Calling all fresh graduates! After being in university for a good three or four years, it is now time for you to enter the workforce a.k.a. real life.
It is time to put aside your university life and look forward to what employment can bring you. Some may find it scary and tough just thinking about it, but it doesn’t have to be. Whatever experience you have gained during your university days is definitely something to put on the table (your CV). So, do not hesitate and start applying!
But wait, some of you are asking, “where do I even begin?” Fear not, here are a few simple steps to guide you.
STEP 1 – CRAFT YOUR CV
Like anything else, the beginning is always a good place to start. So, putting together your curriculum vitae (CV) would be a good idea. Keep in mind it doesn’t have to be flowery or fancy, you want to keep it simple but clear in all the information stated.
Think about it, people who are going to review your CV are not going to spend a long period of time on just one a day, they probably have hundreds to go through each day. Hence, go straight to the point with your unique selling points, but put your best foot forward.
Is there a format I should follow? CVs are very subjective and personal but yes, the inclusion of certain information is vital. You can play around a little but don’t forget to keep it simple and professional. Here are a few things you can include in your CV:
- Choose a basic font that’s easy to read: Times New Roman, Calibri or Arial
- Include your contact information: email and mobile number
- State your experiences by listing the most recent first
- Include a relevant reference they can get in touch with: not your mum or boyfriend/girlfriend
STEP 2 – NETWORKING
The next step is to send out your CV to potential employers, but before searching for publicly advertised positions, you can start somewhere that’s closer to you:
Talk to your family and friends regarding jobs that might be up on offer. It’s always good to have more than one channel when searching for employment, besides other awesome job search options like WOBB (#shamelessadvert).
It’s always good to explore as many channels as possible! Here are a few options:
- Asking around from family and friends
- Applying through job platforms
- There may be times where some companies do not list their vacancies, give them a call if there are any available
STEP 3 – SPRING CLEAN YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE
Oh dear lord what did I just say? Yes, you read me right. Clean up your social media presence. The truth hurts but it must be done. With the age of technology controlling our society, it must not be taken lightly that a potential employer may be snooping around our social media pages – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, etc.
You don’t have to get rid of your whole account or be super paranoid and up the ante on all your privacy settings, but perhaps erase “inappropriate” content. You want to keep your profile clean enough to prevent any assumptions made about you. And trust us, there’s no such thing as privacy nowadays. What a world we live in!
STEP 4 – DON’T JUST WAIT AROUND
After completing the necessary steps, all you want to do is to sit back and chill out while waiting for the call back. But hey, being proactive while your job hunting gives you an answer to employer who will ask you “what have you been doing recently?”. Give employers something more interesting that “just been waiting for a job offer”.
Go out, do something productive. Be it helping out at the homeless shelter, part-time at a café or even volunteering for something worth while. It’ll give you something interesting to talk about. Plus, it makes you look like a hard worker.
STEP 5 – STAY POSITIVE
Somewhere down the line you may find yourself with no response from the companies you applied for. Fret not, it is quite normal and it happens to everyone. Some companies take longer than expected, so don’t beat yourself up thinking that you did not get it. there’s no harm making a call to the said company just to check-in on the progress.
Provided that you’ve been applying to a number of companies, one or two will reply to you sooner or later. So keep pushing through and everything will fall into place. Have patience but don’t stop searching for options.
There you go! These are the 5 steps to guide you through the first phase of entering the workforce. Now that you’ve read through the list, doesn’t seem as bad does it? Get on with it!