Looking for a job after graduation? With more and more students graduating every year, employers have a huge choice when it comes to selecting the most highly skilled and qualified candidates. Therefore it is imperative to gain an edge and beat the competition to get your dream first job. We list out 5 things employers are on the look-out for when hiring graduates.
Personal Branding: In this age dominated by social media, employers will always look at a candidate’s online profiles. Make sure to build and maintain your LinkedIn, Github, Behance (or other industry-relevant platforms) to showcase all your skills, interests, hobbies and most importantly: your personality. Start following and connecting with other like-minded professionals and mentors, comment on their posts, and publish your own views.
Initiative: A good employee is able to identify opportunities, and be proactive in putting forward ideas and solutions. You taking initiative signals to potential employers that you are self- motivated to grow and learn, need less management, and are able to learn and adapt quickly. So go out there and get in touch with prospective mentors, learn new skills, apply for internships and attend industry meet-ups.
Questions: Prospective employers want to see actual evidence that you want to work for them – that means more than a quick skim of their website when researching the company. Delve deeper and come up with questions that relate to what the organization actually does and how the job you’re applying for fits into this. You don’t need to wait for the interview stage for this. Reach out to the company beforehand - pop up on their radar!
Demo Projects: As a graduate, you are likely to have no professional experience to show your potential employers. One way to increase your employability in this regard is to undertake and complete small projects relevant to your industry. For example, if seeking to work in the financial sector, demonstrating a working API that traders can use to monitor, calculate and act on changing stock prices to a prospective employers shows that you have a keen interest in the industry and possess the ability to analyze and create products.
Technological Skills - Needless to say, in this technology-driven world, a foundational understanding of software development instantly increases your employability in any industry. Being able to build your own tools and algorithms will always give you an edge over other graduates. Regardless of your specific role, coding will vastly increase your potential in becoming a valuable asset for any organization. Moreover, learning to code also builds strong intrinsic skills such as logical and analytical thinking, problem-solving skills and attention to detail.
As Steve Jobs once said, "Everybody in this country should learn how to program a computer... because it teaches you how to think."
So start now! Don’t leave it until the last minute to begin building your applications.
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