Graduation is a proud moment for any student, especially after years of toil, sacrifice and hard work. It is, to most individuals, the first accomplishment they attain in their lives. However, sometimes the joy is short lived as with graduation, comes the pressure of finding a way to sustain oneself in the competitive job market. If you just graduated, it is safe to say you are searching for your first job if you did not manage to secure one before graduation. Here are job hunting tips to get you started the right way.
1. Sign up for volunteer work and internships
In an ever growing job market, with competitive candidates, it is easier to be left out for lack of experience. Everyone is looking for a job, and employers need people who are fit enough for the roles. To close this skills gap, take up internship opportunities or volunteer with local organisations. This way, you will gain the much-needed experience to convince employers to give you a chance to prove yourself. It may seem like you are being shortchanged but in a world where skills are increasingly being preferred to certificates, it is in your best interest to build your skillset through any available opportunities. Who knows, these internships or volunteer opportunities may lead to a permanent job opportunity.
2. Network, network and network
Everyone you meet leaves a certain impact in your life, whether positive or negative. Learn to leave the right ones to people you connect with. Your network is equal to your net worth. Let those around you know that you are open to any job opportunity. Ask them for references. Let them know that you are on the lookout for any opportunities. You will be surprised at how people are willing to help you get your foot through the door. While at it, sign up to BrighterMonday to get regular job alerts. This way, you will get to know of available job opportunities as soon as they arise.
3. Understand your timing
Not everyone will get to the top at the same time. This is why it is important to realize that not all paths are the same, and you don’t have to compete with your friends to get further in life. Understand that everyone will get by at their own time, and do not despair when yours is taking a bit longer than the rest. Most people get lost and frustrated because their friends land jobs soon after graduation while they can’t seem to even secure an interview. The truth is, there is nothing wrong with your degree and there is nothing wrong with you. People hit different milestones in life at different times. With the education system, you all seem to attain the same milestones at the same time but that is where it ends. After graduation, you will all take different paths in life and achieve different things at different times, including landing your first job. Do not sweat it when 50% of your friends seem to have landed their first jobs soon after graduation while you have not. Run your race.
4. Start where you can and keep moving
Very few people get their dream jobs immediately after graduation or get into their dream companies after graduating. It is perfectly fine to take up any job that comes your way for survival because bills do not pay themselves. Do not pressure put pressure on yourself to find the right job which will set the pace for your in the right career. Do not simply reject an opportunity because it does not lie in your chosen field or it is not what you studied in university. Instead, work on building your experience and getting your foot through the door. Your first job will not always be in your preferred career path but it will help you kick-start your career. In the same light, it is quite hard that your first salary will be anything to write home about. In most cases, your first salary will only help you meet your basic needs for survival so do not be fixated on the salary. Just make sure that it is enough to help you meet your basic needs while giving you some experience.
5. Be willing to learn
Most people fail to apply for jobs because they do not meet all the requirements for the job. But, the employer is not looking for the perfect candidate. Take note of what the employer says are important or must-have skills and if you meet them, then apply for the job. There are very few people who fit the job description perfectly. So, if you meet at least 50% of the requirements, apply for the job and indicate that you are willing to learn. A willingness to learn is more important than meeting all the qualifications for the job.
While looking for a first job can be a daunting task, knowing what to look for and how to look for it will always make it easier. These job hunting tips will therefore set a better ground towards finding your feet as a first time job seeker. Despite the rise in the number of graduates each year, it is still possible to get a job that can set the stage for your success.