After slogging (or partying) your way through years of school, you’re finally ready to stop being a student and to enter the working world of adults. That means getting your first job.
The trouble is that fresh grads are finding it harder and harder to land their first jobs in Singapore. In fact, earlier this year, another survey found that 4.2% less poly grads found work within 6 months of graduation compared to in 2016.
Even if you’ve got a shiny degree or diploma scroll, that doesn’t guarantee you a job. If your inbox is starting to pile up with rejection emails, here are some tips that can get you out of this funk and help you to finally land that first job.
1. Contact seniors and friends who’ve already found jobs
While we’re sure that Harvard or Oxbridge grad with first class honours will have no trouble finding a job by cold-contacting companies or answering job ads, for the rest of us mere mortals, getting a job through connections is a million times easier. Some MNCs don’t even run job ads for certain posts, and recruit through referrals instead.
So you want to ask your seniors and peers who’ve already found jobs if their companies are hiring, and get them to keep you in mind if they have lobang.
2. Enlist the help of your parents, relatives and their friends
You might think of your parents, relatives and their friends as a bunch of aunties and uncles. But at their age, they should be in very senior positions at work, and many will be even be able to make hiring decisions.
That makes older people a goldmine of potential job referrals. So ask your parents and relatives to spread the word
3. Have your CV reviewed by a recruitment professional
You’d be surprised to know how many CVs are badly written and make the candidate look worse than they really are. Typos, unnecessary information about CCAs and poor organisation are just some of the issues which plague jobseekers’ resumes.
Get your CV reviewed by a recruitment professional before you start sending it out again. This could be your university’s career advisor, a recruitment agent or someone you know who works in HR.
4. List and check out job portals
You’ve probably already done this if you began your job search some months ago. Applying for positions on online jobs portals and job boards is the most basic way to find a new job.
So make an exhaustive listing of all the job portals that are relevant to you. These can range from general job search websites like JobsDB, JobStreet and the government’s JobsBank to industry-specific ones like Rigzone for mechanical engineering jobs and the Law Society’s e-classifieds for those in the legal field.
5. Create a LinkedIn profile and optimise it
Recruiters and HR personnel are increasingly turning to LinkedIn to recruit staff. What’s more, when you send out a job application, interested employees are going to Google you, so you want a good LinkedIn profile that can offer more details on your achievements and who you are than your CV can.
Optimise your LinkedIn profile according to best practices such as these, making sure to include a headline and keywords pertaining to your desired job, as this makes it easier to find you in a search.
6. Look for a contract position
Can’t find a full-time job? Taking up a contract position might be the next best thing. Not only will you get valuable industry experience you can parlay into your next job application, you might also stand the chance of being converted to perm staff at the end of your stint.
Taking on a contract position is what many aspiring bank analysts do to get their foot in the door, as the chances for conversion to perm staff can be quite high, failing which the experience gained is often enough to get them a job at a different bank.
7. Take up an internship
Internships aren’t only for students. If you’ve been searching in vain for a while and can’t land a perm job, consider interning for a company you’d like to work for.
As hiring interns is much cheaper and for a contracted period only, employers are usually much more willing to offer internships than jobs.
Interning can help you get industry experience and make some contacts that can later lead to a full-time job. And if the company likes you, you might be offered a perm contract at the end of your internship.
8. Consider part-time positions on online job portals before you graduate
Haven’t graduated yet but are losing hope that you’ll have a job waiting for you upon graduation? Other than internships, you’ll also want to consider part-time jobs for students.
This doesn’t have to mean working as an ice-cream scooper. Instead, scan listings on jobs portals for part-time jobs that will offer you valuable industry contacts and experience.
For instance, if you’re an aspiring accountant, look for part-time admin jobs in accounting firms. Aspiring writers and editors should look out for part-time or freelance opportunities at publishing houses.
If you keep at for long enough, you can build up a respectable CV that will make you stand out compared to other fresh grads with limited experience.
Are you a fresh grad looking for your first job? Share your experiences in the comments.