As you are coming to the end of your degree it can feel as if everyone else has got their life mapped out. Graduate job or internship secured. Maybe a holiday or bit of travel thrown in too. Yet despite making applications and maybe getting through various stages of the recruitment process you find yourself with nothing lined up and no clue what to do next.

Undoubtedly this is a difficult time – there is no denying it can leave you feeling disappointed and anxious. But you need to remember you’re not alone. Competition for jobs and internships is extremely high so here are a few hints and tips to help you cope positively with the situation and move forward in your job search:

Don’t take it personally

Rejection, while never easy, is a fact of life. Given the numbers of people competing for the same roles, many good candidates are rejected. This doesn’t mean you’ve failed or done something wrong. Don’t be too hard on yourself.

Remember there are lots of other jobs out there

Yes many of the big graduate schemes are full and closing dates for most have passed but there are lots of other jobs out there, including some graduate schemes that still have places as well as internships. A quick look on CareerHub should help to reassure you. Remember too that these formal, advertised schemes only represent a small fraction of jobs out there. Maybe you could think about getting some work experience or look for opportunities with smaller organisations? There’s nothing to stop you looking for an opportunity now and applying for graduate schemes when they re-open if that’s what you want.

Adopt a different job hunting strategy

Estimates suggest that up to 70% of all jobs are never formally advertised. This means two things for you:

  1. for every advertised job there will be lots of applications
  2. There are lots of opportunities out there that you, and others, don’t know about

Try taking a different approach. As well as looking on CareerHub and other jobs sites, don’t forget to keep networking, talking to people and making speculative applications, to find other opportunities.

Learn from your experience

If you’ve been through an assessment centre or interview, use it as a learning experience. Think about what you did well and the areas you want to work on and remember that most people are their own worst critic – so don’t be too hard on yourself! Ask for feedback – you may be surprised by what you hear and it’s only by hearing from the assessors that you will truly know which areas you need to focus on for future applications.

Take a step back and refocus

Don’t panic or send out blanket applications – take a step back and think about what you’re trying to achieve and whether there are alternative routes you could take or different options you want to consider. Come and see us if you want to discuss your strategy, options or applications.

And finally…

Remember there will always be other jobs! It may not feel like that when you are feeling low from rejections or a seeming lack of progress in your job search but there will always be other opportunities. Stay positive and remember your next boss is out there – you just haven’t met them yet!