Fidelity International's graduate application: why are you applying?
Fidelity International asks the following question on the application forms for six of the eight graduate programmes it recruits for:
‘Please indicate why you are applying to Fidelity International and in particular your chosen graduate programme, exploring what skills you possess which are particularly suited to your chosen area. Please provide full examples of how you have displayed these skills. You can use this section as you would in a covering letter.’
For help on how to write an unbeatable answer within the allocated word limit (between 50 and 400 words), read our five tips below.
1. Break down the application form question
When thinking about the question, break it down into the specific details Fidelity International is looking for to make it easier to answer. They are:
Your reason for choosing Fidelity International over other investment management firms.
Your reason for choosing the particular graduate programme.
The skills you possess that are relevant to the role.
Detailed examples of how you have displayed the relevant skills in your education, part-time jobs and extracurricular experiences.
2. Find something unique about Fidelity International and the graduate scheme
Fidelity recruiters want you to pinpoint something specific about the business and the programme that has motivated you to apply. Research the firm and the scheme, or reflect on a past internship or employer presentation to help you identify what made Fidelity stand out. Lucy Harris, senior graduate recruiter at Fidelity International, recommends you consider the training and development opportunities that are available, the culture, the size of the organisation, and the size of the offering.
Perhaps Fidelity International’s graduate business management programme appeals to you because during the 30-month placement you'll gain experience in and exposure to several business areas, which you believe will deepen your understanding of investment management and Fidelity’s operations specifically. Alternatively, maybe the variation in the scheme will give you the opportunity to develop the skills and broader knowledge you need in order to assume a management position in future.
3. Reflect on all your experiences to find suitable examples
Thoroughly read the job advert and the programme details, which are available on Fidelity International’s TARGETjobs employer hub and on its website, and jot down the candidate requirements. You’ll find, for instance, that the following skills, competencies and qualities are among those sought for the equity research programme: investigative, commercial awareness, high level of numeracy, and excellent verbal and written communication.
Think about university, past jobs, extracurricular activities and interests to find examples of how you have developed and applied the required skills and knowledge. Perhaps you researched, devised and delivered a presentation to classmates and lecturers at university, or maybe you researched and wrote a 10,000-word dissertation.
Either of these examples would demonstrate your research skills and ability to communicate. The examples would also show that you’re organised, studious, able to work with others, intellectually curious and motivated – qualities Fidelity International also looks for in graduates applying for its equity research programme.
4. Structure your application answer to maximise the word count
Don’t just dive into writing an answer – establish a structure first. This will enable you to coherently provide the detailed response Fidelity International is looking for within the word limit. Consider using the CAR format and summarise the context, detail the actions that you took, and conclude with the results. The emphasis should be on your actions and the results.
5. Proofread your answer before you submit your application
Grammatical, spelling and punctuation errors could result in even the most experienced candidate’s application being binned. Fidelity International receives thousands of applications for significantly fewer vacancies (6,000 applications were made for 30 jobs in its 2013–2014 recruitment cycle) and employ strict measures to cut numbers down.
Before you submit your application, run your answer thorough the spell check on Microsoft Word. Reread your answer to ensure it is coherent and doesn’t contain any grammatical or punctuation errors. You could also consider asking someone you know to proofread it, as it’s easy to miss the mistakes in something that you have written.