- Treat job hunting as a full time job. Very often we see graduates who have been unemployed for a while and ask them how many applications they have made. Very commonly the answer is “about 5 or 6”. In the present market you probably need to make about 20 applications before you get a job offer and should be trying to make at least two applications per week.
- At the same time, don’t take a “scattergun” approach, firing off applications at random. It’s far better to make ten carefully researched and targeted applications than to spend the same amount of time sending out 50 applications without putting any thought into them.
- As part of this, make sure your CV and application forms are top-class. This is SO EASY to do. See our CV page for lots of tips and examples. Employers can tell in 10 seconds which candidates have rushed off their CVs in an hour and which ones have taken a lot of time time to make them perfect.
- Develop an action plan for each week and try to maintain a positive attitude. Making a plan at the start of your job search, and continuously reviewing and assessing your progress, will have a big impact on success.
- Use job ads to help plan your career. You will see many adverts for the types of job you want, but they may look for skills, qualifications or experience that you don’t yet have. Don’t get frustrated but use these ads to work out what you need to do as your immediate next step – maybe starting at a lower level and working up, or taking a short course in a relevant subject.
- Learn to network and use creative jobhunting techniques. This is vital for media and environment jobs, but it will give you a head start in any field you care to name: see our networking page for tips on how to do this effectively.
- Use social media to help your job search – and make sure that your online presence is not hindering it! See our social media page for advice.
- Job hunting involves a lot of rejection. Try not to take this personally. If you feel that you are at a disadvantage because of your academic results see our Job Hunting Problems pages for advice.
- Use a variety of vacancy sources – graduate job sites, local and national newspapers, specialist sites, and recruitment agencies. To find out the best vacancy sources for particular career areas, use our I want to work in … pages
- Your academic referee will be able to write a more effective reference for you if s/he knows what field of work you are applying for and what experience you have gained outside your studies. Send them a copy of your CV and keep them informed about what you are doing now.
For more hints and tips, see our career timeline page.