by Tarminder Singh | 24 March 2022
According to the Department of Statistics Malaysia, approximately 300,000 to 350,000 new graduates entered the workforce upon graduation in 2020. Unfortunately, out of the 300,000 students that graduated, 1 out of 5 remained unemployed 6 months after graduation. With us living with the pandemic, the ministry expects that 25% of potential graduates will have their employment opportunities disrupted 6 months after graduation. With the rising numbers of graduates every year from tertiary institutions, competition is getting higher to become employed.
However, all hope is not lost – a new wave of job opportunities has risen in the technology industry. Thanks to the pandemic, employers have to find new, innovative ways for students and graduates to gain working experience – such as gaining essential experiences from home. While nothing can replace the real-world and hands-on experience, there are a few ways you can become highly employable and increase the chances of landing a job.
Should you negotiate your salary?
It's never easy to word your way around to acquire what you have set yourself to get. It takes a long time to master the art of negotiation. Unfortunately, you're just getting started on your career, hoping to secure your first job, acquire the salary you want and the benefits you deserve. Sometimes, what you want may come off as reasonable, and other times you'll have to negotiate for what you believe you're entitled to.
Go the extra mile to know your salary range for your position and how your interest, knowledge, and experience can help your employer create solutions. These are the essentials that any employer will ask for while making a hiring decision. They don't recruit just anyone – they want someone credible enough who knows their company's goals and how you can put your skills upfront to help them achieve their goals.
If you believe in your capabilities, it may be beneficial to continue negotiating, but always put to a halt if you've come across as too pushy or forceful. It's always best to know when to stop and walk away. Even if the job doesn't end up in your hands, thank your interviewer for maintaining good relations with the company. You'll never know when they'll come looking for you again.
Technical and soft skills
There is no better approach to boost your employability than to enroll in a short-skill building course. Ever since the outbreak of the covid-19, the age of digitalization and automation has impacted the world significantly. There are thousands of online courses available in various categories, whether you want to learn how to use certain software, discover more about a specific role, or even brush up on your soft skills.
It's not necessary to learn courses that are relevant to your education. Employers will notice your initiative, drive, and skills. Course providers include but are not limited to Google, Coursera, LinkedIn, Domestika, and many more. It may also be helpful to connect with an experienced mentor in relatable fields to understand the nature of the job and assess if you will be a good fit for such roles. Employers will be willing to hire you if you have some academic exposure to these digital fields.
Communication skills are essential
The fast-paced working environment grows frantically with your skills. One soft skill that everyone should hold on to is communication. Whether you're a software developer or digital marketer, you'll need to know how to engage with others and present your ideas.
The qualities you have in communication will help you become more effective at sharing ideas with others. While specific communications skills do come naturally, there are other essential communication skills you can develop to leave a good impression on those with whom you speak. There are 7 Cs of communication that you can adhere to:
Communication is essential in our daily lives. You also need to be equipped with excellent skills to advance in an industry of your choice.
A positive attitude resonates with the company
According to Dr. Syed Hussain, MEF President - the mismatch of jobs between the abilities that graduates have acquired and what companies are searching for may be why some graduates face difficulties in finding work. Graduates may have the skills, but they lack the necessary attitude and confidence.
It's natural for employers to gravitate towards a positive person. When applying for jobs or undergoing interviews, conveying a positive vibe is more engaging and will impress recruiters as they browse through resumes. If you are the type of person who can keep a positive mindset and sees obstacles and opportunities, you can set an excellent example for others to follow.
Apart from exerting a positive aura, being a proactive player is also a good score. Connect with employers on LinkedIn and attend job fairs, practice courtesy in your written communication to potential employers. If you are going through job interviews, ensure that you are well-mannered and prepared.
Get an early head start on your career after graduation.
Your education is a somewhat sheltered environment. You frequently find yourself hanging out with similar people you meet in university. Even if personalities differ, you will undoubtedly find yourself in a group of individuals your age who have similar interests and ambitions as you are. But careers, on the other hand, can bring you into contact with a broader range of people. Your colleagues' age, socioeconomic background, and goals and dreams will differ from your own, which is a great thing.
The most career experience you'll earn from your academic years is an internship. However, not many students will secure an intern role based on what they're studying. Studying and undergoing an internship puts more thought into your future career and aligns better with what you want to do.
Securing jobs is getting more challenging for fresh graduates. However, instead of viewing it as a setback, reframe it as an opportunity to raise your A-game. Upskill and reskill yourself to increase the chances of you becoming highly employable. By doing so, you will be ahead and can potentially fast-track your professional career success.
Get connected with FutureLab
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