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December 2, 2020

5 Things A Business Graduate Should Prepare For When Entering The Industry

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.

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