The Real Experience of an Early Careers Job Search

Amberjack helps future focused organisations bridge the gap between today and tomorrow.


The experience of entering the professional world as someone in the first stages of their career can be daunting. As an organisation looking to attract new talent and continually develop, insight into the experiences of these young professionals can be invaluable. 

Each year at Amberjack, we recruit placement students and graduates into our business. Here’s what a couple of our newest recruits had to say about their job hunting experience.

Applying for Roles 

For many of the fresh faces looking for their first ‘proper’ jobs, the journey begins with applying to a multitude of vacancies and schemes. This process is accompanied by a host of challenges for any applicant, but for early talent these can be tough hurdles to overcome. 

Esiri applied for 25-30 jobs before joining Amberjack, while Abdallah applied for 30-40; in this deep dive they explore the challenges they experienced and how this affected their search. 


My job search was frustrating mainly because I wasn’t aware of how to optimise my application and CV to be considered for most of these positions. Some jobs I didn’t even hear back from. My job search did open my eyes to how difficult it is to find a job without any real experience within the UK as I am an international student with some work experience in my home country. 

I found It difficult to find a position that suits my profile/skills, which meant that I had to broaden my search and apply for positions that I was not thinking of applying to at first. So, I kept on improving and editing my CV along the way and to pay attention to the small details while applying.  


Searching for a placement role was arduous at times. There was some guidance from my university but compared to the actual job search, their advice was fairly dated. 

I think what I didn’t like with some organisations is that they were using recruitment processes that weren’t quite fitted for individuals looking for an Early Careers role. This was frustrating because many candidates are just starting out. 

Candidate Experience 

Your organisation’s candidate experience can make or break your recruitment. An engaging process helps keep the high-quality candidates you want in your pipeline and increases the likelihood they’ll accept offers. At Amberjack, we provide our client’s candidates with automatic, detailed feedback reports upon completion of the Future Potential assessment, as we believe in providing candidates with a valuable experience, regardless of their success. 

It’s crucial to consider your candidates when building your recruitment strategy and assessment methods. Are you actually asking candidates about scenarios they will come across in the role? Are you providing a clear image of life at your organisation? These are key questions in ensuring your process is face valid and offers your applicants a genuine look at the job, providing them with a better experience. 

For Abdallah and Esiri, the candidate engagement they received was often lacking, leaving them confused and frustrated. 


Sometimes, I progressed to an interview stage but was rejected afterwards without any real feedback. I found it difficult to know the reason why my applications were not being taken into consideration or moved to a further stage with most positions I applied to. When I was rejected, the company would not detail the reasoning or offer helpful information as to what they are looking for in a candidate. 

When dealing with most organisations, I felt that the process was not interactive or engaging. However, there were a few organisations which offered interesting application processes where they do not judge you based on your experience. In this case you would need to sit an assessment which resembles an IQ test, which I liked. 


I think one of the main challenges whilst finding a job was not exactly knowing what the interviewers were looking for. Some organisations were not as communicative as I would have liked, and when I was asked specific questions at interviews, I struggled to understand why I was being asked them and therefore, couldn’t perform to the best of my ability. 

Hiring for Potential 

If hiring new talent is one of your organisation’s goals, then reconsidering the requirements for fulfilling your vacancies might be a useful move. Hiring based on previous experience and using traditional (outdated) methods can hurt not only your reputation as an employer but also the quality of your hires. 

At Amberjack, our mission is to help organisations hire new talent on the basis of their Future Potential, enabling a world where everyone has the opportunity, and barriers are dismantled. We assess for Future Potential using four key indicators; Digital Mindset, Creative Force, Grit, and Applied Intellect. 

In the modern world, we believe these four identifiers are crucial to hiring individuals with the potential to not only succeed, but continuously develop, in your workforce. For more information on Amberjack’s Model for Potential, you can request your free copy of our Insight Paper, releasing soon, which will be emailed to you directly upon publication. 

For early talent like Abdallah and Esiri, Amberjack’s method offers something different. 


I believe that Amberjack’s strategy of Hiring based on Potential is better than the usual method of hiring based on experience. Amberjack’s method gave me an opportunity to showcase my skills and capabilities without judging me based on my previous experience which I really appreciated. This method provides candidates with an equal platform to impress solely based on performance/skill rather than work experience. 


I do think that Amberjack’s method of hiring for Potential is somewhat better than the traditional experience-based hiring methods. The reason is that, although hiring based on experience has its advantages, hiring based on potential arguably broadens the talent pool and provides opportunity for individuals who may not have been able to gain experience due to factors that were not in their control. 

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