How to ease your job hunt after college

You’re fresh out of college, with your bachelor’s degree in hand and the world is your oyster.

Or is it? That depends on what happens next. We’re referring of course, to the first step of your professional career – finding a job.

There are close to a million graduates streaming out of India’s colleges each year, but the number of job openings are hardly keeping pace with that outflow. If anything, the coronavirus pandemic has made things even tougher for post graduates.

College placements go some way towards assuaging this problem but if you’ve already been through a few interviews without clearing all the hurdles, it can get a bit frustrating.

That’s why we decided to look at a few things to keep in mind for those who are freshly armed with degrees from college and eagerly seeking the best job after graduation.

Establish clarity on which road you want to go down

Many seek government jobs after graduation while some go after the best MNCs. However, with options limited and time running out, the choices may not be many when you are fresh out of college. You may come across some opportunities that aren’t exactly a hundred percent in line with what you have majored in, and would prefer waiting it out for a more ideal opportunity that matches your educational proficiencies lock, stock and barrel. Which is also fine. 

What’s important is that you decide this early, and don’t keep going back and forth between the two routes. Today, more than ever, the lines between different fields are blurred, so don’t be afraid to get into a job outside your comfort zone, as long as it’s an informed leap. For all you know, you might just fit that role better than what you initially had in mind.

Don’t shy away from an internship

Unless you’ve gone through a mandatory internship during your college course itself, as is the case in some hotel management institutions, you’re stepping into the working field with zero experience.

It’s a situation that can get frustrating, as companies will always prefer someone with tangible experience over a complete fresher.

If you’re not one of those with a job offer already in hand, an internship can prove invaluable. During an internship, you pick up valuable real-world experience and skillsets, which will increase your appeal to an employer over someone who only possesses bookish knowledge. An internship will also allow you to work on your networking skills and come in touch with contacts who may prove useful down the road.

Raise your interview game

Let’s face it, interviews can be nerve-wracking. Even experienced professionals dread them and spend considerable time preparing for every possible question.

So it only makes sense for you to spend considerable time honing your interview skills as often as possible. Thanks to the internet, there are countless options to turn to for this, which can make up for your lack of interview experience. You can look up detailed interview tips for the kind of position you’re seeking, and even the questioning nuances of the company itself. 

Armed with this information, you’ll be a lot better prepared to tackle any curve balls thrown at you in the interview room.

Body Language matters

While conditioning the mind for interviews is important, it’s what most candidates focus the most on, while forgetting to be mindful of the signals they’re giving off with their body language.

Standing and sitting up straight, with shoulders back and chest out, exudes an air of confidence that is defeated if you stoop and slouch.

Also, maintain eye contact during conversation, whether speaking or being spoken to and avoid squirming in your seat, as it may convey nervousness.

Remember, you’re being evaluated by the interview panel from the moment you walk into the interview room, till the time you leave.

Go beyond city limits

The pull of one’s hometown is understandable. However, remember that if you want the best for your career, you need to be ready to pack your bags and head wherever opportunity calls. 

Depending on your chosen field and industry, the ideal job location might be at the other end of the country. Don’t be afraid to take that leap. Once you solidify your resume in a few years with valuable work experience and are looking to settle down, you can always seek out an opportunity closer to home, if possible, or a job transfer even.

But now is the time to lay the foundation for what your career will turn out to be. So keep a suitcase ready, and be ready to go wherever the job prospects are brightest.

Clean up your act on social media

Social media platforms have provided everyone with a pedestal to voice their views and opinions on everything from movies to politics. Discussions that were once restricted to the office water cooler adda or the neighbourhood coffee shop are now unfolding in full view of the world on social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.

The caveat, however, is that you’re not free of accountability when it comes to these platforms. Organizations are increasingly stepping up scrutiny of what their employees are saying on social media platforms, and no one is immune from this. Even big-time movie actors have found themselves out of work after making politically-incorrect statements on social media.

With that in mind, go through your social media history carefully and remove anything that might prove offensive if dug up by your prospective companies, or at least restrict your profile’s access to your trusted circle, using your social media platform’s privacy settings.

Remember, you’re stepping into a new life and are on the cusp of carving your niche in the world. So don’t be disheartened by early setbacks. Once you finally land a job of your choice, life will start to get a lot easier. Till then, you can turn to mPokket for an instant loan for students, with flexible repayment options and incentives for timeliness.

Simply download and install the app from Google Play Store, register with a handful of documents, and avail of instant loans up to Rs. 20,000 directly into your bank or Paytm account.

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