Congratulations! You just graduated from the university despite challenges, triumphs, temptations, and all other things which had the potential to derail you. Of course, you are proud of your achievements because you have just overcome the first hurdle in life. However, you have mixed feelings about what the future holds for you, and rightfully so.
According to government statistics, Kenya universities churn out at least 50,000 graduates annually. That is a large number in a market where unemployment rates stand at 40%. If you just graduated, chances are that you are probably searching for your first job if you did not manage to secure a job before graduation. Well, here are job hunting tips to get you started the right way.
1. Stop chasing the dream job
Very few people get their dream jobs immediately after graduation or get into their dream companies after graduating. It is perfectly fine to take up any job that comes your way for survival because bills do not pay themselves. Do not pressure put pressure on yourself to find the right job which will set the pace for your in the right career. Do not simply reject an opportunity because it does not lie in your chosen field or it is not what you studied in university. Instead, work on building your experience and getting your foot through the door. Your first job will not always be in your preferred career path but it will help you kick-start your career. In the same light, it is quite hard that your first salary will be anything to write home about. In most cases, your first salary will only help you meet your basic needs for survival so do not be fixated on the salary. Just make sure that it is enough to help you meet your basic needs while giving you some experience.
2. You do not need to meet all the qualifications in order to apply for a job
Most people fail to apply for jobs because they do not meet all the requirements for the job. But, the employer is not looking for the perfect candidate. Take note of what the employer says are important or must-have skills and if you meet them, then apply for the job. There are very few people who fit the job description perfectly. So, if you meet at least 50% of the requirements, apply for the job and indicate that you are willing to learn. A willingness to learn is more important than meeting all the qualifications for the job.
3. Don’t use same cover letter for every job
As a fresh graduate, you have probably sent out multiple job applications. How many times did you write a cover letter?
The one mistake people always make is sending the same cover letter when applying for different jobs.
Your cover letter should not be generic. The positions you are applying for are different even if they are in the same field. The employers are looking for different things. Therefore, your letter should be tailored to that specific job.
4. Social Media cleanup
This is very important when it comes to job search. Employers do look at your social media accounts and based on what they see they can decide not to hire you.
Yes, while you were in school it was okay to post photos of yourself out clubbing and stuff like that. But an employer doesn’t want to see a whole album with pictures of you drunk. This does not only apply to photos. Some posts or comments you may have made that are inappropriate need to be removed too.
Employers want to know that they are hiring someone responsible and someone who takes their job seriously.
So the first thing you need to do is clean up all your social media accounts.
5. Know the four types of job websites
Job websites are a good way to search for jobs.
There are different types of job websites namely, general, field specific, location specific and social networks.
General Websites do not focus on any specific industry. These are sites like Career Point Kenya LinkedIn and much more.
Field-specific are websites that focus on a specific industry for example accounting.
Location specific websites solely advertise jobs for specific locations.
It is important that you avoid the common job search mistakes so that you can better your chances at landing a job.