In recent times, finding a job even after graduating from the university has become a huge challenge facing most job seekers.
As a recruiter, one of the most important advise I give to job seekers is to be aggressive and reach out to as many potential employers as possible. At the same time, I advise against applying for every single job vacancy that you come across. Not all job openings out there are for you, so you don’t need to apply for every single one of them. It is one thing to find a job, it’s another to love what you do and the latter is extremely important. You therefore need to be very strategic in sending out your applications.
Job search is hard and draining. It sometimes turns into a full time job in itself and it is very easy to get very frustrated especially when there is no response at all from the places you have sent out your applications to. With that said, as a job seeker, you must first establish what exactly you want to do. Which area are you looking to work in? For instance, human resource, front office, procurement etc. What are you really passionate about? Your area of passion may not necessarily be the area you have trained in, e.g. you may have a degree in human resource management, but your passion is in fashion and design. You will therefore enjoy working in the fashion industry as opposed to a HR department. When you are passionate about something, you don’t need to be pushed, supervised or threatened to deliver.
Seek quality, not quantity. It is not about how many CVs you have sent out, but the potential in the areas you have sent those CVs to. Sometimes, it will take longer for what you are seeking to come along, so you must learn to exercise patience. Just don’t be a jerk of all trades, because in the end, you become a master of none. Learn to give time some time.
Avoid trying to climb the tree from the top too. That you hold a Bachelors degree certificate in HRM does not make you a master in HR practice. You need to acquire some practical experience, and this takes time. Start from the bottom, earn the ropes, observe how things are done and build up your experience. When you try to apply for a Human Resource Manager position in a multinational company with just a bachelors degree certificate and zero prior work experience in the same field is making a joke out of yourself. I remember being offered a Procurement Manager position by a certain potential employer and I had to turn down the offer because I know nothing about procurement. Infact, I have zero interest in working in that field. Not that I do not appreciate on the job training, but I believe that having some basic knowledge about the area goes a long way. I took up a HRO position with a much much lower pay and had to gradually work my way up.
Finally, do not wait for companies to advertise for jobs so you can apply for them. There is a saying that goes, ‘if the mountain does not go to Mohamed, Mohamed must go to the mountain‘ (this is my version). There are companies with job openings in the area you seeking and the don’t even know they need someone to fill, or they know, but are just buying time. It is your duty to remind them that that position needs to be filled. When I lost my job a while back, I remember dropping off my CV at a random company I saw on my way to church. Coincidentally, they had a vacancy for HR but had not been keen on filling it up. The manner in which I aggressively followed up on it left them with no other choice but to hire me. The gentleman turned out to be one of my biggest mentors.
Not every door that is closed is actually locked. You need to push it a little bit, it might just open.