graduate job hunt

August 18, 2017, by Carla

How to Stay Sane When Hunting for a Graduate Job

By Sophie Hudson, Head of Community at TalentPool

If you’ve started your graduate job hunt, you’ll know that finding a job takes time. Finding a job that is right for you takes even longer. Writing multiple CVs and cover letters, and filling out multiple application forms can quickly start to feel like a thankless task. Especially those times when you don’t even receive a response back from the employer.

Now with summer slowly drawing to an end and no job lined up, all this can certainly begin to take it’s toll on you – and your sanity! Don’t give up just yet though. There are a few simple measures you can take to keep yourself motivated and make the whole process a little less overwhelming.

Be very organised

Organisation is really key. To stay on top of your job hunt, you’re going to need a good system. Something you can use regularly to keep track of all your deadlines, applications, their statuses, their outcomes, and next steps.

During your graduate job hunt, you should be having multiple conversations with employers and will likely be sending out countless applications. It can be easy to lose track of where you applied and what stage you’re at. To avoid a frustrating or embarrassing situation where you’ve missed an application deadline, or even worse an interview, start recording every action you take.

To help you out, TalentPool have created an application management tool template for you to use and make your own. You’ll need to make a copy of the document before you can start using it. To do this go to ‘File’ and click ‘Make a copy’.

In addition to this, set up a graduate job hunting file on your computer to save copies of the different CVs, cover letters and application forms you have submitted to each company. When it comes to interview preparation, you will be grateful to have all that information easily to hand.

Prioritise some applications over others

Although you might be worried about missing out on your dream career if you don’t apply for a role at a certain company, it’s important to take a step back and prioritise your applications. It’s better to spend more time on a handful of high quality ones, than churning out loads of a lesser quality. Each CV and cover letter should be personalised to the company and the role in question, which can be pretty time consuming. It will definitely pay off though.

To help you pick which applications to go ahead with and which ones to leave, think:

  • How good do you think you would be at the role?
  • How challenging would it be and how much you would learn and develop?
  • What do you think your chances of success are?
  • How well do you think it would set you up for your future career?
  • How happy do you think you would be there?

Learn from your feedback

Always ask for feedback after you have been rejected from a role. Although you might not feel like hearing about where you fell short, this will give you a better chance with future applications. You might think that you are interviewing well, but if you’re not getting the results you hope for, this will help you figure out what to work on. It could be something as simple as changing your interview attire or listening to the interviewer’s questions more carefully. Note down all the feedback comments in your application management sheet so you don’t forget them.

You should also be making the most of the help and advice your Careers and Employability Service offers. Book a CV review and get advice on answering interview questions. Remember that practice makes perfect, so be sure to make the most of your friends and family in the run up to interviews too. A fresh pair of eyes on your application questions can be invaluable.

Job hunting can be difficult and time consuming, but try to treat your it as a learning process. Remember, the end result will be worth it all.

Are you graduating this year? Check out our range of online resources for you on our Class of 2018 page. Still trying to figure out what you want to do? Don’t forget you can also book an appointment with one of our expert careers advisers on My Career

Posted in Applying For JobsEmployer Insights