The 7 Deadly Sins Of The Job Hunt

Here at GradTouch we see hundreds of job applications each week, as a result we've spotted 7 deadly job-hunting sins that crop up time and time again and are preventing good grads from getting the positions they want.

Read on and avoid life stuck in graduate limbo:

1. The scattergun approach 

Unfortunately, it’s not a case of ‘the more mud you throw at a wall the more will stick’. Rather than applying for everything with the word ‘graduate’ in it, apply for positions within companies that you are genuinely attracted to. It will give you more time to focus your efforts! Most importantly, you’ll end up getting a position you’ll be really happy in. Win win!

2. Lack of research

Find out as much as humanly possible about the job and the company you are applying for, then relate this to why you want the job. Employers want a graduate who is going to stick around for at least a year or so and who is going to work hard. If you don’t know enough about the company or the role you're not going to be able to articulate why you want to be there.

Pre-application and pre-interview research are such sticking points for employers that thorough research is probably one of the easiest ways you can differentiate yourself from the graduate crowd.

3. Too many nerves, or a complete lack of them

Interviewing is a nerve inducing process but amongst all the nerves it’s easy to neglect the main way you can make a great impression - by being personable.

No matter what position you are applying for, you will need to come across as confident, show some personality and build a rapport with your interviewer - it would be a shame to let nerves get in the way. Here's how not to!

That said, some nerves are useful. Don’t sway the other way and become too comfortable with your interviewer. Remember you are there in a professional capacity!

4. Applying for things that you aren't qualified for

In at number four - applying for jobs that you don’t have the experience, qualifications or skills for. While it’s not really something that anyone wants to hear, you might not be getting the jobs you’re applying for simply because you aren't right for them.

Read the job specification really carefully and make sure you meet the vast majority of the requirements. If you don't, save your time and energy and don't apply. 


Spelling and grammar mistakes (SPAGS) are the most notorious of the seven job hunting sins, and they're something we all fall foul of!

Spelling and grammar mistakes show carelessness and this implies you aren’t bothered enough about the job, or the company, to take the time to check through what you've written - not cool.

Check everything that you write three times (yes, three!), then force a friend/relative check it for you. Use bribery if necessary.

6. Failing to show evidence of your skills

So… you have teamwork skills. OK, where from? Who says? For each skill you say that you have, ALWAYS give an example of where you have used it. If you say that leadership is your biggest skill, talk about being vice president of the hockey society. If you mention your ability to persuade other people, bring up your participation in the debating society.

If you don't give an example of times you've used your skill, as far as the employer is concerned, it's not a skill that you possess.

7. Not grabbing opportunities with both hands 

As well as using sites like (well of course- you’d be mad not to!), make sure you explore all the other ways of getting a job to maximise your chances. There is more than one way to skin a cat, as they say! Take heed of the following:

a) Make maximum use of your careers service. Most careers services allow alumni to use them for a year or so post-graduation.

b) Use your connections!

c) Use LinkedIn, here's why!

d) Send out speculative applications. A whopping 70% of jobs out there aren't advertised! Read the 'Speculate to Accumulate' section in our 'How to get work experience' article for the low-down on how to go about this.

Good Luck!

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10 Reasons Your CV Is Ruining Your Job Hunt
10 Skills Employers Look For
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