How to Tackle the Early Careers Application Process

Here’s our advice for nailing the Barclays graduate and internship application process.

The results are in. You’re one step closer to getting your degree. And, just like that, university and college are coming to an end. But this is just the beginning. It’s time to take all you’ve learned; to realise your dreams and start exploring the working world.

It’s exciting. It’s all to play for. It’s a little daunting. And that’s OK. A lot is changing, and you want to put the right foot forward, so here’s our advice for nailing the Barclays graduate and internship application process.

Tip #1: Research, Research, Research

To begin, research is vital. Make sure you take the time to look up our business’ history, how we’re supporting our customers and clients, and how we’re shaping the future of banking. This isn’t only important to educate yourself; it’ll show a dedication to joining our team, which will shine through your application. Don’t forget to research the programme you’re applying for too. Make sure you can explain why this is the right path for you.

As part of your research, it’s important that you also learn about our culture. All applicants are assessed against our values: Respect, Integrity, Service, Excellence and Stewardship, so take the time to understand who we are as a business, and the qualities we value in our colleagues. Think about why you want to join us, consider how you relate to our values, and why you think you’d be a perfect addition to our global team. Where should you start? Follow us on social media to get the inside scoop.

Tip #2: Craft the perfect resume

It can be tricky to find the perfect balance of knowing what to include on your resume, if you’re asked to include one with your application. Remember: this is your opportunity to show us what you have to offer and to highlight why you’re the perfect candidate. From work experience to volunteering to your hobbies and interests – we want to hear about it all. 

Tell us about your experiences, but make sure you highlight how these have helped you to grow, professionally and personally. What soft skills have you learnt? How have you taken these learnings forward? Having a variety of experiences is important, but the skills and lessons you've acquired along the way will bring your application to life.

Please note that resumes aren’t required for all Barclays early career applications.

Tip #3: Keep your cover letter relevant

Moving on to your cover letter. For some roles, this is your opportunity to tell us why you want to join Barclays, as well as how your experience and skills would benefit our team. Here, it’s important to ensure everything you include is relevant, so keep your explanations concise and to the point. 

On completion, review your cover letter carefully. Think about each sentence, and ask yourself: does this add value? If the answer is no, you should take the time to revise. Ensuring every part of your cover letter is insightful will help your application to stand out amongst the crowd. Then, review and review again before hitting ‘submit’.

Please note that cover letters aren’t required for all Barclays early career applications.

Tip #4: Preparation is key

For some applications, rather than asking for a resume and cover letter, we’ll ask you to take part in a number of assessments instead. Don’t let this phase you – the assessments are tailored to the programme you’re applying to. So, for some career areas we’ll ask you to take part in scenario-based assessments, whereas others are more technical in nature. Whichever assessment you’re asked to complete, you’ll get the chance to get to know our business better, and the role you could play on our team. 

So, what can you do to prepare? Throughout the assessment process, we’ll be looking for specific character traits, ones which you’ll find in all Barclays colleagues. We’re a diverse bunch, but we do have a few things in common. From agile learners to team collaborators, make sure you prepare to showcase your skills throughout the application and identify how to highlight the traits we’re looking for.

Tip #5: Practise your interview skills

After the application comes an in-person or virtual interview. This is your first ‘face-to-face’ encounter with our team, so it’s important to make a good first impression. That’s why we say that it’s never too early to begin practicing your interview skills. And we’re not only referring to the answers you give. It’s also important to dress the part, look directly into the camera, speak clearly and slowly, and don’t forget to smile.

Feeling prepared?

Take a deep breath and take your time. Here at Barclays, we’re looking for dedicated, enthusiastic, driven individuals to join our team. Tell us about your experiences, your dreams and show us you’re set on starting your Barclays career.

It’s time to make your mark on our global business – start your application journey here.