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Prep, Plan and Positive Action
Besides impressive paper qualifications, there are three other P’s that are just as important – if not more – when you’re looking to secure a job.
A job search is not as simple as blindly blitzing out applications to prospective employers. Prepare well ahead of graduation and find yourself reaping the returns when you actually start applying for jobs.
- Graduates often neglect research during the application process. Start early and tap into as many sources as you can.
- Talk to seniors who are already working to find out about their experience thus far.
- Approach the school’s career services centre for more information and to understand the market and expectations of different roles.
- Keep yourself up-to-date with current affairs – both local and global – as it’ll make you more marketable.
- Be aware of industry-specific news to showcase your enthusiasm and interest in the job.
Widen your network! Graduate job seekers often obtain information on employers through a private contact and recommendations.
Keep in touch with contacts from past working experiences or internships.
Attend networking sessions organised by the school’s student clubs or societies, or source your own by looking at event websites that promote sessions based on collective interests.
Create an account on LinkedIn and make connections there.
Besides working on contingency plans, map out the types of employers, roles, and even sources you’ll tap on in pursuit of getting the ideal job match.
Don’t limit your job search to: -
1) Brand name employers
MNCs and popular employers often receive an overwhelming amount of applications for a limited number of positions. Don’t stake all your hopes solely on a select few big-name employers.
Instead, apply for roles in both big companies and SMEs. As a fresh graduate trying to get ahead in your career, you’ll want to accumulate as much relevant experience and skills as you can – both of which can be acquired whether you’re at a small or big firm.
2) One specific role
Consider different roles that may have a similar job scope or those that call for skill sets that you’re keen on learning.
You could even explore industries that would traditionally not be associated with your major, and find out what job opportunities are available for you in those fields.
3) Job portals and classified ads
Some employers may choose not to advertise on external platforms for budgetary reasons, so you’ll need alternative ways to look for leads if you want to work with them.
For instance, you can apply directly at their employer hubs.
Alternatively, contact the company’s HR department directly about possible job openings and send in a speculative application to showcase your interest in working for them.
(Take) Positive Action
There’s honestly no other way to get yourself out there except to do the necessary groundwork. So, take the right action throughout the process, and don’t let your opportunities slip away.
Continue applying for jobs even in tough times
Don’t let news of a recession or competitive job market throw you off your job hunt. According to the Graduate Employment Survey 2016 (published in 2017), a minimum of 70% of graduates were hired to fill permanent positions upon graduating. There’s never really a lack of entry-level jobs.
Customise your résumé and cover letter for each application
Sending the same exact résumé and cover letter to 100 employers may save you a whole lot of time and effort, but you’ll fail to stand out from other equally-qualified grads.
Personalise your letter and show how your experiences match the requirements of the role on offer. Seasoned recruiters can identify a mass-produced cover letter/email or résumé in a single glance.
Follow up on your applications
Reply to prospective employers A.S.A.P. as they are probably interviewing several other candidates and may overlook your's if you fail to respond in time.
A thank-you email after an interview can also influence the recruiter’s decision to shortlist you for another round of assessment as it may help recruiters keep track of potential candidates interviewed.