This is a recurring question in career panels. Graduates looking for a placement or for a first job, oftentimes with very little knowledge of the industrial physics world, are eager to make the best impression and worried they will not manage.
To explain my (personal) take on this topic, let me reverse the question: What makes a bad job application?
A bad application is off topic. If I need somebody to work in a clean room, then I will not consider the software genius or the amazing data analyst. I am sure they are great at what they do, but I need another set of skills.
A bad application is all about you and none about me. Do you remember that date, when they could not stop talking about themselves and did not ask you a single question? How did that make you feel? Invisible, transparent, like there was no need for you to be around..? Well, here you go.
A bad application is when the homework isn’t done. No young applicant will be expected to be an expert at what the company does, but they must know what the company is about. This is not optional. The good news is, doing your homework is a fantastic way to do a good interview.
Avoid these three pitfalls, and you will at least be considered seriously.