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How to Stay Positive in Your Job Hunt
We all know that the graduate job market is a difficult one to navigate.
There are seemingly endless obstacles to overcome and this can be tricky to manage alongside studying, exams and having a social life.
However it’s not all doom and gloom, there are plenty of things that you can do to stay positive whilst looking for that first career and most of them are in your hands!
On the Up
Graduate prospects in the UK are at a recent high, even higher than pre-2008 financial crisis. Not only does this mean that there are more jobs, but they are better paid and there are better prospects in those jobs for graduates now than 10 years ago.
Recent research showed that 55% of students studied a degree that is directly relevant to their career choice following graduation. Now, if that isn’t a reason to view your job search positively I don’t know what is.
Finding the right job can take time, just like a properly pulled pint of Guinness, so don’t be disheartened if THE right job doesn’t turn up straight away.
Summer is the peak hiring period but there are graduate jobs hiring year round; in January 2015, we placed 80% as many people as in August 2014! And if your first job isn’t all that you hoped, don’t worry:
Louisa Papachristou wrote for The Guardian “it's just the beginning of a long journey and the important thing is to make a start somewhere and build on that”.
So we know there are challenges in any graduate job search and, like an iceberg, most of these won’t be noticeable until you go below the surface.
But this isn’t a reason to be disheartened; any job search is a learning curve and will give you the opportunity to learn more about what you are really looking for from your work.
It may seem obvious to say but the earlier you start preparing and writing, the more applications you will make and the more interviews you are likely to attend.
This process will help you narrow down your options when applying and so you will know when the perfect job offer comes along. 1PGR graduates on average accept a job they really want within 11 working days of us receiving their application but this isn’t a steadfast rule so take your time. Moving closer to any goal is a reason to be positive and upbeat, let alone one that could define your future.
There will always be competition for jobs, but being positive and enthusiastic shows the hiring manager and the company that you are applying to that you are worth it.
Take your time tailoring your CV since hiring managers are more responsive to applications that are angled towards the specific job and this will result in a better return from the effort that you put into your job search.
With proper research and preparation when writing your application, you are setting yourself on the road to securing an interview and that all important offer.
Further Reading from Skills You Need
Develop the skills you need to get that job.
This eBook is essential reading for potential job-seekers. Not only does it cover identifying your skills but also the mechanics of applying for a job, writing a CV or resume and attending interviews.
Believe, Believe, Believe
Self-belief is the cornerstone for staying positive.
Know that everything you have done throughout school, university and work has lead up to this point. Any and all experience is relevant at graduate level and it has shaped who you are up to this point.
That part-time retail job has helped develop your conflict resolution skills through dealing with difficult customers; the season spent as hockey team captain has enhanced your team management and critical thinking skills as you had to make difficult but necessary tactical decisions and keep your team cohesive.
Moving into student digs with a bunch of random people helped you learn to balance your work and personal life and form relationships in a very short period that really stand the test of time.
Knowing the value of every experience you’ve had will show you know your worth. It’s not all about your work experience, it’s just as much about life experience and what you can draw from it. With all this experience, why be anything but very positive about your prospects?
See our pages on Positive Thinking and Self-Esteem for more on improving your self-belief.
Let Others Help
Sometimes graduates can get bogged down in the job search.
It is likely that you will face some rejection but you don’t have to go it alone. There are many people out there who can make your job search that little bit easier: careers services, family, and friends always ‘know people’, and recruitment agencies can offer assistance. Use all these resources to hone your CV or practise your interview skills as that way you will be completely prepared for all eventualities of the career search.
Staying positive in your job hunt is difficult but remember that everyone has had a first CV, a first interview and a first rejection.
Taking your time over your CV and going into an interview with confidence will do more good for your application than the best of experience, so keep it up job seekers as with a little positivity and perseverance you will get there!
About the Author
1PGR is a graduate specific recruitment agency and has helped hundreds of graduates into top jobs. They do this because they love helping people find their perfect career.
Jessica Brader is the Graduate Manager at 1PGR where she has been managing the office for the last four years.