How To Be An Employable Fresh Graduate In MENA (Or Anywhere)

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A survey conducted The UAE’s graduate talent pool is in-demand From preparing for a lasting career to the nitty-gritty of preparing your resume, here are some tips for fresh graduates seeking to join the workforce:

Change your mindset

The most common mindset of new graduates is to show what they have learned in the past years. Career experts say they have to change this. Getting a job isn’t just about landing any job. It’s about getting the job you want, which suits your competencies and where you can nurture a growing career.

In an article for Quintessential careers, career expert and author David Helfand advises job seekers “to recognize that they have the power within them to create their own good luck. You’ve heard the saying that luck is ‘when preparedness meets opportunity,’ which may sound a bit corny but I believe it’s true for life in general and especially so when it comes to career matters.”

Fine tune your skills

The study shows that fresh graduates in the UAE consider their skills in negotiation, leadership, linguistics, communications, problem-solving and analytical thinking, academic and technical skills, and computers to be ‘good.’ They consider themselves to have ‘very good’ interpersonal, team playing skills, and flexibility.

Resume writer Deb Dib says, “A job seeker in any economy must brand herself or himself as any good marketer of a product. Personal career management today and in the future will mean creating a brand awareness, of becoming known in one’s industry for certain innate qualities and quantifiable achievements that drive efficiency, innovation, and/or profits.”

Be careful what you post on social media

The human resource manager does the job of checking your background before the interview. Excessive and lewd behavior is not accepted in social media.  Remember that everything you put online can ruin your chance to get a job.

Some of the red flags for hiring managers include crude or provocative photos, discriminatory comments, trash-talking former co-workers and employers, and posts about partying drugs, or excessive drinking.

Reconnect with your peers

A LinkedIn survey shows that 89% of job seekers are networking while looking for their current job. Some would reconnect with former colleagues, peers, professors, and school mates in hopes of finding a job that will suit them.

According to career expert Mark Mehler, “Most companies post their openings on their websites. Networking is still a key ingredient to the ‘hunt’. So find a friend, an acquaintance that will walk your information into your organization of choice. Plain vanilla resumes do not make it.”

Multi-platform job seeking

Create a shortlist of target jobs early on.  Job hunters nowadays can go “multiplatform” in terms of their job search.

Go online, or look for printed ads, do some walk-in interviews. Do not stick to online job applications.

Career counselor Michelle Watson offers this advice to job seekers: “Be assertive. Don’t wait for companies to come to you. Follow up on every letter or application you send out, whether it is an open position or a request for an informational interview.”

Preparing a catchy resumé

Gone are the days when a longer resume means a higher chance of getting hired. Your resume should be concise and must leave a mark. Make sure to fill in all the correct details, a decent email address, and corporate photo.

Applicants should also include all skills relevant to his training and education. You have to describe what position, what role you played, and highlight your achievements.

When writing your resume, Dib gives this advice: “Employers want problem-solvers who can immediately and profitably react to the almost instantaneous changes in the marketplace. An achievement-oriented resume, one that showcases the applicant’s relevant achievements in a CAR (Challenge/Action/Result) format and places them in a position of prominence above the traditional job chronology, should prove the applicant’s value to the employer and secure an interview.”