CareerTalk™ > CAREER DEVELOPMENT

Searching for your new job as a fresh graduate.

Since time immemorial, graduating from college or university has always been a highly celebrated milestone for many, their families and friends too since it marks the end of years of constant learning well, once achieved the hard question of “what next?” pops up with the obvious answer “finding a job”.

The current job market in Uganda is undoubtedly a tough one especially if you are searching for a job as a fresh graduate but there is no turning back you have to face it head on. Here we share some tips that can help you in your job search as a fresh graduate; 

  1. Don’t waste your time applying to jobs that require numerous years of experience

Applying to jobs that require highly experienced candidates will end up consuming your time and draining your energies and yet your CV will most likely be trashed you don’t have this experience instead, concentrate your efforts in applying to jobs that are open to no experience or those that are training opportunities.

  1. Customize your CV based on the job that you are applying for

If you want to apply for a project administrator position, highlight all the projects you have managed in school or past-internships similarly, if you're applying for a sales position, highlight your holiday job experiences where you've managed a shop that also helped you make a lot of contacts.

  1. Keep your resume to the point.

Make your CV as brief as possible, focus on your strengths and summarize them in a concise mannerYou should make your achievements shine in a resume. Most companies often look for leadership qualities in a candidate, so make sure to highlight those if you have.

  1. Double check your CV.

If possible let someone else proof-read your resume, grammatical mistakes and typos are a big no-no.

  1. Digital resumes

Digital resumes are one way to make a job applicant's resume stand out. Digital resumes are those displayed on websites like LinkedIn profiles that can be easily accessible to prospective employers give snapshots of your internship and testimonials, with links, if any, especially if you are applying for a job in design, marketing and communications. But make sure the links you provide work.

  1. Try Volunteering

The experience gained from volunteering service will highlight some of your leadership qualities and project management skills in your job search. 

  1. Don't over-qualify yourself

Some people who haven't found jobs end up taking up a lot more qualifications just for the sake of it which may not even help in their job search. Sometimes, companies think that you may be too qualified and will not want to hire you, you should first concentrate your efforts on the job search. Explore the companies you would like to work for and the roles you feel strongly about – roles you could contribute to. Send in unsolicited applications, ensuring that each cover letter is tailored to the organization and role you are applying for. It could also payoff to indicate that you are also willing to volunteer just for the sake of acquiring experience.

  1. In today’s job market, interviews can be very long.

Always be yourself, try to be patient and be humble, during your interview think of at least three achievements you had in school. Examples include being the head of an interest group or leader of a project. Think through the details of your involvement - how you came up with concepts, how you steered the group, and - importantly - what impact you made in these roles. Tie these to the job needs, and say how you could apply these experiences to the task at hand. 

  1. Make yourself accessible.

Employers are always on the lookout, make yourself accessible in every way possible by for example creating your job seeker profile on online job boards like www.jobopenings.co.ug, talking to friends that you know are already employed clearing indicating that you are searching for a job, attending career forums etc. In so doing, you will be expanding your network and increasing your chances of landing your new job.

  1. Acceptable salary expectations

As a fresh graduate you should not out-price yourself out of the job market. For instance, for a fresh graduate to expect a starting salary of millions of shillings is outrageous in today’s job market.

And finally don’t give up in your job search since success comes to those that persist.

Contributed by: Henry Mubiru Kweba. 

Views expressed by Jobopenings.co.ug contributors are their own.