Tools for prospective applicants and job seekers

In today’s job and admissions market, it’s common to submit applications for many positions or universities, respectively. That involves lots of time and lots to keep track of. You don’t want to squander your resources by missing important deadlines, confusing companies, sending unprofessional applications, and in general, tardiness. Properly managing the application process is just as important as identifying opportunities and submitting your application. We have developed several tools from our own experience and client engagements for admissions and job candidates to make your life easier and to give you a competitive edge.


The way you present yourself requires reflection. Your professional profile is key to success during your admissions and job search. If you are like most candidates, you downloaded a CV / Resume template and populated the various available sections with a laundry list of your job responsibilities. Such an approach is doomed for failure because you are limiting yourself to the bounds of the (free) template and / or haven’t given your unique value proposition much thought. As a result, your CV fails to highlight your skills relevant to the job and is hardly memorable for a hiring manager, who reviews hundreds of applications for a job posting. Profile Builder is an excellent tool – built using McKinsey’s MECE framework and Pyramid Principles – that offers the building blocks to structure your thought process and capture those aspects that make you stand out.



Creating your persona may not be the first item on your mind when you’re looking for jobs, but it should be. How can you write application documents that engage your “target audience” if you don’t understand what you could offer? The concept of creating a applicant personas is adopted from marketing circles. Marketers use personas to develop their marketing strategies and execute effective campaigns. The same idea holds true when you’re wanting to create your job seeker persona – through your applications, you are actually marketing yourself! Applicant personas allow you to target the right audience with the right content at the right time in a meaningful way. Without such focus, your applications are un-targeted. Personas help you to refine your messaging, so it resonates with your target audience.



The short profile is the document that you can most leverage during your networking activities – the key approach to landing one of the 80% of jobs that are not filled through traditional approaches. A short profile is used to convey your background in a crisp narrative format before, during, or after your networking meetings. An effective short profile has brevity, clarity and sets you apart from the crowd. A well-crafted short profile could make a crucial difference and lead to a successful application. A good short profile should contain items that apply uniquely to you and relates to the job or program for which you are applying.



The Contextual Mapping process involves clients drawing from their own backgrounds, personal interests, experiences and knowledge and identifying connections between them. The exercise encourages self-reflection and is a useful tool to get to know our clients and identify their value proposition. The activity is designed to help clients to begin to see themselves within a wider context and to begin recognising where their own strengths sits within it.

I found the ‘Contextual Mapping Process’ to be a really useful exercise. As someone with really wide ranging interests I think it helps me to see how those outside influences effect my personality. This was extremely useful in deciding what to focus on in my motivation letter for my internship applications.


The Kanban methodology, so effectively used by Toyota in the 1960s, is all about improving the processes of getting work done, while simultaneously boosting quality and productivity. The Kanban method is highly visual, illustrates the state (degree of completeness) of each activity in the engagement process, and displays the interconnectedness among the various activities. Our Kanban approach is highly transparent and visualises the workload, deliverables, and workflow, while improving productivity and the quality in the process. At INTRVU, we use Kanban tools for nearly every client engagement we undertake. Our Kanban tool enables easy, real-time collaboration among the team members in an asynchronous manner, which allows us to deliver an extremely high quality of deliverables within an agreed-upon timeframe.


Candidate journey mapping is a process of creating a visual representation (map) of a candidate journey – a visual representation of all the touchpoints you might have with your prospective employer brand during the hiring process. Mapping your journey is a great way to understand and leverage your employer’s needs, wants and fears in different phases of their journey and resolve them to enhance your standing in the pool of shortlisted candidates. You will also know which channels work best so you can better allocate your application resources and efforts. During a typical candidate journey, job seekers go through 6 different stages: Awareness → Consideration → Interest → Application → Selection → Hire. Each stage of a candidate’s journey is powered by the employer’s needs. Your goal is to discover all the possible touch points employers can have with you. Documenting your findings with this tool will resolve your bottlenecks and improve your application throughput.



At our studio, we don’t write stories; we draw them (Walt Disney)

Can you imagine how a house that you’re building would look like without a blueprint? A storyboard reveals whether your application documents will resonate with the target audience or not. A story is typically verbalised in a few paragraphs. It helps you validate whether your profile is cohesive and implement the appropriate revisions before sending out your applications. Together with the Profile Builder tool, a storyboard gives a comprehensive idea of how the various components of your application package fit in the whole and bolster your credentials in a consistent manner. Correspondingly, the storyboard serves as the blueprint for your entire application package and helps the reader envision your core competences as you intended. Storyboard also serves as a quality control mechanism by enforcing rigour in the overall structure – whether the individual components of your application package complementing each other well, whether they individual collaterals are appropriately representing the content, and whether the required portfolio items are represented, etc. At the storyboarding stage, the overall approach is identified and corrected before the application authoring process starts.