Friday, March 12, 2010

Four Tips for a Fresh Graduate to Find a Job

These days whenever I go to my alma mater Arizona State University (ASU) and talk to the students a sense of gloominess prevail over there. Reason – the graduate students are not able to find a job and those who are about to graduate or those who already graduated are not even getting any interview calls. Things are tough out there but when the things get tough, with proper planning and hard work you can overcome the difficulties. Here are the minimum four tips every one should follow if one has to get a job during this harsh job market.

Networking – Whatever be the market this is the best possible way you can get a job. Looking back, over 80% of my friends got their first job as a result of networking. It doesn’t matter if the economy is in recession or not, this has always been true. Try connecting with your friends and colleagues in your field of expertise and remind them often that you are in the job market. Now you can even use the social media channels like LinkedIn, Twitter etc for networking. Find and follow people in Twitter whom you know are working in your field and start a healthy conversation with them. Who knows they may have an opening in their company.

Attend All Job Fairs Seriously – I was talking to a graduate student in ASU who recently graduated and looking for a job. There was a job fair the previous day and he did not attend that. The reason he told was that only few companies were there and majority of those companies won’t be hiring international students. I will tell that the student was wrong in not attending the job fair. You must attend each and every job fair and if possible visit booth of each company. Get business cards from each and every person whom you are talking to. The very next day call and/or forward your resume to them. Some of them may say an outright “No” but there is a good chance that few of them may ask you to call them back few weeks later. Keep a note of that and call them on the day they told you to call them. By that you are reminding the person how serious you are regarding job search and can leave a lasting impression with a prospective employer.

Make Job Search Your Full Time Job – another very important thing you need to do if you need to find a job now. I have seen lot of graduate students looking desperately for jobs but if you ask them this question “How many hours a day are you spending on job search?” the answer to that could be “a couple of hours”. If you are spending just two to three hours a day for job search in this market, you have to be extremely lucky to find a job. If you are serious about getting a job, my advice is to make job search your full time job.

I have a friend who got a job during the peak of 2003 recession. He used to spend over 10 hours daily for job search. He was so organized that he documented each and every phone call he made, resumes sent and even wrote down the conversation he had with each person over phone. Within 45 days he got an interview call and in another 15 days he had a job in hand. He might have easily sent his resume and talked to over 500 companies. Bottom-line – you must spare at least six hours a day for job search and if you are not doing that don’t complain that you are not getting a job.

Never Lose Hope – Very important. Yes it is true that there is recession and economy is losing hundred of jobs. But at the same time some companies may be hiring also. Always remember this – You need only one job and if you happened to be at the right place at the right time for the job that is being advertised you are hired. Networking, attending job fairs and making job search a full time job will better prepare you to be at the right place at the right time. Do you part and never lose hope. The “ONE” job you are looking for will soon come if you have done your homework correctly and keep your hopes high.

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5 Comments:

Anonymous renjith said...

Adding another point: Have a resume your job requires!

First of all, you've to search for what your job might be demanding from its candidates. [Use Job aggregator sites and search for the company name.]
Then arrange your resume so that these demands looks satisfied in your resume on their FIRST LOOK.
And just don't clutter your resume FOCUS area with what the recruiters doesn't need. Mention them atlast.

March 12, 2010 4:03 PM  
Blogger Brijesh Nair said...

Renjith
Yes, having a good resume is another key. Changing the resume to suit the job is very important. That will be part of the full time job search I was talking about.

March 12, 2010 4:10 PM  
Blogger Karthikeyan said...

I don't know I have been successful enough or know enough to tell others what to do. From my experience these two are things you could do to improve your chances -

1) Avoid being in the wrong place while looking for work. You might feel comfortable and it might probably be cheaper to stay in your univ town while looking for a job. But it might be one of the factors why you don't get that interview call. So, plan and move as soon as you graduate. If you are in EE you should be somewhere near silicon valley or near Austin area. If you are in finance you have a better chance of landing that interview if you are in the NE (newyork or Boston area).

2) it could be difficult to afford your expenses near your location of interest and when the market is this bad you are never sure of getting a job in your field of study. To hedge this risk, you are better off joining a desi consultancy, say in California or Newyork or any other place as the case might be, as soon as graduate. It helps you two fold - 1- they usually cover your accommodation and food while you are in training. 2 - you become a local candidate ready for an on-site interview in your area of study and you are getting ready for an IT job if nothing else works.

March 12, 2010 8:08 PM  
Anonymous Ajith said...

Networking is really key factor esp for small nd medium companies.for eg I work n a medium prdct development sofware comp .2weeks bk one f my friend forwded his resume to me .I was pretty sure t we don't hv ny openings still I made a casual enq to the Hr. As expected he told but he asked me to forward his resume so in case something opens up he can priorize this resume. Today Hr guy called me telling thy got n urgent req and asked me if my friend is still lookng ...... He cleared the first round nd hopefully ll get this jobb.....

March 12, 2010 11:36 PM  
Anonymous Nic said...

"Never Lose Hope", I think, is the vital point. Whatever you do, don't read the paper or watch the television when they're droning on about the state the graduate jobs market is in. It is nowhere near as bad as they would have you believe. It's hard work finding a job, it's hard work getting a job and that job will be hard work but it has always been that way. It's nothing new.

Just prepare as much as you possibly can, tailor your resume to every single job you go for and you will never be rejected because of something that's wrong with you. If there is someone more qualified than you, there was nothing you possibly could have done about it.

August 17, 2010 2:31 PM  

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