5 ways to maintain a positive mindset while graduate job hunting

A graduate job. This is what the last 15+ years of education have been building up to. And yet, after all the trials and tribulations of secondary school, college and university, the graduate job hunt is perhaps the most draining – both emotionally and physically. Having said that, for many, a graduate job is the last step towards achieving success and making family and friends proud.

Before all that, though, graduates need to enter the dog-eat-dog world of graduate recruitment. With, on average, 39 applications for each post, job rejections are inevitable and yet many will find that they are not equipped to deal with the almost systematic rejections they will receive. Well, do not fear! Because I have ever so conveniently summarized the advice most students wish they had received before embarking on their job hunt below.

  1. Ask for feedback.

Although it’s pretty much 50/50 whether firms will actually respond, asking for feedback will allow you to gradually improve application and interview techniques, which will give you more confidence with new applications.

  1. Get your application reviewed by someone else

Many universities offer a careers service and it is important to utilize the services they offer and get someone with experience in HR to give you a few pointers on how to beef up your CV and application.

  1. Apply for other jobs

In terms of mental well-being, applying for another job as soon as you receive a rejection letter will do wonders for you. Not dwelling on the past but instead pursuing new applications with zeal and optimism will leave you with a much better attitude, which often comes across to recruiters.

  1. Reward yourself

Get a haircut, buy that cool shirt, go to a concert. Your self-esteem takes a hell of a beating while on a job search. You begin to doubt yourself and your worth, so it is important to make yourself feel good about yourself. The rewards can be little things, but as long as you’re confident in yourself and your abilities, that’s all that matters.

  1. Don’t put all the blame on yourself

In the words of Michael Jordan, “I can accept failure, but I can’t accept not trying.” In your pursuit of employment you have to adopt a relentless attitude and to do so you cannot consider rejection an indication of your personal abilities. Rejection is simply a part of the process – one that you will eventually overcome.


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