You are a graduate, and this calls for celebration. In a few months, you are going to need a job. Do you not need a well-paid employment? Yes, you need that million dollar per month job to help recover the money spent in the university.
It is good that you have a good grade, and I am happy you are the best product in your department. However, there is a very important question you need to ask yourself before writing an application letter. You importantly should see after answering this question that definitely, you are an irresistible product for an employer. Why not ask yourself, “Am I employable?”
Professor Peter Cappelli, the Director of Wharton’s center for Human Resource, in his article, ‘What Employers Really Want are Workers they do not have to Train’, revealed that employers do not seek graduates without tenable skills, they do not need burdens in work environment. Instead, they desire workers they do not have to train. He said that “when employers are specifically asked about recent graduates, their complaints have nothing to do with academic skills; they often express the same concern older generations have always heard about young people –they are not conscientious enough, they do not listen, they expect too much.”
These are the complaints received from one employer to another. You should not expect an employer to say good things about you after discovering that you do have not the skills they really desire. That exactly tells us that employees need in-depth knowledge about certain industrial requirements pertaining to their field, and if they do not, some basic skills are required.
First, master the rules of English. Have you noticed that not a few of today’s graduates find it hard to communicate in English? This reflects in their interactions, and soon one ends up not making sense of their speech. No one is too old to learn. If you did not understand the use of English in your high school and even in the university, rather than remain redundant for the rest of your life, why not consult an English textbook for mastery? One thing employers appreciate is good communication skills. Learning to use the right world at any time is a requirement for industrial acceptability. Except you have waiting for you, a job that requires no interview, proficiency in the language you communicate with is important. Do not misinterpret my advice. I did not opine that you begin to speak Wole Soyinka or Farouk Kperogi’s high level English. What I said is that, you should begin learning to speak simple and coherent English. No one will crucify you for speaking simple English.
Then, go in search of additional skills. By additional skills, I did not mean that a graduate of Accounting should start learning electrical installations. Additional skills are what you were not thought in school, but are relevant to your studies. Many a software exists today. Why not learn them and have an edge over your counterparts? Besides, conferences, workshops and training will boost your potential. However, do not be jack of all trades. Employers seek dynamic job employees, but this, still, does not make them employ Jack-of-all-trades. It is better to have a specialisation than say you can do thousands of things.
Then, perfect your CV. Your CV should depict your skills. What power will you gain from bombarding your CV with irrelevancies? Forget about trying to stand out. And if you have to stand out, lies will not make you to do so. So, craft a simple and relevant CV, and see why you won’t be hired. Again, you can let Google qualify you with reliability. “Have you searched yourself before on Google? Google yourself. What comes up – and how does it make you look?” says James Whatley, a social media consultant. “Potential employers will do this – so make sure you’ve done it first.” Use Facebook’s new “view as” button (found under the “edit profile” settings) to see how your non-friends can see you – and adjust the privacy settings accordingly. Next, set up your LinkedIn profile. It’s a brilliant place for hearing about jobs on the grapevine. Keep adding new training and skills you pick up, so it’s always bang up to date,” adds Whatley.
If you neat your social media page and make sure it speaks volume about your profession, you can get hired through this means. Employees nowadays get jobs via LinkedIn. Now, postgraduate education is not the option.Please, think carefully before signing up for an exclusive postgraduate course that may be of little or no interest to employers. Don’t see postgraduate studies as a way to bypass the demands of employers. What your employers seek are employable skills. If you do not have those skills, and even additional skills, find a means to acquire them. Postgraduate schools will not inscribe those additional skills into your CV. Instead, kindly go in search of the skills you lack, and see postgraduates as a second option that employers may require. Who says things will be better in 12 months i.e. after your postgraduate? Next year, you will be competing with a new batch of graduates and those that did not find work this year. Is Postgraduate study the best way to rule over them?
Note: I have not said you should not go for postgraduate studies, I only said you should not see it as a way to avoid all those skills employers demand.