We’ve all been there – sifting through what seems like an endless sea of job postings, trying to find our “dream job”.
It can be frustrating to say the least – and if this sounds like your life right now, know that you’re not alone. Here are 12 thoughts that have probably run through every new grad’s head, and some helpful advice. (Hey, we’re not going to leave you hanging!)
1. “Am I really good enough to apply to this job?”
Realistically speaking, you’re probably not perfect for the job. You’re likely missing at least one or two qualities that their ideal candidate possesses. But chances are, the other candidates who apply are likely in the same boat.
Keep in mind that you also have qualities that may be useful to the role that the recruiter may not have even considered – it’s up to you to show them that you can take this job in a new and positive direction!
2. “These recruiters are probably rolling in candidates 100x more qualified than me.”
New grads tend to think that recruiters always have a ton of qualified candidates vying for their roles at any given time.
This is not always the case – out of the few that fit the requirements, many will accept different positions or decide the role isn’t their cup of tea. While it may feel like the odds aren’t in your favour, you never know unless you apply!
3. “Welp. Gotta pump out 10 more cover letters today.”
While it’s important to write a customized cover letter for each application you send out, don’t feel like you need to craft each one from scratch each time.
Consider creating a template, and fill in the employer’s name in each empty field. Ensure there is at least one paragraph left open where you can express your knowledge about that company – as long as it shows you’ve done your research, your cover letter is doing its job!
4. “How ‘proficient’ is French proficiency?”
Sometimes job postings aren’t 100% clear. While we don’t always have control over that, you do have control over your application – clearly state your language proficiency (i.e. basic, conversational, advanced) in your resume and/or cover letter.
Don’t even think about lying… unless you have the ability to learn another language in the span of a few weeks, you’ll get caught sooner or later. (Probably sooner.)
5. “This job would be PERFECT for me… if I didn’t live 4 hours away.”
This can be downright annoying. However, don’t give in the the idea that “it just wasn’t meant to be.”
If this is truly the perfect job for you, weigh the pros and cons – if you did manage to land the job, would the opportunity be worth relocating? Would you be able to stay with a friend or family member? Don’t feel you need to answer this right away, because you’ll likely find out more at the interview stage, but it never hurts to go with your gut when you decide whether or not to apply!
6. “I need a car to get this job. But I need a job to buy a car.”
This can be a vicious cycle, and if you don’t have the money to buy a car, that can’t be helped.
What you can do is focus on the other reasons why you want that particular job – is it because you want sales or management experience? Do you enjoy travelling and being out on the field? Think about what other types of jobs you can apply to gain that experience. And maybe in the future, once you’ve saved up enough, you’ll be able to get a car and go back for that elusive gig.
7. “Seriously, where am I supposed to get 5 years experience for an entry-level job?”
It’s easy to feel like all these minimum experience requirements are simply a recruiter’s attempts to kick you while you’re down. But they’re not (and we assure you, they have better things to do).
When you’re starting out as a new grad, it’s important to keep a broad vision. You might not start off in your target industry, so try getting an entry-level position that will help you develop related skills that can eventually help you get your desired role.
8. “I REALLY hope I attached the right file.”
If you’re sending 5 to 10 applications a day, chances are you’ve sent the wrong file to an employer.
Always double and triple check your files before you hit “send” – consider putting a brightly-coloured sticky note on your monitor to help you remember. If the damage has been done, send an email along with the correct attachment and a (calm, composed) apology.
9. “Wait, did I send that typo? MY CREDIBILITY HAS BEEN SLAIN.”
Spell check doesn’t always catch everything.
Recruiters receive applications all the time with typos and grammatical mistakes, so be sure to proofread the good old fashioned way. (That’s right, you actually have to read your application yourself. Sorry.) If you can, have a friend take a glance over it – a fresh pair of eyes is more likely to catch mistakes.
10. “I don’t want to do this anymore…”
If you’re slowing down and your motivation is dwindling, it’s probably time to take a break. Applying for jobs can be a full time job in itself, but that doesn’t mean you can’t experience life outside your computer monitor.
Take a walk outside, get some fresh air, and remember that life is good. You can do this. (If this still doesn’t work, google some pictures of cute kittens or something. Things will get better.)
11. “No… my phone can’t be dead. WHAT IF THEY ARE CALLING RIGHT NOW?”
If you find yourself in the company of anxiety and paranoia, try and hold it together. If you have voicemail, you’ll be able to call them back – just be sure to do it in a timely fashion.
Otherwise it might be smart to start carrying around your phone charging cord. If your phone is really prone to dying at critical moments, consider investing in a portable power bank.
12. “I got an interview… my hope has been restored!”
Sooner or later, you’ll get that awaited call. Remember to celebrate, enjoy the moment, and remind yourself that your career aspirations are achievable, as long as you continue to work at them!