can record your video in one take, you can get your message across powerfully and confidently.

    I hope these tips are valuable to you. Stay calm and good luck!

  • Video 3: How do you discover your drives?

    How do you discover your drives?

    To apply successfully, it is essential to know what drives you. To see when you get a spark in your eyes. To understand what makes you bounce off the energy.

    That's what they want to see in a job interview.

    In this blog, we're going to map out your drives so you can find the job that really suits you.

    First I want to share a personal story with you
    Immediately after I finished my studies in psychology, I applied for a job. There was a crisis going on - the financial crisis. And I was so happy that I was invited for an interview.

    I remember sitting opposite of the HR manager in a rather cold room. And she asked me: How do you deal with rejection?

    I said I'm very good with a NO. In fact, when I hear no, I'm even more determined to persevere.

    At that moment I said what I thought they wanted to hear, but if I was honest with myself: I couldn't stand rejection at all. On the contrary, it made me very insecure. After I had answered the questions as correctly as possible, I was accepted.

    I was so happy. I succeeded. So soon after my graduation.

    Fast-forward, ten months later 
    I'm at home. With a burnout.

    And partly because of the way I presented myself in the job interview. I wasn't myself. I was just trying to sell myself as best I could. Not at any point during the interview, I asked myself:

    - What makes me happy?
    - When do I experience meaning?
    - What drives me?

    We take another leap in time. Three months ago. I applied for the position of career coach at the UvA. I was very nervous, but it appeared to be a perfect choice to apply. I now know what my drives are, and I was able to express them. As a result, I now experience a lot of meaning in my work.

    And that is what I wish for you! Now let's map out your drives together.

    Exercise

    Step 1
    How did you play between age 4 and 12?  Which games did you like to play? What did you fantasize about? Which toys did you prefer to play with?

    Step 2
    Write down for yourself: what did you like the most about it?

    In step 1, you wrote down your original motives. As a child, you already felt strongly attracted to certain activities, without being affected by expectations of your parents, of your friends, of society, of yourself. 

    Now link to the job you want to apply for.

    I will give an example of myself: as a child, I was fascinated by faces. While others were busy building sandcastles, I created faces in the sand. Including facial expression. Including emotions. Including wrinkles.

    And it was incredibly important for me to capture it very precisely.  From a very young age, I knew I wanted to work with people. That I tried to understand them. And that's why I applied for the position of a career coach.

    In this story, you can learn: how I played as a child, what my drive was, and how I make the link to work.

    I hope this blog has inspired you to map out your drives and make a link to the job you want.

    If you need help, follow the workshops: Career Workout and Ace your job interview. You can check the dates and time on the agenda. You can also book an individual appointment with one of the career coaches.  And above all, let us know what you need to map out your motivations via studentcareerscentre@uva.nl.

    Good luck!

  • Video 4: Connect with the other person in an online job interview

    How do you create a click in an online job interview
    An online job interview can feel quite impersonal, but in this blog, I share how you can create a click by telling an authentic story about yourself.

    Why would you share a personal story in a job interview anyway?

    1. By telling your story, the other person's attitude shifts, from critical to engaged listener. The other wants to connect with you. 
    2. Because it's a personal story, it comes straight from the heart. And that makes you an authentic and attractive candidate.
    3. A personal story inspires the other; it makes them want to see you fit in their organisation.
    4. Looking for your story already gives you many new insights about yourself. Your unique contribution to this world will become more apparent.

    Which story are you going to share?
    I'll help with that. Grab a pen and paper and write down the answers to this question: Which event are you most proud of in your life? Take the time to remember that moment in detail.

    And write down:
    - How did you feel beforehand?
    - What challenges did you see or what obstacle did you encounter?
    - What did you do? How did you face the challenges? How did you overcome the obstacles?
    - How did that make you feel?
    - What made you most proud?
    - What does this accomplishment mean to you?
    - What does it say about you? What competences did you employ?

    Tell the employer in the interview that you want to put these qualities to use for the position.

    Let me share an example with you
    A student told me that she studied Media for a year. She finished her first year, but it just wasn't for her. However, she didn't know what else could be. And then she landed in a deep depression, which she couldn't get out of.

    With a gaping hole in her CV, she felt like she'd wasted her career before it had even started. After four years, she climbed out of the depression and decided to study Law. She managed to complete her Bachelor and Master nominally. To her, this showed how committed and focused she was. Although at times she found her studies taxing, she persevered. And now, she's looking to employ her dedication, focus and perseverance as a Management Trainee for the government.

    Challenging?
    If you find it challenging to come up with an event yourself, take a look at the past six months. What have you done that you are proud of? It can also be something small.

    Workshop
    I hope you've learned how to tell your story authentically and convincingly, so you can create a click with the other person easily. Looking for some help? Consider the workshops: Career Workout, Ace you job interview or Networking. You can check the dates and time on the agenda. You can also book an individual appointment with one of the career coaches. And above all, let us know what you need to map out your motivations via studentcareerscentre@uva.nl.

    Go get 'em!

  • Video 5: How to constructively deal with job rejection?

    How to constructively deal with job rejection?
    It is a challenging time to apply for a job. While in some industries there has never been so much work, most sectors are at a loss. As a result, ever more candidates apply fewer vacancies forever.

    This will require considerable stamina in finding a suitable position. It could mean you'll be rejected more often, which may cause you to experience feelings of disappointment, sadness, anger, shame, fear or frustration.

    But how do you constructively deal with rejection in the meantime? And how do you ensure that you won't start doubting yourself? I'm sharing 6 valuable tips that will help you in case of rejection.

    Tip 1: Share your rejection with others
    Don't keep things to yourself. If you do, this unpleasant feeling will keep hurting you and fester. Share your situation with people you feel comfortable with. Friends, parents, partners. Give them a chance to support you. 

    Tip 2: When you feel vulnerable, you're stepping out of your comfort zone. And that's where personal growth happens
    Being vulnerable means: The willingness to do something, without guarantees.
    The willingness to send your letter without the guarantee that you will be invited.
    The willingness to go to an interview, without the guarantee that you will get the job.
    Although it might not feel like it when you are rejected, you are taking significant steps towards a job that you want. You should be proud of that.

    Tip 3: Never doubt your self-worth, keep believing in yourself instead
    Don't be critical of yourself as a human being. Instead, evaluate constructively. So take another look at your letter, your CV and your conversation skills. Maybe you can improve something there?
    And do ask for help. But don't doubt yourself because you are unique, entirely in your own way.

    Tip 4: Accept that applying for a job is a vulnerable process
    You’re showing yourself. You’re on the big stage. And this makes you vulnerable, but also know that it is necessary to achieve something you want..

    Tip 5: Realise that everyone gets rejected from time to time
    And for the few people who have never been rejected, they've never taken steps outside of their comfort zone. Rejection is part of the process. And that goes for everyone who is out hunting for a job.

    Tip 6: Try to stay open to receiving feedback
    The more vulnerable we feel, the more we tend to favour security. To still somehow protect ourselves.
    The other day, a student said to me, "They rejected me. Big deal – I don't need them." This student was so preoccupied with shielding herself from the pain that there was no room left to stay open to valuable feedback.

    Allow yourself to feel pain after a rejection. And then – with openness – try to listen to the feedback. Ask yourself: what if someone is sincere in helping me by providing me with feedback? If I look at it this way, how would I look at it then?

    Need support?

    These were 6 valuable tips for dealing with rejection constructively. If you still feel you could need support with one or more assignments in this video series, please send an email to studentcareerscenter@uva.nl

    Good luck!