Your degree may equip you with the knowledge you’ll need to take on any of those sales jobs, advertising jobs, or architecture jobs in Singapore, but there’s one important thing your professors probably didn’t teach you: how to cross over from the campus to the outside world. Even with all the knowledge you accumulated, you wonder, “what’s it like out there?”
The transition from student to professional has its share of rough spots and uncertainties. But you can make your journey a lot smoother if you just keep these helpful tips in mind.
Be realistic when job hunting.Most fresh graduates are brimming with idealism. There’s that tendency to aim high and dream big. There’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, you should maintain your high ideals. But you also have to temper your expectations with reality. Don’t expect to land that “perfect job” right away. Choose wisely among the companies in your short list, but understand that even your top choice may not have everything you’re looking for. Remember, you’re looking for your first job. There’s a very good chance that it will be a mere stepping stone to something bigger and better down the line.
Consult the experts.You’ll need some guidance as you go about your job hunting. You can start with your school’s career services and placement office. They have the counseling expertise to help you plan your search properly. You can also try contacting fellow alumni who graduated a year or two ahead of you. Their experience makes them experts in their own right.
Be open to internship.You think that working as an intern is beneath you, that it’s only for undergrads? Reality check. There’s nothing wrong with taking on an internship even after you’ve graduated. You may not get a real salary, but you will gain valuable experience and practical skills training. Whether you end up being absorbed as a full-time employee or not, that experience and training will help you eventually land the job you want.
Guard your personal life.More and more employers do an online check on their prospective hires, especially on social media. Pictures of you sprawled on a beach clutching a bottle of vodka in your facebook page won’t make for a good impression on the manager who’s scheduled to interview you. Make sure your privacy settings allow only your friends and family to see what nobody else should.
Prepare for each job interview. If you think that all job interviews are the same, you’re mistaken. You have to do some research about each company beforehand. Read up on their mission-vision statement, corporate philosophy and distinctive traits. Also know as much as you can about the position you’re applying for. When you’re armed with all this knowledge, you’ll be in a good position to convince the employer that you’re the right fit for the job.
Ask the right questions at the interview.After you’ve answered all your interviewer’s questions, he’ll then ask if you have questions of your own. This is in fact part of the interview, and you have to ask the right questions in order to continue making a positive impression. Such questions include: “What sets this company apart from its competition?” “What qualities do you consider to be critical for success in this job?” For more on questions to ask your interviewer, click here.
Follow up after the interview.After the interview is done, don’t just sit back and wait for the employer to call you. Send your interviewer a thank you note. Don’t be afraid to ask when you can expect to hear from him. Gestures of this nature impress upon the manager that you’re serious about the job.
Don’t give up.If you end up not getting the job you want, don’t just walk away. Send the manager a thank you note, this time expressing your gratitude for having been considered for the job. Take the opportunity to tell him that you would still like to work for his company in the future. This will let him know how much you value the opportunity to be a part of his organisation.
Face the outside world with confidence and resolve, be positive, and good things will happen. Good luck!
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