Fresh out of university, many graduates (myself included) face limited career opportunities because of our lack of working experience.
Here are a few tips on how to make yourself more employable and secure that dream job interview.
1) Stand Out With Your Cover Letter
Always attach a cover letter to your resume. Scrutinize the job description and do your research on the company you are applying to before you write a cover letter. Interviewers can tell if a cover letter was used for multiple job applications so do not use a single template for all. Genuinely state out how you can contribute to the company with your skills.
An example would be, “I believe the combination of my qualifications and solid accounting skills will be an asset to the company’s accounting goals.” Keep referring to the job description while writing your cover letter and make sure you emphasize those capabilities that make you a good candidate for the position. I was glad that I did so when my company granted me an interview because I had submitted a cover letter among all the other candidates who did not.
I later on accepted the position.
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2) Get A Professional Resume Written
While anyone can write a quality resume on their own, there is much to gain from hiring a professional resume writer. One of the grouses of headhunters was that job applicants are not able to objectively present themselves as a good fit to the job position.
A resume writer takes the time to make certain your resume is an accurate depiction of you. While a fresh grad may not have a lot of working experience to boast of, a resume writer aims to extract tidbits of information from you and re-present them in a more favourable manner.
Typically, a hiring manager only takes an average of 6 seconds to look through a resume. Therefore, you really want to stand out and get noticed. All you have to do is search online and you can get a list of professional resume writing services.
[image credits: resumewriter.sg]
3) Pick Up Skills Via Online Tutorials
It will help having an idea of the industry you wish to work in and the job function you are looking to work for. Before graduation, I specifically wanted to work in online marketing.
I looked at many job descriptions and realized that I lack IT skills. As a result, I tried to pick up some skills to bump up my credentials.
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4) Internships During School Vacations
Never mind that they pay little. Internships are a great way to gain some relevant working experience over that short 3 months school vacation. Try to look for internships with MNCs.
It may not necessarily put you at an advantage, but at least it may grab the interviewer’s attention. Overseas internships would be even better as they expose you to another culture or language that may be deemed useful.
If you leave them with a good impression, your internship company may be interested in hiring you as a full-time employee after your graduation.
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5) Learn Another Language
If you have time to spare, enroll in language classes. If you learn a language that is less common, it just may open you to work opportunities, such as French or Portuguese. It helps to make your resume stand out when you have a third language in your portfolio aside from English and mother tongue.
It also opens up more career opportunities especially for job positions that specifically require someone who is proficient in a particular foreign language.
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6) Start A Business
Wow your interviewer by sharing with them the entrepreneurial spirit in you. Walk them through the path of ups & downs you encountered while building your own business. I have had an online business and it helped a lot when I was applying to my company, an e-commerce company.
It was one of the main topics during the interview. By having started up something on your own, it shows your willingness to take risks. It also highlights that you are willing to step out of your comfort zone.
That may benefit the company in having a possible leader within the team.
[image credits: startups.co.uk]
7) Share An Interesting Hobby
One of the takeaways from resume writing workshops which I attended was having an extraordinary hobby or interest.
Rather than stating ubiquitous hobbies such as swimming or playing football in the section of your resume, surprise the hiring manager by showing a more interesting side of you.
Pick up hobbies such as “exotic bird-watching”.
It not only grabs the hiring manager’s interest, but piques her curiosity so much so that the manager may invite the job applicant for an interview to find out more about this unique hobby.
What has worked for you? Do share more!