GRADUATING from university or college is a momentous transition that is cherished by everyone, especially the graduants. Yes, it is good to graduate and it’s a joyous and memorable moment that one would not like to miss.
guest column: Emmanuel Zvada
Recently, a lot of students graduated from various academic institutions and now that they have a basic university qualification what are we supposed to do with it, how are they supposed to hunt the few jobs available, how are they going to survive after college life?
These questions can be quite stressful, but let me just say this hard truth, “it’s not an easy road, but hope, faith and determination should keep you going till you have breakthrough”.
To those who are on their final-year, that year signifies something more life-changing for graduating students. It symbolises transformation from student life to uncharted professional life.
This is the time to have professional connections, craft your resume, have a list of preferred companies which you think can need your skills or which you can utilise to learn more in your profession.
Getting your first job will be a bit tricky, you will be competing with other students graduating from colleges in the country and you do not have any work experience aside from your work-related learning experience.
Here are a few tips that will help you prepare yourself after graduation:
Having a group of people around you will allow you to create networks that may help you in the near future.
Build a network of people you know that can help you build not only your profession, but also even help you get a job.
Your connections should be your net worth and should be in a position to help you in any way in the near future.
This then means that if you don’t have any connections, you will be in a solitary place. Who knows one of your connections might be someone who can point you to some job offers that will arise. It is not shameful to use connections to gain an advantage.
It is a reality that even seasoned professionals consider to get other job opportunities.
Craft an eye-catching resume
Most job seekers write CVs a night or day before submission. Writing your resume should not be done a night before submission as it gives room to make mistakes and errors.
An excellent resume is one that has undergone a lot of revisions and prepared with utmost care.
You should learn how to properly write your resume. A resume markets yourself first before the actual interview. Understand the difference between hard skills and soft skills.
The design and format should be eye-catching and interesting to read so much that it does not look rushed and boring.
If you want to go the extra mile, you can have other people look at your resume and they can point out areas you need to revise or add.
In your resume you are supposed to add proper and current references, for example, the academic one and where you did your work-related learning.
Have extracurricular activities
While you are still a student, it is greatly encouraged to join university or college clubs as it will help you in terms of grooming and etiquette and this will help you to top up on your credentials.
It is also good to acquire extra qualifications such as free online courses via Alison education, Mastercard or YALI as they will help you as well in adding to your resume.
In addition to that, you can also volunteer for leadership roles at your academic institution.
Start searching using various platforms
Job-hunting can be very tedious, especially when you just start doing it after your graduation and you are short of funds.
When job-hunting, especially after graduation, make sure that you no too selective to prospective job offers as they can be your stepping stone to your career. You can also attend a few seminars, especially those that are done for free as they can help you to create networks, where you can also hear of other opportunities.
When applying for a job you have to understand that you are competing with hundreds, if not thousands of people who have the same or even more credentials than you have.
But do not be discouraged if you do not land your dream job. Not everyone gets theirs anyway. Take every rejection as a stepping stone in learning and do not take it personally.
New graduates and job interviews
The main problem with interviewing a job-seeker with no experience is that there is no track record to assess. The new graduate may think that they are at grave disadvantage to those who have already had work experience.
Although those with experience usually do have an edge, the fact that the company is entertaining new graduates means that they also have a chance. In fact, there are companies that prefer new employees in the belief that they have not yet acquired bad habits and tend to be more obedient.
Be optimistic and know the requirements of the job
Before you attend the interview, you are to do a thorough research about the company you are supposed to go for any interview.
Look at the job advertisement and check experiences and skills that would best tie in to the employer’s requirements and highlight them in your resume as well as in your interview responses.
For example, if it says knowledge of MS Office software, then you should try to present your knowledge during the interview so that you increase chances of being selected.
Emmanuel Zvada is a human capital consultant and international recruitment expert. He writes in his personal capacity