December 2, 2020
5 Things A Business Graduate Should Prepare For When Entering The Industry
by Mark Bouw Group Intern: Rahul Chandrakanth Soni
During my job hunt in 2018, right after completing my undergraduate degree, I realised that companies looked for more than just a certificate from a prestigious university. They look for skills and experience that are beyond your resume, things like confidence, knowledge, and creativity and so on. But like they say, ‘you learn more in failure than you ever do in success’. Mentioned below are a few things I learnt from my journey and every business graduate should be aware of before stepping into the real world.
1. Workplace ethics (professionalism)- Companies today look for more than just theoretical knowledge and technical skills in employees. Understanding workplace ethics and conducting professional behaviour is equally important. This includes communication with colleagues and senior authority, understanding company values, and following the company code of conduct. Also, I believe displaying professionalism during interviews can improve your chances of getting hired, this can be valued even at the smallest level. For example, the way you dress for your interview, researching the company in depth and knowing the reason why you want to be working for the company.
2. Understand remuneration standards, Expectation vs Reality – You must understand that you are choosing the company as much as the company is choosing you. If you are offered a job at a company, you hold the right to negotiate the terms in the offer letter. However, to conduct a professional negotiation you should acquire enough knowledge of the industry standards for remuneration paid to candidates holding similar job positions. This is important to ensure you are not underpaid. However, this is also about the fact that you want to work for the company you are interviewing for.
3. Bridging the gap between where you are and where you want to be – Every industry has their own standards to assess a candidate’s employability. It is essential to research industry requirements and understand what companies are looking for. Subsequently, you should self reflect and analyse the gap between the industry demand and the skills you possess. Filling this gap by acquiring required skills will make you more employable.
4. Explore different sectors of industry (gain experience) – Gain exposure while you can. To understand which sector of the industry you belong to, you must try to gain as much experience as you can by participating in internships, management events at universities, volunteering, or freelance work. This will help you understand your capabilities, interests and guide you before applying for a fulltime job after graduation. Additionally, participating in short-term jobs has other benefits like better networking, increasing employability, learning work ethics and so on. I have also witnessed students working diligently and converting these short-term experiences into full time jobs.
5. Continuous resume review and expert advice - Although it seems like two different things, it's not. I would recommend every student looking for a full-time job to get their resume reviewed by someone who has long term experience in the respective industry. Resume review must be more than just changing the format or design of the resume, it involves educating yourself with new experiences and mastering skills you already possess. For example you might have to learn a new software whose usage has increased in the industry you are applying for or get an internship in a start-up to gain practical experience of what you have learnt in your graduate degree.
Although this advice might be helpful for most graduates and perhaps make you more employable, recruiters might have demands that do not fall into any of these categories. It is important to conduct your own research and learn from the mistakes of others. I am completing my master’s degree and still continue to learn from people who are more experienced than I am.