If you are a recent graduate, with little or no work experience, your first job is often the hardest to get. Luckily, there are some things you can do to improve your chances.
1. Seek out entry level jobs in your field of interest
The best way to increase your chances of landing a job is to be actually qualified for it. Simply put, don’t waste your time applying to jobs suited for people with years of work experience.
2. Internships, practical training and school projects count as experience
If internships are the only work-related experience you have, then find ways to relate the experiences to the job you are applying for. Employers care more about what you know and have learnt over the years and how this knowledge can be transferred to the workspace.
To help you stand out and really showcase how your internships, field work, courses and other projects have prepared you for the job, write a knock-out cover letter that further explains your resume.
3. Register with a recruitment agency
Recruitment agencies are a great resource for new graduates. This is particularly true if you have excellent academic records and good communication skills.
Their vast resources allow you a very high chance of getting employed in a job of your preference, compared to human resource departments that may accidentally overlook your application.
4. Use your social network
Make sure your family and friends know that you are job-seeking. Ask them to let you know if anything comes up in your field, or if they know of any companies that might be hiring. Nothing is better than a good referral from a trusted source.
5. Try volunteering
Volunteer work is a great way to develop the experience you need to be more competitive in the job market, and grow your professional network at the same time.
Moreover, stating that you have done some volunteer work in your resume shows employers that you have an aptitude for work, even when there is no pay or benefits. Also you can emphasize particular things you did as a volunteer that can be used for the current position you are applying for. For example, if you did team projects as a volunteer you can highlight this experience, as most businesses want an applicant who can work well individually and with others as well.
6. Ask about internships
Many companies in Tanzania are willing to accept an intern if they think you are smart, ambitious and that you will make a valuable contribution.
Identify companies that you would like to work for, and ask about internship opportunities.Not only will interning teach you a lot about your field of interest, you are also making yourself more marketable in the industry by acquiring what every employer wants, experience.
7. Build your portfolio online
Nowadays, more and more people are hired through their online hobbies, or even start their own businesses. If you are interested in working in an industry like marketing, journalism, graphic design, broadcast media, IT or any other that involves content creation and technology, then don’t wait to get a job to show employers what you can do, start doing what you’d like to do online.
For instance, if you want to be a journalist, start a blog that covers the type of news stories you’d like to write about. If you want to work in web design, then start designing websites for people as a freelancer, or even do it for free (to build your portfolio).
Beyond talent, employers are attracted to people who are self-motivated and proactive, as this indicates to them that you can learn fast on the job and won’t be afraid to initiate and implement new ideas.
Quality over quantity
If you take your job search seriously and put real effort into your applications, and follow the basic tips provided above while also seeking out more information, then you will definitely be landing job interviews soon.
It is also crucial that you remember to apply for jobs that you are truly qualified for. A strong application rather than several basic ones is more likely to increase your chances of being shortlisted and asked to come for an interview.