If you’re reading this and you just graduated, congratulations on getting through the grueling years of college. Your first thought right now would be on getting your first job. However, taking that first step into a whole different world than what you’ve grown accustomed to may be frustrating. There’s a good chance that you have no clue where to start your job-hunting journey, and that’s okay. Every fresh graduate is going through the same thing but to make your life easier for you, that’s why we’re here with a list of what fresh graduates need to do to get a job.
1. Have a rough idea of the role and industry you want
Your first step, which is also the most crucial step, should always be to spend some time thinking about the role and industry that piques your interest. It can be hard to know what graduate role is right for you, but this step is crucial to ensure that you don’t get stuck in a black hole of industries that suck the life out of you.
Start thinking of factors such as:
- Which part of your degree course did you enjoy the most?
- Where does your strength lie?
- Consider what your passion is or what hobbies you enjoy?
- Think of the type of working environment you believe would suit you best.
2. Know what you want from your graduate job
Before you start applying, it is crucial to consider your expectations from your job or future employer. While you may think it’s okay to take whatever offer you get, you might find yourself unhappy with that decision and ends up leaving your company. Aside from salary, there are a lot more factors you have to consider before applying for a company:
- The office culture
- The location. How much it would cost you to travel every day or the cost of living in that area
- What the career progression will be like in that company
- If the company or its product/service is something that interests you
- Company benefits that you should consider in the long run (medical, optical etc.)
3. Create an eye-catching CV and cover letter
The next step should be your graduate CV and cover letter. Ensure that you’ve prepared one that is up-to-date and eye-catching for the hiring managers. These two are your best chance to make a great first impression, which could ultimately progress you to the next stage.
Do your research on the company or industry you want and see some samples of available CVs online. It’s good to note that the professional sector needs a more formal CV, while if you’re looking at the creative/entertainment industry, it’s all making your CV attractive. Remember to list down your education, hobbies, and interests, extracurricular activities, work experience, skills, or software you are familiar with.
It is important to remember that, as necessary as your CV is, your cover letter is just as crucial. Add more details or elaborate on some of the points you’ve added to your CV. Mention about your experiences, how you’ve dealt with challenges and what you learned from them. A cover letter is not where you list down everything you did in your CV but more of a continuation of what you couldn’t add to a CV. Be as concise as possible and avoid rambling because you want an employer to easily see your skills and qualifications and not have to look hard to find them.
4. Boost your LinkedIn profile
Unlike other social media platforms, LinkedIn is where you can be active on social media while also boost your employability and get approached by recruiters. LinkedIn is the perfect platform as many recruiters use it as their primary research tool when looking for new candidates or to read up on your achievements and get to know you better.
Make sure your LinkedIn profile picture is professional, have a strong profile summary, and list down every qualification, course, achievements, or skills you have to showcase to potential employers.
A huge tip is to be extremely active on it. Comment on other people’s posts and re-sharing them is useful for LinkedIn’s algorithm. Share any personal updates that you think are beneficial for your branding, be it online courses, any hobbies you’ve been into late, or just motivational posts that could build up your connections. This is an excellent way to showcase your personality instead of recruiters only going through your CV/cover letter.
5. Actively look for job postings and contact companies directly
When it comes to looking for jobs, it’s easy for you to assume that applying on all the most popular and common job posting websites is enough. However, to significantly increase your chances of getting hired, we have a few other suggestions for you.
Instead of going on the usual JobStreet, Indeed, or Monster, try doing research online on some of the companies that you might be interested in or companies that align with the type of industry you’re looking for. Head on over to their website because, for the most part, all of them have a “Careers” section where they post any open vacancies.
If you can get an email to the company’s HR department or recruiters, that’s even better. It shows that you have the initiative to seek them out. If they don’t have any posted vacancies, who knows? Maybe you contacted them when they have an open vacancy in mind but haven’t had the time to post it online.
6. Prepare for each interview and do your research
To successfully secure a graduate role, it is vital that you make a great first impression during the interview. The key to impressing an employer is to prepare differently for each interview. Differently how?
Most graduates always skip this part but ensure that you have done your research on the company and the role thoroughly. Read through the job description and note all the keywords they used and used them in your interviews with evidence on how you’ve obtained or developed that experience/skill.
Additionally, don’t forget to do your research on the company. Don’t only focus on what the company does but also go on their social media. Get to know some of the events or initiatives they’ve done that piqued your interest. You might just have given yourself a massive boost for showcasing the knowledge you have on their company.
Keep track of all your applications
It’s easy to lose track of the jobs you’ve applied to, especially when you’ve been applying to jobs for a while now. Make it a habit to note down your applications, as it will surely help when you want to send a follow-up email to the recruiters on your application or interview results. Good luck!