Why you should apply for fewer jobs

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As a 2012 graduate, I know how hard it is applying for jobs in your final year at university. You’ve got endless amounts of work to do and every conversation you have seems to be about job-hunting, making you even more stressed.

However, if you’re smart about the jobs you apply to then it will be time well spent. Most people think that ‘the more applications you do, the better’, which isn’t necessarily true. Getting hired is not a lottery process; it involves an employer carefully selecting the people who are right for the job. So, to maximise your chance of success, follow these four pieces of advice:

Finding a job

1. Only apply to jobs that appeal to your interests

It’s important to choose the right jobs to apply to: ones that inspire you to write a great application, and ones that give you lots to say. If the jobs you’re looking at don’t excite you, then maybe you aren’t looking at the right ones. Use the links at the bottom of this post to discover which careers suit you, and to find out about different career sectors.

On the other hand, if you are passionate about pursuing a specific career, don’t let the recession deter you. Looking at a variety of roles could be a wise idea to get a foot in the door, but don’t completely alter your interests just to fit the current job market in Ireland, as there are job opportunities abroad.

2. Only apply to jobs that match your abilities

If you don’t have the knowledge or the level of experience that a job requires, then realistically it’s not worth applying for. Graduate and entry-level roles are the ones you are most likely to get. If you feel you don’t have the skills for graduate roles, apply for internships and placements instead to improve your skill set.

Applying for a job

1. Tailor each application to each job

Taking the time to research a company in depth will show your employer that you’re dedicated to working for them. You will be much more likely to get a job interview. Write each job application from scratch and talk about what you like about the company. It only takes one successful application to land a job, so it’s definitely worth the extra effort.

2. Re-read your applications, lots

Spelling mistakes are easier to spot on paper, so print your application out before sending it. If you’re applying for a position by email, then send the application to yourself first to make sure you have attached the correct files. Small mistakes can make all the difference to an employer who has hundreds of applicants to choose from.

Be selective about the jobs you apply for, and then spend as much time on your applications as you can, to be in with the best chance of getting a job.

What career would suit me?

Get inspired: career sectors

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2 Comments on “Why you should apply for fewer jobs”

  1. philip McMahon says:

    I have been called for a group assessment with a major retail grocery organisation. Could anyone advice me how I should handle same or where i could get advice on handling same

  2. gradireland says:

    Hi Philip, There is an overview of what to expect from assessment centres on the gradireland website: http://gradireland.com/careers-advice/interviews-and-tests/assessment-centres. You might also contact your university careers service for some one-on-one advice before the assessment centre. Good luck.


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