What is it like to apply for a job as a graduate

I asked the graduates I spent time with to fill out a small questionnaire.

I wanted to see what it was like and how long it took to get a job as a graduate in pandemic times, here are the results

June 5, 2021
Last modified June 5, 2021


As i mentioned in my previous post, I interviewed 100 graduates and spent time with them. I also asked them to fill out a short questionnaire. This post gives the results of that questionnaire. The sample size is not significant. It represents about 100 responses. The candidates were mostly coming from web dev social media channels.

How long, in months, have you been applying for a job?

The average number of months was 5 months. The longest someone was looking was 18 months.

How many companies have you applied to?

The average number was 71 companies. The most significant number was 300.

How many companies gave a response? Either a positive or negative one.

Only 23% of companies gave a response.

When you received feedback, What was the feedback?

90% of responses were a generic template that said one of the following

  • “You are not a good fit for us.”
  • “We went with another candidate.”

10% provided actionable feedback on the candidate’s CV or interview.

  • “Improve the README on your Github profile.”
  • “Cater your CV for the job you are applying for.”

What size companies are you applying to?

90% of respondents had no preference for company size. 10% wanted to work in smaller companies of less than 500 employees.

In summary

As a hiring manager who has frustrations with hiring, I can see it isn’t pleasant for the candidates. Low response rates coupled with low-quality feedback from companies can be very demoralising to getting your first job.

If you want to get help with getting a job, sign up for my newsletter or pick a time in my calendar

I do not charge. I intend to help people who are struggling with getting a job. The only thing that I ask of you is that in the future when you are in a position to help someone, you will.

Next up

With discussions on returning to work I will share what was learned from doing the hybrid approach of having people in the office and people working remotely in a startup i worked for a couple of years ago.

Other posts

Next: Creating an inclusive remote and office work environment

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