May 13, 2016, by Charlie Porter

Applying for Jobs: What I Think and What I Should Actually Think

After handing in my last piece of coursework a couple of weeks ago, I have begun seriously dwelling on what the next steps of my life will be. Naturally, this topic has come up in more than one conversation.

“You’re finished?” some ask. “What are you going to do now?”

“So have you started looking at jobs?” others say (predominantly my parents).

And yes, I suppose jobs have been on my mind a lot recently. Graduate jobs, entry-level jobs, internships, work experience… All terms that absolutely terrify me at the moment. I spend my days scrolling through Guardian postings or taking numerous personality tests just for some indication of what I want to do with my life and it’s all becoming quite scarily real. Then, when asked to write a post for another blog on how to advise people about applying for jobs, I realised there’s a few things that I’ve learnt from this struggle that I believe are important to remember.


Rejection. The other day I got rejected from a job that I really thought was perfect for me. After spending two weeks writing my application, analysing the company’s values, stalking current employees and scrutinising over every tiny bit of grammar in my answers, I didn’t even make it to the next stage. That’s it, I thought. I’m never going to get a job.

But there are going to be so many rejections. Yes, it is a shame that I didn’t get what would have been the job of my dreams, however I know it would have been extremely lucky for me to have gotten the first job I applied for. People are going to turn you down but it’s what you do after the rejections that counts. I just need to pick myself up and get on with it.


That “Person Specification” List. While I’m scrolling through a list of jobs I find a title that catches my eye. Clicking on it, I scan through the job description – all looking good so far… Until I find the Person Specification. Well I can’t apply for this, I think. I don’t have a years’ experience in an office and I am definitely can’t use Adobe professionally.

DON’T OVERLOOK THE REST OF THE LIST. At a Careers talk I found out that girls have a very different way of looking at ‘Person Specifications’: if they see something they can’t do or don’t have experience in then they automatically disregard it. Men, on the other hand, do the opposite. They look at a list and focus on the points that they can do. The moral of the story – be more optimistic. No candidate is going to be perfect; if you can tick off four out of six, then why shouldn’t you apply?


Finding the ‘Perfect’ Job. Over the past couple of weeks I have been obsessing over finding a job that will suit me perfectly. I have been very, very picky over what I want and what I don’t want, in all honesty – even a boring website has been known to sway my decision.

However, I’ve realised I’m probably not going to find the job I’ll be in for the rest of my life right now. Some studies say that graduates stay in their job for an average of 18 months and other say that ‘job-hopping’ is the new norm. What does it matter if you do a little stint working in KFC or being a receptionist at a big law firm, despite not even doing law? It’s all something for the CV.


And finally – We’re Young. I thought that, because university is over, I have to get right into a job.

But I’m only twenty years old. You may only be twenty-two. This is essentially the prime of our lives so why should we rush it? When are we ever going to have this kind of freedom again? Travel, volunteer, teach abroad… Do a ski season or go to Camp America. Take some kind of risk or learn something new. We have the rest of our lives to find a job so there’s no harm in living a little.


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