If you are looking for a new opportunity in the job market, you need to answer a simple question: 'What do you want to do? And why you want to do that?'
In a few months from now, some of you will graduate and enter a new phase of your lives.
Graduating from a university can be exciting and stressful at the same time.
While one part our life gets over, another just begins.
Moreover, figuring out what you want to do with the rest of your life is not an easy task. Especially for college graduates, who often have no real-world work experience to help them decide.
Final-year students experience a lot of panic and uncertainty when it comes to their employment prospects and the pandemic has brought in new challenges.
Making that move from student to employee is not easy; lot of mistakes can be made if you don't know what to look out for.
Here are some best tips and actionable steps that may make job hunting a little easier and lessen the worries that come with starting a new journey post-graduation:
1. Emphasise on holistic learning
Holistic learning over time has been emphasised upon by various education leaders.
Having an interdisciplinary approach towards life helps students get ready for the future world of work.
It instills curiosity and develop better communication and social skills.
Holistic approach encourages students to make connection in a subject, using their creative skills, that later helps them engage in industry focused activities.
2. Take up internships
The best way to be successful after graduation is to get some work experience in your industry before graduation.
An internship is the best way to get that experience and potentially get your foot in through the front door of your favorite corporation.
Even if the internship is unpaid, the skills you will be able to build make for a successful resume, while networking and references will be valuable when you start your job search.
3. Improve your online presence
With so many people stuck at home and working from home presents an ideal opportunity to reconnect and build your network on online platforms.
Moreover, take a look at your LinkedIn presence and ask yourself if you are worth getting employed by this profile.
As employers look at your LinkedIn profile to check whether you are a good fit for the job or company.
Take a look whether your profile handle sounds professional, if not, modify it.
Connect with like-minded people with similar career interests and professional bodies of interest to keep up to date with the latest news and developments; interact with employers and peers.
4. Emphasis on extra-curricular activities
Starting a hobby shows drive and an enthusiasm for learning.
It'll likewise assist you with writing the hobbies or interests section of a resume.
Because of the pandemic and everything shifting online, we have more time to ourselves and using this time to learn something will be of great value as it will take you closer to your dream job.
Depending upon which field you want to make your career in or where your interest lies you can learn a couple of things; coding language, photography, reading, take up an instrument.
5. Start networking
Develop your networking skills by meeting professors and members of higher administration connected to your industry so that you are up to date with current affairs.
Recruiters look for candidates who can easily establish networks.
This will be an empowering process and will alleviate the fear that can come with meeting hiring managers who you know nothing about. Industry leaders.
6. Take your time
One, understand what is important to your personal and professional life and it will serve you well over your career.
Two, know what you want to do and be clear with regards to it.
If you are looking for a new opportunity in the job market and looking for a role, you need to be able to answer a simple question: 'What do you want to do? And why you want to do that?'
Investigate and ponder what sorts of jobs and professions you are keen on -- if you're uncertain about your career, use tools to distinguish your skills and interests, and then search for matched job profiles.
7. Sign up as a volunteer
Volunteering is an excellent way to add experience to your resume.
Volunteer opportunities help develop professional skills along with soft skills, like communication.
Responsibilities don't have to be related to your career; you'll be astonished by the number of skills you gained during volunteering.
This gives you a chance to gain different aspects the same skills as through formal work experience, while also giving something back to a community that could benefit from your skills.
Again, because of social distancing, some projects may be unavailable since many of us still working from home.
To find out what you can do, search for volunteer opportunities you can sign up for from the safety of your homes.
You could become a telephone or virtual volunteer for a charity, or you could collect shopping or medicines for vulnerable people in your community.
8. Practice how to perform in remote interviews and online recruitment
Since social distancing guidelines have been announced, most employers are switching their recruitment process online.
These include the use of video interviews or telephonic interviews and even online assessments.
Get ahead of the curve by practicing for the types of interviews you want to secure. For example, video record yourself answering interview questions; take a look at potential interview questions that can be asked and prepare bullet answers.
Dress professionally, be ready to go five minutes early as you would for offline interviews.
Check all of your camera and audio settings ahead of time, and make sure you have an appropriate, uncluttered background.
9. Craft the perfect CV
When the time comes to apply for jobs keep your resume up to date.
Eye over your CV to check if it contains unnecessary or mistaken information or if it is formatted correctly.
Keep an extra eye out for blunders.
Research on how to craft a resume; take a look at resume examples for inspiration and guidance.
Tailor your resume as per your industry or preferred job role and to make your profile stronger add a cover letter with your resume.
10. Learn a language
Having a second language under your belt can help you to stand out as a candidate in the job market.
Business in all forms is increasingly becoming international so mastering a well-used language such as Mandarin, French or German will often give you an edge.
The hard work and dedication that learning new language entails are bound to impress employers and boost your confidence.
Professor Eswaran Narasimhan teaches computer science and engineering at NIIT University, Neemrana, Rajasthan.