10 mistakes to avoid for graduate job seekers

Getting your first step on to the recruitment ladder can be a difficult task
Getting your first step on to the recruitment ladder can be a difficult task

At this time of year, with school, college and university students back to class, the task of finding employment for this year’s graduates starts to intensify. Barry Whelan, managing director of Excel Recruitment has some advice for these graduates



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16 September 2014

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The market is undoubtedly improving for graduates and opportunities other than Australia are becoming more plentiful. However, those new to job seeking succumb to the same pitfalls each year; here are some to avoid.

  1. After some weeks of job seeking, you turn down a job because it’s below you

It isn’t damaging to your career to take a lower-level job. Future employers will actually admire your determination and work ethic. What may be more damaging to your career is your extended period of unemployment. Weigh up the pros and cons.

Trying to explain why it’s taking you so long to find a job can be difficult to answer broadly. There may come a time when it makes sense for you to take a lower-level job to get your foot in the door or kick-start your career.

  1. You reach out to too many networking contacts and don’t screen their relevance to your search

When you receive the name of a referral or someone you should speak with, ask why. Find out how long your contact has known this person, in what context, and why it would be mutually beneficial. You would probably feel more comfortable and confident reaching out to a referral contact if you knew something about them. Your success in securing a meeting with someone you don’t know will improve if your request explains why you want to meet.

  1. You won’t talk to recruiters, contract or temporary employment agencies

This is a bad idea for a number of reasons. Firstly some positions are only filled by recruiters and contract/temporary jobs can often lead to regular employment and are a great introduction to a company. There is no harm in being discerning when evaluating the potential job that a recruiter presents to you. Ask the recruiter what they know about the company and the job, if they have placed people within the company before and what role the recruiter will play during the interview process. It can be an advantage to have a third party representing you.

  1. You refuse to go for a job, because the commute to it is too long

Prejudging a job opportunity based solely on its distance from your home is ill-advised. If you’re without ties, you should really be location flexible. The more locations you can get to, the more opportunities open to you.

Go to the role. Learn about the job. What do you have to lose? A great opportunity could be coming your way, which leads to even greater opportunities at home.

  1. You follow up after the interview by turning up for work

Employers value enthusiasm greatly; however being enthusiastic is one thing, coming across as desperate or lacking professionalism is another. Unless you have been invited to stop by anytime, making an appearance at the company could send the wrong impression.

  1. You decide not to participate in LinkedIn because of privacy issues

LinkedIn is a popular recruiting tool used by small and large companies across many industries. If you choose to opt out based on personal preferences or misinformation, you may hinder your job search. Your profile on LinkedIn is an online CV. Use your privacy settings correctly and get a stunning profile up there.

  1. You refuse to fill out any online application that involves a psychometric test

Many companies start there recruitment drive online, gathering information about potential hires. This may be just an online applications form, but it may also take the form of an online personality test. There is no point shying away from these tests. Just get on with it if the company is of interest.

  1.  You decide to refuse a second interview, because you didn’t enjoy the first

Ending the interview process too soon, based on early assessments, may not provide an accurate evaluation. Perhaps your interviewer was having a bad day. You probably haven’t learned enough about the company, the people you will be working with or the job to make the most informed decision.

  1. You forget to ask the next steps in the recruitment process

If you don’t know what the next steps in the recruitment process are and what the company timeline is for filling the job, how will you know when to follow up? Emergencies, vacations and budgets can cause timelines to slip, so don’t assume no news is bad news. Ask the time frame in your interview to manage your expectations.

10. You refuse to go for an interview because the salary is too low

Many factors impact your value in the workplace, the abiding factor through is your experience. Turning down an interview or job offer based solely on salary could send the message that you are inflexible.Do a thorough evaluation of what the salary ranges are for the types of jobs you are interested in. Speak to recruiters, industry sources and look for information online. Don’t forget the desirability factor. If you feel a salary is too low, but not a million miles away from your expectation, go for the job. If you have a favourable outcome, some small negotiation is allowed.





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