For new graduates, and those seeking a career change, the battle through an extremely competitive job market is all too real. We are bombarded with ads for positions that offer disappointing salaries and little to no benefits, the trend globally is to cut costs as much as possible. Companies are overworking their employees and this combined with inadequate earnings leads to dissatisfaction in the workplace. In the current situation, getting any job can be a difficult task, but applying for entry-level roles can appear near-impossible. The competition is huge and you need to find some way to stand out from the crowd in the eyes of your potential employer.
You should think about your future even while still in college. Think about your formal education as the cornerstone of your future career, and as something to build on. When you finish college, you are not a well-formed expert in your area, you are a beginner in your field and you have much to learn. This is very important to realize from the beginning of your job search. Many candidates get disregarded because they feel that their diploma guarantees them a managerial position from the get-go and this could not be further from the truth. You need to invest time and energy to better yourself and to demonstrate the ways in which you’re the ideal candidate.
Let’s move on to extra-curricular activities. Having a degree in economics does not set you out from the crowd, there are thousands of people with a similar background applying for entry-level roles. Having a degree in economics and an internship in your chosen economic area, well that`s going to get you noticed. The keyword here is investment. I have heard “I would rather sit home and not get paid than go to work and not get paid” too many times. You will get so much valuable knowledge on an internship and you will see how a company operates. If you are good they will, at least, give you a good recommendation and references and there even might be a position waiting for you when you finish your studies if you are exceptional. Take courses in fields that you are particularly interested in. Even summer jobs working at a local store will prove to your potential employer that you are a responsible person with a good work ethic.
A high-quality resume submitted with a concise cover letter are the documents that are key in getting invited to interview. As a fresh graduate, your resume should not exceed a standard A4 page, clearly demonstrating the skills you’ve gained throughout your studies and extra-curricular experiences. Be concise and precise. Don`t be too descriptive. A recruiter needs to know exactly what can he expect you to be able to do from your resume. Keep your resume clean and simple, removing excess information. Always ask yourself, is this information useful for the recruiter? The cover letter should tell the recruiters in a few sentences why you are applying for that specific position and company. Introduce yourself, mention the specific position you are applying and explain why your skills would allow you to excel in the advertised role.
Always keep in mind that some traditional values are valued in candidates for a good reason. Make sure that you are at least ten to fifteen minutes early for your scheduled appointment and dress up. I am not saying to wear a three-piece suit but a tucked-in button-down shirt will be highly appreciated by your recruiter. I have already mentioned several times that the competition is tough and most candidates that apply for entry-level positions come with similar skill sets so it is all in the details. If there are two candidates with the same knowledge and level of experience and one came sloppy and was late and the other one came dressed sharp and on time, who do you think will get the job?
Communication is key, to be more precise, good communication. Many managers argue that young candidates today have terrible communication skills. Volume is too low, words are mumbled not spoken and sentences don`t have a good natural flow. There are several reasons for this opinion: the statement is, at least in some part, true, there is the age gap, texting is now almost the primary way of communication for young people and everything is in various gifs, smileys, etc. Prior to going to the interview, you should definitely have a practice one at home. Talk about the points that are stated in your resume and try to have answers pre-determined and have a friend question you. While in the interview make sure you speak clearly, to the point and try to keep a good sentence flow, everything should be as natural as possible.
It truly is tough out there today and I hope that this article helps all of you who are at the beginning of your professional careers! If you decide you wish to seek professional help with your resume, feel free to contact us.