Category Career Advice

Ghosting doesn’t just happen in the dating world. Here’s how candidates for graduate jobs can avoid it…

Ever been ghosted? It’s not an experience that leaves you feeling great about yourself. The sad thing is that these days it happens a lot. 

Clearly, the most obvious example is dating apps. We’re asked to sum up our whole personality in a profile consisting of a few pictures, prompts and if we’re brave, voice notes (users beware: these have high cringe potential). 

We’re then shown other peoples’ profiles – lots of them – and use these to make decisions about who we’d like to date. 

But there are problems with this.

Because we’re all reduced to a few summary pixels, it can be easy to forget that these belong to real humans with real human feelings.

And because we’re faced with seemingly endless options, some people quickly reach a state of FOBO (Fear Of A Better Offer). Consequently, after a few dates when the initial magic starts to wear off, those people are quick to move on. 

But rather than have an awkward conversation, they simply go comms down. And the person they were dating is left confused, upset and with their confidence shot.

Unfortunately, ghosting happens to candidates hunting for graduate recruitment too. 

Competition for the best roles can be fierce, especially in a mega-metropolis like London. Companies hiring for in-demand jobs are often inundated with applications and sometimes don’t offer feedback to unsuccessful candidates.  

Because of this, it’s hard to know where you’ve gone wrong. And there may be times when you doubt if you’ll ever find a job. 

At NST Graduate recruitment Agency, we work with clients to make sure our candidates get feedback on how they perform in the application process. In other words, there’s no ghosting. It’s what makes our graduate schemes different from other recruiters’.

If you’ve been unlucky enough to be ghosted by a graduate recruitment company, it’s worth considering if you’re making any of these common mistakes…

1. Your CV and cover letter don’t stand out 

Think of your CV and cover letter in the same way you would a dating profile. Highlight your strengths, show why you’d be a good romantic partner (or in this case, employee) and make it look good. You probably have about 30 seconds to persuade a recruiter to swipe right, i.e. move your CV onto the ‘shortlisted candidates’ pile. Make their life easy by using scannable sub-heads and bullet points. Keep copy concise. 

2. You aren’t using stats to highlight your impact

A common CV mistake graduates make is listing what they did in previous work experience, but not highlighting the impact they made. Recruiters want to hire candidates who they can rely on to help their business grow. So you need to include stats, numbers and percentages to show you made a difference.

Worked on a supermarket checkout? Don’t just put: “I was responsible for managing the tills.” How many customers did you serve? How much did each spend, on average? How much value did you bring into the business? This kind of information shows you’re results-minded.  

3. You’ve made basic spelling and grammar mistakes

Attention to detail is important in any role. This may sound brutal but if you can’t be bothered to spend time double-checking the spelling and grammar on your CV and cover letter, don’t expect a hiring manager to spend time passing on feedback. 

4. You haven’t customised your application to the role

We’re in danger or really labouring this analogy. But let’s say someone sends you a message on a dating app. How likely are you to respond if the message simply says: “hey” or “how was ur day?” Probably much less likely than if they asked you an interesting question based on your profile. 

Similarly, a graduate vacancy recruiter is more likely to respond well to a CV and cover letter that’s tailored to the job description they spent time writing. Map your application to the job spec and make sure you include the keywords listed.

5. You haven’t included enough relevant experience

Just because you’ve spent most of your life so far in education, doesn’t mean you haven’t gained valuable work experience. If you’ve done any of these things, they will resonate with a potential employer – make sure you include them:

  • Blog writing 
  • Starting a YouTube channel
  • Speaking on a podcast
  • Taking part in university projects
  • Joining a university society 
  • Attending an insight day 
  • Joining an industry association
  • Freelancing
  • Volunteering
  • Taking an online course

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