While a good academic record helps show if a new graduate qualifies for a job, it often takes more than that to impress prospective employers. Recruiters will also look at your work experience, hobbies, and interests, and they’ll have a battery of questions ready to get an assessment of what your personality and work ethic might be. More than your scholastic performance, these are the important factors employers look at when you apply for a job.
Many employers look beyond what you have learned in the classroom. They are also interested in your skills and passions, as these can help them determine how you might become a valuable member of their organisation. As a new graduate, you might feel like you don’t have enough to showcase since your experiences and opportunities have been limited to your time in school. However, there are ways you can change that.
If you want to increase your employability and improve your chances of getting hired at your dream job, consider taking the following initiatives:
Find Internship Opportunities
Aside from your academic accomplishments, you also need to apply what you learned and gain hands-on experience. Focus on searching for opportunities in the industry where you plan to find employment. If you’re based in Singapore, for example, look for a traineeship Singapore graduates can apply for. From here, you can acquire industry-specific skills as well as the knowledge that you’ll need to be a good employee. This includes time management, communication skills, discipline, and perseverance—which are all attractive qualities in a potential employee.
Also, signing up for an internship offers better chances of securing full-time work at the same company you trained at. Since the managers have already worked with you, they may be willing to recommend you for a full-time position. Employing you will also be more advantageous for them because you’re familiar with the company and their business processes.
Find a Mentor
Another way you can improve your employability as a new graduate is by seeking mentorship. Compared to a traineeship, a mentorship provides you with individualised training from an experienced mentor. They can walk you through the process of carrying out the duties of a particular role.
You can get the guidance of someone in a senior position and receive valuable insights into the industry you want to thrive in. For example, if you want to become a professor, find a mentor who is a current member of a university faculty. They can help guide you through the responsibilities of the job and share how you can improve your skills. They can also share their knowledge and experience to help you prepare for your dream career.
When looking for mentors, consider those in your professional network. Look for experienced professionals you’re comfortable working with. Ideally, your mentor should provide a neutral sounding board and offer great advice.
Take a Course to Improve Your Skills
If you want to increase your employability, constantly find ways to hone your skills. Taking short courses online and on-site are great ways to do it. Even if you take a course that isn’t directly related to the career you want to pursue, the initiative to continue learning can impress employers.
There are many short courses available today, and they cover a wide range of subjects. If you want to learn how to operate a new computer program or develop in-demand technical skills, you can enrol in that specific course. Short courses for soft skills like teamwork and conflict resolution will also be highly valuable if your dream job requires being part of an effective team.
Do Your Research
Before you apply for any job, it’s a good idea to prepare for it. Start by doing some research about the industry and organisation you want to join. Go through the company’s website and social media profiles to get more information, such as about accomplished projects and current activities. Browsing through these resources can also help you find current job openings.
As you do your research, take a particular interest in the role you plan to apply for. Read through the job profile and find out the responsibilities of someone in that position. It should give you a good idea of what will be expected of you and allow you to identify the skills you may need to develop and highlight to impress the recruiter.
Doing your research allows you to anticipate industry- or work-related questions you might get during the job interview. Remember, employers appreciate candidates who take the time to prepare for the interview and job they’re applying for.
Take Up a Hobby
Everyone has interests, and starting a hobby is a good way to pursue them. Doing so shows your passion and willingness to learn. In some cases, it may even help you hone certain skills that you can apply to your professional dealings.
Many employers appreciate candidates with hobbies and interests outside of the professional setting. This allows them to get a glimpse of your personality and determine if you’re a great fit for their company’s culture. For example, being involved in sports may give employers the impression that you value discipline and teamwork. If you enjoy painting or doing crafts in your spare time, they may see you as a creative individual. Showcasing your qualities and talents can make a good impression and improve your employability.
Though being a recent graduate has its challenges, there are many ways for you to increase the likelihood of being hired and landing the job you want. By honing your skills and being passionate about learning, you can improve your employability as a new graduate. Make sure to highlight these on your resume and to update it regularly so that you’re always ready to grab hold of whatever opportunities come your way.