As a fresh graduate, it is intimidating to step into the shoes of a working professional. While you must learn to navigate the world of workplaces by yourself, it doesn’t hurt to be prepared to set off on the right foot.
Read on to learn a few tips to help land your first job and a few to thrive in it once you do.
1. FIND YOUR MOTIVATION
To begin with, you must first be motivated to work.
This not only means having the drive to actively search for the ideal job opening, but also having a purpose to work for. Your purpose will give you clarity as to which industry you should focus on and where to look for them. A purpose could be anything from wanting to create your own app from scratch to simply wanting work experience and a decent stipend.
Keep in mind that your purpose can change and evolve over time, and staying attuned to it will enable you to have a successful career with constant development.
More often than not it is a candidate’s purpose that when aligned with the company’s requirements, leads to employment.
2. IDENTIFY YOUR INTERESTS
Throughout your graduation, make it a point to take part in multiple co-curriculars and extracurriculars to identify what fields interest you and what skills you possess.
Opportunities are vast, with options from workshops to internships, to freelance work. Since juggling additional commitments during the semester may prove to be difficult, make the most of the semester breaks for in-office projects.
In the digital age, the option to work remotely from home provides scope of earning a small monthly stipend while gaining experience in work ethics and discipline.
By the end of your graduation, having enough varied experiences and trainings should provide you with a direction to begin job searching. Identifying your interests and skills will enable you to start off with a job that you will not only enjoy but also excel at.
3. APPLY FOR ONLINE COURSES
All students know the pain of having to sit through lectures, some of which are unappealing simply because of the course content. The syllabus at times seems outdated with no relevance to the current job profiles, and to top it all off you are expected to follow a strict timetable.
While there is not much you can change there, you can make the most of being a student in the digital age. With the advent of trustworthy sources like Coursera, you can gain up-to-date knowledge on industry specific skills.
Perks include the freedom to select a topic tailored to your interests, the flexibility of scheduling your time and the benefit of a certification for a minimal fee.
Taking a course online will better equip you with subject-oriented knowledge and prepare you for the industry you are aiming to be a part of. A candidate with these certifications is appealing to companies, who are looking for people willing to go the extra mile to excel in a position.
4. BUILD AN ONLINE PRESENCE
Once you begin gaining experiences and skills, it is important to showcase yourself to potential employers. A recent study by Career Builder stated that nearly 70% employers perform their primary applicant screening online.
Your chances of being shortlisted for an interview increase if a recruiter finds your digital profile compelling. This primarily includes professional networking on sites like LinkedIn. Build a strong profile, including everything from certifications to languages, and update it regularly. Keep in mind that this is the first point of contact for your employer, so keep yourself in his shoes as you create your profile.
Apart from this, employers may also sift through your social profiles. While your personal life is not of much importance to the company, a quick overview of your lifestyle tells them if you’re a good fit for the company values. When you begin the process of job searching, screen through your online profiles to make sure a potential employer does not come across anything unappealing.
Additionally, consider running skill-specific blogs. Blog posts are indicative of your communication abilities and provide an insight into your skill set and the way you think.
5. DRAFT A SHORT CV
Drafting a CV before commencing your job search is important. Some companies with specific requirements will browse through your CV to see if you fit in. Other companies with no specific job openings will browse through to see if you have potential to be a valuable addition to the team.
In either case, it is important to keep your CV updated and short. With the limited time employers possess and the amount of applications they receive, it is advised to limit your CV to one page.
Online templates can help make the document attractive and you can even personalize it to your liking.
Make sure to list only relevant points on your CV. Use bullets and short phrases so when a reader scans the page, they can assess all the information quickly.
Be well versed with your CV as you may be asked questions related to it during your interview. Be clear about the points you have listed, why you pursued specific projects and how the experiences have helped you develop.
6. BE OPEN TO LEARNING
Once you’ve landed a job and got the hang of your responsibilities, don’t make the mistake of getting confined to your role. Keep an open mind to learning new skills, and take on challenging tasks.
This will help you grow as a professional and keep alive the motivation to work ensuring you don’t get stuck in a rut. Learning will also further enhance your skills and enable you to identify the point where you are ready to advance in your career.
7. BE DEDICATED
Being dedicated to your work goes without question. Demonstrate dedication in your work by completing tasks before deadline, submitting work of quality and also identifying and rectifying mistakes promptly.
Apart from this, arriving on time, communicating with colleagues and taking initiatives at work are also indicative of your dedication.
Showing dedication ensures your superiors that you can be trusted. This will result in you advancing in the company and growing as an individual.
8. MAINTAIN A BALANCE
As important as it is to submit quality work and exhibit dedication, it is also important to prevent yourself from burning out.
Known popularly as the “work-life balance”, develop a routine to take some downtime after work to meet family and friends or simply curl up on the couch with a book. As far as possible, avoid bringing your work back home.
At times pressure at work will be higher than usual, but more often than not you will have a few hours in the evening for a quick get together or a movie.
When you schedule your tasks for the week, add in a schedule for post-work downtime. Prioritising your physical and mental health will ensure you can consistently do your best.
While being a fresher in a world filled with pioneers can be intimidating, take the opportunity to learn and discover your own capabilities and what you have to offer. Who knows, maybe someday you’ll have some tricks up your sleeve to pass on to new freshers as well!