How to answer JLL’s application question on why you are applying and what you can achieve

Good candidates convince JLL that they share its culture and values.

The first question on the JLL graduate application form asks: ‘In 2,500 characters (approximately 400 words), tell us why you have applied to JLL In your answer please include: why you have chosen to apply to this particular scheme; why you wish to pursue a career in property; what you believe you can achieve whilst working at JLL.’ It requires you to give cogent reasons, backed up by facts about the firm, for applying. It also requires you to know enough about the firm’s day-to-day activities to give tangible examples of how you can contribute to the success of the company.

This question is assessing:

  • whether you have researched the firm and property surveyor careers
  • your analytical skills: have you identified the most important things about the firm in your answer? Can you identify your own strengths and relate these back to the firm?
  • your powers of persuasion: can you make an effective ‘sale’ in a limited word count?
  • can you follow instruction? Can you stick to the word count and fully answer what is being asked?

This question is actually four questions. So, make sure you answer all four. It might be best to split the word count equally between the four.

How to explain your motivation for applying to JLL

When considering your reasons for applying, reflect on why it would be the best place for you to start your career. Is it because of their reputation in commercial/residential property, which suggests that you would learn from the best? If so, what evidence do you have to back this up? You could write about a particular deal you admired and why. Or do you perhaps admire JLL’s UK business strategy, which focuses on acquisitions in key markets and regions? Say why working for an entrepreneurial company that focuses on building expertise in specialist markets across regions appeals to you.

Also consider the firm's core values and its culture. You can get a sense of the firm’s culture and values from the information on our employer hub and from the ‘careers’ section of the JLL careers website. Key things to look out for are its emphasis on good customer service, collaborative working, ethical behaviour and high-quality work, and its interest in sustainability.

Again, give specific details to prove you've done your research. Talk about the specific sustainable working practices the firm has adopted, for example its 'Building for Tomorrow' agenda which is focused on building a sustainable future. However, it’s essential that you show how you share the firm's values, giving examples of when you exhibited a value, such as excellent customer service, and if you were praised for doing so.

One word of caution: if you decide to talk about how much you admire JLL’s support of national volunteering day, with 500 employees taking part in 'Give & Gain Day 2015', because of your own history of voluntary work, make sure you don’t end up sounding as if you’d rather work for a charity than a commercial business.

How to explain why you have chosen the scheme

Say why the training on offer, such as an ‘intensive revision programme’, appeals. The commercial graduate scheme is rotational: describe why you think you would thrive completing three different rotations in two or two and a half years. If you haven't gone into why you chose commercial/residential in the 'why JLL' part of your answer, include it here.

How to explain why you want a career in property

Explain what sparked your initial interest, going into specific detail. It’s all very well saying that your uncle is a property surveyor who took you out on several site visits as a teenager, but what did you find interesting during the site visits and, if you’re on a property-related course, what modules have you studied that have confirmed your interest since? If you secured an internship at a property firm, what did you see in the careers and day-to-day jobs of surveyors there that confirmed this is the career path you want to follow?

How to explain what you believe you can achieve with JLL

For the final part of the question make sure you don’t come across as vague or promise things you won’t be able to deliver. Avoid answers such as ‘I will make a huge difference from day one’ or ‘I will achieve greatness.’ JLL will see through this straight away. To answer this question properly ensure you fully understand the nature of the role you’ve applied for and be aware of your strengths. Be specific.

Think about the things you’d need to do to become successful in your chosen specialism. If the scheme involves studying for a professional qualification, such as chartership with RICS, you should definitely state that you intend to achieve it – and in the minimum time frame. If the scheme will involve building an encyclopaedic knowledge of planning regulations, say how you will do this. If your role would involve dealing with clients, you could say that you plan to achieve good relations with all of them.

You should back these types of statements up with examples from your previous work experience and extracurricular activities. So, if you used the example above about building client relationships you could say that you are confident of achieving positive relationships because you did so in your part-time retail job.

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