Since March through May is a heavy recruitment time for summer internships and graduate positions, just about every second student coming into our office is asking for advice on interviews. Louise has written an excellent blog on this earlier in the month, and I thought I would just add a few additional tips. Just as […]

Looking for an internship or graduate role at the end of the year? Then you’ll need to be clued up about what employers are looking for when recruiting. Do you have business acumen? Are you commercially aware? Do you even know what these terms mean? In all of our discussions with employers, time and time […]

Many student and graduates struggle to find work so if this has been your experience, you are not alone. The current job market for university students and graduates is difficult but ‘an inconvenient truth’ is that many applications are poorly prepared and miss-targeted. If all your job applications are being rejected, it’s time to audit your application technique and strategy.

A poorly presented application or one that appears ‘generic’ rather than ‘tailored’ to the job being applied for will almost certainly be automatically rejected. Inundated selectors look for easy ways to reduce the number of applications that will make it to their long-list – this is the pile of CV’s that they select to ‘read in detail’ with a view to creating a short-list of interview candidates. Employers rarely spend more than a few seconds looking at each application received so impact, quality and relevance should be the keys to your application strategy.

If your applications aren’t resulting in interview offers, is this genuinely the result of a shortage of jobs or is there a more obvious reason? Although there is no ‘one-way’ to prepare a job application, clearly the application should be attractively presented, well organised, address the job criteria and explain your motivation in applying for the position. The first page of the CV has a critical role to play as does the cover letter.  The employer is unlikely to look beyond the first page of your application unless that first page impresses.

Pre-application research matters. If you don’t really understand the role you are applying for and the organisation’s business, how can you present yourself convincingly enough to deserve an interview? Good quality research will help you to understand the role and the context, and decide whether this is a role that you could do well and enjoy; applying for a job that you have no chance of getting an interview for, wastes your time and the employer’s. In most instances when you apply for a job you should be confident that you can do most of the tasks involved. You should also have given consideration to any gaps in your skills and knowledge, and have potential remedies. If you are unable to meet any of the key criteria, it may be worth contacting the employer to find out what weighting the employer gives to these.

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A big welcome to all new and returning students – we hope you have a great year here at Vic.  A big hello to all recent grads as well – remember you can still use Vic Careers to help you with your job search. There are 3 very good reasons why you need to come […]

I read this interesting article yesterday which discusses the results of an Australian survey on how being in a job that makes you unhappy is as stressful as being unemployed. The company found that ”…although mental health improved when people moved out of unemployment into a good job, moving into a poor quality job was more detrimental to mental health than remaining unemployed.”

It got me thinking because I have been in both situations – unhappy job and unemployment – and both made me feel pretty miserable. The different contexts in which these situations occurred though altered the severity of my unhappiness. I’ve been unemployed when I was able to live with my parents so there was no immediate threat to my financial situation or stress levels but I’ve also been unemployed sitting in my old London flat stressing about how I’d pay my next  lot of rent and feeling completely helpless. In that situation I HAD to take any old job and it wasn’t a job I was very happy in, however the unhappiness was outweighed by the fact that I had money to pay my bills. That job though was only ever going to be a stop gap whereas the job I was trying to find living with my parents was not.
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