ARM Ltd’s graduate application form: what to include in your covering letter and CV

ARM officially recruits graduates on a rolling basis but in previous years has made no secret about preferring applications to be submitted before or around the second week in December, because the business has a limited number of roles available. Timings are likely to change year on year so, to be on the safe side, start working on your application as soon as you see ARM’s graduate roles advertised.

In its online application, ARM does not ask any open questions to gauge, say, what you know about the company or your level of relevant experience, but it does request a covering letter and CV, as well as the option to upload additional documents to support your application.

You should use your CV and covering letter to show ARM’s recruiters that you share the company’s ‘core beliefs’. Understanding this set of company values, which ARM publishes on its website and says are part of the culture experienced when working there, takes a bit of deciphering, but your covering letter and CV will stand out if you can show, through writing about your experiences and achievements, that you possess the core beliefs.

It’s essential that you include other points in your covering letter, such as why you want to work for ARM specifically and how you have the skills needed for your specific graduate role. For tips on how to write and structure your covering letter, and CV:

1. ARM says: ‘We, not I’ – collaboration, teamwork and selflessness

In any workplace, in order to succeed you have to be able to work in a team and, in most cases, put the interests of your team (and the wider business) before your own. ARM makes a point of this on its careers website and will want to see evidence of your ability to cooperate with others during the recruitment process; wow recruiters by displaying them early on.

Your covering letter is a platform to present your teamwork skills, as you’ll have the space to elaborate on any claims you make in your CV. Think about the assignments you had at university; did any involve working closely with your classmates? Perhaps you did a group presentation or developed a piece of software or hardware as part of a team.

Sports could also be a good example here and you could include something about a club or team you belonged to in the ‘interests’ or ‘extracurricular activities’ section at the bottom of your CV.

2. ARM says: ‘Passion for progress’ – innovating to improve lives

All companies need to innovate to, among other things, stay relevant in the ever-changing and evolving technology industry. ARM has researchers and engineering groups working across a range of areas, such as computer architecture, and materials, devices and circuits, with the aim of creating new and useful technology. As an ARM employee, you’ll be expected to be at least interested in innovation, if not innovative yourself. Many of ARM’s innovations are intended to make people’s lives better in a very tangible way – its technology is used by subsistence farmers to increase their crop yields, for example – and you need to show that you share ARM’s passion for progress.

You can prove that you are innovative and care about progress by mentioning in your CV (in the extracurricular activities section, for example) or covering letter things that you’ve created, such as an app for Android, or how you’ve maintained your interest in technological innovation; perhaps you joined a university society while studying or a professional community (where likeminded professionals come together to discuss or collaborate on ventures) after graduating. If you can, emphasise how your innovation can improve people’s lives. Activities or projects you took part in alongside your degree are particularly good to mention as it shows you made an active decision to get involved and can manage other commitments.

ARM says: ‘Be your brilliant self’ – individuality, performance and fun

ARM says it values its employees differences and individuality: its people ‘thrive and learn from the collaboration between their brilliant individuality and their colleagues, our partners and our customers’. It also wants its people to have the desire to develop professionally – graduates who will keep developing themselves and their careers after the graduate scheme.

Extracurricular activities, travel, jobs, work placements, self-teaching and additional courses are just some of the ways that you can demonstrate that you’re interested in pursuing your individual interests and developing your professional skills. Perhaps you travelled for a year before going to university to improve your self-awareness and develop new and existing skills and qualities, such as communication, money management or a foreign language. Including something like this in your CV and/or covering letter will show recruiters you have what they’re looking for, and will show maturity.

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