Applying to Hewlett Packard? Hints and tips for success in their online graduation application process

The covering letter is your best opportunity to explain how you meet the job specification.

The first stage in HP's graduate selection process is an online application. This is followed by a telephone interview, then a face-to-face interview, often as part of an assessment centre.

Completing HP’s online application form

The online application form for HP is relatively straightforward. You'll need to provide a CV and covering letter and will have the option to upload other documents if you wish (eg references or transcripts). Apart from that, the application process simply involves providing factual information about yourself, your education and your work experience.

Writing your HP covering letter

There are no competency questions on the form, so the covering letter is your best opportunity to explain how you meet the job specification. HP makes it clear on its website what skills and qualities it requires for each job role, so read this carefully before you start and think about any experiences you have had that will help you to demonstrate that you are a good match. Soft skills are as important as hard skills in the IT industry, so providing examples of successful teamwork, communication and problem solving (particularly on relevant projects) will mark you out as a strong applicant.

For example, if you're applying for HP's IT application development and management programme you'll need to show that you are 'a confident communicator'. Can you think of any examples that would count as evidence that you have this skill? Perhaps you have chaired meetings for a university society, had a lot of client contact on an internship or even had a go at stand-up comedy.

Highlighting your technical skills:

You will have included your relevant experience and technical knowledge on your CV, so your covering letter should go beyond this. Perhaps you could explain how you used your knowledge of a particular programming language to complete a project, or how you identified a suitable program for a task and were successful in a project because of this. If you are able to give an example of a project that was then put to practical use (eg something you did for an employer, society or friend) rather than one that was simply an academic exercise, so much the better.

Our 'How to get hired' articles are written by TARGETjobs editors and writers with job candidates in mind, helping you research and understand employers. Copyright of all material written by TARGETjobs lies solely with GTI Media.