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Job Application Tips – Graduates

Honorata Ochowiak

Are you a recent graduate looking for a professional job?

Please see below for job application tips.


Make sure your CV is clear, concise, mistake-free and tailored to the job you are applying for. The easier to read, the better.
If you are not sure about the layout of your Resume, ask somebody to help you with it. At Eirkoo, we provide free CV advice service for everyone.
Please refer to my previous article “CV – Do’s and Don’ts” for more information.

Cover Letter

There is no harm in attaching a short & specific Cover Letter to your CV. Some Hiring Managers read them, others don’t, however it’s safer to include one as you never know what the person who reads it expects from the applicants.
As already mentioned, make the letter specific. I have had graduates apply for my Trainee Accounting roles in the past and their Cover Letter would refer to a Marketing job. This doesn’t look professional and might deter a Recruiter/Hiring Manager from calling you. It will take you longer to write a number of specific Cover Letters, but I can assure you, it will be worth it.

Applying for jobs

Do not apply for every single job advertised. As a graduate, you might not know what exactly you want to do in the future and that’s fine but there is no point in applying for every single job advertised (especially roles you are definitely not qualified for) because that will not help you securing a position.
Also, don’t apply for a role just because your friend is applying for it/someone you’re close to tells you to do so. There is no point in applying for something you have no interest in at all as it will not work long term.
If you apply for a certain job through a Recruitment Agency, don’t be afraid to let the Consultant know that you are also applying/interviewing for a number of different positions or that you are unsure as to what exactly you are looking for. This will not deter them for putting you forward for the role if you are suitable. Recruiters are supposed to be your advisors. They are not the Hiring Managers. Perhaps they will advise you as to what other jobs are out there for you.


Congratulations! You got to the interview stage. Now what?
Here is an article with some basic interview tips- https://www.irishjobs.ie/careeradvice/top-5-tips-great-interview/
You can also reach out to us for our FREE Eirkoo Interview Tips & Guidelines document.

Other interview tips

If you’re in a position to do so, always let the company/recruiter know if you can’t make it to the interview. This may sound obvious, but some people still don’t do it or do it last minute. This is very unprofessional and you will be remembered as an unreliable person.
If you have another interview on the same day, let the recruiter know. They will get back to the company and try to schedule it for another day/time. Similarly, if you really don’t want to go for the interview anymore for different reasons, tell the recruiter. Honesty is better than lying. Perhaps the recruiter might give you some advice or put you forward for other positions.

Job Offers

You got a job offer? Great! But what if that’s not the role you really want or you are waiting to hear back from other companies you have much more interest in?
It will not be easy, but don’t accept it. A job offer is great confidence boost but if you’re sure you don’t want to take it and are financially in the position not to take it, don’t do it. It might take you longer to find a role this way but at least you will not end in a job you never wanted in the first place.

What’s Next?

You are now in a job you always wanted but realise it’s not for you. You have two obvious options – stay or leave.
My first professional job was within tax. It was/is a great career to pursue but I found out pretty quickly it wasn’t for me. People told me to stay for another while and get some more experience but I just knew I had to leave.
I had recruitment in my head for some time. Career in tax would have been stable and I was working for one of the top accounting firms in the world. Although it involved certain risks, I decided to quit and start fresh. It was one of the best decisions I have made. Perhaps I will change my mind/regret it in the future but right now I am very happy I made the move.
Many people will tell you to stick to a stable career but ultimately it is your life and your decision. From experience, it’s better to leave a job early as you will find it more difficult to quit after couple of years in the same role.

Best of luck in your search!

Feel free to reach out to me for job application advice – hochowiak@eirkoo.ie / 01 699 1200. 


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