8 mistakes graduates make when looking for a job

Career Advice
08 April 2013 | Career Advice | Guest Author

It's easy to get it wrong when looking for your first graduate job, here we've listed eight of the most common mistakes made by graduates

  • 1. Applying for any or every job

Try to focus on the jobs that match your skills and qualifications and tailor your CV and covering letter to each job you apply for.

  • 2. Only applying for the ‘perfect’ jobs

Keep an open mind when job hunting, not every job you go for will have all the benefits you’re looking for or will be near to where you live. If the job description is close to what you want and the pay is right then you may be able to overlook the longer travel time.

  • 3. Only looking for jobs online

A majority of graduate jobs are advertised online but it is also wise to stretch your search further. Career fairs are a good place to find out about graduate jobs and recruitment in your area and are an excellent opportunity to meet employers face to face. You might also want to think about networking in order to find a job, as recommendations from the right people go a long way.

  • 4. Not proofreading your application

Beware the typo for they will seriously jeopardise your chances at being considered for a position. Employers will wonder why you haven’t taken the time to proofread your work properly. Most word processing software will have a spellchecker but will not pick up on correctly spelled words in the wrong places, which is why it’s important to check what you’ve written whether it’s your application, CV or covering letter.

  • 5. Not being careful about your online presence

Employers who are very interested in hiring someone will likely research that person online. It’s recommended you have a professional presence online, such as having a LinkedIn Profile that showcases your work history and recommendations. But also be aware that your social networking profiles such as Facebook will come up if you haven’t used your privacy settings correctly. No employer should see the sorts of things you get up to on a Saturday night and they may judge you for it so make sure that that content is seen only by your friends.

  • 6. Not asking a question in an interview

Employers will always ask at the end of an interview whether you have any questions. Have some prepared because it shows your interest in the job and can also demonstrate your knowledge of the company.

  • 7. Not researching a company

Find out as much as you can about the job you are applying for as well as the company. It will help you decide whether it is truly the workplace for you and it will come in handy if the employer asks you how much you know about a certain aspect of the company.

  • 8. Complaining about past employers

Don’t do it. Always be gracious about your past employer and focus on the positives. Being negative about a former boss will only impact negatively on the interviewer who will wonder what you were to say about them if you moved on from that job.

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