The first steps out of university aren’t easy and when you are new to the working world, it’s easy to make mistakes. To save you from making these mistakes we made a list with the most common made mistakes by graduates.
Applying for every job
If you desperately want a job, applying for all jobs available basically just does do you a disservice. Try to focus on the jobs that match your skills and qualifications. Even though it takes up quite some time, try to tailor your CV and cover letter to every job that you apply for.
Only applying for the perfect job
So, don’t apply for every job that comes across but also don’t look for that one perfect job. Keep an open mind when looking for a job. There are not many jobs that tick all your boxes and you will need to compromise on some points. If the job itself is something you are really interested in but the pay is less then you want or it takes you longer to commute to work, will you completely write off the job because of that? Everyone wants their dream job but those are hard to find, especially as a graduate.
Only applying online
Applying online is a very easy way to apply for jobs. Many times, you can just click through jobs and apply with just forwarding your profile that includes your CV. Don’t limit yourself to just apply online. There are many more options that can land you your first job. Think of graduate fairs. Your university will most likely have organised a few over the years and every year there are big career events organised throughout the country. Furthermore, a great way to find a job is via recruitment agencies. Especially handy for graduates as the recruiters will guide you through the process and are able to give you a lot of information about interviewing for jobs as this is most likely still very new to you.
Typos are a no-go
Not proofreading your application can ruin your chances of landing you the job you applied for. And let’s be honest, sending your standard application letter where you forgot to change the company name or job role just doesn’t look good. Why would an employer make time to interview you if you didn’t take the time to properly proofread your application? Therefore, always take the time to spell check your CV and cover letter before you send your application.
With social media, we don’t just mean your LinkedIn profile but also i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. Social media is part of everyone’s daily life these days and you will post holiday and party photos, comment your own opinion under posts and share topics of your interest. Employers who are interested in hiring you will go through your online presence. We recommend having a professional online presence and make use of the privacy settings that are available. No employer should see what you have been up to on a Saturday night.
It goes without saying that you have to prepare for a job interview. But we still see it often that a candidate doesn’t research the company before going to an interview or doesn’t prepare any questions. Always research the company as much as you can before the interview and write down questions you are genuinely interested in to know. Don’t ask questions just for the sake of asking questions, as it will shine through that it’s not genuine.
You finally get a job offer and you are jumping on it without asking questions or negotiating. Understandable, because you come fresh out of university and want a job, but it’s also a much-made mistake. When you get an offer, think about it overnight and write down questions that you have about money, benefits or something else. Don’t be scared to ask for more money or better benefits. The key is to request, not demand.
Once you’ve got your first job there are a few points to keep in mind. Sometimes university can be fairly relaxed compared to a full-time job. Don’t feel like going to a class and it isn’t mandatory? You might not go, but there will also be days when you don’t feel like going to work, but you still have to go. Pulling a sicky when you aren’t really ill… not a good look.
Being punctual and on time is important, especially in the first 6 months. Need to finish a project? Don’t leave at 5pm on the dot, put in some extra time to make it to the deadline. Nobody likes to work overtime but this shows extra effort especially when you just started a job.
You’re not expected to know everything in an entry-level or graduate position. Don’t be scared to ask for help when you need it. First give it a try yourself and if you’re stuck ask someone to help you.