Gone are the days where career paths were pretty clear; you started somewhere at the bottom and slowly worked your way to the top position. Thomas Carlyle who called economics “The dismal Science” once said -- A man willing to work, and unable to find work, is perhaps the saddest sight that fortune’s inequality exhibits under this sun.
Being educated and unemployed is not a new problem. This human tragedy has been on the rise for several years now. Despite high ambitions to forge ahead in life many graduates after having posted numerous CVs, but they are still awaiting the job offers to come. The mismatch between education and the job market is glaring. People are unemployed not only because there is a shortage of jobs in the market, but even finding a new job takes time.
Fresh graduates often face challenges of thin resume, no interviewing experience, inability to qualify for a job even when the same is for the fresher’s or to convince an employer that you will be a perfect fit for a job. But in last couple of years, the economic crisis has certainly, not made it easier for the experienced ones as well.
Before 2008 recession, it’s pretty normal to show fifteen or twenty years of career background with one employer. But with the constantly changing winds now employment/recruitment world is increasingly accustomed to short term stays with many businesses and wide-ranging careers across a variety of business domains. Nowadays your resume looks good if you have a variety of experience across different domains/technologies. Sometimes being loyal to one company for 15-20 years can help you gain choices of work, gratuity or may be opportunities with different clients. But because of company ethics and cultures you are accustomed to one way of working and coming out from that shell requires a lot of efforts.
You can get “n” number of options if you are having 2-3 years of experience but Jobs that require vast experience aren’t as widely advertised as entry level roles. So here comes the biggest challenge of proving something which is still unproven. Though it’s hard to get this correct at the first go but it’s not unachievable and here are few ways to get this correct:
1, If you are a fresher or someone who has worked only for one employer for number of years, the most urgent challenge will be your resume. Not only will it appear much thinner than other applicants, you will likely not be up to scratch in writing a quality resume the way it is required today in this competitive arena. Simple way is to -- write a Strong Personal Statement rather than job objectives, Use functional format to stretch your experience while remaining truthful, Include community or voluntary work to demonstrate your self-motivation, compassion and leadership capabilities, Use key words and industry words when describing your job functions, Try to demonstrate your self-learning skills may be through some targeted certificates or learning through an educational institution, Highlight your accomplishment’s to showcase what makes you special and different from other candidates.
2, In theory, you believe that you can just “wing it” but if you haven’t interviewed for a long time, you will need to prepare your answers in advance. You should work through a few standard list of interview questions and plan and practise how you would deliver answers in an interview. Ideally you should practise a mock interview, stay updated with new skills and learning that your field requires, read about the company for which you are getting interviewed for and foremost you should be flexible.
3, As a fresher, it is your drive and willingness to work and learn that will help you in the selection process along with a positive attitude & confidence during the interview but small guidance with someone whom you trust can guide you is never bad. For experienced ones experience is a valuable asset and now is the time to call in favours or arrange a chat with an old co-worker or manager who can help you to identify opportunities. Prepare yourself to do some digging to find your next post and be prepared for any single opportunity.
Key is to make sure you understand your experience, work on your interview preparation, and don’t take it lightly. Experience or no experience doesn’t matter it’s all about how you prepare for the D-day.
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