Stay positive in your job hunt

By Kate Magrath. Read Kate’s blog here!

I finished university last June with the thought that I would find a graduate job easily and everything would just fall into place. Little did I know that it would require much more effort than merely submitting a CV with ‘2nd class honours’ plastered across the page. With the determination not to move home I made plans to move to Bristol – a very spontaneous decision influenced greatly by my boyfriend. The city would better my chances of finding the career in media that I dreamed about – location is important and I strived to keep my independence.

I found a job in retail pretty easily and moved into a little flat in the city centre. I then discovered the meaning of working and living on a minimum-wage budget. Between shifts I put my efforts into applying for anything media-related. The rejections are difficult to accept sometimes, especially when you are really interested or have your heart set on a particular job. But my advice would be to keep an open mind and treat job hunting as a job in itself.

Working long shifts at unsociable hours meant that my sleeping pattern and diet suffered immensely and job-hunting became more of a chore than an exciting prospect. It is important to stay positive and not get dragged down. Family and friends is a great support network to use at times like this. Remember that there is ALWAYS someone that has been in or is in the same situation; so sharing advice is very helpful. And don’t feel guilty for having a week off occasionally from searching too, it helps to take a step back and reassess. Keep a note of where you have applied to and contact details in order to follow up applications.

My inbox suffered a bit of drought for 2 months and I was close to just giving up. It is so hard to stay motivated when it seems like everything you do doesn’t work. Try agencies, either register online or go into the office and show your face. It will take some of the workload off of your shoulders and allow somebody else to do the searching. It might feel that you can memorize every job site from top to bottom; so another pair of eyes might find something you’re missing.

I started a LinkedIn account so that I was able to connect with professionals and other media groups that eventually opened more doors. I contacted a family friend who worked in recruitment in London, who gave me some invaluable advice and helped to ‘re-vamp’ my CV. My Dad has always said that ‘it’s not always what you know, but who you know’ and this has strangely been true more times than not. Twitter is another good social media platform to use for job hunting. Follow all companies and job agencies relevant to the job you want to find and watch for job adverts, even try being bold and asking them outright for a job or placement. Funnily enough there have been lots of success stories!

A year since graduating, I have just accepted a job as an Online Community Executive for a media events company in Bristol and I couldn’t be happier. It is an absolute dream come true and it feels like all my hard work has really paid off. I really believe that if you put your mind to something and believe, things will go your way.

I wish you all the luck and success and remember, stay positive always!

Kate is a self-professed baker, lover of all things girly, happiest when amongst friends and family. Read her blog and follow her on Twitter @KateMagrath