The age-old saying goes “you can’t get a job without experience… and you can’t get experience without a job”, and as a fresh graduate out of university this is one of the toughest barriers to face when trying to launch a career.
Reasons Why Fresh Graduates Find It Hard To Get a Job:
1. Increased Competiton
The ‘prestige’ that comes with graduating from a university with a perfect GPA has now become diluted. The number of degree holders has increased, causing more competition for the limited number of jobs available in the market.
2. Little To No Work Experience
Most junior roles require at least 1-3 years of work experience. With many students interning so aggressively, employers are not going to be easily impressed. While they may also say ‘Fresh Graduates welcome’, sometimes it can be hard competing for a job with tons of other experienced workers.
3. Poor Interview Skills
Many students graduate believing that if they have the degree, the skills, and the drive, they’ll get a great job. The reality is that an interview is tremendously important. It’s a good idea for candidates to practice interviewing well before graduating.
Things that a graduate can do to help them successfully land their first job and set themselves up for a solid career.
1. Volunteer or internship
Check out your local job boards or employer websites to see if they offer an internship. Internship is one of the quickest and easiest ways to get experiences. Sure, you will get lower paid for it but remember you’re trying to build your experience. Try sending your resume to a few organisations that you would be interested in working for to see if they have any opportunity for you. If you can, try to get onto some projects or do some work that is closely aligned to what you want to be doing with your future job.
On top of the experience you receive, another benefit of doing an internship is the connections you make. Most likely, the people that you are working with will have a broader network and could potentially help you find employment elsewhere or put in a good reference for you.
Another huge benefit is that if you perform well there is a good chance that the company you are working for will hire you.
2. Structure your resume
You don’t have to worry if your CV is only a page long. No employer should expect too much from a fresh graduate. If you have no prior working experience, you should be focusing more on what you can bring to the table and how you can add value to your future employer.
• highlight achievements that are relevant to your future employer
Your academic assignments, projects and activities that you’ve participated in can give potential employers an idea of your personality, capabilities and skills. Focus on illustrating the instances where you’ve demonstrated your skills that are important for your future employer - such as problem-solving capabilities, being attentive to details or having a strong commercial acumen.culture and team.
• have an overview and keep it short
Most hiring managers and recruiters spend only an average of six seconds on each CV, leaving you with very little time to secure their attention. Present an overview of less than three sentences that highlights your most relevant achievements, experiences and skills - so that you can capture their interest right at the start and entice them to read further.
• talk about how your work can impact the workplace
Instead of just sharing your academic results, describe to the interviewer how you’ve contributed to a project or assignment that has led to an actual application in the workplace. You can also discuss how you intend to use what you’ve learned to deliver value to your potential employer.
With advancements in technology and social media, networking has never been easier.
By engaging with people over social media it can build your presence and lead to referrals and potentially a job offer! However, don’t forget traditional networking. There is still no substitute for face-to-face communication and it will leave a much stronger impression on the people you are connecting with.
The key is to get out there, be proactive and have some fun. That’s what it’s all about!