Five tips for first-time job seekers

Along with the fallout of the global economy, the job market is going through difficult times amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The most vulnerable are the job seekers looking for jobs just after graduation or who are about to start searching soon after graduating.

As a fresher in the job market in these times, you need to prepare extra carefully to stand out among the others. Job seekers need to pay attention to five things to prepare themselves for the job competition.

1. Create the correct mindset

You will have to start by preparing yourself mentally. What is the correct mindset to get a job? As a fresher, it may seem difficult for you to find the answer. However, it is not all that difficult as you may think.

You need to understand your own strengths and weaknesses and have a zest to learn, and also develop a team spirit. This will set you apart from others in race. Then start applying for jobs suitable to your abilities. Begin working on overcoming your weaknesses which may hamper you from getting a job. Also start building up experience as a team player.

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2. Learn about the employer

It is essential to learn about the job application process before you apply. You also must learn about the company, its work areas, goals, objectives and achievements, before you appear for the interview. The company's Facebook page and the website are very effective means to know about the company. If it doesn't have a Facebook page or website, you can search about it in Google.

3. Increase your soft skills

A high CGPA is a commendable achievement, but not enough to top the stiff job. Along with good grades, you will have to pay attention to increase your soft skills to make yourself eligible for the job.

What are soft skills? Soft skills are non-technical skills that help you perform well in the workplace. These include people management, conflict management, time management, empathy towards colleagues or customers, and so on.

Soft skills increase the success rate of a professional in the workplace. Employers usually look for such qualities in job seekers. From the beginning of university, job seekers should work as volunteers with various clubs and societies, or as interns in various companies, to develop these soft skills.

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4. Improve communication skills

Communications skills are important to keep you ahead of the other candidates. Speaking fluently, speaking according to your listener, saying the right thing at the right time, knowing when to remain silent, being a good listener, and having writing skill for official matter, will keep you in life, not just in the job market.

5. Prepare your documents properly

You must have a resume and cover letter to apply for the job. For this, you need to know how to write a resume and cover letter. Many applicants simply use someone else's resume with a few changes here and there. They use wrong references too. This decreases the chances of clinching a job. So you have to create an original and relevant resume for yourself with known persons as references. A good word about you from the reference person can greatly increase your chances of getting the job.

Ridwanul Haque is the Professor of Institute of Business Administration (IBA) of Dhaka University.

This feature appeared in the print and online editions of Prothom Alo and has been rewritten in English by NH Sajjad

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