You’re officially a graduate!
Congratulations! Graduating is as exciting as it is challenging. To help you through this transition and prepare you for a life as a professional, we have listed out a few tips and tricks to get you started. Let’s kick off your career together!
When applying for your first job, it’s important to first identify what your career goals are. Understand which industry you want to work in and which field you want to progress in. The first years of your working life are crucial, and you should aim to learn as much as you can.
Secondly, write down the exact skills you would like to master in order to progress professionally. It could be soft skills such as client management or sales, as well as hard skills such as digital marketing, design, project management and more.
Thirdly, look for a company that offers career paths and is willing to mentor and coach you along the way. An environment that urges employees to share knowledge and experiences is key. You want to end up in a good company culture, one that keeps you motivated every day of the week with regular feedback loops to staff in place.
Once you have an idea of the above, start researching organizations that offer exactly what you are looking for. Tailor your resume to the individual job descriptions and company expectations as much as you can. Prepare a well written cover letter to be sent together with your CV. Don’t forget, not all companies you apply for will reply to your application. Don’t let this demotivate you! Continue with the ones that do reply or follow up by giving your preferred companies a direct call. They will love your pro-activity!
“You never get a second chance to make a first impression!” Scary, right?
Having applied for different job openings, a first interview would be a logical next step. Depending on the companies and industries you have been applying for, that first interview will take place over the phone or immediately in person. Make sure you are prepared for both. It is important to make a good impression, always! Dress up, be prepared and ensure you have a list of questions you would like to ask. To make things easier, we have identified three key rules to follow. Take them into account and you are one step closer to the job you want!
Rule No.1: Dress up and make a good first impression
Dress up and you will always make a good impression. Show the company you are applying for that you have a sense of professionalism and that you respect the fact that they invited you to their office. At the same time, it gives you much more credibility and will make you stand out from other candidates. Isn’t that exactly what you want when applying for a job? Besides that, be polite and make sure the interviewer has something to remember you for. Tell them something about yourself that will help you stand out amongst all the other candidates competing for the same job. This could be a personal experience, an outstanding accreditation or skill you have acquired, or an interesting anecdote.
Rule No. 2: Ask the right questions
An interview should always be a form of two-way communication. It is essential for both parties to get to know each other and understand whether there is a professional fit. As an applicant, it is very important to ask the right questions. While you would want to know more about remuneration and extra benefits, don’t forget to ask about company culture, training schedules and career paths to see whether they match with your professional goals. Practically, questions could look like the below: – What are the skills and experiences you are looking for in an ideal candidate? – Are there opportunities for career advancement or professional accreditations? – What are the biggest opportunities and challenges of the company today?
Rule No. 3: Know your stuff
It’s most likely that during an interview, you’re going to be asked questions about yourself. This is a good opportunity to show your pass work experience, extracurricular activities, university modules, and more. Showing your experiences that demonstrate valuable traits such as leadership skills, teamwork, and problem-solving skills would give you the upper hand against the other candidates.Take some time to read up on the company and industry before going in, so that you can give thoughtful responses to whatever is thrown at you.
Finding a first job as a graduate can be challenging, however, don’t let it intimidate you too much. Be yourself, be honest about your skills, and be ready to share how you think you could have positive impact to the organization.
Be ready for disappointment here and there, but don’t get disheartened. Counter the situation with a positive attitude. You will find that dream job you are looking for in time. Like Albert Einstein once said, “You’ll never fail until you stop trying.”
Lead a healthy financial life with us