Graduate Application Frustrations

We received an interesting email from a final-year student regarding graduate application rejections a week ago, and thought it would be appropriate to post it here (with permission) and see what the wider community thinks.

Dear TGA Graduate,

Hi! I’m a current final-year Commerce student who is seeking a graduate position for 2016.

I am writing this email to try and understand more broadly about what employers are looking for when they hire graduates.

The reason why I am interested is because I attended multiple careers festivals at the start of the year and thought I managed to leave a good impression of myself, as multiple company recruiters offered to keep a record of my name to ‘keep an eye out’ for my application. So I was surprised to find that I was rejected at the first online application stage for some of those companies which recorded my name.

I understand that I may be overly self-confident, but I believe the standard of my online application is not bad. And I was under the impression that after meeting with me and having the chance to judge my overall character and communication skills, that it would put me at a relative advantage over applicants that did not attend career fairs.

So what do you think went wrong? I have sent the companies emails asking for feedback, but I received no response.

I am a mentor for two first-year mentees who will eventually go through the graduate recruitment process, and I would like to understand the situation better to help them better. Therefore, if you have any tips for my improvement, it would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks and regards,
(name removed)

Frustrations such as these are indeed why TGA Graduate exists – one of the things we are trying to solve is the lack of sincere and open communication between graduates, who are potential employees, and companies, who are their potential employers.

Of course, we do understand (and graduates need to understand this as well), that companies are trying to sell their graduate positions, to beat competitors in getting the best young talents, so sincere communication is often hard because companies do not want to leave bad impressions.

We still believe that there should be more guidance, so we publish this blog post today in the hopes that recruiters will respond and give us their honest opinions as to how graduates are chosen.


So, why?

Please note that we are not focusing on reasons such as not fulfilling minimum criteria (visa, grade average, wrong degree).

– ATS: Even if your name was recorded, maybe the overall first stage was a cull by the ATS, and you didn’t make the cut. This might be for many reasons, including not using enough keywords, and not using the right relevant keywords.
Quality of application: Maybe the answers given to the written questions indicated that you would not be very suitable for the company’s culture. Or, maybe you left some fields blank. Make sure you double and then triple check your application before you submit it to ensure no fields are blank!
Human error: A more common mistake than you expect, maybe the piece of paper on which your name was recorded was misplaced! Or, one recruiter rejected you before the recruiter with your name got to your application.



As you can see, we don’t have the best answers for you, but we hope that in sharing your experience that we can open up more communication. Please keep watching this space as we will update this post with recruiter comments if they are received.

Students, we would love your opinions too – is this something that’s happened to you or your friends? How did you/they deal with it? If you’re uncomfortable with sharing it as a comment below, please shoot us an email and we will keep your name anonymous.


P.S. We are currently holding a competition on our facebook page!


Were you frustrated like the student above with graduate recruitment? Rant about your experiences and you may win! Its all about opening up the communication and holding recruiters accountable! Competition closes 12th June 2015 at noon. Open to all current Australian university students and recently graduated students in Australia.

No Comments

Post a Comment