Even though your ultimate goal is to get hired, applying at the right time and doing it the right way is fundamental to succeed. Whether you’re still studying or you’ve graduated, there is still time for you to step back and optimise your strategy. Believe me, even if you apply to 100 jobs, if you’re not prepared, you probably won’t get very far. But don’t worry that’s what you’re here for! I’m going to make it easier for you. Not only are we going to figure out the best time to apply to graduate jobs, but we’re also going see how to do it.
Is there a time to apply?
You’re in your final year, you’re starting to think about graduation but you still have to focus on you’re studies so you’re not sure what to do. We’ve all been there right? Let’s be straight forward, you need to start applying as soon as possible! The job market is saturated, and you need to maximise your chances of succeeding. However, applying is one thing but applying smart is another thing. The longer you wait, the less time you will have to find the graduate job that’s right for you. As you’re getting through your final year. Working on your applications should be a part of your daily routine. The key here is time management. Below are some tips to help you maintain a healthy and efficient routine that will maximise your chances to get an offer:
- Apply early. As soon as September is totally fine. By starting early you’ll get used to the usual application processes and therefore, be able to submit more applications quicker. You’ll be more likely to get interviews and practise for them. This will significantly increase your chances to get more interviews and do well.
- Apply consistently. You have to be consistent, applying to 20 jobs on one day and not doing anything the rest of the week will not work in your favour. Consistency helps you keep track on what’s going working and gives your more time to prepare for potential interviews or tests. Try to save a time of the day to focus on applying and don’t overwhelm yourself with 39 applications per day. 5-10 is more than enough. Quality over quantity right?
- Personalise every application. I know you don’t do it, I know you won’t do it, but honestly, do it! You have to tailor your CV to each job and write a cover letter for every application. Just think about it from the recruiter’s perspective. Imagine receiving 100 CV’s, 30 of which being personalised with a cover letter and having to go through all of them. Do you really think that a standard CV with no cover letter will stand out? It won’t, and for your information, no one cares about “attention to details”. Make the recruiter want you. Read a bit about the company, job description and write an appealing and professional cover letter!
- Get used to rejection. And I mean it, you’re gonna get rejected no matter what, so might as well get used to it! However, you must try to learn something from every rejection in order to improve. Try to ask for feedback, even force them to give you one. Look back at your application and cover letter and see what you could’ve done better.
- Your university is there to help. They want you to get a job, they have a career centre, they will help you write a proper CV, gain the skills you need and apply to the right jobs for you. There are so many resources available but students are often not aware of them. You have to look into it, ask around and be active. The right mindset will get you the job you deserve!
I already graduated. Is it too late?
What? It’s already past July and you haven’t secured a job yet? No need to panic. Sometime it can be difficult to manage your time between exams, your part time jobs, or your personal life. Anyway, if you haven’t had time to apply or weren’t able to get a graduate job yet, don’t worry, companies are still hiring!
- Keep up the momentum. You’ve passed your exams and you had to study non stop for days. Now that it’s all behind you, keep up the momentum and apply the same energy to your job search. Fix your goals and set deadlines, treat it like another set of exams. Now that you have more time, you can apply to more roles and focus on every single application.
- Learn new skills. You have much more time to learn new skills now that you are done with university. Try to find the requirements that come up the most and get it on your CV. There are thousands of resources online to help you learn a skill and it could take just a few days if you put the effort in.
- Your university will help. Do you think that your university just gets rid of you after graduation? Not at all! Get in touch with them and they will happily help you even months after graduation. The same resources are available for you to strengthen your CV and interview skills.