There's no doubt about it, applying for jobs after you graduate is a stressful process. With so many opportunities available, it is important to stay organised and on top of your game. Here are 3 things you should do when you apply for a job that can sometimes be forgotten about but can help to leave a lasting impression:
1. Check the name of your CV file before you submit it
Creating your CV is a whole other job in itself, so you can end up with multiple files named random things such 'CV v6'. It's important to remember that your employer will see what your CV file name, so make sure you make it clear by saving it as '[Name] CV' so that the recruiter can find it on their computer easily if an opportunity arises.
2. Save the job description
This is such an important one if you want to make sure you are well prepared for any future interviews! Most places will remove the job posting once the application stage closes, meaning that you lose all of the valuable information you need to prepare for your interview. When you apply for a job, make sure you save a copy of the downloaded job description or copy and paste the text into a Word document. This will be so useful when planning your interview answers as it will enable you to make them more bespoke to the job you are going for.
3. Keep a list of the jobs you have applied for
Once you graduate, you may find yourself applying for multiple jobs at any one time. In order to remember all the roles you have applied for and who you are waiting to hear back from, make sure you note down each job role and company. Doing this will help you to be prepared for any phone calls you may receive and can make you appear more organised to recruiters.
It can be a little overwhelming...
Looking for jobs related to your field of study after you graduate can seem daunting. It is easy to procrastinate because it seems like the mountain is simply too big to climb, but the key is to take small, progressive steps until you reach the top. Read more to see our tips on preparing yourself for your graduate job hunt including CV preparation and creating a life outside of work.
1. It's okay to take a break
Everyone is different, and people take time out for a number of reasons. Leaving university can be daunting, so taking time out to travel or explore other career options can be a great way of helping you to decide what you really want to do with your career.
2. Use your resources
3. Don't take rejection personally
Spending hours on a job application just to receive an automated email explaining that 'after careful consideration you have not made the cut' can be demotivating, and even negatively affect your self-confidence. Be mindful of the fact that sometimes a job just isn't right, and try to adopt the "it is what it is" mantra. You don't want to work for a company that doesn't see your potential or doesn't feel like you are the right fit for the job, take some time out to process what happened and then take action - adjust your CV, get back on the internet and set yourself some new challenges to take your mind off the rejection.
I was rejected for so many jobs until I secured my first role post university and when I sat at my desk on the first day I finally realised why all the other jobs hadn't worked out.
4. Stay up to date with the competition
The people you see online or in your interviews are your direct competition. Take note of the courses people are studying, the style of CV people are using, and the amount of experience they had prior to their job offer. It can be useful to check out the LinkedIn profiles of people you know or people who work in the industry or job role you want to do. Have a look at their journey - although everyone's is slightly different, what have they done that helped to make them more suitable for the job role than you? If it was an online course, see if you can complete one similar; if it was an internship, consider contacting some professionals to see if you can gain similar experience. It isn't about comparing yourself, but it is about staying on top of your game and being mindful of the competition so you can be prepared.
5. Always ask for feedback
Free constructive criticism following an interview is rare, so take the opportunity for self-improvement when it arises. This can be the difference between you securing your next job interview or not. Understanding why you weren't offered the job can help to reduce the impact the rejection can have on your self-esteem, and motivate you for your next interview.
6. Have a life outside of job hunting
As well as professional experience, recruiters want to see some personality. They want to know what you can bring to a team and the business and what hobbies and personal interests you have. You are going to spend the majority of your life working, so make sure you are using some of your time to get to know yourself, building good relationships with your friends and family and discovering hobbies you love (and if like me, you discover something somewhere down the line that you love, you could always try and turn this into a career!).
7. Stay focused
There are a range of techniques that you can use to help you figure out the best way to keep yourself motivated. Mood boards, spiritual manifestation, affirmations, lists, physical activity, talking to friends and goal-setting are all suggested ways to keep your mind on track and remind yourself of your overall goals. Check out our 'Setting affirmations: This will work!' blog post for tips of how to make affirmations work for you!