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Property
Convince employers you want a career in property with them

How to convince employers you want a career in property with them

‘Demonstrating a genuine passion for property and explaining why a career in surveying appeals are essential at both application and interview stage,’ says Emma Jenkins, HR business partner at real estate employer Lambert Smith Hampton. We tell you how to do this.
‘Candidates shouldn’t be afraid to tell their personal story of how their passion for property developed' – Lambert Smith Hampton

All property employers want graduate employees who are genuinely interested in a property career and want to work for them in particular. Their application systems are designed to find this out. For example, Gerald Eve's application form asks:Why are you interested in working in a Commercial Property Consultancy and becoming a [job title] with Gerald Eve?

'Applicants need to show potential employers why a career in property interests them and show they understand what the career involves,’ says Emma.

This comes down to three elements:

1) Be personal

'It is important that candidates articulate their reasons for pursuing a career in property, whether this comes from extensive research or a chance encounter,’ says Emma. ‘Candidates shouldn’t be afraid to tell their personal story if it shows how their passion for property has developed.’

A word of warning, though: avoid saying that you’ve ‘always’ wanted to be a surveyor – it doesn’t suggest that you’ve made a considered career choice, and it’s also a cliché that recruiters have read time and time before.

Keep your reasons focused on you. It is easy to make sweeping statements reminiscent of academic essays (eg ‘The built environment shapes our experiences of the world around us’), which don’t unambiguously state why property is important to you.

2) Make a connection between you and the career path

In your answers, you should indicate that you know what a property surveyor does day-to-day, that you know about the process of becoming chartered and that you know about typical career progression. Then you should say why you are excited by this and how it suits your abilities. ‘This is an important differentiator in a competitive market,’ says Emma.

For example, you could talk about the amount of negotiation needed in an agency role, and call upon your own experiences of negotiating to prove you are suited to such a career. Negotiating rents with your student landlord or a discount on your insurance premiums would show that you have what it takes.

3) Make a connection between you and the graduate employer

You should also take the same approach when writing about the employer. Do your research on the firm and use your new-found knowledge to say exactly how you would suit them and they would suit you: ‘Candidates should use their research to explain why they want to work for the employer they’re applying to rather than their competitors,’ says Emma.

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