One way to beat the competition when you are applying for jobs is to demonstrate that you have done your research better than anyone else. So this means penetrating the mind of your future employer. What lights them up in the morning? What are they chuffed about at the end of the day?

Helping graduates develop their research skills is something we major on in my Springboard Workshops. One trick is to switch into research mode when you are preparing for a casual chat with someone in the business. Imagine you are a vocational researcher about to conduct an in-depth interview. You should prepare a discussion guide and internalize the questions before the meeting. If you can elicit the motivations and aspirations of people in the business – you then start to speak their language in your CVs and application forms.

Feedback from the workshops I held this month highlight the value of gaining in-depth employer insight:

“I thought that it was really helpful to have direct feedback from the employers that you had met. This gave a really valuable viewpoint from the inside which can otherwise be very hard to get.”

“Your session was so informative and tailored and definitely the best thing I’ve been to work wise! Your research skills and interest in each person and what they want to do is amazing.”

I still have spaces for the Winchester workshop I am holding next week, on Thursday 26th November. To apply just go to: