For a fresher right out of college, the hunt for the first job can be daunting. What jobs to apply for? Which are the right companies? How to find out about openings? How to get attention? These must be just some of the questions going on in your mind.
There are many things to get you started, and you would probably be familiar with some – creating a resume and cover letter, searching for job openings on job websites, getting active on social networking sites, etc. With no previous employments and work experience to show the kind of employee, you can be, get involved at various levels to show your commitment and dedication to your chosen line of work.
Here we talk about concrete steps you can take on the above and other points to set the right foot in the job market.
a). What is your job type?
To start with, find out what you want to do professionally. Spend time in thinking about your area of interest and what you want to achieve with it. Keeping in mind your academic qualification, it becomes easier to pinpoint what you want to accomplish in your career. It is a crucial phase, and if you are clear with what you want to achieve, you increase your chances of making it a reality.
b). Alter your cover letter and resume
You should not send a generic version of your resume to every employer. Instead, you should always tweak your resume in a professional resume format for freshers according to the job description to match the recruiter’s requirements. Same way, make changes in your cover letter to match the needs of the job.
A good cover letter should be personal and well-written and should generate interest in you in the employers’ minds. It should talk about how suitable you are for the job requirements of a specific organization.
Your resume and cover letter is your first step in introducing yourself and moving forward with the desired job. Let it mirror your characteristics and bring out your experience, qualifications, and make you shine in your pursuit of a new job.
c). Online job websites
Apart from your college or university’s placement board, job sites are your first point of access to the majority of available openings advertised by companies and consultants. Join all popular online job boards to view current vacancies. Search by sector, domain, experience level, etc. Further, by completing your profile on job sites, you allow recruiters to find you. Also, sign up to receive email alerts of relevant openings to keep you on track.
d). Track the company of interest
Keep reading the information on company websites for organizations you would like to work with. Most company’s website has a separate ‘Career’ section on their site where they list their current openings with an online system to submit the job application. You can also go through the sections like ‘Life at XYZ’ where companies display work culture and employee policies. You may encounter no vacancies for some companies, but could be open to applications for other job openings on the website. Leave your details and submit your resume for consideration for a suitable job role.
e). Build your online network
While in college, social media only meant hanging out with friends on Facebook and Twitter, you need need to work on building a professional network. Get familiar with LinkedIn and explore Facebook and Twitter to connect with companies and people that could bring you closer to new job opportunities.
Follow companies on professional networks like LinkedIn to learn about the organizations and available roles. You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter to know about the insights of a company. Networking isn’t only about engaging, connecting, building relationships. It is also about connecting with people with similar interests and find out about their work and career interests. You will find more people who are willing to share information once you find a common topic to engage upon.
Another thing – pay close attention to what your profile says about you. Employers today give weight to social media profiles of candidates under consideration for a job.
f). Explore ways to acquire experience
Apprehension over finding the ‘right’ job is natural. However, getting started is the key. It might not be possible to land your dream job right after completing studies, so think of ways of getting a foot in the door in the industry/company you are interested in joining.
An internship will help you add experience in your CV, connect you with professionals and seniors who have been in the field for some time, and give you an idea of what work-life in that domain is all about.
Volunteering is another means to distinguish you – it creates an impression on the prospective employer of someone who has more extensive interests and enjoys taking up new challenges. Also, keep tabs on any career fair, exhibition, or seminar happening in town and be sure to join up.
In today’s competitive job market, it is up to you to distinguish yourself from being just a fresher to someone who knows what s/he wants to achieve – by using the right techniques, whether it is sharing your resume on job websites or creating a personal brand on various networks. Choose to shine!