Prepping yourself for employment

After that month of celebration, of not having late night classes with everyone’s “favorite” professor, and of bumming out for a week or two, it is now time to face the bigger and tougher world of work life. The time has come for you to look for your dream job.
There are a lot of new graduates all over the country that may be competing for that one slot you have been eyeing since you saw the company’s career ad. They, too, have a diploma, are enthusiastic, have the technical abilities, and most of all, they want that slot as much as you do. This is your first challenge.
The next is that you will be applying for the first time, hoping that your 200- hour OJT work experience and shining flat twos on your transcript will hold out in the application, and miraculously win you the job against the more experienced applicants in the queue.
Here are some takeaways for all those new graduates prepping themselves for employment:
Build an award-winning resume. By “award-winning”, we don’t mean to build an unrealistic resume with your self-proclaimed titles and all those common fluffs and bluffs. Rather, craft a resume fit for the job you are applying for, which will make you stand out. It should include the following:
• Hard and soft skills. Hard skills are factual and learnable, such as typing speed, software knowledge, and work experiences, while soft skills are those that are not essentially skills, but rather the personality and attitude you have, like being a team player, being organized, and the classic, having a “pleasing personality”. I would suggest you focus more on your hard skills, even when there aren’t a lot, as long as they are relevant to the position, rather than spamming a page of self-proclaimed soft skills.
• Work experience. Your OJT will come in handy for this. Do not merely cite the company you had your training in, but rather, include and detail the big tasks (not photocopying and faxing) you were assigned to do, such as drafting memos and dealing with suppliers and clients. The more related the work experience with the position you are applying for, the better.
• References. If you know people who are credible enough to reference you for background-checks, ask for their permission first before putting their contact number on your resume.
Take up a family offer. Don’t think that being an employee of your sweaty uncle, or working as an executive assistant for your grandfather in your family business is “cheating.” Working temporarily for your family-owned company is a good start to accumulate the experience and skills you need. At the very least, you will have a head start against the competition with that “assistant manager” title in your resume.
Be patient. Do not think that once you blast your resume to several companies, you would receive a response instantly, so be patient. It might take a while for you to receive a response from any one of the companies you have contacted, so keep on searching for other hiring companies. You might even find better jobs that way. Hard work starts as early as job hunting, so prepare to feel the longest days of your life.
Be grounded. More often than not, new graduates will not be able to land a job that pays high because they lack the work experience to apply for that kind of position—do not expect to be hired by big companies for a managerial position immediately because those slots are reserved for the professional players who have worked their way up the corporate ladder and have achieved a lot of experiences. Aiming high is an excellent trait, but expecting to achieve them immediately may lead you to a soul-shattering let-down. Get grounded, and plan your first platform on your way to the top. You will soar high with training and experience, but in the meantime, consider yourself as a seed newly planted on a rocky landscape. You will eventually get there.
*Originally published by the Manila Bulletin. C-6, Sunday, June 8, 2014. 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.