The first step is always the hardest...especially if you are a newly minted graduate starting a job search. Here is a personal account of searching for a first full-time job from Nelma Neto, a recent tourism graduate from the University of Greenwich in London.
Are you a recent graduate struggling to find a job in what you would like to do? If yes, don’t worry because after reading this post, you'll have some useful strategies to land a great job.
The first question you might be asking yourself is: How do I get started?
My first tip is to network, network, and NETWORK!!!
Do not underestimate the power of networking because through networking, you can meet amazing people that can possibly give you access to job opportunities as well as support and advice. This is especially useful if you are not sure what area or job you want to pursue.
How can you network if you don't know anyone?
LinkedIn! During my journey in finding a job in the tourism/hospitality industry, I began by improving my LinkedIn profile (and if you do not have a LinkedIn profile then I highly suggest you create one). I then started reaching out to a few professionals on LinkedIn, started attending events to meet new people, and also created my own business card to distribute.
Once you have some contacts, then what?
Do your research. Find out more about companies and jobs by searching online with Google or LinkedIn. Review and compare websites and job descriptions and go back to people with specific questions. The more specific you can be, the better the information you will get back.
Recruitment agencies can also be very helpful in your job search. Personally, I used to think that recruitment agencies were a bit ‘dodgy’ but I was totally wrong. Recruitment agencies can provide you with the right guidance to find a good job but you must find authentic recruitment agencies. Again, Google and LinkedIn are your key tools here.
Once you have an idea of the kind of job you want, prepare to interview. Use your research, then prepare answers for common interview questions and specific questions about the position, responsibilities, and corporate culture. Good websites for general career guidance for new grads: Career Contessa, The Muse, Her Campus, Indeed, and, of course, LinkedIn. When I was looking for a job, some of my job expectations were to join a: great team, a company with development and progression opportunities, a fair salary for the role, a safe environment, and good work culture.
Prepare: I thought through, thoroughly researched, and wrote key points in preparation for interviews.
Follow up: Say thank you. At a minimum write a thank you email, even if you are not interested in the job. Travel can be a small industry. Definitely write an email or even a handwritten card if you do want the job! Thank you notes are a great way to restate why you want the job and why you are a great fit.
Worried about being nervous? Build up your confidence.
If you do all the prep work above, this will give you the knowledge to go into any meeting with a sense of confidence. You will have topics to discuss and smart questions to ask. If you are still worried about interviews, I suggest doing some role play with friends or family, or even just in the mirror. If you tend to get nervous, breathwork can be helpful to calm down.
Keep a good attitude.
Honestly, after the pandemic, many of my friends worried it would be extremely hard to find a job in something they would enjoy. This is where networking became invaluable to me, constantly meeting new and different people kept my outlook positive that there are many opportunities.
How do you finally secure a role and decide? If you've been offered a position, review your goals and objectives again and see if the position is a good match. It is OK to go back with questions and a good company will be happy to answer them. In my case, I had a job offer from a top brand but had to reject the offer because it was not something that I was looking to do. So, you really need to be honest with yourself and ask yourself, if that is something you see yourself doing and if it aligns with your expectations otherwise it may cause discontentment.
Finally, the real secret is to just put yourself out there with no fear! If I did it, you can too. I believe we all have amazing capabilities, including (you) reading this but it is necessary to make it known to the world and see where that will take you!
Last but not least, everyone's journey is different but don’t give up on yourself and never settle for anything less than what you deserve.
Good Luck : )