As you brush off the glitter from your uni prom and turn your mind to the serious business of finally looking for a proper job, you are going to be setting yourself up for as much disappointment as excitement. Competition for the best graduate jobs is fierce, and if you are going to come out of the process unscathed then you need to learn that resilience and persistence are crucial skills to have.

Rejection is a rotten, painful business. It can lead to feelings of depression, anxiety a,nd stress due to the shame that you experience. Fear of rejection can also lead to inaction, which stops you mofrom ving forward and progressing.

But reframing the way you process rejection can ensure that you use it as a powerful tool for self development, you will be able to learn that rejection is actually a powerful and necessary part of your overall job hunting experience. 

As is often said, rejection is more valuable than inaction. Rejection is proof that you have been making the effort to move forward. In order to be rejected, you need to have actually put yourself out there in the first place – and that is a powerful thing.


Here’s our TWO TOP TIPS to making your search for a graduate job the most positive experience possible for you, even in the face of rejection after rejection.

  1. Don’t take it personally

That first application is always going to be the most exciting and terrifying at the same time. You are opening yourself up to rejection and not being experienced in these things there will inevitably be anxiety around what the response could be.

Recruitment these days is artificial intelligence-led, and the initial ‘triage’ of applicants is done through algorithms. You might be the most perfect candidate, but if you have not used the correct terms on your curriculum vitae, then you will be automatically rejected. 

Please do not take it personally – it is the computer that says no!

When applying for graduate jobs you would be well advised to spend some time working up your CV with a specialist recruitment company or consultant knowledgeable in the artificial intelligence methods of triage.  They will ensure that the terms you use in your CV match the terms that are most commonly used in the sorts of roles that you are looking for – massively increasing your chances of making it through to the next rounds of selection and interview.

  1. It’s a numbers game

When you put all your eggs in one basket by cherry-picking a small number of potential jobs, you are raising your potential rejection rates. At this early stage, job hunting is a numbers game. Fortunately, the methods for job seeking and applications are equally algorithm driven. The more positions you look for, and apply for, on various job-seeking portals, the more your details will be pushed forward to potential recruiters. It’s no longer enough to apply for five jobs – you need to apply for 50, even if they don’t entirely match up with your own search criteria.

Instead, your details will be picked up by other recruitment companies who will start to contact you directly, and put you forward for potential positions that you may not have even known existed.

You will get a raft of rejections coming through. Do not see those as a personal slight on you personally, and your abilities. But it will help you to process those rejections more productively – and use them as a way of propelling yourself forward.


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