Stay motivated, stay positive

Exhibitor at Work Experience Fair 2012

One of the most difficult and frustrating parts of job-hunting is learning to deal with rejection. Although it is hard to stay motivated and positive when your applications are unsuccessful, it is important to do so. Coming across as an enthusiastic, confident and motivated person in your written applications and in job interviews will help you get a step closer to getting your first graduate job.

Here are some tips to keep you motivated in your job hunt:

  • Remember that everyone has unsuccessful job applications and interviews; what is important is building on your experiences.
  • Take your time. Searching for a graduate job is a full-time activity. Set an action plan or realistic written goals to help you get started.
  • Research and prepare thoroughly for every application. Make sure you fully understand the job role and company before you apply for a job. If you get an interview make sure you prepare for every eventuality. You can never be over-prepared.
  • Take time to reflect. Follow up any unsuccessful applications and interviews by asking for feedback. This can give you valuable insight into your strengths and weaknesses. Here are six steps to getting feedback (PDF - 52KB) by Think Productive.
  • Focus on your strengths. If you find it hard to identify these then speak to your friends and family who should be able to help identify where you excel.
  • Remind yourself that job-hunting is a numbers game. Keep applying for positions of interest and don’t get disheartened.
  • Review your job hunting strategies. If you aren’t getting anywhere, then it might be time to change your approach. Use your initiative and try speculative applications to find the hidden job market.
  • Learn from your mistakes. Although you must not dwell on past failures, it is important to identify where you can improve.
  • Get expert help with your job applications and CVs with Careers Network.
  • Build a network. Use social media, attend careers and industry events and university alumni events. Don’t forget to keep a winning CV on you at all times; you never know when you will need it.
  • Build your CV and your confidence by doing graduate internships or voluntary work.
  • Take a reality check. Are you applying for jobs when you don’t have the right qualifications or experience? If you are, and you are certain that this is the job role you want to have, then you may have to consider building your experience in other roles or undertaking further professional development.
  • Schedule time for fun. Although you should dedicate plenty of time to your job hunt, don’t forget to have fun too. Maintain your hobbies and get regular exercise.
  • Always remember, Careers Network is here to help so get in contact.