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7 Job Hunting Lessons Graduates can Learn from Pokémon GO

Well, it’s official, Pokémon IS BACK!

Pokémon GO, the new augmented reality game that brings Pokémon into the real world, seems to be inspiring some pretty strong reactions across the globe. When it comes to Pokémon GO, it looks like there are two teams.

Team Hater: These guys don’t see what all the fuss is about and most definitely have no intention of catching ’em all. They’ve been known to have a tendency to post party-pooping memes on Facebook and leave passive aggressive notes in public places to let everyone know just how stupid they think the whole thing is.

Team Hunter: They still have all of their Pokémon cards (arranged by type and then evolution, of course), nearly cried with sheer glee when the app got released and hunting Pokémon has now become an everyday necessity. They’ve been known to walk/skip down the street, phone in hand, shamelessly (and repeatedly) singing the Pokémon theme tune out loud.

Love it or loathe it, Pokémon GO appears to be here to stay and while it clearly has its drawbacks (more staring at phones and people falling off the odd cliff or quitting their jobs to become Pokémon Masters), it has its benefits, too! The phenomenon has the power to get people off the sofa and out into the open, the app is now more popular than Tinder and it’s even managed to quash Bieber Fever; Justin himself managed a little Poké-hunting in New York without being mobbed by fans (all of which were far too busy trying to catch a Gyarados to notice the pop star).

It could even be said that Pokémon GO can teach us a thing or two, and with graduation season upon us, new grads will be doing some hunting of their own; looking for a graduate job. So, what lessons can graduates learn about the job hunt from Pokémon GO?

You need to put in those miles

If you take a stroll around your back garden, you’re unlikely to catch anything more than a measly Weedle. You need to put in the time and effort walking around and exploring the outdoors if you really want to fill up your Pokédex. The same goes for the job hunt, if you only dedicate a couple of hours to it a week, and don’t send out as many applications, then you could be missing out on the chance to catch something great!

To be a Pokémon Master, you need to level up

You need to train your Pokémon at a Gym. To be able to use a Gym, you need to be at least Level 5. To level up, you need to boost your XP. To be the best, you need to keep levelling up. Do you see where we’re going with this? To make sure that you’re the super candidate that employers want to launch their Pokéballs at, you need to improve and expand your skill set. Also, the higher the CP, the harder the Pokémon is to catch – if you want to net the very best opportunity, you need to show them that you’re ready!

Don’t forget to use your Incense

Few things in Pokémon GO are better than using your Incense and seeing all the Pokémon flock toward you. Imagine if that was the case when job hunting? You need to lure potential employers in at every possible opportunity!

Make sure that your CV really sells your transferable skills, experience and abilities.
Have a professional social media presence (including a great, complete LinkedIn profile)
Tailor your responses in application forms and interviews to showcase your knowledge of the company/industry.
These are the things that will make you stand out from other job hunters and increase your chances.

In a world of Rattatas, you’ll find that Pikachu

In your quest to be the very best (like no one ever was), you might have to catch a few Pidgeys and Rattatas along the way. It’s not ideal, but it can really boost your XP and earn you some medals. It’s unrealistic to think that you’ll stroll out of university and walk straight into your dream job. Yes, for some lucky Bulbasaurs, this can happen, but you need to be patient. Whether it takes a while of job hunting, or building your experience and working your way up, work hard and you’ll find yourself where you want to be. That Pikachu is out there somewhere, just bide your time, enjoy your journey and boost your abilities along the way.

Sometimes that elusive Electabuzz can get away

You hunted it for what seems like miles, you have it right there in front of you, you launch that Pokéball and as you think you’re about to make the catch… It runs away. NOOOOO! Job hunting can feel a little like that, too: your application was successful, you dazzled them at the interview stages, but for some reason you still find that rejection email waiting for you in your inbox. Sadly it happens, so don’t get disheartened; try to see every setback as a server crash, you won’t be able to catch Pokémon right now, but you’ll back up and running in no time – just learn from the experience and keep at it!

Even a Magikarp can evolve

Oh, great – another Magikarp. But you won’t be so glum if it evolves into a mighty Gyarados! A seemingly unimpressive Pokémon can soon turn into something that’s pretty hard to beat. Graduates can often feel like little fish in a big pond, and standing out doesn’t always seem easy to do. Sometimes all you need to do is realise that your CP is higher than you think or that you aren’t a Charmander, you’re a Charizard! University, any work experience and extra curricular activities you’ve participated in throughout your education have all contributed to your skill set. Taking the time to identify your strengths and weaknesses, then committing the time to improve them will surely lead to your professional evolution.

Gotta catch ’em all!

You may be on the trail of a newly spawned Mewtwo, but don’t discount all the other Pokémon around you – you never know when another Pokémon hunter might beat you to it! What we’re trying to say is don’t put all of your Exeggutes in one basket; you may have your heart set on a particular role but, even if things seem to be progressing well, keep applying to other roles until you know the job is yours. That way, if things fall through, you’ll have something else in the pipeline. And we’ll stress what we said before: apply, apply, apply! The more (suitable) roles you apply for, the better chance you have of netting the job!

Grads, the idea of hunting for your first job after university can feel a bit like fighting a Raichu with a Diglet, but bear these lessons in mind and you’ll be able to track down a new job like a Master.

Happy job (and Pokémon) hunting!