There is no doubt that the job market is becoming more complicated than before. Factors like technological advancements and the relatively unpredictable nature of global economy have brought in a shift in how companies operate and look for prospective employees.

For fresh graduates, the situation is even worse. Reports have shown that the number of graduates from major universities in Singapore who managed to secure full-time permanent work was significantly low in the recent years.

Quite often, the issue boils down to the age-old conundrum, employers look for candidates with work experience but you cannot gain such experience without a job! On the other hand, as expert opinion from financial website points out how, early in your career, you should be willing to take bold decisions.

What students can do, in this context, is make use of the resources that their universities provide to help in the process of finding a job. Here is a brief look at some of them.

Services at the Career Centre

Most major educational institutions these days have a dedicated career centre to help their students prepare for the job market. These centres will be able to provide students advice on finding their strengths and weaknesses and connect them with potential employers.

Some of these centres might even offer certain modules as part of the university curriculum. The career centre at the National University of Singapore (NUS), for instance, recently began a 11-week career support programme named Career Catalyst aimed at helping students forge their own career paths based on their interests and aptitude.

The advisers at career centres can help you learn how to market yourself in ways that would impress employers. They can also assist in improving your resume and prepare you for job interviews.

Mentorship

A mentor who shares interests similar to yours will be able to guide and support you in finding and choosing a career path that would suit you. You could begin looking for a mentor as early as in your first year of undergrad. Ideally, this person should be interested in your professional interests and be willing to invest time and effort in it.

Enquire if your educational institution has any programmes that would allow you to connect with potential mentors. The Singapore Management University’s (SMU) Alumni Mentoring Programme is a great example for this. Some universities try to assign students mentors from within the academic staff itself.

You could also make use of professional social media networks like LinkedIn or look up alumni associations to find individuals in various fields.

Career Fests and Fairs

Career events are an excellent opportunity for you to directly meet representatives from various industries and get job leads. These could be organised by educational institutions themselves or third-party organisations.

Make sure you turn up prepared for an interview. This might mean you suit up, depending on your industry, and carry a proper resume. Companies may make job offers or traineeship posts at the fair itself. Even if you are not able to land a job, attending fairs will help you become aware of what employers are looking for.

In short, hunting for a job immediately after you graduate is difficult but with proper planning and strategies, you can find a method to the madness. With the help of your educational institution’s career support programme, some effort to find mentors and connect with people from the industry, you could make the process a whole lot easier.

This article was written by the NUS community. If you would like to contribute your article, please get in touch.