7 ways to support your child in virtual job applications

Person on laptop

Job applications can seem like a daunting prospect for a young graduate - there is pressure to make a good impression to future employers, with every step of the process both an opportunity to impress but also a potential pitfall along the way. As social distancing and lockdown restrictions will have pushed this to an online environment, it’s important to consider how the application process for actuarial roles is changing.

With that in mind, here are some of the best ways you can help your child to achieve their best in their job application and guide them through the different stages, without coming off as too overbearing.

Helping them write their CV

As you’ll know, the CV is one of the most important aspects of a job application, as it’ll give the potential employer a snapshot of your child’s skills, experiences and academic achievement. Not only will a well-presented CV increase their chances when it comes to sending off an application, but sitting down to write one will also help your child to think about how they can convey their abilities and interests concisely, which will undoubtedly help when it comes to the interview stage.

Practising psychometric tests

Psychometric tests are especially useful to employers in the application process as the social distancing measures have restricted on-site assessment centres. They consist of a series of questions designed to measure each candidate’s aptitude, and might include numerical and verbal tests. The tests are seen as objective ways to measure potential job performance, and are key in decision-making when it comes to profiling the various applications a position might get.

Ultimately, the employer will be looking to pick out what each candidate’s strengths and weaknesses are. The best way for your child to prepare for these is simply to practise. You can find example tests online, which will run over the various components of a psychometric test - including logical reasoning, critical thinking and situational judgement tests.

Use your experience

Your child will be making their first steps in the job market with this application - you can make the most of your professional experience to advise them of what to expect from the workplace. While it may not be in the same industry, there are undoubtedly expectations which are consistent across the board - for example, how a company is structured, the importance of making contacts, and the particular skills that you would look for as a recruiter.

Don’t do the application for them

Although your guidance will undoubtedly enhance their application, it’s important to let your child’s voice show throughout the process. A hands-off approach will allow for the application to be more authentic - employers will see at the interview stage whether your child filled out the application themselves. Ultimately, you should only weigh in on drafts, picking out typos or a lack of detail, for example.

In the case of an actuarial position, they shouldn’t have any issues applying the knowledge they’ve learned over the course of their education to show their aptitude.

Run mock interviews

Practising interviews is invariably an important aspect of preparation, especially if this will be one of their first times. The best way to prepare for an upcoming interview is to carry out a mock scenario with your child, as you take on the role of the interviewer - this will demystify the whole process for them and make it easier to carry out the interview.

Make sure to ask questions that you can imagine would come up in the real thing - “Why are you interested in this position?”, “What are your weaknesses?” - as these are the crucial questions that they will need to have an answer ready for, and they are more likely to find a convincing one in front of you than faced with the recruiter on the day.

Set up a separate work space

Given the effects of Covid-19 and social distancing, it’s likely that once your child is hired, they will be working from home. Because of this, it’s important to help them create a clear boundary between work and home life - not only in order to help them focus, but also to be able to switch off better at the end of the working day. This will involve setting up a comfortable working area - in their room, maybe - from which they can carry out their work.

Sticking to their routine

It’s important to give your child the freedom to work out which routine works best for them as they work remotely. You can encourage them to take regular breaks, keeping to a schedule so that they don’t overwork themselves - for instance, by going out on walks to stay active throughout the day. Setting a schedule is generally a good way of keeping on track when working from home - there are a range of different apps from which they can do this.