While the average pay of fresh grads is said to be hitting new highs, in reality the job market is still tough in a slow economy. On average, graduates send out almost 30 resumes just to land their first job. But instead of wallowing in your less than ideal employment status, start a plan to maximise the chances of landing your first job while gaining priceless new skills.

 

Try an internship/contract job

If landing a full-time or permanent position is harder than you thought, you can increase your chances by gaining more experience and standing out among your peers.

Many university students would have gone through one or two internships before graduation and you can sharpen your competitive edge by taking up one more internship or a contract job that is related to the full-time position you want. This not only keeps you busy, it helps you gain more experience, hone your skills and earn you some income to tide you through the rough period.

While the remuneration may be less superior than a full-timer’s, things might just be looking up with a new standard specifying better working conditions for term contract workers following a tripartite agreement between employers, unions and the Singapore Government.

Moreover, this is also a great opportunity to gain a few more connections and who knows, you’ll find someone who will be willing to rope you in.

 

Try, try and try again

It’s a numbers game in this competitive job market and everyone’s trying to get hired. And the best way to get hired? By keeping at it.

Sending out resumes can become a chore as company after company fails to get back to you and your inbox fills up with rejection emails. However, this should never bring you down because remember, if you haven’t sent out heaps of resumes, the odds of landing a job is pretty slim. Always remember to cater your resume to the needs of each company and tweak your skills to increase your chances of the company seeing you as a good fit.

 

Check out networking events

Focus on widening your search by going to networking events. You can search for many free networking events in the CBD on platforms like Eventbrite; or join take part in the various alumni networking nights.    So, perfect that self-introduction and read up about the latest trends in your industry for relevant talking points when meeting new contacts. People at these events come from all walks of life and there’s always a chance that you’ll meet your future employer. Bonus: free drinks and food!

 

Tap into existing connections

This not only includes friends and family members, but ex-employers or even professors. Many employers consider hiring past interns because they’ve had experience working with them. However, even if there aren’t any vacancies, reconnecting with ex-employers might lead to former bosses referring someone they know to you. Referrals is you best friend, especially when it comes from your friends and family members to their employers.

Instead of simply emailing folks in your contacts list or scouring online job platforms, go old school: Pick up the phone and call up some ex-contacts and friends, or even cold call companies you really want to work at. The personal touch goes a long way in getting your foot through the door.

 

Don’t let it get to you

And finally, don’t let rejection get the better of you. Rejection doesn’t mean you’re “not good enough”. Keep exploring and improving ­– be open to new opportunities for learning and growth. Remember what Albert Einstein said, “You never fail until you stop trying.”

 

[Feature photo by Matt Wildbore on Unsplash]

 

This article was originally published on The SMU Blog.

 

 Undergraduate Prospectus 2017/2018
Undergraduate Prospectus 2017/2018
 Undergraduate Programme Brochure
Undergraduate Programme Brochure
 Scholarship Brochure
Scholarship Brochure

 International Students Brochure
International Students Brochure