Finally the big day is here - the day you will remember and cherish for the rest of your life. As you look forward to tossing your caps in the air, you set yourself free from a graduate's life and prepare for a world beyond.
With a good college or university degree, you set out on a daunting job-hunting journey. But then you are not the only one looking for a dream job - there are thousands of young graduates like you flooding the job market with similar skills and experience.
The sudden overload of applicants during this time of the year prompts employers to invest significant time and resources in the filtering process. From the way you respond to job adverts to how you present yourself at an interview, each stage is carefully scrutinised to find the best match for highly-specialised roles.
So what is it that will make you stand out from the crowd?
There is no straightforward answer to this question, but from our experience as graduate recruiters, here're a few tried and tested ways to get ready for a highly-competitive job market.
1) Get some work experience. You have a degree, but do you have the skills that employers are looking for? Practical workplace skills not only help bag a job offer, but also lead to promotions in the long run. So take an internship, volunteering or temping role now!
2) Build your social media presence. Never undermine the importance of a strong online presence. This does not mean employers are interested in what you're posting on Facebook or Instagram. But bear in mind that they may check your account so update anything you may not want public. A professional LinkedIn account has its perks though. Depending on the type of job, having a twitter handle or a personal blog can also be an advantage. These are also great tools to engage with professionals in your niche area.
3) Networking. Meeting new people is a good way to improve interpersonal and communication skills. And you never know, maybe the person you meet at a social gathering would turn out to be your future boss!
4) Polish your CV and Cover letter. As it is said, "first impression lasts long." And in job search, your application is the first step towards creating a lasting good impression.
5) Brush up your knowledge. Having a degree in hand is not enough. The market is constantly evolving and in this scenario, being up-to-date with the latest industry trends is essential.
6) Develop your niche expertise. There isn't any dearth of fresh graduates in the market, but if you can offer something different from the rest, you will easily get spotted. So know what you are good at and try to hone those skills and be an expert in your field.
7) Practice your elevator speech. Don't wait till you get called for an interview. This isn't your college exams that you can leave things until the last minute. It is much more important, and one that tests both your intellectual and emotional intelligence. So prepare for the interview right from the day you start sending out applications.
8) Dress smart. The way you dress for an interview shows your enthusiasm and interest for the job. Dressing professionally also boosts your confidence to tackle tricky questions hurled at you during an interview.
Every step you take now will go a long way in defining you as a person and a professional. It is okay to make mistakes, but not to repeat mistakes. So pull up your socks, hone your skills, build good contacts and get yourself out there.
Believe in yourself and chase your dreams!
Good luck on your job hunting! Call us to see what opportunities we have for graduates now!