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News article4 May 2022European Labour Authority, Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion

Nine things new graduates should know when they start job searching

Finding your first job does not have to be scary if you approach it with the right attitude and an open mind. Check out our tips to make your job hunting less daunting and more productive.

9 things new graduates should know when they start job searching


Make a habit of regularly checking for job openings

Whatever job portals you are using to find vacancies, make sure to check them daily, especially during workdays. Apply for job openings as soon as you see them. Some employers receive hundreds of applications, and unless you are one of the first applicants, your chances of getting considered for the job can be slim.

A good way to start the day is to scroll through the latest job openings while having your morning coffee.

Not too broad, not too specific

When you are searching for opportunities in job portals, make sure to use the filtering options, so you can see all vacancies relevant to your interests. This will help you find suitable job openings quicker. Be careful not to make your search too specific, as this will bring you very few search results.

Tailor your CV

A common mistake made by jobseekers is that they only have one CV, which has all their skills, background information, and experience. Make sure your CV is tailored to the type of job you are applying for and include only information that is relevant to that field. If you are applying for jobs in different sectors, you should have a tailored CV for each one.

Depending on the job you are applying for, you can also add a list of your strengths or a portfolio.

Do not forget to include any relevant volunteering experience.

Be open to internships/traineeships

Internships and traineeships are a great way to start your career journey. They may not pay much (or at all), but they can provide you with invaluable professional experience, which you can then use to get a full-time job. Many employers also offer their interns permanent contracts at the end of the internship period if they have been happy with their work.

Use Europass and EURES to build your CV and apply for jobs

With over 3 million vacancies, the EURES portal is the perfect place to find your first job. Contact a EURES Adviser in your country to learn how EURES can help you enter the labour market.

Use the Europass tools to build a strong CV and impactful cover letter that will make you stand out from the other applicants.

Polish your social media presence

Now that you are on the job market, you should know that many employers and HR officers look up applicants’ names on social media. Go over your accounts and remove/restrict any posts that you do not want your future employer to see. Make sure to update your LinkedIn profile too!

Start networking

Networking is important for both jobseekers and workers. It helps you stay up to date with the latest developments in your sector, but it is also a great way to learn about new job opportunities. As a first step, you can go on LinkedIn and look up different industry groups that you could potentially join.

You can even ask a LinkedIn connection (for example, one of your former teachers, professors or classmates) to write a recommendation on your profile to make it more credible.

Accept the fact that your first job may not be your dream job

Very few people stay at their first job for many years. It is perfectly normal to change jobs when a better opportunity presents itself and you have no more to learn at your current job. As a new graduate, the most important thing is simply to start working, so you can start gaining experience and building your professional network.

Do not let rejections get you down

You may be the most qualified applicant for a job opening, but in today’s globalised world, you could be competing against hundreds of applicants just like you. Do not lose hope and keep searching. Everyone finds their first job eventually.

Although we are living in a digital age, many job openings are still not advertised publicly. Instead, they are filled through referrals and professional networking. Check out our tips on how to be an effective online networker.

In partnership with EURES, the European Job Mobility Portal.


Related links:

EURES portal


Search for EURES Advisers

Top 6 tips for effective online networking


Read more:

European Job Days

Find EURES Advisers

Living and working conditions in EURES countries

EURES Jobs Database

EURES services for employers

EURES Events Calendar

Upcoming Online Events

EURES on Facebook

EURES on Twitter

EURES on LinkedIn

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Articles are intended to provide users of the EURES portal with information on current topics and trends and to stimulate discussion and debate. Their content does not necessarily reflect the view of the European Labour Authority (ELA) or the European Commission. Furthermore, EURES and ELA do not endorse third party websites mentioned above.