Finding your first job is undoubtedly a tiring task, raising tough questions at every turn. Here’s a real-life scenario:
You’ve graduated with a fancy degree and some really cool grades, and you feel on top of the world and ready to pick your dream job. The reality, however, is that you’re one of the many in the same boat. Although you may feel that you are the best fit for a certain job opening, there can be countless others who feel the same way. According to Rozee.pk, Pakistan’s largest online jobs website: on average, an employer receives more than 300 job applications on a single job posting. So the question is, what can you do to make yourself stand out from the rest? According to the hiring managers, sometimes a very small mistake can mean the difference between landing a great job and having your CV end up in the trash bin.
Today I’m going to outline some common issues faced by fresh graduates seeking jobs and my advice on how to approach them.
I don’t meet all requirements listed in the job description. Should I still apply for that job?
You need to keep in mind that hiring managers usually write job descriptions for a “perfect candidate” who may not even exist. But that doesn’t mean you should apply on every job opportunity. Make sure that you meet at-least three-quarters of the requirements before applying for a job.
My internship is going great! How do I ask my company to offer me a full-time role?
You are advised to talk to your line manager without delay. Express your deep interest and enthusiasm in working for the organization and give them an idea about how you’d contribute moving forward. Be flexible as to what an entry-level position may look like. If your organization doesn’t have the budget or need to hire you full-time, ask your manager for referrals to other organizations.
Everyone’s looking for experienced candidates. What should I do?
Although it’s true that job openings for inexperienced people are not as many as those for the experienced ones, you need to keep looking for them. Using references can also help you find out about such openings. Moreover, make sure to highlight about your communication skills, educational achievements, freelance work (if any), volunteer job experience(s), extra-curricular activities etc. on your resume as employers place a high value on them.
The big brand that I want to work for just turned me down. Should I keep trying to get in there?
I would advise you to not limit yourself to working only for the top brands. Your focus during the early career should be towards learning. If a smaller organization is offering you a stronger learning opportunity and career path, go ahead with it. The first job is just that – it doesn’t set the course for your entire professional career.
The salary for my first job seems low. Do I have any leverage to negotiate?
Although salary does matter but don’t make it your primary objective at this stage. At your first job, you need to focus more on polishing your skills, gaining professional experience and making yourself a competent candidate in order to qualify for a bigger job role in future.