Published on June 17th, 2012 | by Amy Edwards0
Top 5 mistakes to avoid on your graduate job search
By Amy @BubbleJobs
When searching for your first graduate job it can sometimes feel like you’re fighting an uphill battle. Competition for any vacancy is fierce and in addition to having to square off against other graduates, you also have another pretty hefty, unforeseen force to battle against – yourself!
OK, so you might have honed your CV to within an inch of perfection, your First-class Honours degree might still be clutched in your hot little hand and you might have digested as many job search tips as you possibly could but there’s a pretty good chance that you and you alone are holding yourself back when it comes to bagging your first ‘real’ job outside of uni.
Why? Because you keep making the same mistakes (the ones no one ever warned you about!) Yep, when it comes to finding and securing a new role, it’s a good idea to get to know the top job search mistakes so you can avoid them on your graduate job search.
1. Focusing too much on job salary: When you’ve spent three, four or five years at uni, it’s easy to graduate and believe that a £40K+ job will land right into your lap but unfortunately things like that don’t happen in the real world. In reality, you need to start at the bottom and be willing to work your way up – you might have just the skills a company is looking for, but so could 50 other people. When it comes to searching for a new job, put salary to one side. Instead of thinking about the salary, think about what the company could give you in terms of experience, knowledge and career development – you might start to find vacancies look a lot more appealing (and attainable) when you do!
2. Not networking enough: You might think that networking isn’t really relevant in your chosen career path but I’m sorry to tell you that you’re very much mistaken – networking is essential to pretty much all industries when it comes to finding a new job. Yep, if you’re not actively networking then you’re not giving yourself the best chance of success on your job search. Did you know that some employers won’t even consider a candidate if they don’t have a LinkedIn profile? See – we told you it was important!
3. Not thinking ‘outside the box’: Not being creative enough is definitely something most graduates fall down on when it comes to their job search. And I guess we could tie this in with networking. In order to use networking to its full advantage, you need to create an online presence for yourself, not just on social networks but on other online platforms too. In order to really stand out from the crowd, you can’t restrict your talents and skills to your CV – create your own blog or website which can act as an online portfolio and be sure to include this in your covering email or application – just make sure they really show off the best of you!
4. Not looking in the right place: When it comes to finding a graduate job it can sometimes feel like a big game of ‘Hide and Seek’ where you’re always the ‘Seeker’ – why? Because you’re obviously not looking in the right place! Believe it or not, job adverts don’t grow legs and run a mile quicker than Usain Bolt when they see you coming – nope, once they’re on a site, they’re on a site for a while – you just need to track them down! How? Search, search, search! General job boards, niche job boards, LinkedIn and local newspapers can be all be great sources for vacancies as can company websites. The trick is not to limit yourself to just one source!
5. Slacking off when prospects look good: When you’ve been searching for a new job for months and months it can be easy to get your hopes up when you’re finally invited for an interview but beware – this is the time you could get distracted and lose out. While it’s essential to prepare for your interview, you need to make sure you don’t neglect your job search and overlook a potential opportunity – remember, even if the interview goes well, employers’ circumstances can change in the blink of an eye so be prepared!