You have just graduated from college (fresh graduate) just like a thousand others.
You’ve spent several years studying, carrying out experiments, and doing lots of assignments. You spent a whole lot of money and even incurred some debts. According to data by ticas.org, 66% of American fresh graduates from public colleges had loans averaging over $25,550.
Now you’re set to enter a competition with more than 1.9 million fresh graduates in the labor market and mind you, there are others who have graduated before you without a job. So bad.
Worst of it all, your certificate is almost useless without an experience. Employers nowadays don’t invest more money in training new staffs from ground up. They more often target experienced employees that can drive results.
So, you’ll ask.
As a fresh graduate, how are you going to get the experience without a job? Because you actually need a job to be experienced and employers require experience to employ you. A bit complicated. right?
Hmm, not good. But here is the catch: there is a way out.
There is a way to get experienced in the shortest period of time and become a super sort after employee. In the rest of this article, I’ll be explaining how.
1. Get an internship job
An internship job can help you get the experience your employer is seeking.
Most employers want to be sure you’re able to do the job you’re employed for, so they require you have some work experiences as an evidence.
Come on, no employer wants to invest so much on employees or remembers you’re a fresh graduate. Every employer needs employees that can add value to their company.
So one way out as a fresh graduate is to take internship jobs first — exchanging your service for the experience. Internship jobs could be paid or unpaid.
However, at this time you shouldn’t be concerned about that. The focus should be on getting the job and getting the experience.
You can search for internship positions around your area and apply. I’ll choose to apply for as many as possible and wait for their response.
Worst of all, don’t even wait to see an advert saying they need interns. Look for companies or businesses around and apply — write a great copy or hire someone to write one for you — a copy that proposes to add value to their company.
You’ll most likely get the job since you’re not looking to be paid, not so easy though but it’s very possible, just believe in yourself and try.
And when you finally get the job which usually runs for about 3 – 6 months, work like it’s your personal business you’re trying to grow. Do your best on the job.
This will enable you to make yourself very valuable, indispensable, and the most sort after employee. The same company may end up employing you for full-time work.
So at the end of this, you have 3 – 6 months working experience in a job related to your career.
2. Work for nonprofit organizations
Another way to gather experience as a fresh graduate is to work for nonprofit organizations. For most nonprofits, you can work part-time. So you can focus on other things as well. However, working for nonprofits is even more interesting and rewarding because it gives you the opportunity to give back to the society.
In Arnold Schwarzenegger’s voice “Whatever path that you take in your lives, you must always find time to give something back, something back to your community, give something back to your state or to your country.”
This is also important in life generally and will also give you the experience you need to succeed in your career. Nonprofits will also expose you to lots of influential people and organizations.
So, you see, it’s okay to work for nonprofits and most interestingly it’s easy to start. Just volunteer, find nonprofits around and volunteer your services.
3. Acquire soft skills
Nowadays you need some soft skills to be relevant in job functions. For example here is a list of skills most employers are expecting that you have.
- Customer service skills
- Communication skills
- Microsoft office
- Microsoft Excel
- Microsoft Word
- Organizational skills
- Policy analysis
- Telephone skills
- Problem solving
Having these skills and including them in your CV is great and will give you an edge over a thousand other people struggling for the same position when you dare to apply.
Yes, you can learn them from your volunteer work or internship work and others on your own. Buy books and take quality training courses.
4. Write a great cover copy
When you are ready to start applying. It’s important you write high-quality cover copy that will convince your employer that you are the right person for the Job coupled with the experiences you’ve gotten from your internships and interviews which you should mention in the cover letter.
Know that first impression matters a lot. If you don’t feel confident about writing the cover letter yourself, hire a freelancer on Odesk or Content Marketing Up to do it for you.
Just ensure you put the best copy out there that will “wow” your employers and make them want to employ you without an interview.
Create a professional CV that works. You can use templates. I found this modern template by Monster interesting. Haven’t tried it yet but it looks very professional. You can go ahead and get it here, it’s free.
And of course get best interview tips like the one’s written here by livecareer.com.
Conclusion on how to standout as a fresh graduate
These tips helped me get my first job even when I was in school because I have lots of experience working for free.
As a web developer, I’ve worked for several brands remotely including SnapiLaps (internship) and for other brands as a freelance writer. So, go hard. Take action now.
At the end of all of this, you’ll have some experiences to show off to employers and increase your chances of getting a high-paying job.
Good luck on your job search.