Congratulations! You are a new graduate. You have invested much time, energy and money into your study. It’s time to show off your new credentials and make sure your personal and financial investment pays off. Outlined below are suggested key activities that will help you to focus your energy and take charge of your next steps towards finding a job.
Keep the big picture in mind: use the planning, analytical and organising skills you have developed while studying to strategise and manage your career from the outset. It is not just about resumes and interviews. Make it about where and how you direct your energy and focus on both short and long term goals. Create your own job search criteria and work out where you are prepared to compromise in the short term. Know that your bargaining power will increase over time as you build your assets and experience.
Do a self-assessment
Self-assessment is the key to strategic job search and positive career decisions. Who are you? What are your skills and how do they match with the jobs you are interested in? Your values are important too. What sort of environment do you want to work in? Do you want to work in a team, or autonomously? Do you need to be challenged? Or is flexibility your biggest priority? Assess who you are and what you have to offer and ensure you are applying for the jobs that suit your skills, interests and values.
What do you have to offer?
Understanding what employers want and what you can do for them will increase your competitiveness. For example: congratulations again, you gained an interview! This means the employer is interested in investing in you and your assets. You turn up to the interview and say you are happy to learn and willing to do anything. Your competitor (who has completed her own skills assessment) says she is focused on building specific skills that align with the advertised position. She provides examples of how she has used other skills which match the position. Who would you employ? Take the time to work out your individual offer.
Where are the jobs?
Once you have done your self-assessment, research where the jobs are and again, focus your job search. It is better to put all your energy into suitable and relevant occupations and get an interview than apply for every position that vaguely fits your job search criteria. You can waste a lot of physical and emotional energy this way.
Be open to entry level positions
There is no such thing as the ‘one and only’ or ‘the right’ job. You will change jobs, occupations and careers numerous times throughout your working life. You need focus and you also need to stay open to entry level jobs so that you can get your foot in the door. Find out about entry level positions in your field; reflect on your assets and where you are prepared to compromise in the short term.
Treat your job search like a job.
- Download the Job search guide for resume, job application and interview information, tips and hints.
- Work out a job search plan. Treat your job search like a job. Set goals and make sure you achieve tasks each and every day, within a given time frame. Also make sure you take time out to recharge your batteries. Job search takes energy, focus, determination and stamina.
Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for advice and support from friends and family. You can also contact your local free career service on 13 64 64.