In a competitive job market, fresh graduates from universities are facing challenges in securing a job. If you are fresh out of school and are not sure where to begin, these 7 tips may help you differentiate yourself from other candidates.
#1 Understand Your Career Priorities
In a typical job search, we look out for jobs that match our expertise and interests. However, it is equally important to figure out what your career priorities are. It can be with regards to your developmental growth, career progression, work-life balance, and compensation and benefits etc. This should be done before you apply for any role. In the event you receive multiple offers, knowing your priorities can help in your decision-making process.
#2 Approach Recruitment Agencies
If you took up holiday jobs offered by recruitment agencies before, it may create the impression that they are offering only part-time or freelance jobs. In reality, many agencies help their clients to source for full-time positions as well. This is becoming increasingly common as firms outsource their recruitment to save on specialisation costs.
Recruitment consultants usually earn commission for full-time positions from the employer, so engaging their service will be no cost to you. Just be mindful not to take up positions that you qualify but does not interest you.
#3 Be Open To Contract Positions
Having a contingent and agile workforce is becoming more popular for firms who wish to have the flexibility of upscaling and downsizing according to business needs. Despite the job insecurity and lack of full-time benefits for contract positions, some companies may offer a slightly higher salary, contract completion bonus and pay increment upon extension or renewal of your contract.
Furthermore, a new Tripartite Alliance standard specifying better working conditions (i.e. leave benefits and notice period) for term contract workers has also been launched after an agreement between employers, unions and the Singapore Government in 2017.
Contract jobs can be an entry ticket to join certain companies and they provide good training to gain experience in a specific role. It is also a good opportunity to test if the job is suitable for you. If you consistently perform well in your job, there is also an opportunity to convert to permanent employment when there is an available vacancy.
#4 Seek Internal Referrals
Internal referral is a program that many companies use to find prospective job candidates, through recommendation by their existing employees. If someone within your social circle is employed in a company you would like to work in, do not be afraid to ask for referrals.
As much as companies try to put up a fair competition for internal and external candidates, the former is likely to have an advantage as employees tend to refer contacts whom they know will be a good fit for the position.
Before requesting for a referral, ensure you have done sufficient research on the company and available opportunities beforehand. A potential mistake made is asking ‘do you have a role for me?’ instead of ‘I saw on your company’s career page that you are hiring a Design Architect. Would you mind taking a look at my resume and see if you could refer me?’
#5 Establish A Robust LinkedIn Profile
LinkedIn is the next tool in line when recruiters source for candidates. To get yourself noticed, the least you could do is to build a strong LinkedIn profile. You can build your profile by including information such as past working experience, recommendations, and relevant skill sets.
Personal information such as volunteering experiences and interests may also help to boost your profile, especially if you have significant involvement (e.g. leadership roles or regular participation).
As a job seeker, you should ideally have relevant experience and remember to include terminologies related to the role of interest in your profile. This is so that headhunters can find your profile when they search for those keywords. Last but not least, your profile on LinkedIn should match your resume to avoid painting two different stories to your prospective employers.
#6 Clean Up Your Social Media Presence
While recruiters are unlikely to ask social or personal questions during the interview, it is not uncommon for recruiters to check candidates’ social media accounts, especially if the hiring decision is on the fence and needs an extra factor.
Therefore, to get yourself across that line, make the effort to ensure you are ‘clean’ online – no scandalous photos, swear words, any sort of service defaming or bad online behaviour.
#7 Customise Your Resume
A vital tip for applicants is to be diligent with the customisation of resume for both content and design, according to the role and the company. The rule of thumb is to keep it simple, concise and specific for the following reasons:
Simple: Many recruiters use Applicant Tracking Systems which can only recognise keywords and standard format.
Concise: Recruiters may not have the time to screen through your entire resume.
Specific: Generic resumes may cause recruiters to lose interest as it comes across as you not making the effort to ensure information are relevant.
Finally, remember to proofread your resume to ensure no spelling mistakes are present.
Be Positive And Learn From Mistakes
It is normal to make mistakes at the beginning, but you should not let failures affect your confidence. If you do not hear back from any company, try to improve your resume, go for networking events or beef up on relevant skills in the meantime.
With that said, do not be too picky for your first job because you can always accumulate experience and open your doors to other career paths afterwards. Every profession has its pros and cons, learn to see the good in it and you can excel in your job eventually.
Getting Assistance To Secure For A Job
If you are an individual who is looking for a job but is unable to find one, Workforce Singapore can help connect you a to a job you are looking for. To qualify, you need to be a Singaporean.
To get started, you can make an appointment with Workforce Singapore. You will receive a call for arranging to meet up, and get linked to the right companies and schemes that are appropriate for you.
DollarsAndSense.sg aims to provide interesting, bite-sized and relevant financial articles.
Learn together with like-minded Singaporeans at the Personal Finance Discussion SG Facebook Group by discussing a range of personal finance topics.
If you have not done so, subscribe to our free e-newsletter to receive exclusive content not available anywhere else.