Challenges don’t end once you are out of university, more will actually come. The next challenge you will face is deciding what to do next. Some might want to proceed to another course and study again. Some will study and take their master’s and licensure. But, usually, people proceed to the industry to find a job or pursue their dream career. Landing a job is already hard for normal citizens, but it is double the difficulty when you are a fresh graduate.
Fresh graduates face a lot of setbacks. Most people face intense competition, insufficient experience, lack of skills, and high and unrealistic expectations. Graduation season also means an influx of people looking for a job. Your educational background won’t do it as many also have degrees and are eager to get a job. Some job seekers require a year or three of experience in the field. It is ironic that it is a requirement for entry-level positions, but it also does not discredit whatever internship or volunteer work you’ve done. Acquiring skills depends on the industry you are aiming for, but never underestimate the importance of having good interview skills. Different interviewers will approach getting to know you and assessing your intelligence, professionalism, composure, and long-term objectives in different ways.
Goal Company or Work
To get a job, you must know what you are aiming for. It is normal to put a mindset on where you want to work and it is normal to be optimistic. But having too high aspirations isn’t good for your first job. Coming from a big school might give you the advantage of getting into your dream company but it will all settle down to your skills and see if you have what they need. This is where the setback of having high expectations for a new candidate comes.
When choosing a job, you must also choose the right company. Choosing the right company might be hard as you will not have the final say, the employer does. When seeing a job seeker ad, make sure to get to know the company. Two things you should consider are the pay and the learning you will get from it is your first professional job experience. You do not want a company that has low pay but lots of learning or high pay but no learning. You most definitely don’t want a company that has low pay and gives you no learning about the industry at all. You want a company that has a high or at least decent pay for your role in the work and you get to experience and learn things that can benefit you for more future job opportunities. You want your first professional job experience to be a good add-on to your resume.
Writing Your Resume
Your resume serves as your introduction to employers and companies. Having a good resume and a good cover letter are two things that might help you land that job. But one thing to consider when writing your resume is the resume format. Deciding on the right resume format that works well for you can help you stress various areas of your professional experience, career advancement, and essential talents.
Formats for resumes come in three kinds: chronological, functional, and combination. The chronological format of resumes focuses on your skills and work experience. It highlights your most recent job back to your first. It also summarizes your best skills. Now, considering that you are writing your resume for your first job experience, this format might not work the best for a fresh graduate.
In functional format, your qualifications and applicable skills take up most of the space. Your work history will be brief, but a summary of your best skills will mostly be the content of your resume. Your skills can be categorized into major categories or soft skills. You can also include training and certifications. The combination format shows a mixture of the chronological and functional formats. It showcases your skills and how you used them in your past jobs. It also gives a spot for the skills you’ve developed according to your work experience.
Since being a fresh graduate doesn’t really have a lot of work experience, a functional format might be your go-to. But if you were a working student, maybe you can also consider using the combination format. As long as you know and understand your career goals, choosing a resume format that you can execute flawlessly will not be that hard for you.
Job Interviews and Securing the Spot
After getting through the door and securing your spot, you are good to go in your first step of experience in your career. In job interviews, this is where the company or employers will get to know you. They will not only ask about your educational background or experience in the industry. Be sure that you are ready to answer such common phrases like, “Why should we hire you?”, “Where do you see yourself in 10 years?”, or even the most simple question, “Can you tell me more about yourself?”. These simple questions will determine if you are what they need. From these questions, they will see if you are different or the same as the others.
Other companies might require a second screening, so be sure to be as ready as you were in the first interview if they contact you again and ask for a second time. In your job interviews, answer honestly and make it sound as natural as you can be and not too rehearsed.
In summary, fulfilling a spot in your dream industry and understanding your goal are what’s important. Trials and hardships come every time but we can also face and overcome them. As a fresh graduate, your first professional experience will just be the first step in your work life. It is your first step to being successful.