Take another critical look at your CV, application forms and covering letters and ask yourself:
- Have you been focused enough in your approach and conducted the relevant research into the firms and sector you are applying to?
- Are you making it clear that you know what the jobs you are applying to involve?
- Do you meet the criteria stipulated in the job description?
- Are you being unduly modest about your accomplishments?
- Have you spent enough time tailoring your applications to the jobs?
- Are you using the correct medium for your applications? For example, if recruitment in your chosen profession or industry operates through a network of contacts, have you started trying to build these?
Although you can’t change your experience or accomplishments you can:
- meet with a careers adviser to review your CV or sample cover letters/applications
- provide further detail, rearrange or alter the emphasis
- acquire additional relevant experience by taking new courses or taking part in voluntary activities or temporary jobs
- review the applications section of this website for expert help and advice on improving your applications
However, sometimes you may have to accept that an employment area is very competitive, and that your particular qualifications and experience might be insufficient to secure a graduate position right now. If this is the case, but you are still committed to a career in the area, it can be helpful to undertake more research, perhaps arranging to speak to/meet people in the field to get their opinion on your qualifications and experience – and to get their advice on any alternative routes into that particular profession.
If you think that disappointing grades/qualifications are one of the reasons that your applications are not successful, try not to worry, as this doesn’t always mean that you can’t pursue your career of choice. For further advice, read our page on how to overcome disappointing grades.