Still not hired? The ultimate guide to getting that grad job
We get it. Applying to your first grad job can be overwhelming. You’re trying to find a job that you’ll love, shine in all stages of the application process and start work before you’ve officially run out of money. It often means you’re typing out a cover letter with no time to check over it or walking into an interview with an interview style that could use some more practice. Sadly, sometimes this can lead to rejection even if you know you’d be a great candidate. If your application journey hasn’t been as smooth as you’d like, check out the following tips:
Forget the trends
Firstly, forget job trends! Applying to an area only because it's 'up-and-coming' or sounds impressive doesn't make it the best option for you. Instead, focus on an area that suits your skills, your future plans and your personal growth. You'll grow much more and have better satisfaction in a job you're actually interested in. A job may look great on your CV, but you'll only be using that piece of paper to wipe your tears when you realise it's not for you.
Issue: No one is giving me interviews
Take a step back and breathe, the application process is often super stressful (and dull). It's key not to lose hope and consider these 3 things:
Consider if you've applied for enough jobs. A 100% rejection rate may be crushing but it means nothing if you've only applied for two or three jobs. Keep hustling and get those applications out.
Dissect your CV. A CV that is succinct, focused and highlights your skills (plus your quirks) will take you much further. Also, tailor it to the specific role you’re applying for. Some jobs may really value your retail experience, others care much more about your Instagram followers - highlight that in your CV. Reach out to someone with more experience to lend you a helping hand or attend a CV webinar if you need a little more help.
Determine if you’re applying to the right roles. You might be applying to roles that you don't truly understand or haven’t researched enough. With some variety in job titles, it's easy to do but can mean you're applying to jobs that you're not right for. So you end up getting rejected.
Issue: I'm rejected in early stage interviews
Your CV seems to be shining but you don't seem to be the star candidate at interviews. Either your interview skills are lacking or you simply can’t keep up with the competition. The solution to both is prep, prep, prep.
Great interview skills come from endless practice. Plan the key points of your answers to obvious questions but also attempt some more obscure ones. This means few questions will leave you blank-faced in the interview. It's also a great tip if confidence doesn't come naturally to you, limiting those awkward pauses helps the interview flow much more.
To have a competitive edge over the other candidates, research thoroughly. Make sure you know the ins and outs of the company and the sector you’ll be entering. An understanding of the current market and your future role within it shows you'll be an asset to the company. Doing ample research shows you're self-motivated and dedicated.
Issue: I reach the final stages but don't get the offer
This is the ‘it’s not you, it's me’ stage. Culture is a big deal at startups and you could be rejected if it feels as though you wouldn't fit the office feel. Harsh, but a positive for both sides in the long run. A slightly more qualified candidate may also be offered the role over you. It's annoying but shouldn't be disheartening, get feedback and come back stronger.
If falling at the last hurdle happens a few times though it may be due to your level of passion for the company or role. You may be qualified but don't understand the role or don't even want the role and it was the perks, salary or desperation that made you apply.
If this is the case it could be worth returning to the drawing board. Picking a role that you'll enjoy means your enthusiasm in the interview will be authentic. Plus, in the long run, those early morning starts won’t be met with dread. If you think the sector is right for you though, increase your sector research, show your passion and keep trying!
There’s a lot that can go wrong in the application process but there’s also a lot that can go right. Prioritise the roles you’re applying for and pick the best for you, also see your CV as fluid and available for constant updating. Plus, make sure you’re an expert on the company and role before you head for the interview. These are key ways to maximise your chances of smashing the process and landing that job.
However, if you’re still struggling with your CV or you just can’t decide what type of roles will best suit you, get in touch with us and we can offer a helping hand!