5 Ways to Overcome Job Hunting Hurdles.

‘Thanks so much for taking the time to apply for the position of … Unfortunately, other candidates matched the role more closely’. It’s safe to say most people have received a rejection letter like this and wondered: ‘what do they want from me?’ Disheartened? Check out these 5 tips to jump graduate job-hunter hurdles.

Understand what to expect

Family, teachers and friends emphasise the importance of doing well at school to stand out in a highly competitive job market. Undoubtedly, their advice is valuable. However, few prepare graduates for what ‘highly competitive’ actually means in practical terms.

It’s so easy to send off a CV via the click of a button and online applications result in hundreds of applications for one position. As a result, recruiters regularly have to sift through a lot of generic applications to find relevant ones, often resulting in skim reading. Consequently, graduates need to prepare for a lot of rejections. It’s also vital to follow up on applications to demonstrate that you care about that job.

Play to your strengths

Having received regular essay feedback as a graduate, receiving unexplained rejections makes sending an application seem futile. It’s even worse when internships do so as well. Always be proactive and call to gain some feedback on applications. Though employers say they don’t give feedback, often some HR departments will if they have time.

It’s also important to think of how your application appears to recruiters who don’t know you. Whilst you may not have interned at a publishing house, writing for a local online publication still counts as experience. Highlight this experience clearly on your CV so that recruiters don’t miss it, unaware of its relevance.

It always helps to translate your work into the job spec language too. Use key words so someone skimming through will understand that you have done what they are asking you to do.

Remember the company’s goals

Everything comes in baby steps, but if you are a graduate with strong grades and some experience, but make no progress, perhaps you need to re-think how you write your application.

Job applications are like a university essay answer; you work independently, but certain requirements will lead to certain marks. In the same way, constructing a CV requires your own input, but there are fail-safe ways to help you land a job. A quick google search will explain key points of a CV.

With regards to job applications, it’s important to think from the employer’s perspective. They want to know why you are a valuable employee and how you will contribute to the company’s success. Ensure that your CV explains this and does not simply describe the jobs you’ve had.

Schedule your time

While lucky graduates may get a job relatively quickly, it can take others longer. As a result, it’s important to create a sustainable schedule.

It is useful to work on the same schedule as employers. Occasionally, a recruiter might require an urgent response. Otherwise, generally nothing happens to applications outside of the standard work day. Therefore, use working hours as a handy rule of thumb for your application writing too.

With so many applications done online, remember to take breaks from the computer to avoid eye strain. Breaks also provide time for exercise, a great way to keep good endorphins flowing.

Avoid the social media trap! When breaking, do something different. A change of scenery massively renews concentration. A short move-about also reduces the chance of back pain and maintains the quality of your applications; it prevents wordy, unclear and long sentences such as this!

Change it up

To avoid boredom, create variety within your days. It is unlikely you will get a response to all your applications so make a list of the ones you want to follow up with. Then, set aside some of your day for email correspondence with these people or any others you need to contact.

LinkedIn is handy as it gives recruiters the chance to approach you too. Set aside another couple of hours in your day to create and update your online profile, as well as your hard copy CV, with any part time work you’ve done.

Perhaps, take some time to plan your next steps. For example, you might have spotted a fun networking event in the evening and finally have time to book it. Creating a varied schedule ensures makes your first job hunt far more interesting and manageable!

Graduate job hunts can present a lot of unexpected hurdles. Whilst it is definitely disheartening to get so many rejections, it’s important to remember that getting frustrated won’t help your search in any way. It’s best to understand the recruiter’s situation and apply for jobs to make it easier for them and more interesting for you.


Inspiring Interns is a recruitment agency specialising in all the internships and graduate jobs London has to offer