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How I got my first job out of university without an application.

Updated: Oct 18, 2023

Every job I got after graduating I got without formal applications, here’s how I got the first one

Since graduating university I’ve held three positions of interest: a business analyst, a behavioural design consultant and a Director at a non-profit organisation all without formal application. I got all of these jobs without formal applications.

This week I’ll tell you how I got the first one and what I learned.

The application process today is tough. Employers don’t know who to trust and young people feel overlooked.

I remember in my third year applying to loads of jobs. It was rejection after rejection despite my first class grades, work experience and extracurricular activities. I wondered why I wasn’t good enough to get into these companies. I attended CV workshops and career advisory meetings and at every one they told me what I had was good.

So I did what all reasonable people do when feeling lost, I turned to someone who had what I wanted and asked them for help.

How I found someone who would help me

Earlier in my third year of University I had applied for Surrey Connects, a mentoring platform set up by my University where I was matched with Richella Homer, the Head of Marketing for Surrey University.

Richella and I met weekly - and still do - and I’ve come to greatly admire the way Richella has built her career with compassion, making her an excellent marketer and an even better stakeholder manager.

After about four months of struggling with applications, I turned to Richella (more like I came to a Teams call crying to Richella) and asked her “What the heck do I do?”.

“I’ll put something out to my network” she said. She got a few bites, I got a few interviews without applying and within the next month I had my first job at Blackbridge Communications.

In hindsight, asking for help from Richella was well received because we had an existing relationship and I had shown her through months of meeting the best things about me and made her feel confident in recommending me as an employee.

What I learned

Richella didn’t help me out of the blue. We had been meeting for months. She knew I was consistent, accountable and ambitious. She’d also seen how good my work was.

For my first job, I didn’t have a formal interview process, but I did have a long one.

I learned who I am and the consistency I bring to the table really matters, showing up for people I don’t want anything from really matters, and cherishing all people really matters.

Thanks for reading!

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