Saturday, 1 September 2012

When is the 'right' time to apply?

I’ve been pondering the answer to this question for a while now, and after my graduate success, I can’t help but think that any time is the right time to apply. I know that a lot of graduates want to enjoy their summer and have a break before they go into the world of work, but in today’s climate it simply isn’t as straight forward as that. We already know that there aren’t enough jobs to go around so why delay applying. Perhaps they believe that as soon as they start applying for jobs, they’ll soon have interviews and soon have a job, but for those that have been out of work a while will know that the scenario plays out differently. So below I’ve complied a few pointers for you to think about when contemplating when to apply for graduate jobs.

1) Never assume
This pointer is building on my points above. If you’re in the position of just finishing university and desiring to have a couple of months off, I would still recommend that you apply for jobs. Those lucky ones will get interviews and jobs, whereas the unlucky will be forced to have a couple of months off. If you decide not to apply for jobs later rather than sooner, then you could hinder your chances of getting a job when you do start to apply. So never assume that once you start applying for jobs that you’ll hear back from the companies and be offered interviews – the reality is very different and the competition is fierce.

2) Sooner is always better than later
If you’re asking yourself when you should apply and you’ve already graduated, well the right time was probably at least six weeks before you graduated. It may seem like that is too early but it really isn’t. In today’s climate, multiple applications may not even gain one interview. So increase your chances of getting an interview and apply for jobs sooner rather than later. Use the same principle when actually applying for jobs. If a position has just become available, don’t wait a few days to apply, write your application now.

3) Give yourself plenty of notice
 Preferably you need to start applying for jobs before you actually need one, so a maximum of six weeks in advance. This is because you need to account for when applications are simply ‘ignored’ without notice, any rejections and multiple interviews leading to either a rejection or a job.  You need to account for the worst-case scenario in order to minimise the amount of time you’re out of work.

4) If you’re still a student...
Don’t wait until your graduation to apply for jobs, start applying when your course ends. I applied for jobs at the end of May as I was available to start working from June onwards. Don’t forget that many graduates that have just graduated will apply from July onwards – get in there first.  

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