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You have graduated from your course/degree with excellent results, now you are ready to take the world. You think you are already well on your way to grabbing that dream job. Right?
Well you will be in for a rude wake up call. It is called work experience!
While there are some employers who are ready to give a job to a graduate with no experience, most job ads ask for some work experience which could vary from 6 months up to 2 years.
As a fresh graduate how are you supposed to get work experience if no one hires you and gives you a chance?
All is not lost, here are some ways to get that job and gain work experience.
- Ensure that your resume is crash hot! This is the first thing employers or recruiters look at. So, you should put all your efforts into making sure that this stands out. Always customize it to the position you are applying for rather than sending the same resume to all jobs. Some of your skills will be better suited to the job, highlighting them will ensure that they are noticed by the recruiter. Also highlight your soft skills. The right attitude for the job like, ability to work well in teams, or ability to work unsupervised or excellent customer service skills or enthusiasm to learn will give the employer the confidence to give you a chance.
- If your course has a work placement component, then you can request for a reference letter from your supervisor at the workplace. If you can get this then you can nominate this as your work experience.
- Prepare yourself to work for free. Volunteer your services and work in the industry where you are looking to gain employment. Don’t think that you are working for free, think of this as an extension of your education. Don’t you pay for a course? Same way you are paying yourself to gain experience in the field of your choice. The amount of confidence and experience you gain from this is invaluable. While you are volunteering ensure you work hard, go beyond what is required. If your superiors see that you are hardworking then they will be keen to make you an employee. No job should be beneath you. Remember that this is a phase almost every great person has gone through and this is just that. A phase.
- If you are able to gain work experience while studying, then do it. Working in the same industry while you are studying that subject will make you an excellent student and help you gain fantastic grades as it all makes so much more sense. The upside to it would be that if your boss thinks you are good you will be absorbed right in once you graduate without even looking for a job. How cool would that be!
- Finally it is very important to get your attitude right. If you have the right attitude for the job that is a big plus for the employer. A skill can be taught however if the attitude is not right there is no way to advance in your career. You gain your employer’s trust if you have the right attitude to learn, be responsible, proactive and hardworking. They will be confident to keep you on, give you a pay raise or promote you to higher management roles.