I’m not sure if he just recently finished his degree, but I am assuming that he just did or he will be, this March 2015. So, I’ve decided that I’ll share some of my advice to him on going out to the world, and work what he have been learning for the 4 to 5 years for his degree.
First off, let me let you know that I’ve finished mine years ago (was it 6 years ago? Or 7? Maybe 8) but then I’ve started working while I was studying at my brother’s café while trying to finish my degree, I also worked at a known telecommunications company here in the Philippines (for our OJT), and worked online even before I finished my degree.
And yes, I was like you before who’s afraid yet excited to go out there, brag about what I’ve accomplished, and earn my own money! Get my first salary! So here are a couple of job hunting and maybe also career tips I have for you – basing on my experience.
Work on What You’ve FinishedSadly, few years back there are only few to none companies here that hires fresh graduates – yes, they all want workers with experience, but how will people get an experience when no one hires them?
I’ve tried to apply any position related to my course (programming, web development, quality assurance, etc.) but after a month or two (2) I don’t want to waste my time anymore. Printing resumes and going to offices who just rejects me because I don’t have any experience is too time and effort consuming, plus there are a lot of expenses.
I should be working, I shouldn’t be asking money for transportation and food from my parents anymore, because I’ve finished my degree their duties is done and I should take care of myself from then. So, my friends and I decided that any job that a company thinks that will fit us and right for us, we’ll apply and accept it!
Regrets? None though. But if I have finished my studies in these years, I can totally get a job related to my course. I could’ve been out of the country by now, but no, there are lack of opportunities back then.
My advice is, if there are available jobs that you can apply and related to your course, then go for it! Don’t expect to get a huge salary though, you’re a fresh grad! They’ll be training you, and that is an investment for them too. Even it’s on the minimum, go for it, it’s important to get an experience.
Think of Yourself as an Empty Cup
If you stop wanting to learn, if you’re a know it all, if you think you’ve learned everything at school already for 4-5 years, guess what? You’re damn wrong!
Every year, every end of the semester there are a lot of newer and more knowledgeable graduates released. Experienced professionals becomes more professional and experienced. It’s a competitive world! Of course it is!
How to beat them? Learn more, absorb more, and never stop learning. Just like the games, you have to level up yourself, or else you’ll be left behind. The surprising thing is, what you’ll be working on or what employers love is not what you’ve learned from school, but what you have learned by yourself, and that will be the one they’ll be attracted to, and the reason they’ll hire you. Got the logic?
Remember, when you’re presented with a new product, you don’t usually buy it because you read the label. But it’s because someone is selling it to you, you might have heard it from the sales person, your friend who have tried it, or on TV or ads on the internet. Someone is selling it to you, so who’s going to sell you?
No, I don’t mean that you have to go to the club, wear a sexy attire, and dance on top of the table or something. What I mean is that you have to let these interviewers, these employers, that “hey, I am what you’ve been looking for.”
Here’s a tip, when they ask “Tell me about yourself”, they didn’t mean that you should tell them about your childhood, where you grew up, what are your hobbies. They want to know what are your features, your knowledge, skills, attitude, or any attributes that will help them grow and beneficial with them.
But here’s a line that usually, I get hired immediately. I tell them “… I’m a hardworking person, dedicated, team player, and loyal…”… kaching! Feel free to create your own version but the important highlight there is that you’re hardworking and dedicated, meaning you don’t sleep at work and when you’re given a task you’ll do your best; and loyal, that you’ll not be easily sway and go for other companies.”
Build Your ReputationI’ve mentioned that don’t think that you deserve a higher salary because you’re this and that, you’re a fresh graduate. Don’t make your head too big already. Anyway, go for at least the minimum wage, if you get a job higher than that, then awesome! But if you have different offers, that’s really impressive!
Also, don’t slack on your job. Do your best. Please remember, what you’re working on for months or years, you can put it up on your resume, and if you get a promotion that’s totally a plus – a great sign for employee searchers!
I think that’s it. Well, that’s all I can think of to advice the fresh graduates.
You ask what I advise to the student on taking a career as a SEO specialist? Well, SEO is already competitive, and a new one entering with no experience, no full knowledge (yet), will be hard. There might be clients hiring you, but it will be totally cheap, but yeah they might hire you. Still, since he is an IT student, there are opportunities already here in the country, plus outside the country, why take a road that you don’t have any idea about how to do it when you already have what you know for 4 years?