Building your career network: resilience, etiquette and selling your skills

03 September 2018

So you’ve worked hard to gain your experience, degree, diploma, masters or doctorate and, in some cases, maybe all of the above. Cue the following question from everyone you’ve ever known, ever...

And where are you now?”

In the unfortunate event that you’re displeased with the answer to that, here are some considerations when applying for the position you’d rather be in.

Winning CV


Persuasive Cover Letter

Double Given!

Why This Position?

Ask yourself, what is your why? Why do you want this particular position? If you’re not keen on securing the role, this makes the pursuit meaningless and will make convincing the panel of interviewers even more difficult.


So you’ve sent your CV and received the silent treatment, don’t take it personally. HR, recruitment and talent acquisition departments receive countless generic CVs which they neither have the time nor interest to respond to (if you forgot to tailor yourself, return to step 1!)

Follow Up

Phone the recruiter, or send an email; “Just checking that you’ve received my application and I’ve got the correct email address for you?”

The Decision Maker

If the silent treatment continues and you know you’re suitable for that position, invest your time and effort elsewhere. Do your own research on who is who within the industry and better still in your target company. Who is likely to be the person you will report to when you get this job? Thanks to LinkedIn and other online networking sites, we’re fortunate regarding the amount of transparency and information available to us about the structure within organisations.

Connection Etiquette

So you’ve found the decision maker! Next step, request to connect and confidently wait for acceptance. Following successful acceptance, compose your message. Alternatively, if you can source a direct dial for this person – even better, they may be more forthcoming with information verbally than in writing. Communicating directly with a decision maker or hiring manager is statistically the best route to employment.

Sell, Sell, Sell!

Remember at all times you are that job description, personified. Don’t wait for a potential interview to showcase your complete suitability for this role. Your pitch at this point deciphers whether or not you are called for a formal interview.

Grit and resilience are unlikely to appear on most job descriptions, however in the graduate labour market, they are most likely to be the unspoken essential requirements.

Find out more about our dedicated Finance and Business and Management careers support on our Postgraduate Careers pages.