A handbook on how to get a job for freshers

Sarvesh Agrawal- Founder and CEO of Internshala - Tuesday 23rd April 2019 | Articles

A handbook on how to get a job for freshers

Imagine a card that says, ‘The statement on the other side of the card is true’ on one side and ‘The statement on the other side is false’ on the other. A mind-boggling paradox, isn’t it? If the former is true, then the latter is true, which makes the former false and all hell breaks loose in your head. Do you know what’s a bigger and a rather heart-wrenching paradox? It’s that you need experience to get a job and a job to get experience. But that doesn’t mean that you cannot get a job at all, of course, you can!

Before we see how to find a job for freshers, here’s why employers are reluctant to offer graduate jobs to recently-graduated students – most employers find it dissatisfying to hire freshers since they have an incompetent resume, insufficient technical skills, and lack of workplace etiquette. This, however, is no enigma that you can’t break.   


How to get a job as a fresher?

1. Find a suitable job – It would be a good surprise to twist your ways a little and spend some time to figure out what would be a good career after graduation for you. Prepare a list of jobs that you find exciting and analyse your skill set to understand what suits your profile and interest.

2. Prepare a resume and a cover letter – Whether you’re applying to a job online or offline, resume and cover letter are two weapons that you need before marching into the battleground. A resume is to a job application what rhubarb is to custard, and a cover letter is the puff pastry that complements it. A cover letter provides the recruiter with a detailed description of your skill set and what makes you a perfect fit for the role. 

3. Prepare for an interview – You’ve already won half the battle by getting shortlisted for an interview round but this is the more crucial part of the process. Research the company before appearing for an interview. Two questions we always ask in interviews at Internshala are – ‘What do you know about Internshala?’ and ‘What suggestions or feedback do you have for our platform?’. The objective behind these questions is to check if a candidate is passionate about our organisation and understands what we do, and what ideas or insights she can bring to the table. Prepare answers for the commonly asked interview questions but make sure you don’t recite a template answer. Your answers should give a clear view of your skills and interests along with your passion for the job. 

You might argue that with millions of students graduating every year, it has become a mammoth task to find a job for freshers, but it is not that big a task, believe me!


How to prepare yourself for the cut-throat competition associated with graduate jobs?

1. Utilise walk-in interviews – Walk-in interviews are great to let yourself get comfortable with the interview process. With every interview you sit for, you gain confidence and understand the dos and don’ts of the process, and when the time comes, you are ready! You need no prior appointments, and you can just walk in and meet with the recruiter.

2. The good old internships – Internships are a panacea to all probable issues you could face while looking for graduate jobs. They give you a chance to understand what the industry expects from you and utilise your skills in a real-time environment, subtracting the label of inexperience.

3. Learning the required skills –  Every graduate job comes with a broad skill set that employers look for in a candidate, and there are plenty of online courses available to learn them.

4. Talk smooth – Everyone loves a smooth talker. Now, the recruiter wants no Lincoln but you should be able to articulate your thoughts in a manner that it becomes easy to follow and inspires confidence. A few things you can try are reading a lot of newspapers and books, watching shows in the language you wish to improve on, and participating in activities that involve public speaking and people management.


Don’ts while applying to a graduate job for freshers

1. Don’t fake it if you can’t make it – Mentioning skills that you don’t have would only worsen the condition. Do you want the recruiter to ask you an alien question that you have zero knowledge about? If not, write only what you know in your resume.

2. Break up with grammatical errors and crammed answers – The two biggest turn-offs for your interviewer are – grammatical and spelling errors in your application and the 100-year-old template answers to the questions. Surprise the interviewer with your answers and your honesty!

3. Customise your resume – Your best opener may work on all your matches on Tinder but the same resume won’t charm all the recruiters. Customize your resume for the job profile and highlight the skills relevant to the job responsibilities. For instance, if you’re applying to a sales job, highlight your presentation and communication skills along with relationship management, while if you’re applying for a marketing job, you should highlight your analytical and creative bent.  


How to get a job for freshers?

1. Online portals – If there are two things with no dearth in the country, they would be the false promises made by politicians and online job portals. 

2. Company websites – If you have your eyes set on a particular company, you could simply visit their official careers page and follow the process they have stated for applying to a job there. Usually, the process involves filling in an application form and attaching your resume and cover letter or sending the two across to the point of contact.

3. LinkedIn search – You can update your LinkedIn headline and make your job-hunting wishes known to the employers. You can also get in touch with the employees of an organisation you would want to work at and request them to refer you or learn about the requirements of an organisation.


Getting a job through an internship with a pre-placement offer (PPO)

A comparatively better way to find a job is to do an internship with a pre-placement offer (PPO) to build a career after graduation. What is a pre-placement offer, you ask? Since most employers are skeptical whether freshers would be a good fit for their organisation or not, they hire interns, evaluate their performance, and after a short span ranging from 2-6 months, they offer a pre-placement offer to them. Since this is an internship, the employer doesn’t want you to have 5 years of experience rather values your keenness to learn. You get a chance to learn the required skills on the job and understand the functioning of the organisation. A lot of organisations rely on internships with PPOs for hiring purposes. Such internships are particularly useful for graduates since they are a sure shot way (provided you perform exceptionally well) to get the graduate job you’ve survived your degree for.

Courtesy: Sarvesh Agrawal is the Founder and CEO of Internshala, internships and training platform (internshala.com)


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