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.
CAREERS[Dissecting Your Resume And CV] – Part IV – Training / Skills / Education
The final part of the series is finally here.
There are those who believe the “Education” section should come first, while others opined it should be the last based on how many years of experience you have.
It all depends on preference. But please don’t spoil a good thing. My preference will be – if you attended a good school – irrespective of your experience – you can put it first. But if you feel the university you attended will be of disadvantage to you, please put it at the bottom. There is usually preference for the top schools irrespective of what you are bringing to the table. Do not knock yourself out of the race when you still have a chance.
Your experience coming before your university will surely sway some sentiments towards you. If you are proficient with financial packages such as SAP or Oracle financials and HR can see all this before they get to the “Education” section, then you have a chance against others who went to the best schools. Use your resume to your advantage NOT to your own detriment.
Below is an example :
2008 Bachelor of Science in Accounting – Boston University [CGPA 4.42 out of 5.00]
2007 Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Investment Policy Statements – CFA Institute
QuickBooks Pro Advisor
Corporate Finance Essentials
Open Universities Australia – Certificate of Achievement – Financial Planning
BLOOMBERG FINANCE L.P – Bloomberg Aptitude Test – Score:520
Oracle Financials Training – Accounts Receivables, Accounts Payable and General Ledger
COMPETENCES & SKILLS
Technology: Technically savvy with the use of Oracle Financials ERP, Microsoft Word, Outlook, Microsoft Excel [Pivot Tables, V Lookup], International Money Management System, Wall Street Office, Clear Par Documents System, Global Cash Management, Work Flow Tool, Microsoft SharePoint, OnBase, Practice Engine.
Team oriented and strong interpersonal skills, Basic familiarity with GAAP/FASB, Sarbanes Oxley Act and GAAS standards, Effective written and oral communication skills, sufficient technical skills to perform the essential duties and responsibilities.
This concludes the series – Dissecting Your CV.
Tackle Your Next Career Fair With These 5 Tips
“Understand that you have the qualifications that they are searching for, and effectively communicate this to company representatives. Be confident that you have what it takes to get the job, because YOU DO.”
So you’ve found yourself back on the market searching for your next fulfilling position at your dream company. Between professional networking events, informational interviews, and countless job application submissions online, you’ve come to the point where you must attend your local career fair.
Either way, sooner or later, you will have tackle your career fair woes.
Check out these tips that will help you to completely TACKLE your next career fair, and land your resume right in the end zone of recruiters.
(1) It ALL begins with confidence.
The aura that you exude to anyone is the energy that they will bounce back to you. Understand that you have the qualifications that they are searching for, and effectively communicate this to company representatives. Be confident that you have what it takes to get the job, because YOU DO.
(2) Research is imperative.
Go into the career fair with a outlined plan of the companies you would like to target – DO NOT simply walk up to any and every company table with small talk such as, “So what do you guys do?”
Do your research on your target companies to understand things such as the organizational culture, open positions, recent initiatives they’ve been working on, news articles, etc.
(3) Have questions.
These questions are what you want to go up to the recruiters to speak about, along with your background and experience, paying careful attention to actually link your experience to what they are looking for in a candidate.
It’s also common to ask representatives about them about their experience at the company, or just about them in general. But again, DO NOT ask them about what the company does, or what jobs they have. From your research you should already know this information. Asking them will show them that you may be lazy or simply did not do your research.
(4) Ask for a business card.
This shows your ambition and also tells them that you will follow up.
So with that, ensure that you follow up (within 24 hours) on what you and the company representative spoke about. You want to reiterate the skills you have that are related to the position you are seeking in the follow up email. In order to remember your conversation, jot down the high-level topics you both spoke about on the back of the business card between table visits. If you’re spreading your net wide with seeking positions (which you should be), then it can sometimes become difficult to recall what topics came up with each person.
(5) DRESS TO IMPRESS.
Answers to tricky Interview Questions
Smile as much as you can. Relax. A whole lot of interviews are just as simple as it is – getting to know you and a bit about your competencies
Interviews are usually an opportunity to sell yourself. Go with the flow of your interview and never derail from it. The interviewer wants you to be settled and will ensure the environment is conducive enough for an interview. You may be asked if you want water or coffee. Smile as much as you can. Relax. A whole lot of interviews are just as simple as it is – getting to know you and a bit about your competencies. Never speak with fear in ANY interview. See some questions below:
- How do you prioritize your workload? Answer : I list out the tasks in order of priority in my daily to do list and ensure they are completed accordingly. this has worked for me significantly
- How do you manage stress? Answer: Whenever I feel stressed, I take a 3 minutes’ walk and also drink water to relax and calm down. From my experience, i feel refreshed anytime i do such.
- Why should we hire you? Answer: I am hardworking and always ready to improve on given tasks. Not only in accomplishing set goals but also getting a new way to do it better. My experience and technical background has prepared me for this role and i believe I have the mental and physical strength to succeed in this role.
- What value can you add to this job and the company? Answer: I have a great work ethic in achieving set tasks and duties. If hired, I hope to contribute to set organization goals and also streamline processes by introducing new time effective systems.
Finally at the end of the interview, do not forget to send a thank you mail to the recruiter or the interviewer as the case may be.