Rejection is unfortunately something you will usually encounter during your search for a graduate job. It can make you doubt yourself and can knock your self esteem. However it is possible to use this to your advantage in your future job search as assessing these past unsuccessful applications can make your job search more effective, making rejection less likely. You could be applying too widely across different industries, or applying within a very specific field resulting in missed opportunities elsewhere. Don’t let your strategies go stale, apply speculatively and keep your eyes peeled for networking opportunities where you can build your contacts. Another reason you may be falling at the first hurdle is that you need more experience so consider applying for work experience or even voluntary work Proven experience in a working environment is much more attractive to an employer than just a degree.
Think of the new year as a chance to get out there and to make the most out of your time.You will learn a lot more at university than just how to write a dissertation. You will discover your independence and learn to survive on your own and it is very important to balance work and play so that you are motivated to do your best at university. Motivate yourself by getting involved with all of student life and set goals during the year to maximise your achievements and to develop good habits for the future. Join a gym or take regular exercise to get fit, or you could join a sports team which would help you meet new people and improve your fitness. Look out for societies that interest you, and becoming a representative for a student union or society will also look great on your CV.
As a graduate employer wading through applications, you can spot a generic covering letter from a mile off. It’s so easy as an applicant to fire out the same thing over and over again but it’s not going to do you any favours. Make sure to refer to points made in the job description, and early on, as generally most recruiters will read the first few lines and skim-read the rest. Also make sure your covering letter isn’t too long, 150-300 words max. You want to give them the most relevant information first so you should mention every attribute you possess that meets the job specification. It’s your chance to summarise what specifically makes you the perfect candidate, so don’t start talking about any kind of project or experience that doesn’t link directly to what they are looking for.
Many of us fall in love with the city where we studied, and it is tempting to hold out for a job that means you can stay put. However, this is not always a sensible option, and certainly not necessarily a realistic one in the current graduate job market. If your for graduate jobs is running dry, strongly consider widening your search to other cities in the UK, or even abroad. Not only will this open up a huge range of new opportunities, but the bravery, independence and confidence you will demonstrate to potential employers will speak highly of your commitment to the job. National graduate recruitment agencies will be far more likely to find your perfect graduate job if you are willing to be flexible about where you will be based, making your hunt for the dream job that much easier.