Fresh graduate? Are you excited to find your first job? Or maybe you are worried not to get hired anywhere, because you are not sure you can make it. Does this make you anxious?
As a college graduate, you already have an advantage, since there are more opportunities waiting for you than those who are at undergraduate or high school level. Your concern should be how to pull yourself together and be competitive when hunting for work.
Practical job hunting tips that can help
To get started in the job hunt, here are six simple but helpful tips that you can apply when searching for your first employment:
1. Make your resume short but substantial.
Some think that the longer the resume is, the more impressive it is. No, it is not, because it can actually be burdensome for the HR officers checking your application. If they got a pile of resumes to evaluate, they would only spend 5 seconds to go through each. If your resume has three pages, then they might not even bother checking the second and third pages.
The best resume is brief but meaty. Make it as short as possible by removing details that are not necessary for the job you are targeting. For instance, if you are applying for a secretarial position, there is no need to include your skills in drama and music.
Also, be aware that resume is different from biodata. It talks about your work experiences, educational background, and skills related to the position you want to get. That means you do not have to include personal information like your birthday, religion, and parents.
2. Send resume and application letter to at least 5 companies a day.
Failing your first job application can be discouraging. That is why you need to prepare yourself for such possibility. Tell yourself in advance that in case you fail your first interview, it does not mean you are a failure. Treat it as a trial and error process, and believe you can do better in the next try.
To increase your chance of getting hired in a short time, maximize your job hunting by sending your resume together with the application letter to at least 5 companies each day. You cannot expect to receive a response from each office, but there could be at least 1 or 2 from each day that would be interested in your application. If you do this consistently for a week, then a month is probably too long already for you to get hired.
3. Prepare for the interview.
The most crucial part of a job application process is the interview. Sometimes, applicants fail because they are too nervous and not confident to communicate orally. They stammer, get mental-blocked, or find it hard to organize and express their ideas.
To avoid such failure, you have to prepare yourself for the job interview in advance. Start by doing research about the company you are applying at. Usually, the interviewer would ask you why you want to be part of their team. Of course, if you have no idea of what the business is about, you would possibly end up saying general, lousy statements like:
“I want to be part of this company because it is the best, and I know it can help me achieve my highest potential.”
—which HR officers and managers have probably heard like a hundred times.
You can also search for a list of usual job interview questions and practice answering them. Doing a mock interview with a friend can also help.
4. Look and talk smart.
You are familiar with the cliché, “First impression lasts.” This may not be true all the time, but when looking for work, you have to embrace this principle dearly, because impressing your interviewers or future employer may actually land you a job.
Therefore, wear your best corporate attire to look professional. It should be simple but sleek. When entering the office, straighten your body, chin up, smile comfortably, and make eye contact especially with the interviewer. Also, project your voice when talking to avoid sounding squeaky and shaky. Again, smile and make eye contact all throughout. These will give you a confident and well-composed aura.
5. Do not be picky for your first job.
If you have no work experience prior to this job hunt, you can expect a bit tighter competition unless you graduated with flying colors. Most companies prefer hiring applicants with experience since they can work with less supervision better than newbies.
If after months you are still jobless, I recommend that you widen your job preference for the meantime. For the sake of gaining work experience, do not be too selective when applying for your first job. It is okay to start with a low position, but better if it is related to your degree or career goal. Of course, you have to look for a legit employment.
6. Explore opportunities in other places.
If the job opportunities in your place are limited, do not be afraid to try searching somewhere else. There may not be an available job for you in your town or city, but there are still a number of cities and towns out there waiting for you to explore.
Leaving your comfort zone may also give you a fresher start for this next chapter of your life. It will help you become more independent, and you can meet new people in a new environment. Who knows? You may be destined to reach your dreams in that new place.
This is only the beginning
Do not expect your first job to last. Ever wonder why most people have changed jobs more than once? It is because your first work is just the start of your career discovery. Along the way, you realize what your passion truly is, where you are really good at, and what you actually desire to accomplish. No job is perfect, but once you find the right one for you, you will feel fulfilled.
Image source: TeroVesalainen