The transition after graduating from university and moving into the workforce can be a scary and daunting experience, which some may struggle with and have sleepless nights trying to figure out how to land their first job.
In this article, Dr Patricia Lau from Monash University Malaysia’s School of Business shares some tips and direction fresh graduates will find helpful.
Get out there and experience the impossible!
Searching for your first “real” job upon leaving school can be a daunting experience. For the most part, you may be having a difficult time trying to score that “dream” job the first time. Not to fret as there’s still time to build that career path.
Begin by equipping yourself with the necessary experiences needed. Look out for volunteering and internship opportunities or take up a part-time job that’s within your career interest in between your studies.
Try aiming for organisations that practise and foster a learning culture whereby employees of different ranks and disciplines are seen as equals, and can learn from one another. This will help you garner multiple skills quickly, allowing you to succeed in reaching your career goals.
Network, network and network
Make connections in seeking career opportunities. Continue building and maintaining relationships with friends, colleagues, professors or acquaintances as they can be important influences to your career.
Also keep your line of communication open with the people you know in the industry. It’s not just what you know, but also who you know. If someone is able to assist you during your job hunt, don’t forget to thank them by simply dropping a “Thank You” note or buying a cup of coffee. As they say, “a little goes a long way”.
Impress HR with a digital portfolio
Leverage on technology. Build an interactive e-portfolio that contains your values, goals and achievements, community work and hobbies to be presented to the interviewer.
Depending on the position you are applying for, be free in customising your presentation style accordingly. This will catch the attention of potential recruiters as your resume will stand out from the rest. For example, try Prezi for a change – save your e-portfolio online and on a CD to be presented to the interviewer.
Social media awareness
In today’s digital age, many employers scour through social media to see what your online presence is like. Hence, you may want to keep your profiles restricted against public view. The goal here is to prevent potential employers from discriminating or making quick decisions in judging your personality. If you want to keep it public, then be mindful of the content you post.
Right attitude matters
Depending on each individual’s attitude, some students can secure their jobs before graduation while others have to take several months, some up to a year after graduation.
If you’re worried about the gap in between graduating and securing a new job, start applying as early as possible. If you’re in the right place at the right time, and with the right attitude, you may be able to land yourself a job before you graduate.
If you are unable to do so, don’t delay your search, start applying as soon as you can until you get that position. It helps save you the time, having to explain the gap between completing your education and starting work during interviews.