Five tips for surviving the graduate job search

Five tips for surviving the graduate job search


You’re closing in on the end of your degree, you’ve completed relevant internships and placements, you’ve made some great industry contacts and you’ve developed all the right skills to make you that extra bit employable.

But sometimes the graduate job search doesn’t go quite the way you imagined and it’s not as easy to land your dream job straight away as you might think.

Here are five tips for surviving the graduate job search:

  1. Look for jobs that are relevant to your skills and experience – As much as the Senior Marketing Executive position may be exactly where you see yourself in five years’ time, as a university graduate you probably don’t quite have the required skills and experience just yet. Look for graduate positions or junior positions to get you started.
  2. Don’t be too picky – If you’re offered a graduate role that isn’t what you want to do and doesn’t suit your circumstances, it’s okay (and probably the best decision) to say no, but if something comes along that you think could work for you, take that opportunity to get your foot in the door ASAP, start making contacts, start gaining experience and start filling out your resume. Remember, it doesn’t have to be a ‘forever’ job but it will give you the qualifications for when that job comes around.
  3. Don’t lose hope – the graduate job search can be tough at the best of times and it often goes one of two ways – you either find lots of job ads relevant to your career path and never hear back, or you struggle to find job vacancies in the first place. Take a long, deep breath, and relax. Try broadening your search, get in touch with all those relevant contacts or do things to boost your skillset, like more placements or short courses.
  4. Understand that you may face some rejection, and that’s okay – When it comes to looking for jobs, initial rejection may mean you don’t have the right skillset or experience yet. Look at this as a positive by focusing on the requirements for the job and building your skills in those areas to make you more employable. Rejection can feel a lot more personal after you make it to an interview stage – but remember you’ve made it that far already! Ask the employer where you can improve, or what else they were looking for.
  5. Speak to mentors or career advisers – CSU offers a Career Development Service to help you with everything from perfecting your interview skills, to writing professional resumes and even helping you find your first industry job. Speaking to your lecturers or course coordinators is also a good way to help you develop a career plan.
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