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Graduates – how do you make yourself more employable?

By Lebo Nkadimeng - Manager at Farrow Consulting

The main reason given by students for going to university, is to obviously get a good job afterwards, but with around 100,000 people graduating each year, the job market is extremely competitive. A university qualification will help you get your foot in the door but will not necessarily guarantee you the position.

As a Recruiter, I often come across graduates that are looking to enter into the corporate world and have no idea on how to go about it. Instead, they end up applying for jobs that do not necessarily relate to what they studied.

Other than your qualification, potential employers want to ensure that you have the right employability skills to be able to do the job, such as communication, ability to work in a team, problem solving, a positive attitude and adaptability. These are very important competencies, as you have a lot to learn in your first role.

So you have finally obtained that piece of paper, now what? Here are a few tips to make yourself more employable.

1. Congratulations on your graduation

I would firstly like to congratulate you on obtaining your qualification. I can only imagine that it has not been all that easy. The long nights, early mornings, the being away from home and not seeing your loved ones for months on end. You have put in the work, and you have earned it, congratulations!

2. Prepare your CV

Get your CV/Resume ready to apply for jobs. Have someone help you with your CV or review it for you. Alternatively, use a professional CV Writer. Farrow Consulting offers professional CV/Resume writing from Graduate level up to Executive/C-suite level, and can ensure that you stand out from the crowd. Once you have a compelling and polished CV, ensure that it is always accessible and you can send it out whenever needed.

3. Interview preparation

Often Employers will put you through many rounds of interviews, including panel, video and multiple one-on-one interviews. This can be daunting for even the most confident of people! Preparation is key. Farrow Consulting offers Interviewing Coaching from Graduate to Executive level. We will assist you with interview preparation, techniques and strategies, helping you to feel more comfortable and self-assured for that big interview.

4. Networking

It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Network as much as possible and get in touch with people in your desired industry. LinkedIn is also a great business networking and Job platform, and can connect you with many companies, Recruiters and Talent Managers. If you are unsure how to create a stand-out LinkedIn profile, that will draw a large network and create a compelling personal brand, attracting recruiters and clients alike, this is a service we can also provide.

5. Learnerships/Internships

Apply for learnerships and/or internships. This has proven to be one of the most effective ways to get yourself the necessary skills, knowledge and workplace experience needed for the next step in your career, and in most cases even score you permanent employment with the company you are interning for. Once you have secured that Internship, work hard, prove yourself, and stand out from the others.

6. Volunteering

Companies like giving chances to people who have given their time freely, as it shows you are prepared to help others and make a difference. While you are busy looking for a job, make some time to volunteer. It can be a community centre, church, school or even a local shop. Amongst other things, this will help you keep busy, up-skill you and you might just get noticed by someone who is looking to hire.

7. Be proactive

Lastly, be out there. Upload your CV/profile on job portals (e.g. LinkedIn, Pnet, Career Junction, Indeed and to job pages on company websites). Focus on the long-term goal, which is obtaining the right skill, knowledge and the experience in your field – the big money will come later.

Remember, there is a job out there for everyone - be persistent, find the right one for you and never get discouraged!

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