This week all of you who have applied for the graduate programmes should have received a reply from us. For those of you who have been selected for the phone interview, we want to say: Congratulations and good luck for the next selection round! For those of you who unfortunately did not receive an invitation for the interview, we want to say: Please don’t be disappointed. This year we received more than 10,000 applications for our graduate programmes and therefore it was an exceptionally tough first selection round. Just because we did not invite you for the phone interview, does not mean that we were not impressed by you or that you are not suitable for a career within Novo Nordisk!
In the following, we have asked Ove Munch Ovesen, the Graduate Programme Director, to give you insights on the main reasons why applications did not get to the interview stage. Since Novo Nordisk is not able to give personal feedback on your application, we hope that this blog post will at least for some of you answer the question of “why have I not been selected?”.
In addition, you will find in the second part of the blog post, some ideas about your other opportunities to join Novo Nordisk.
Lisa and Anne-Sophie:
Hello Ove and thank you for sharing with us some of the feedback you have for applicants who did not get selected for the next selection round of the Novo Nordisk graduate programmes. So, according to you and the Novo Nordisk HR team, what were the main reasons why applications did not get to the interview stage?
Ove Munch Ovesen:
“Dear applicants, first of all I want to thank you for the first step you took to a life-changing career! As much as we would like to get to know all of you, we unfortunately could only select about 400 applicants for the phone interview. To answer your question why we might not have chosen an applicant, I see four main reasons for that:
The cover letter is the key element of your application. We received thousands of applications from very bright, international, and interesting people. But the cover letter is the one thing that can help you stick out of the crowd. It is also called motivation letter and this is exactly what we are looking for when reading it: Your MOTIVATION! Of course there are many ways of showing your motivation, but one thing we were looking for was your genuine motivation for the job, your personal understanding of Novo Nordisk and the programme, and what this means to you. Besides, we were looking for cover letters tailored to the specific programme you applied for.
2. Over- or under-qualification
As you know, the graduate programme is aimed at people who do not have more than 1 year work experience after their master graduation. We received a lot of applications from people with several years of work experience (and here we do not mean internships or student jobs). Unfortunately, these people are overqualified for a graduate position and should consider joining Novo Nordisk as a permanent employee.
On the other hand, this also implies that if you are not finished with your master degree by fall 2014, you are not eligible for this year’s graduate intake.
Another selection criterion for the graduate programme is a very good academic performance. Hence, including your grades in your CV and uploading your Bachelor or Master diploma should also be backed up by your official transcripts to have a confirmation of these grades. Anything else (such as typing your grades in a table) is considered as non-official and hence difficultly reliable. If you are still doing your master’s studies by the time of your application, we would suggest to at least upload an excerpt of your current master’s grades.
4. Layout of CV and cover letter and spelling mistakes
In this first selection round, we only had the documents you sent us in your application to get a first impression of you and assess your fit to Novo Nordisk and the graduate programme, hence every uploaded document should be carefully polished. One basic element of this is to have few spelling mistakes in your CV and cover letter, as well as to write and layout them in a professional way. It is mandatory that both CV and cover letter are written in English. We know that English is not the native language of many of our applicants so of course we take this into consideration. Also, keep the CV and cover letter to max. 2 pages each and still keep it visually appealing.”
Lisa and Anne-Sophie:
Thank you so much Ove for these answers, and we hope that applicants better understand their application in the light of this advice.
We now would like to highlight the other existing options to still become part of Novo Nordisk:
- Permanent position: Every year Novo Nordisk is hiring approximately 5,000 candidates so we encourage you to go to the Novo Nordisk website under careers and check out all our open positions.
- Internship: In case you were not eligible for the graduate programme because you will not have met the requirement of a master’s degree by this fall, you can always consider applying for our internships or student positions. You will find information on our website under careers. The application for an internship beginning in August/September 2014 will start in June 2014.
- Apply again next year: If you were not eligible for this year’s graduate intake because of missing qualifications or if you feel that you can improve your understanding of Novo Nordisk to better tailor your application, please do not hesitate to apply for the graduate programmes again next year. Not even all of us current graduates got into the programme the first time we tried. So we would never hold a previous application against you, but rather see it as a strong commitment to Novo Nordisk.
We hope this has given you some food for thought as well as encouraged you to apply again, and we hope to see you soon.
All the best,
Lisa and Anne-Sophie