4 Job Hunting Mistakes New Graduates Make

By Kylie Exline on December 31, 2016

As many of us are graduating from college, we are in the midst of applying for jobs, getting rejected by jobs, and questioning our intelligence about every day. It can be tough, I know.

The last thing that we want to do when it comes to finding a job is to make mistakes that may just cost us our future. In other words, we do not really want to do anything that could potentially stop us from reaching our dreams. No need for that.

To discover what mistakes to avoid when it comes to job hunting post graduation, continue reading below. And if anything, you may want to take some notes on what to definitely avoid.

Setting aspirations too high

Now, it is always a great thing to set personal goals for yourself and to reach them, but sometimes we need to be realistic about some things. Personally, I need to work on accepting smaller, less paying jobs and understand that we all must start somewhere. I understand that we all want a job where we are making six figures and absolutely love it, but honestly, that is not going to come from an entry-level job. Sorry.


Setting too high of an aspiration can hurt you in the long run because you are not used to settling. Although we have constantly been told to not settle and to always reach for the stars, there are times where we must be more realistic with ourselves. It doesn’t hurt.

If you really want to work for a fortune 500 company, then you may have to start off as the janitor for a few months until you can prove to them that you are a businessman or analytics expert. And in any case, you truly learn the value of working for your success.

Declining offers too quickly

Another common mistake that many college graduates make is declining job offers too quickly. Like your parents always said, you should never leave a job without a new one. And in this case, you should not make rash decisions. Especially ones that pay well if you know what I mean.

It can do you some good to ask for some time to think things through thoroughly. Plus this shows that you are actually considering the job and how you will each benefit the other. Keep in mind that this job does not have to be your job forever, but rather some jobs serve a smaller and shorter purpose than others. There will always be those stepping stones.

Most jobs will want an answer relatively fast, so you need to make sure that you are both honest and straightforward with your answer. You should not decline immediately unless you 100 percent accepted another job already. This way, you are not shutting all of your opportunity doors, and are taking the time to process your decisions.

Refusing to apply

A mistake that way too many people make is not applying to a job solely because they do not really want it. Now, it is one thing to absolutely hate the job, like if you were a dog walker and your degree was in biochemistry. I get it. But sometimes you have to start out small.

And if you apply for a job, you must have been slightly interested given you dedicated the time to create a cover letter, considered their company goals, and actually hit send. Trust me, I know it can be difficult, especially if you think that the job is way out of your league.

By refusing to apply, you are already limiting yourself to job possibilities. Remember that the worst thing that can happen is them telling you no. And believe me when I say that it truly is not the end of the world. You will eventually discover your calling and never question these job hunting mistakes again.

Misunderstanding the job

Another huge mistake is not exactly understanding the job that you applied for. If anything, you should definitely be reading the job description and figuring out if you are even qualified. It would be such a waste of time to apply for a job where you must have your doctorate and you just finished undergrad. Oops.

Most job postings state the necessary years of experience you should have, what kind of degrees you earned, and the overall expectations that you will share. They tend to go in enough detail and will usually accept questions via email.

This mistake is common because many college grads are quick to apply to anything solely because they just want a job, regardless if it happens to be their dream job. At the end of the day, you should understand what is expected of you and do your research. It cannot hurt.


If you recently graduated college, then there are some common mistakes that you may have already made. For instance, holding too high of goals, declining jobs too fast, refusing certain job postings, and not really understanding the job in the first place.

With all of these mistakes, you should keep in mind that no job will be perfect and that it takes time to truly discover what you enjoy. We all know that money does not really hurt, but sometimes it will just have to take time. Plus, it is called a job hunt for a reason.

Editing, Writing & Media. FSU// Go Noles! Class of 2016.

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