As a millennial, searching for jobs can be a very confusing thing. After all, you’re deciding what path your life is headed towards – which can be daunting. There are tons of options out there, but the world is changing day by day. What Mum says about job hunting might not ring true anymore. So here’s a job hunt guide just for you.
From where to begin searching for a job, how to seem more appealing to employers to nailing a video call interview, we’ve compiled THE ultimate job hunt guide for any millennial. It doesn’t matter if you’ve graduated from Poly, university or ITE, this goes out to each and every one of you!
Job Hunt Guide Tip 1: Do Your Homework
Before you start thinking about job applications, make sure your appeal factor to employers is in tip-top condition. As you know, there are thousands of applications to companies at any one time. So how do you stand out from the competition? You’ve got to take note of the little things.
1. Clean up Your Social Media Before Your Job Hunt
Your potential employers are going to look you up on Google for sure. The first things they see? Of course, the same things that you do (duh!), so Google yourself first. Probably, you’ll see your Facebook and LinkedIn profiles, and maybe Instagram.
Got tagged in a picture at Cherry Disco on Facebook with your face beet-red? If you don’t want to clean up your social media profiles, then at least set it to private mode. However, do remember that any social media account that you own can be a useful tool in your job hunting arsenal!
Your social media accounts could very well function as an online portfolio too. What you share on social media (especially LinkedIn!) could tell your future employers about what kind of person you are. Remember – employers are more likely to hire someone whom 1, they know more of, 2, they know to be good.
2. Back to Basics – Make Sure Your Resume Looks Good
Your resume is one of the first things you send to your employer when you apply for your job, and it’s the first test of your suitability. So, it better look good!
Apart from knowing what you should include in your resume, forget that Times New Roman size 12 font setting. You don’t have to be a Photoshop whiz to design a swanky resume, you can try easy-to-use websites like Canva to design your resume too.
Remember, depending on the job you’re applying for, some industries allow for funkier resumes while some prefer cleaner ones. For instance, if you are applying to MNCs, keep it simple but still modern, and if you’re applying for a creative role, step it up a notch.
It’s also useful to keep 2 versions of your resume so that you can easily send in whatever’s suitable when you’re applying. Don’t forget to inject a bit of personality in your resume too!
Job Hunt Guide Tip 2: Carrying out the Job Hunt
3. The Internet’s Your Best Friend
Indeed, you probably don’t remember what a Classified ad is anymore. Most of our job searches are done on the Internet, and that’s where companies are too. Cast your net wide at the start. Once you’ve decided what kind of career path you want, apply for as many companies as you can! Different job portals have different types of job openings available, so do visit more of them.
Of course, you can start from you school’s job portal first. It will usually feature companies your school is working with, so expect the usual MNCs and established companies. If you’re looking to branch out, look at portals like TechinAsia, InternSG, or even Glassdoor (for company reviews).
Take a look at our very own portal too – (shameless plug) where we have thousands of opportunities from startups, SMEs and MNCs too, specially curated for studying or working millennials just like you!
4. MNC or startup?
While you’re on the different job portals, you might face another dilemma: startup or MNC? There are different benefits that come with each type of company, so it’s up to you to choose.
It’s important to know what kind of vibe you prefer in your tribe. Bear in mind, the comparisons we’ve made in the table above are by no means pros and cons, it’s up to you to decide which you prefer. Some people might prefer multitasking in a start-up, as they get to learn everything, but some hate that, because it means more work for them.
If you enjoy company perks and benefits, MNCs could be the way to go. Some MNCs have awesome gym memberships, staff sales, or even great monthly bonuses! As long as you’re aware of the various differences, you’re good to go ?
5. OK, what if I really have no luck with my job hunt?
Don’t fret! It’s not the end. Time to look for even MORE alternatives. Instead of looking for opportunities, why not create the opportunity yourself? Send a potential employer a cold email, and they might just be willing to connect and take the conversation further.
Alternatively, if you’re a fresh grad from polytechnic/ITE, this opens your doors even wider. The Earn and Learn Programme allows you to study while working full-time and earn a salary. This is great if you’re still unsure about whether the career path you’re choosing is right for you, or if you want to consider further about going to university.
Job Hunt Guide Tip 3: Hitting the Apply Button
6. Customizing your resume for the job hunt
The resume is something everyone has to send over when applying for a job, so imagine – if employers receive hundreds and hundreds of them a day, they’re going to be sick of them in no time.
After crafting your resume, you need to make sure it matches what your employer is looking out for. It’s simple little tweaks – essentially, look out for certain keywords in the Job Description and make sure that your resume has those words. Also, you’ve done lots in school or in your internships, and you want that to stand out! So sell those points according to the Job Description.
But it has to be relevant to the job you’re applying for – the keyword for today is relevance. If you’re applying for a software engineer role, your employer won’t need to know that you were a part-time barista in JC!
7. Making a great first impression – online or offline
Assuming you’ve gotten through the first screen, congrats! Now comes the second hurdle: the interview.
You’ve got to bring your A game to the interview. Make sure you’re dressed neatly, and do thorough research about the company or role you’re interviewing for. Some usual questions to ask yourself:
Of course, remember to bring your charm and confidence to the interview, and do ask the interviewer smart questions at the end of the interview. These will let your interviewer know that you’re really in it to win it, since you’ve given it a lot of thought and can come up with interesting questions.
A useful tip is to imagine that you’re already hired, and think about what kind of potential scenarios could pop up. What would a day in the life look like? What kind of clients would you be dealing with? What are some of the challenges in the job? These questions let the interviewer know that you’re seriously thinking about the job.
If you’re having a Skype interview, better make sure that microphone’s working. Do your prep work way ahead of time, and test the system a couple of times to prevent embarrassment when your mic doesn’t work during the interview.
8. Practising your PR skills during your job hunt
Job hunts can sometimes be the perfect ground to practise your PR skills. There are some difficult things to manage, such as negotiating your salary, and rejecting a job offer.
Before negotiating your salary, keep in mind your lifestyle needs, the average starting salary for fresh grads out of university, and most importantly, what you can offer the company. If you can show your potential employer than you can truly value-add, they would be more than happy to pay you more.
Finally, once you’ve gotten a few job offers, and if you decide that you will be accepting one of them, then of course, you must reject others. The journey doesn’t end with a rejection. Always be polite when rejecting others, and be open to future opportunities with them, ‘cause you never know! Even a rejected job offer can be a valuable addition to your network.
Finally, if you keep getting stuck at the interview round and you start burning out, don’t give up. It takes a long time for job hunts, and you can take up to 1 year to finally find something suitable for you. Remember, if you were rejected by the company, there’s a reason why they did it, and you could have been unsuitable for the culture or position. If you were given the job, you might not have been happy. So remember – there’s a reason for everything!
There you have it: your handy dandy job hunt guide. Ultimately, don’t stop your hunger to learn and improve just after your first job hunt. You should be looking at your long term career and not just your job. Know yourself inside out, and decide what kind of career path you want to carve out for yourself. Good luck with that job hunt!