The New Year is here, and as a fresh graduate or about to graduate, you might be thinking about your goals for this year, including your first job after college.
Your first job is a crucial moment in your career.
As you have put so much time, money, and energy into finishing University and getting good grades, you’ll definitely be keen to turn your degree into a career you’ll enjoy.
Landing a job is not that easy, especially in today’s challenging and competitive business environment. Many applicants may not be able to find a job even after months of searching. The competition for good graduate jobs is fierce. It’s a sobering fact, but only 52% of graduates get a graduate-level job. The rest end up being underemployed in jobs that did not require a degree.
Often, all you need to do is re-evaluate your job hunting strategies to boost your chances of getting hired. Provided below is a list of things you can do to increase your chances of getting a job.
Be Specific with Your Job Search
The First thing majority of fresh graduates do start searching for the latest graduate jobs. But before you do, you should spend some time considering what you want to do.
Firstly, make a list of your skills, experiences, if any, and certificates. Not only will this give you an idea of what you’re qualified to do, but it will also act as the foundation of your resume.
Make a note of your essential job search criteria, such as the industry, location, and salary. Bolster your thoughts with research to keep your must-haves in line with reality.
If you know what you want out of a job search, you’ll find the process more productive and successful.
Familiarize yourself with the Application process
For a start, you may be required to attend multiple interviews to get familiarize with how an organization application process looks, likes perhaps a group interview or a competency-based one. However, some organization writes out its site by step application process on their website. All you need to do in such a case is research about them. Also, you might be expected to take a psychometric or competency test to confirm your suitability.
The application process differs from the organization. Do your research on what to expect, so you’re fully prepared for any outcome.
Cleanup Your Digital Profile
Before you put yourself out there as an active job seeker, take some time to review your social media profiles like Facebook, Instagram, and most especially LinkedIn. Once a recruiter or hiring manager receives your application, they are most likely to check your social presence, and you’ll leave a lasting impression for the wrong reasons if you don’t update your privacy settings.
You can Google yourself and see how much of your life is exposed in one search. If you see something you wouldn’t want a prospective employer to, you can then decide to privatize, hide, or delete your digital footprint.
Time to Job Hunt
There are many ways/sites to search for a job. You must utilize as many tools as you can manage rather than limit yourself to one technique/site.
You could register with a job board like Resume-Library,( for people in Nigeria), sign up to a staffing agency, browse jobs on social media, tap into your professional network, check out industry press, or visit organizations’ websites for the latest postings.
Be Creative When Writing your Resume
Another way to boost your graduate job hunt is to create a resume that showcases your talent effectively.
Firstly, think about the content and structure of your resume. Since you’re a graduate, your education will be your top selling point, including this section near the top of your resume.
When hundreds of people are vying for the same job, HR personnel can spend as little as ten seconds looking at your resume. Therefore, it’s essential that yours look impressive and stands out from the rest. You can definitely give yourself a competitive advantage by being creative with your resume.
Also, detail your employment history. If you don’t have any work experience, alter the title of this section to read “projects and placements” and detail notable projects, in and out of college, to compensate.
Lastly, Proofread your resume thoroughly. If potential employers spot mistakes, they’re unlikely to want you to represent their brand.
Track Your Job Application
If you want to get the most out of your graduate job hunt, you need to track every single job application. This includes the jobs that interest you, the ones you’ve applied for, and where you are in the application process.
Also, keep a record of contact details. You don’t want to risk receiving a call from an employer and not know which job application they’re referring to!
Keep Learning/Developing Yourself
Just because you’re done with college, it doesn’t mean that you should stop developing your skills. Not only does continuous learning show prospective employers that you’re a proactive and up to date individual, but it also gives you a competitive edge over your fellow Applicant.
No Job is a Waste of Time
It’s great to have the ideal role in mind when starting your job search as a fresh graduate. However, that doesn’t mean you should ignore another opportunity because it doesn’t fit the bill completely.
If you’ve found an almost perfect job, it’s worth applying for the opportunity anyway. If you’re successful, you may be able to negotiate the extras or gain experience from there.
Take advantage of your “network.”
Equally as important as having a LinkedIn profile is having a network of contacts. This can improve your chances of getting a job. Friends, relatives, alumni associations, and most importantly, someone who’s already working at the company you’re targeting can all provide leads on job openings. Even with the advent of online resources and social media, nothing can replace the tried and tested “recommendation” coming from someone close to you.
A degree alone is no longer enough.
Many graduates focus on getting a 1st or a 2:1 degree classification. However, good grades alone are not enough to impress graduate recruiters.
Most graduate jobs require a 2:1 or a 2:2 as a minimum entry requirement. However, even if you get a first-class degree, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be seen as more favorable to graduate employers.
As qualified graduates are abundant, recruiters seek to acquire the most workplace-ready candidates who can demonstrate that they have the skills and competencies to do the job.
The job market is very competitive. If you do not want to be left behind, you need to have an action plan to increase your chances of landing a job. Think of ways how you can impress your ideal employer and grab every opportunity to show them you are the person they need
Also, if an application was unsuccessful, don’t assume that the door has closed. Make the most of this opportunity and ask if the employer has any work experience or shadowing schemes you could join instead.