Your college life has recently come to an end. Your grad cap is sitting in the corner of your bedroom collecting dust.

You've sent out a couple of CVs, but that didn't yield any fruit.

You're even checking your spam folder every now and then, but there's nothing in your inbox.

What can you possibly be doing wrong?

Read this post, and you'll learn what might be hurting your job search as a grad.


Not Writing a Stellar CV

When it comes to finding a job, your CV plays a pivotal role in the recruitment process.

You want your CV to be topnotch. You want the hiring manager to spot you on their radar.

If you fail to write the perfect CV that would be perfectly tailored to the job description, chances are, you won't even push through the ATS (Applicant Tracking System) let alone land a high-paid job.


Not Writing a Cover Letter

True, writing a cover letter for each and every job is not something you look forward to, to say the least.

Unfortunately, 49% of recruiters consider a cover letter the second best thing to give your CV a boost. Tailoring your CV is the first one.

Now, writing a cover letter does not guarantee you’ll land an interview. Still, not sending one might cost you that first in-person job interview.
Don’t let that happen — always attach a cover letter!


Not Applying Enough

Imagine that your recruitment process is like a lottery.

The more ballots you have, the higher your odds of winning.

This means that if you send out only a few CVs along with a cover letter — that's not gonna cut it.

Your application target (with a highly tailored CV and a cover letter) should be at least 10-15 per week.


Not Following Up

Follow-ups are tricky.
If you contact the recruiter about their decision to hire you before they even make one, this will make them roll their eyes in frustration.

If there's a recruitment timeframe, make sure you stick to it.

Now, sometimes, feedback might fall through the cracks. Maybe the recruiter forgot to follow up with you past the due date.

What do you do?
Exactly. You shoot them an email.




And either the hiring manager decided against hiring you (too bad for them!) or they failed to contact you, and you'll be pleasantly surprised by their reply.


Not Using LinkedIn

Let’s say both your CV and your cover letter are fantastic.

Still, about 87% of recruiters will want to use LinkedIn to check your online presence before they even invite you to an interview.

If they can’t find you online — this might be hurting your job search.

So take the time to optimize your LinkedIn profile and help recruiters discover that professional image of you online.


Not Having Work Experience

You need to have work experience to find a job.

The question is how can you find a job if employers are forcing you to have a job to find a new one in the first place?

It’s Catch-22, you see.

The good news is that there's freelancing and/or volunteer work that you can leverage.

And if you manage to highlight your responsibilities and skills acquired after doing those, you'll seriously beef up your CV.


Not Knowing What to Do

As someone who just graduated, you might not know about the whole spectrum of career options available to you.

If that's your case, don't decide on a particular occupation based on your major yet but rather think of things that drive your passion and how you can make the most of it.

Here's an example.

Let's say you've studied journalism and you're passionate about writing.

Does it mean that you have to pursue journalism?

Well, landing a job in traditional media is tough. Plus, it might turn out that you won't want to run a column devoted to peanuts.


So start brainstorming.

Having a degree in journalism, you probably have some strong writing and research skills.

And this makes you a highly desirable candidate for copywriting and (digital) advertising jobs.

So head over to job boards and check out job ads that reference your skills.

This might take quite a bit of time, but in the end, you'll navigate the job market much more fluently.


Not Networking

There’s nothing wrong with leveraging your contacts  — plenty of people find a job through others.

What’s more, hiring managers love referrals — they can hire people faster knowing that there's someone who can vouch for them.

So how do you leverage your network during your job hunt?

You go out there and talk to your friends. And in general, have an ear out for some potential vacancies that might open up.


Bottom Line

Hiring managers are looking for superb candidates that will be the next Elon Musk. So take the time to fix your grad job search mistakes and help recruiters discover your best self. You can read more about how to write a CV and cover letter here! 


Max Woolf is a writer. He is passionate about helping people land their dream jobs through the expert career industry coverage. In his spare time, Max enjoys biking and travelling to European countries. You can hit him up on LinkedIn.

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