Tips for Graduate Job Seekers
All students look forward to graduation day and when it finally comes, you feel free like a bird with no troubles in the world. Time flies so fast and before you know it, it’s time to practice what you have learned all those years you spent in lectures. For some, life after college or university means starting a business of their own or even further studies. But for a vast majority, it means going into the corporate world and striving to secure a good spot.
If you are a graduate job seeker, you may have some work experience from part-time jobs you did while in school or before. That’s a good start. However, many fresh graduates find out that they are still dewy-eyed and confused about how to go about job seeking even though they are armed with a degree and a measure of experience. If you feel that way, do not beat yourself up. Bagging a degree is no small feat and being a little confused or disoriented is expected and forgivable because moving from the classroom to the big world out there is a big change. Some graduates also feel overwhelmed by expectations. Do not worry your head off. The climb up the corporate ladder is always gradual. No one expects you to become a CEO or corporate executive months after leaving the classroom. Companies and organizations put fresh graduates into consideration when hiring. That’s why there are entry-level positions, jobs that are simple enough to be appropriate to an inexperienced person, or to someone who does not need advanced features. To make your job search easy, and consequently land a good job, you need all the tips and help you can get from people with experience and that is exactly why we are here. Here are five tested and trusted tips to ensure a smooth transition from school to a job.
- Consider What Your Interests and Skills Are: While you might be in a rush to get a job, remember that it is important and beneficial to work in a field that interests and satisfies you. The “I can do any job” is fast becoming a cliché and employers and hiring managers must have heard it countless times. It is also not the best approach to job seeking. When you search for jobs you have zero interest in, you could be setting yourself up for frustration. Therefore, it is important you sit down and consider what industry or field appeals to you. It could be in line with your degree or related to it. Give serious thought to what you really want to do. When you apply for jobs you are skilled in, you will have no problems with being competent at whatever you end up doing. However, be careful not to restrict yourself to an ideal job. Remember that the first few years after graduation are an opportunity to explore and test the waters. It is also a time to gain valuable experience and a time to learn. While a job that interests you may not be paying in six figures or offers a company car with a plush office, be sure it is something you can learn from. Also, ensure that it is a job that gives you the opportunity to grow your career. A good measure of interest will enable you to get a grasp of things quickly in the field you want to work in. That way, you can break into your career-ready and competent. When you veer your career towards your interests, you are setting the stage for a lifetime of career contentment.
- Be Prepared: Preparation does not have to end with school tests and exams. Finding a job is a job, one to take very seriously. After you have decided what kind of job you are looking for, prepare all the necessary documents that will help you in your job search. You don’t have to wait until a prospective employer is sitting across from you in an interview to start preparing your CV or resume. Prepare copies of cover and application letters. These documents are not a size fits all but it is very helpful to have a layout on your devices. You can always tailor them to match any role you are applying for. Have soft and hard copies of your certifications saved on your devices too. When you have all these ready, you can start your job search. It is advisable to have a schedule that will help you keep track of the number of applications you send in a week. Until you land a job, wake up every morning ready to look for one. The internet and technology have simplified job search so that you can apply for a job in a location a continent away from you from the comfort of your home. But it still requires effort and preparedness. You need to make research and use all resources available to you. You have the internet, career coaches, and no law against enlisting the help of trusted and experienced friends and family to help and render advice. Carry out in-depth research on any company before you apply. Check out their website and social media pages and if possible get firsthand information from employees working there. Always check if a company’s values and work culture align with yours. Some recruitment processes include writing tests. Prepare as you would in school. The key to acing interviews is also prior preparation. Learn and unlearn and make yourself hundred percent ready to secure a job.
- Gain Experience and Skills: Even when you think you are all set and ready to land a job, you may face a little hitch along the road. The jobs in your field of interest could require at least a year or two of experience even if they are entry-level openings. Employers and hiring managers also look out for specific skills so acquire in-demand skills, soft and hard skills inclusive. It can be disappointing to apply for a job and find out that you did not tick all the boxes of the needed requirements. Do your best to gain those skills within a few years of graduating if you do not have them. This could mean taking online courses or accepting a seemingly below-average job offer that will help you reach necessary requirements. Time used to gain work experience and valuable skills is never wasted. It is a gift that keeps on giving because it makes your job-seeking journey smooth. As technology progress and new ways of doing business evolve, new skills may be required in your field. So keep on brushing up and improving your skillset.
- Build a Strong Professional Network: Getting a job today is related to having a strong professional network. Attend events, seminars, and workshops related to your career. Use social media to your advantage. This means cleaning up your social media pages and making them professional. Present yourself as a desirable candidate and an in-demand personal brand. There are many social media platforms that aim to connect job seekers to professionals and help them land a job. You can meet professionals, experts, career coaches, alumni from your school, and people who are ready to mentor graduate job seekers on social media platforms like LinkedIn. Seek them out and try to build a professional relationship with them. A strong professional network can open doors of opportunity for you by referring you to job opportunities, standing in as referees on your CV, or even offering you a job.
- Apply, Apply, Apply: Job seeking requires a positive mindset. Some companies you applied to may ignore you and not give feedback even when you have done all that needs to be done. That can be disheartening but do not give up. The job-seeking process is not a bed of roses. Do your part. Keep on applying and in no time you will transition from a job seeker to a gainfully employed graduate. We are rooting for you!