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8 Simple Mistakes Graduates Make Whilst Job Hunting



Leaving uni is a really exciting time, but it is also one of the scariest times of your life (trust me I’ve just been through it). A lot of graduates and soon to be graduates will all be applying for the same roles; and 90% of them are guilty of the same mistakes (I was did a few of these).

       So I have had a chat to our recruiters here at THOMAS Recruitment and I have compiled a list of the biggest mistakes graduates make when looking for their first job.

1.  Applying for EVERY job advertised


It gets to March and suddenly one or two of your friends are going on interviews, or even scarier, they have got jobs! Panic sets in and you head on to a job site and apply for everything! You send them the same C.V and the same basic cover letter.

Don’t do this! Nothing will put a recruiter off quicker than looking over your C.V, only to realise they have read the same thing when they were looking at candidates for a job an hour ago. Focus your C.V on each role you’re applying for, make sure it fits the needs of what that company is after and really make yourself stand out.

2.  Still using your e-mail address that you made when you were 14

When I think back to my hotmail e-mail address I cringe. It is one of those things that seem like a good idea when you are 14, but they are not right for any recruiter to contact you on. You spend hours perfecting your C.V for the perfect job; you spend hours more making the perfect cover letter. Then you send your contact details, Game over, you could be the perfect candidate but with an e-mail address like that you stand no chance of getting an interview.

It only takes five minutes to create a new account that can be used for job applications. Keep it simple, and keep it sensible. It is amazing how many people we see with these e-mail addresses being put on their C.V.

3.  Not being on LinkedIn!

This is an easy way for you to show what you are about on a professional level to go along with your C.V. It is free, it is easy to use and recruiters love it. If you aren’t on LinkedIn stop reading this right now and create your profile! Go!

Have you done it? Good

4.  Inappropriate social media posts

 There is nothing wrong with having a few photos of you on a night out with friends. You are in university and that night club photographer is your best friend to help you remember a great night out. However, he can be your worst nightmare if the pictures show you slightly worse for ware. Recruiters aren’t expecting you to be the perfect person; most have been to university themselves. But it can be hard for them to convince a company that you are the right person for their client when your Facebook picture is you falling out of a taxi after carnage. If you have to have that picture as your display picture then at least make your profile hard to find and view.

5.  Applying for a role way above your qualifications

There is nothing wrong with being ambitious in your job search, my motto is always “if you don’t ask, you don’t get.” But please don’t apply for a role that requires ten years of experience, a masters and PHD when you are just getting your B/A Hons. You’re wasting yours and the recruiter’s time by doing this.

It sounds basic but this happens more than you would think!

6.  Inappropriate voicemail greetings

There is nothing wrong with keeping it simple, if you have to use a custom voicemail greeting then keep it professional. Saying your name then singing the first two verses of ‘Nelly the Elephant’ will stop you getting an interview quicker then Nelly said goodbye to the circus. (This happened last week; we rang several times just to hear it again!)

7.  Not Following up on Applications

Don’t be afraid to contact the recruiter dealing with the job you are after. It shows you really want the role, just be careful there is a fine line between appearing keen and coming across as annoying.

After an interview do the same, send an e-mail thanking them for their time. It is the little things that make a big difference to keeping you in the interviewers mind.

8.  Not Dressing Appropriately

Even if you are just meeting the recruiter to register with the agency, dress smart. It doesn’t have to be the full 3 piece suit, but look smart and carry yourself in the correct way. This is their first chance to meet you and understand what you are about. If you give a bad first impression to the recruiter then you aren’t going to do yourself any favours in getting that interview for that first job.

This goes for your interview too, dress to impress. Make them remember you for the right reasons, look smart and carry yourself in the appropriate way.

Leaving university is not easy. Make sure you give these little bits of advice a bit of thought whilst going through your job hunt. But most of all be yourself and be confident in your ability. This is the end of several years of hard work; make sure it is all worth while in the end don’t make simple mistakes that could cost you that all important first job.

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