For students who have recently graduated from college, getting recruited is the next logical step. However, it is not as easy as you may think. It requires considerable amount of patience, preparation and even far-sighted planning.
This article provides 17 useful tips to help students — who have recently graduated — to get recruited.
1. Take the advice of your college counselor seriously
Most students think that their University counseling office/College counseling office/job placement office is a waste of time. They feel that these offices have no real access to influence the job market and cannot land them their dream job. Students need to know that nobody can land them their dream job unless they start somewhere. The College or University counseling offices are the best places to start as they are accessible to students throughout their college life.
The university or college career counselor and the job placement office offer a diverse range of services. These services include advice for career, options for job shadowing, internship and volunteer listings, job fairs, assistance in resume and cover letter writing, networking resources of the alumni and workshops associated to them. Therefore, the first place for recent graduates to start a job search must be within their college premises so that they get exposure to the job search in a familiar setting.
2. Develop ‘soft skills’
Yes, the primary requirements for jobs are technical skills, but soft skills highly boost your chances of getting employed. Nowadays, all recruiters search for employees who are talented communicators and team players. If employees cannot converse and coordinate with their teammates, their technical skills will be of no use individually. These soft skills show how the candidate will imbibe the corporate culture. It is an indicator that shows how long the new employees are going to stay in the organization due to their nature and behavior.
Soft skills also show potential of the new employees to become part of the management in the future. It demonstrates their abilities to handle subordinates and superiors to maintain a balancing act. The most suitable way to develop your soft skills is to receive feedback from the people that matter the most to you. They will give you prompt and honest feedback about your communication skills and body gestures so that you can improve your soft skills considerably.
3. Develop an entrepreneurial mindset
Recruiters look for candidates who have an entrepreneurial mindset. Most recruiters would prefer someone who thinks outside the box rather than someone who has completed five or six internships but needs to be told what to do. An entrepreneurial mindset does not mean that you are equipped to run your own business. If that was the case, you would not have been searching for a job!
An entrepreneurial mindset means that you exhibit the potential of developing new and innovative ideas that will help the company’s products or services to be more satisfactory for its customers. One way to promote your entrepreneurial skills is to write a blog on a topic that you are passionate about and update it once a week. You will get into the habit of explaining the processes and applications and also to think of innovative ideas to improve the thing that you love.
4. Make your resume relevant and proper
Your resume is the first document and source of information about you that the potential employer reads. Therefore, you have to ensure that –
- It is relevant to the job profile
- It must not have contents that the employer may find unimportant
- It must not have any grammatical or spelling errors as these minute mistakes may cost you a job
- It should not be boastful
- It should highlight your relevant skill set.
You can also use a video resume to get the attention of recruiters. In the modern world of the Internet, audio and video are the media of communication that make the most impact. So why not use these in your resume? You can make them interesting by performing a relevant task and showing the recruiters how you handle a work-related problem. You can also make it entertaining depending on the audience and type of company that you are applying to. The possibilities with your resume are endless. You only need to have knowledge of the organization that you are applying to and create your resume according to their requirements.
5. Use an accomplishment resume
If you make use of the C-A-R or the S-T-A-R method of writing a resume, it becomes a resume that is accomplishment-based. S-T-A-R is the abbreviated form of Situation-Task-Action-Result. Give a brief description of a situation that you faced while in college or at your internship workplace or in any other point of time in your life. Give an explanation of the task that you had to complete to handle the aforementioned situation. Then, describe your actions that completed the task and took care of the situation. And the lastly, give an explanation of the results of these actions.
C-A-R is the abbreviated form of Challenge-Action-Result. Explain the challenge that you faced in college or any other place. Then describe the action that you took to resolve the challenge. And lastly, give an explanation of the result of these actions. If possible, utilize numbers and statistics to assign a quantity to your results. Also, explain how these results influenced the participants involved as a whole.
6. Utilize job search sites
Once you have created a working resume, you should create accounts on major online job search websites or recruiting sites. Examples of these sites include LinkedIn, Monster, Indeed, Glassdoor, Career Builder, College Recruiter, Simply Hired, Dice and LinkUp.
There are numerous job search options for employment in technology, healthcare, government jobs, business, media, marketing and others. You should upload or create a well-focused resume to one or more of the above-mentioned sites. Simultaneously, students should create a list of prospective companies to create and upload a resume that is custom-made for the employer on their job sites.
7. Networking is important
Utilize your existing network to set up casual interviews with people. Make use of your alumni network, message people on LinkedIn, meet with your parent’s friends and set up as many casual interviews as possible. Remember that the goal of a casual interview isn’t to land a job or enquire about one; it is to gather more information about the industry and possibly other career paths.
The result of these interviews may be that you end up discovering a mentor or even a sponsor who can assist you in finding a job. However, your primary focus in these interviews should be acquiring knowledge.
8. Talk to professionals from your chosen industry
Most recent graduates have a perception that the job will be as per its description. In reality, the job may be far from the description given for it. Since you are going to spend approximately 70 percent of your week at work, it is advisable to invest 2 to 3 days to know the actual job profile.
To get a clear idea of the actual job description of any job, you must speak to people who are part of the industry that you are applying in. Even so, you must resist the urge to converse with senior level professionals as their job description greatly differs from an entry-level job profile. You should preferably talk to a friend or a neighbor who graduated recently and have just landed a job. They will give you the perfect idea of the entry-level job description. This will help you prepare mentally for the job which alleviates your readiness to tackle the job’s tasks.
9. Have references from various sources
Ensure that you have references from numerous sources. These sources may not include your parents, friends and family, but it should include your teachers, coaches, tutors, internship employers etc. Keep healthy relationships with everyone. A simple ‘how are you?’ every now and then is sufficient.
These people can inform your potential employer about the work ethic that you possess the time that you take in completing tasks and making decisions, your attitude and behavior towards work etc. However, no negative reference is passed on to the potential employer. Therefore, you have to make sure that you choose only those people who will give positive references.
10. Apply to relevant companies
Students, who are uninitiated in the job search process, often tend to apply for diverse jobs in numerous companies. This ‘fishing in the sea’ concept is wrong in many ways.
- Firstly, it shows that you are indecisive and have no clear aim or objective in your career.
- Secondly, it may cause students to end up doing jobs that do not really interest them.
You cannot be everything all at once. Specialization is a highly desired trait in today’s world and so you have to select a job role that best fits you.
11. Keep your social media profiles clean
It may not be ethical for people to snoop around and stalk you through your social media profiles, but recruiters undertake this act of scrutinization to know what the potential employee does in his/her natural surroundings. Basically, they want to view the unplugged version of the candidate to determine whether he/she fits into the workplace.
It is not wrong to post pictures of yourself having fun in parties, etc. However, it is advisable to keep these hidden from prying recruiters. Most social media sites allow you to regulate your privacy settings. Use these settings to keep your social media image clean in the eyes of the recruiters to appear thoroughly professional. Also, try to interact with relevant organizations through these sites to promote a professional picture of yourself.
12. Dress professionally
When you get an interview call, make sure that you are dressed in formal clothing. Even if the company’s regular clothing includes jeans and t-shirts, wear a formal shirt, trousers and shoes for the interview. The first impression that you make on the interviewers is vital. So make it count.
Women should wear buttoned shirts or blouses with knee-length skirts or trousers. Footwear should be formal and heels may be of medium height. Makeup should be light and accessories must not be too loud. Men should wear formal shirts, trousers, shoes with a sweater, or blazer or a suit with a matching tie. Facial hair should be well-groomed if not completely clean-shaven.
13. Respect everyone while at the office for the interview
Nobody wants to spend their working hours of the week with an obnoxious person. Make sure that you respond and communicate politely with everyone present in the office when you appear for an interview.
Treat all the people in the office as your interviewer because personnel like receptionists, security guards, caretakers etc have daily interactions with the high-level executives. Treat everyone present in the office with respect and do not show contempt to anyone. You never know who may help you at any time.
14. Prepare a ‘skills pitch’
To convey your approach and abilities efficiently, you should prepare a well-rehearsed ‘skills pitch’ that contains a 30-second speech about your career goals and the skills that you possess to achieve them.
This pitch should not come across or be perceived as an advertisement. It should be spoken like a genuine conversation but simultaneously should highlight your skill set and your career objectives.
15. You are the solution to their problems
In an interview, you should not tell the interviewers how the organization will benefit you. Instead, tell them how you are the solution to the organization’s problems. Tell them how you plan to work for the betterment of the organization and resolve its issues in the process.
This method of projecting yourself as the perfect candidate will assure the recruiters that you have no vested interests. It also assures them that they will be recruiting the most suitable candidate to address the organization’s diverse issues.
16. Explain how your transferable skills will be useful
While you are informing the interviewer about how you are the solution to the organization’s issues, you can also tell them about the transferable skills that you possess.
Transferable skills are those which can be utilized in any field of work. For example, if you have interned at a pharmaceutical company but are applying for a law firm, you can put the knowledge of pharmaceuticals in cases regarding drugs and other medication. Make the interviewers understand the importance of your transferable skills and how they can be applied efficiently in their organization.
17. Never undermine your abilities
Always remember not to undermine your abilities. Never say sentences like, “I know I am not sufficiently qualified,” or, “I know that I do not possess the adequate work experience.” This sends out a negative message about your abilities. Instead of saying this, you can highlight your skills and say that these skills will get the job done. Recruiters are impressed by confidence, not by the lack of it.
Experts say that if recently graduated students follow these tips, they will get recruited much faster than those who take their time and are not bothered about their future. Landing a fruitful job in recent times has proven to be difficult, and so students have to do everything in their power to stay ahead of the competition to get recruited.
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