Getting a Job as a Recent Graduate

Getting Your First Job: Tips & Techniques
For most people, the major benefit of seeking higher education is a better chance at work. Transiting from campus life to full-time employment comes with its challenges.

Many graduates lack an understanding of the basics of job searching, or how to sell themselves to prospective employers with little or minimal work experience.

This is a guide on how you can get your first or next employment:
1) Set Your Expectation Right!

Only a very minute percentage of graduates will land a perfect job right out of college or university. This is not to say you shouldn’t do whatever it socially and reasonably acceptable to get that fantastic job. Your expectation will be in check if you keep in view that there are thousands of other recent graduates out there looking for a great start to their careers too and there are only so many available opportunities for those with minimal experience. The goal is for you to be flexible and be open to parallel or lateral opportunities that may differ from the ideals. Expand your perspective and do not be narrow in your thinking or focus. Look for roles where you have a good chance of applying your training, honing your skills and proving your abilities. Let the opportunities you seek align with the career path you foresee for yourself. In some cases, this might mean pursuing an internship or job shadowing opportunities, whether paid or unpaid. The best-case scenario for an internship program is that it will often result in full fledge employment; worst case, it leaves you with a valuable experience to secure employment elsewhere.

2) Resume, CVs, Cover Letters!

One of the most important elements in the hiring process is a resume or CV. Very few organizations will not require it! If you are serious about the job search, you should have a resume or CV that looks the part! Check out a better resume or CV layout appropriate for your industry. A resume builder can be of assistance but even more important is that the content you include. Some recent graduates and even some experienced folks make the mistake of using the same resume or CV for every application. The advice from hiring managers is that the best strategy should be to develop a template that you can modify to suit the requirements of the various positions you will be applying for based on the advertised job description. For someone with minimal experience, what you can include as content in your resume or CV can be quite difficult but you can think creatively about how other experiences, like schoolwork or extra-curricular activities, prove that you have the right blend of skills that can be applied to real-world work.

3) Identify Possible Sources of Career Opportunities

The most often accessed channels for career opportunities are online job search and career websites. Most career websites will allow you to update your resume/cv, directly to open positions or link you to the organization’s career page. But, you cannot limit yourself to these. There are job opportunities that can only be accessed with networking and referrals. Every person you know is part of a network. Look out for people you think might be of help to you and reach out to them. Your school’s alumni association might be a good place to start, and so are patrons or members of other social organizations you might belong to. Job fairs are another important opportunity center. Never pass off a chance to attend one and prepare ahead. Preparations for job fairs usually involve researching the companies that will be attending the fairs, updating your social work profiles, like your LinkedIn account, getting your portfolio ready if you work in a creative industry, practicing your power selling pitch, and preparing for on the spots interview or pre-screening. The best choice of clothing for job fairs is a simple, comfortable and professional outfit.

4) Build A Reputable Online Presence

Now that you will be circulating your resume around, be sure that some prospective employers will start looking you up online. This means you must be careful with the content you have online as well. Do an audit of all your social and professional accounts. There are some entries you may need to edit or delete. You might also find it helpful to review your privacy settings or some of the items that should be visible to the public.

5) Upskill Yourself

In many instances, you may be surprised that all the years of training in the university is just not enough to get you the opportunity. Look out for that extra thing that will give you an edge. Certifications, online courses, pieces of training, seminars and symposiums have been known as important sources of specialized pieces of training. Think about the type of jobs you want, learn as much as you can about them and follow thought leaders in your chosen field.

It can be truly challenging to get that first job. But do not let it overwhelm you especially when your course mates are getting theirs. Just remember that focus is key and with a consistent effort, you will get the opportunities you seek.

Thankyou for reading the blog!