Tips For Staying Efficient In Your Graduate Job Search

For university students, finding that first graduate job can mean several months identifying, researching and applying for different opportunities.

However, there are a number of things you can do to maximise your efficiency and potentially cut down the amount of time you spend on the job search. Tom McDermott from insidebuzz  tells us more:

1. Have a very clear idea of what you’re looking for

This is by far the most important thing you can do in terms of running an efficient graduate job search. Naturally, someone who has decided they’re interested in a career in PR, for example, can focus their job search far more clearly than someone who is interested in PR, marketing and advertising. You may have a broad range of interests but if you don’t focus you create extra work for yourself as each area will need a different Resume, and have very different application questions.

2. Prepare a few application questions in advance

Although no two application forms are ever quite the same, certain questions crop up time and time again. Commonly occurring questions include “What are your strengths/weaknesses/greatest achievements?”, and competency-based questions, such as “Describe a situation when you displayed strong leadership/teamwork/problem-solving skills”. Having pre-prepared answers to these questions is a good idea as it takes far less time to make a few minor edits than it does to write a brand new answer from scratch every time.

Struggling for inspiration? Take a look at our list of Common Interview Questions and Answers.

3. Limit your distractions

Procrastination is undoubtedly one of the biggest threats when attempting to run an efficient job search. If you struggle to concentrate with too many distractions around, a good tactic is to try changing your location: get out of your house and head to the library or a café to work for a few hours. You should also try to keep a clear work space – having a major distraction such as your Smartphone sitting next to you on the desk may prove too tempting to resist.

4. Outsource some of the work

Students and graduates have a wealth of resources at their disposal, which can help do some of the hard work for them. From friends and family, who may be able to put you in touch with some of their connections, to careers services who will help you search for opportunities, the possibilities are endless. Also, many companies put on networking events and hold careers fairs where you’ll have invaluable opportunities to meet recruiters, employers and other company representatives who may turn out to be very useful connections themselves.

5. Apply strategically

With so many people applying for every available job, it’s not uncommon for companies to bring their application deadline forward after receiving a substantial amount of applicants. To avoid being disappointed, it’s vitally important to be strategic in the timings of any applications you make.

When applying to two companies at once always prioritise the one with the closest deadline even if you prefer the other company. That way you won’t get caught out if one of them unexpectedly closes early.


Courtesy of Michael Cheary

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