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Show you have the skills for an Aon graduate job

It absolutely makes sense for Aon’s recruiters to want to hire students who will blossom under its professional skills training programme.

Aon seems to place a huge emphasis upon building the professional skills of its graduate employees – and the clarity with which it describes its training programmes and the amount of detail on its website devoted to training is quite striking.

Therefore, it absolutely makes sense for Aon’s recruiters to want to hire students who will blossom under its professional skills training programme, which means that it may be a factor in their hiring decisions.

Show Aon you have the skills it wants

So if you are interested in a job with training programmes that develop the following professional skills – client-handling, project management, presentation/communication and teamwork – it is a good idea to demonstrate that you have the potential to develop those skills when working at Aon. There is ample opportunity to show that you have some experience of those skills and the ability to develop them further in the Aon application form because…

  • ’Explain what attracts you to this role and offer evidence of your suitability, eg work experience/internships.’
  • ‘What have you done to get the most out of your university experience, including the holidays?’
  • ‘What have you learned from these experiences and how will they benefit your career?’
  • ‘Please provide any other details that may support your application.'

In each case you have up to either 150 words or 1,000 characters.

You can also upload your CV, a covering letter and references.

All of these are chances for you to write about your skills in client-handling, project management, presentation/communication and team-building. These shouldn’t be the only things you write about (you need to ensure that you answer the question), but if you have examples of these skills it will definitely be good to mention them.

Aon skill one: presentation/communication

Here’s what Aon says it will help you with:

  • ’The skills to present effectively, engagingly and professionally to internal and external audiences.’
  • ‘The development of advanced communication skills, which lie at the heart of everything we do.’

Example text you might write to demonstrate that you already have some experience of these skills (if you were on the committee of your university’s business society):

‘The [University] Business Society ran talks programmes designed to build links with local business groups and another set of programmes aimed at local schools, encouraging discussion of enterprise. As a chair of the group’s external talks programme, I organise and brief speakers and speak to the two types of audience with their own needs. What I learned from presenting to both is that a good presentation needs to be prepared and broken down into a series of initial headline points.’

TIP: the above 80 words tell a story about how the writer has learned through acquiring a skill, and how they can adapt it.

Aon skill two: project management

Here’s what Aon says it will help you with:

  • ‘The development of project management skills – you will be involved in running and managing projects that will actively add value to Aon.’

A ‘project’ is a task or piece of work that has a definite beginning and end. Being project manager essentially involves ensuring that the project happens: that it achieves its aim, by the deadline set and within budget. There are lots of ways in which students could have managed projects – in fact, some of these you might not have even realised were projects:

  • Organising an event for a student society or organising a team to represent your society at freshers’ fairs and the like
  • Devising a marketing strategy to acquire more members
  • Organising a social event at your college, eg a ball
  • Editing an edition of a student newspaper
  • Being producer, director or having another position of responsibility in am dram<./li>
  • Setting up an activity to fundraise for a charity
  • Taking the lead on a group project as part of your course

Example text you might write to demonstrate you possess the potential to project manage (if you had a similar position):

‘I am responsible for fundraising in a society devoted to encouraging people to donate blood. I led a project team to organise a vampire-themed bake sale event for Halloween. To begin with, I clarified the goals of the project, set a budget for ingredients and other costs and set a target for us to meet. I ensured that the purchasers of ingredients were aware of budget limitations. I liaised with the Student Union over having a stall on Halloween. Calling upon volunteers, I organised a team of bakers and a rota for people to run the stall. I briefed the team on health and safety and food preparation requirements. The event raised £200 for our society.’

TIP: the key here is to write about how you handled a project from end to end, how you broke it down, recognised its aims and added something worthwhile.

Aon skill three: teamworking

Here’s what Aon says it will help you with:

  • ‘The building of effective teamworking skills through practical development and real-life experiences.’

Example text you might write to demonstrate you already possess this skill and have the potential to develop it further:

‘In my work experience at the care home my main responsibilities involved supporting individuals in need but teamwork was very important. There were times when the client didn’t need my help so I would enquire whether my colleagues needed any. I also had to develop good team communication skills to ensure we met client needs consistently: that could be through making accurate notes, face to face discussion or in team meetings where I was encouraged to say if there were things about the team that could work better.’

Tip: this shows a range of team skills in action and awareness from the candidate of the reasons for those skills. You don’t need to have done work experience in what’s considered to be a high powered environment to acquire good team skills.

Aon: other skills required

Aon also promises to develop a number of other skills:

  • Client management – requiring you to ‘bring together many other skills such as communication, time management and project management.’ Giving examples of going the extra mile for a customer or managing clients’ expectations would be good.
  • Business knowledge – in the context of Aon’s training this encompasses technical knowledge (of the industry, regulations and compliance, and how risk management/risk consulting, insurance and reinsurance works). It would be highly advantageous to show your knowledge of these and, of course, knowledge of Aon, its competitors and what’s happening in the economy. Your covering letter would be a good place for this.
  • Relationship-building – again,. Giving examples of networking or working with others is key.

Finally – if Aon is going to invest in you it will need to know that you have the skills to be a good learner. If you can, there is no harm in giving an example to show that you are a quick learner.

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