Getting Your First Job – Career Advice for Fresh Graduates
Finally, your bustling college days are over. While you must be excited for this new phase of life, the thought of landing the right job might overwhelm you. With a plethora of career paths to choose from and with little to no career advice, you must be wondering which profession you should pursue.
Finding a new job as a fresh graduate is often a strenuous task. But with the right career guidance, and the determination to succeed, you can make a smooth transition from college to the workforce.
In this article, we give you critical career advice for fresh graduates that will help you pre-preparation for job hunting. So, let’s buckle up, and get ready for this awesome journey!
Discover Your Career Interests
Our first piece of advice is to discover yourself: your motivations, what kind of work profile interests you, and which career path suits your personality.
“Wait, what? Isn’t that defined by my degree qualifications?” You might wonder.
No, not really. In college, everything depended on paper qualifications, how well you wrote your exams and scored in them. But in the real world, degree qualifications are not a limitation. Otherwise, there would have been no Apple or Microsoft today, with both its founders being college dropouts. Having said that, of course, educational qualifications matter, at least that’s how employers shortlist candidates for appropriate career opportunities, but it isn’t a barrier to success.
For example, a computer science graduate can go on to enter a sales or marketing job. Whereas, a mechanical engineer can become an IT engineer.
Thus, it is important to become self-aware and identify your strengths and skills that would be beneficial for your potential employer. Also, you can ask someone for career guidance only when you are completely sure about what kind of professional life you are aiming for.
Find Out Who is Hiring
So, you have identified your interests. Well done! The next move is to find out all the open career opportunities that are relevant to your skills and interest. Discover all the companies that are hiring currently, the type of role they are offering, and the experience and expertise they require.
To learn about such job openings, regularly check job portals, visit career sections of companies, and join professional networking groups.
You can also start by visiting career fairs, either virtual or physical, to gain knowledge about the hiring companies. During such events, take the opportunity to speak with the company representatives to better understand the available opportunities, company culture and growth. Also, politely request their professional cards. This will help you to later follow up with them for relevant opportunities via email, showing your eagerness and proactivity. And the best part is that the people at these networking events might end up giving the best career advice for fresh graduates.
Upskill Yourself With Professional Training Courses
While shortlisting positions, check for the ‘skills required’ and minimum qualifications sections in those job descriptions. There can be a possibility that you find a position exciting and intriguing but you are lagging behind or completely missing certain skills. But don’t worry, you can fill those gaps by taking up professional training courses. Additionally, there are individuals or institutes offering career counselling in Singapore, so take advantage of that too.
Also, gain knowledge about various industries you would be applying for. The ideal ones to apply are those industries where your skills and personality are a fit. Staying up-to-date with your skills and being well-informed about the industry will strengthen your chances of landing the job.
Build a Career Development Plan
You have gained all the information you need for finding the right role for you. But to process and utilise this information, you need a career development plan.
Begin by creating a task list necessary for preparing and securing the job.
First things first, you need to market yourself professionally and effectively in front of employers. Therefore, begin by creating a stellar resume. Your resume should be no longer than one page and should include only relevant and essential information like skills, achievements, capabilities, etc.
Clearly, as a fresher, you would have no work experience. But don’t forget to include internship(s), or project(s), or any other skills that align with the relevant career opportunities. If you are involved in philanthropy or humanitarian work, do include those too in your resume. Your resume acts as your first impression on the employer so follow all necessary resume writing tips. If needed, take help from a professional resume builder.
Here are additional pointers that will help you create your career development plan:
- Acquire soft skills important for the interview. For this, there are several avenues for career counselling in Singapore.
- You may also consider asking for mentorship from someone you know and who has been a working professional for quite some time.Mentors can help you create a detailed career development plan, help you assess the efforts involved at each step, and set timelines for completion for every task.
- If you are a fresher wanting to start your career in software development, setting up and maintaining a GitHub profile would be a great idea. A GitHub profile helps the recruiters to find out more about candidates skills and interests. And as a fresher, when your resume lacks the experience to reinforce your skills, maintaining a GitHub becomes even more important as it can contain all your relevant project work and contributions to the source if any.
Keeping all the above points in mind, embark on your journey towards reaching out to potential employers and finding the right career path for you. Wish you all the best for a fulfilling and rewarding career!
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