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10 Common Job Mistakes That Graduates Make

  1. Jun 20, 2015 #1
    As a recent graduate you are probably excited to join the workforce, however, in your eagerness you might make mistakes that will cost you. But don’t be afraid! Below we are listing the top mistakes that graduates make in their job search and application, so that you can avoid these pitfalls as you begin looking for work. So if you are a graduate looking for sound career advise, read on for some interesting information.

    1. Applying for all jobs
    You might be tempted to apply for every job available, however, it is more prudent to pay attention to the jobs that match your qualifications and skills. Also remember to customize your CV to each job, in order to achieve better prospects.

    2. Waiting for the perfect job
    On the other hand, many graduates are waiting for the ideal job that they have dream about since starting university. Unfortunately, not all job prospects will meet your specifications, and it is therefore important to keep an open mind while searching for a job.

    3. Forgetting to proofread your application
    A common misconception that graduates have is that employers only reject applications because of big mistakes. This is false, something as simple as a typo can dramatically reduce your chance of getting the job.
    It is therefore important for you to take time to proofread your work, so that your CV, cover letter, and application are flawless.

    4. Not looking for jobs offline
    We live in a globalized world where everyone is connected by the internet. It is therefore easy to look for advertisements on job posting sites, but in doing so you might forget that many companies still use alternative (offline) advertising methods.

    5. Failing to research a company
    When you apply for a job, it is essential for you to familiarize yourself with the company that is offering the job. This is important as it allows you to determine whether you are a right fit for the company, in addition to giving you the knowledge to answer any questions you might face in the interview room.

    6. Having an unfiltered online presence
    Once you have applied for a job the hope is that your potential employers will love your application and will try and find out more about you. However, it will be extremely unfortunate if your potential employer searches your name and comes upon a social media profile with controversial statements and even more controversial pictures- your new boss does not need to know about last week’s out of control beach party.

    7. Making negative comments about past employers
    Yes, your last boss may have been a pain to deal with, but do not tell your new boss that. Your words and actions regarding your past employer should always be polite and positive, regardless of the way you left your last job. This is because your potential employer may be worried that you would be making the same negative comments if you leave this job.

    8. Failing to ask questions in the interview room
    Showing interest is always an attractive quality to interviewers, and you should therefore ask questions at the end of your interview. Come prepared with questions so that you look organized, focused, and passionate.

    9. Not having any real-world experience
    In the past, graduates applied for entry-level jobs with the intention of gaining experience to complement what they had learned in university. However, the landscape has changed, and you are now expected to have at least 1 year of experience before you apply for an entry-level position.

    10. Forgetting to say thank you
    Something as simple and polite as sending a thank you note once your interview is done will elevate you above other prospects. This post-interview step is crucial, and shows that you respect the interviewers time and efforts.
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2015
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 20, 2015 #2


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    Thank you Pepper Jane for your first post, it was such a well written and thoughtful article - and welcome to these Forums!

    Last edited: Jun 20, 2015
  4. Jun 20, 2015 #3


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    One of the most memoriable candidates that I've interviewed actually sent a thank you letter in the mail - not a text or an email. He was the only candidate that did this in any form after their interview. We ended up hiring him based on a number of factors but the letter certainly didn't hurt.
  5. Jun 20, 2015 #4


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    How does one get 1 year of experience before applying for an entry-level position?
  6. Jun 20, 2015 #5

    Vanadium 50

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    Well, the original message was spam, since edited, so I am not so sure we should expect too much in the way of logic, but this doesn't sound impossible. You have three summers before graduation, so that's 9 months right there.
  7. Jun 20, 2015 #6


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    That's another thing you encounter all too frequently in the job market: dealing with all the Catch-22 situations which arise.
  8. Jun 20, 2015 #7


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    For engineers at least, I've noticed a strong positive correlation between candidate strength and having completed a six-month co-op while an undergraduate. Co-ops are usually much more in depth than summer internships (which are also worth doing) and the students learn a lot.

    I strongly recommend engineering undergraduates to try their hardest to get a six-month co-op while in school, by hook or by crook.
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