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Common Mistakes Made by Graduate Job-Seekers

Embarking on the journey of finding your first job as a graduate can be both exhilarating and nerve-wracking. It's a pivotal moment that marks the beginning of your professional career. At Rise Technical Recruitment, we understand the aspirations of ambitious graduates who are eager to make their mark in the technical recruitment industry. In this blog, we'll explore the common mistakes often made by graduate job-seekers and provide actionable insights to help you stand out and secure that dream job.


1 - Neglecting Personal Branding

In today's fiercely competitive job market, personal branding is a force to be reckoned with. Yet, it's a facet many graduates tend to underestimate. Your personal brand is more than just a professional façade; it's a reflection of your unique skills, experiences, and values that contribute to your identity as a potential asset to employers.

Imagine your personal brand as a compilation of your accomplishments, passions, and aspirations. This helps to communicates a story that potential employers want to connect with. From your academic achievements to your extracurricular involvements, every element adds depth to your brand.

Don't shy away from leveraging platforms like LinkedIn to craft an authentic online presence. Your profile can serve as a digital portfolio that showcases your professional journey, highlighting your growth and evolution. Take a look at our blog on personal branding for more information.


2 - Disregarding Research

Walking into an interview or networking event without conducting thorough research is a grave misstep that can significantly impact your chances of success. Employers are not only impressed but also deeply appreciative of candidates who display a comprehensive understanding of their company's ethos, mission, and recent accomplishments.

Your commitment to research serves as a testament to your genuine interest in the organisation. It's your way of saying, "I don't just want a job; I want to be a part of your journey." This knowledge empowers you to tailor your responses effectively during interviews, showcasing how your skills align with the company's needs and goals.

3 - Underestimating Transferable Skills

As a graduate embarking on your professional journey, you might feel that your lack of direct work experience puts you at a disadvantage. However, it's essential to recognize that the skills you've gained from internships, part-time jobs and university projects hold significant value. Underestimating these transferable skills is a common mistake that can hinder your job search progress.

While technical skills are crucial, employers also highly value transferable skills—those abilities that can be applied across various roles and industries. Skills such as communication, teamwork, problem-solving and time management are universal and can contribute to your success regardless of the field you're entering.

4 - Neglecting Networking Opportunities

In the digital age, networking has become more accessible and impactful than ever before. However, many graduates underestimate its significance and tend to focus solely on submitting online applications. While online applications are essential, networking can provide you with a competitive edge by opening doors to hidden job opportunities and offering insights into the industry's inner workings.

Attending industry events, career fairs, and virtual meet-ups provides a platform to connect with professionals who can offer valuable advice and potentially become mentors. These connections can also introduce you to companies that may not have advertised positions publicly. Building relationships with peers, professionals, and even recruiters can help you gain a deeper understanding of the industry trends and requirements. Our LinkedIn post on networking expands more on this.

5 - Sending Generic Applications

In a job market where competition is fierce, personalisation goes a long way. Many graduates make the mistake of sending out generic applications to various job postings, hoping for a positive response. However, this approach often results in applications that fail to capture the attention of recruiters and employers.

Tailoring your application to the specific role demonstrates your genuine interest and commitment to the position. Start by thoroughly reading the job description to understand the skills and qualifications required. Then, align your resume and cover letter to highlight your experiences and accomplishments that directly relate to the role. See our CV Writing Tips blog for more information.

6 - Fearing Rejection

Rejection is an inevitable part of the job search journey, yet it's one of the most feared aspects for many graduates. The fear of rejection can lead to hesitation, self-doubt, and even giving up on pursuing opportunities. However, it's crucial to remember that rejection doesn't define your worth or potential.

Embracing a mindset that views rejection as a stepping stone is essential for growth. Every successful professional has faced setbacks along the way. Shifting your perspective and viewing rejection as a valuable learning opportunity can boost your resilience and empower you to move forward with renewed determination.


By sidestepping common pitfalls such as neglecting personal branding, overlooking research, and underestimating transferable skills, you can chart a confident course through the job search process. Embracing networking, tailoring your applications, and nurturing your soft skills all help you to stand out amidst the competition.

At Rise Technical, we have over 17 years of experience in placing graduate job-seekers into their dream roles, providing expert guidance and assistance, a large network of businesses, and a plethora of resources designed to enhance your journey. From our extensive industry knowledge to our commitment to personal development, we're dedicated to fostering an environment where your success is not just a possibility but an inevitability.

Browse through our jobs section or contact us at to find out more!