Getting a job as a graduate is usually a big task. Sometime it seems like a herculean complex problem that no one has a clear direction about. People do not know where to start and what to do. The unemployment situation in Africa has also made it worse for most fresh graduates. Regardless of how uncertain it may look the following steps may help you to land your job as a fresh graduate.
- Be clear and have a direction: You need to be clear of the kind of job you are looking for. Do you want to pursue roles in your field of study or do you want to pursue roles outside your course of study. Except for a few professional fields such as law, medicine, engineering, accountancy, etc., most other roles can be done by people that did not study such course in university or college. So do not be stuck in your ways to think you must pursue a role in what you have studied.
- Know what you need: You need to do your research to know what you need to get the kind of job you are looking for. Do you need to have attained a particular class of degree, or would you need a particular skill to be able to land the job? You must do proper research so you can prepare yourself for the job.
- Identify potential employers: It is very important for you to identify potential companies you can work with. Although you need to have an open mind and be flexible, you should also have a clear goal of the kind of companies you will like to work for. For example, as an undergraduate studying Accounting, I had a clear goal to work for one of the “Big 4” accounting firms and that drove everything I was doing including my job search efforts. I usually advice people looking for jobs to list out a number of companies they can work with usually 10-20 so their search can be a little bit focused.
- Ask about the recruitment process: You need to ask and make inquiries about how the companies you want to work for recruit and the requirements. There is no need wasting time to participate in the recruitment process if you do not meet the recruitment criteria. You also need to know what the process is like, what you should expect, the type of aptitude test and other details. Sites like http://www.kareercircle.com and http://www.glassdoor.com may be useful for this purpose. Explore the internet very well to see what you can find and reach out to current employees on what the process is about. Do not ask for confidential information that will give you undue edge. That will be seen as unprofessional.
- Start preparing: The moment you know you meet the recruitment requirement and you already know about what the process looks like, you should start your preparations. If there is a particular test that the company uses, start preparing. If it is GMAT, SHL etc, look for practice questions and start preparing for it.Do not wait for when the process starts before you will commence preparation. You may not have enough time for it. If you need help or need to learn the concepts, please do it. If you know you have some deficiency in possible test areas, get help and improve on such deficiency.
- Be flexible: Do not be rigid with your plans and aspirations. Be flexible at all times. If you are not getting what you want, change your plans and pursue something else.
- Be open to starting small: Even though you intend to work for that multinational, or that big company, be open to working for a small or startup company pending when the big company comes. It is better you are doing something than staying at home to wait for a job that may never come.