Guide For New Graduates

It is that time of the year again when a lot of families rejoice, medals are hung, diplomas are given, and the local workforce increases. Graduation season is here again. First, congratulations to batch 2017 for finishing your respective courses. Today marks the beginning of your wacky adventures in the real world as you figure out “how to adult” as they say.

Sadly, no one really teaches you what you need to do after graduation. We learn the skills and knowledge to do the line of work you want to get into through your major subjects, but how about the nitty-gritty of professional life in general? How do you find the right job? What should you do in your first job?

Here is a short guide on how to get started with your professional life:

1. Get your school documents. As fresh graduates, the only way you can prove yourself as a good candidate for employment is through your school records. Some companies even decide among applicants based on their final grades. Not only that, these documents are guaranteed to be required by any company hiring fresh graduates.

Some schools require graduating students to obtain their school documents (transcript of records, letter of graduation, etc.) before the graduation day, while some ask them to return after a few days of processing following the graduation ceremony. Make sure that you know how to get these documents as they will also form part of your work application. If possible, inquire early through your school registrar on how you can obtain them the soonest time possible.

Other very useful documents are those concerning your OJT experience. Even if you were given mostly menial tasks, your attitude while in an actual work setting may prove significant in an employer’s assessment. Some employers even call the company to ask about both your competence and attitude.

2. Apply for government-issued requirements. All companies would require you to present your TIN number, SSS, Philhealth IDs, and NBI clearance. Start off by obtaining them. You can also check online what companies often require from applicants through online job postings. Time is critical in applying. Having these requirements ready with you during your interview will help you a lot, especially if there are urgent hiring.

Research the requirements you need to submit to the government offices. Some of them can even be applied online. There are certain government issued IDs that require you to have other government-issued IDs before you get them, so it would be a good idea to make a note on which ones to obtain first.

3. Prepare your résumé. I have gone through innumerable amount of résumé and I could say that the most common mistakes that fresh graduates make in preparing this important document are: (1) not proofreading; (2) providing incomplete or unnecessary details; (3) using copied lines from the Internet; and (4) having a disorganized format.

There are a lot of templates available online and no company would fault you for using them. However, provide the extra effort in polishing the contents of your résumé. Always remember the type of work you are applying for and only add details that will help you land in such position. You don’t have to include your video editing skills if you are applying for a receptionist position. You can mention them during the interview, but it does not really add your chances in getting hired by putting it on your document.

Make sure it is both concise and precise. Concise, meaning it is short. Precise, meaning it contains the exact information needed for the position.

4. Expand your options. You don’t always get hired by the company of your first choice. As a fresh graduate, it is always best to expand your options in choosing where you want to apply. Have a list of companies that are hiring for positions that your credentials are well suited.

5. Start being professional. Your days as a student have ended. Not all companies will be as forgiving as your past teachers when you make mistakes. There is no room for tardiness in the corporate world and you will face a lot of competition at work. Always stay professional in dealing with people and work. Learn how to suck it up when faced with irate clients and remember to treat everyone with respect.

Professionalism will get you a long way. Sometimes, the only deciding factor for promotion between you and your colleague who has the same credentials as you is how professional you act at work.
*Originally published by the Manila Bulletin, C-4, Sunday, May 21, 2017. Written by Ruben Anlacan, Jr. (President, BusinessCoach, Inc.) All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or copied without express written permission of the copyright holders.