Even before I graduated from college last month with the degree of BSBA major in Marketing, I was already worried about whether I’ll be able to get the right job for me what with thousands of college graduates also looking for jobs. I know that I should not just get any job but get the right job. The advertisements for job openings are mostly from call centers but I don’t want to work in a call center company.
How shall I go about looking for the right job? Please advise me.
Ms. Anxious Job-Seeker
I’m glad that you are aiming to get the right job and not just any job. Getting the wrong job which is not in line with the course that you took, assuming that marketing is the right career for you, can derail your getting the right job and starting your career.
The right job in your chosen career is one where there is a fit between the requirements of the job on one hand, and your interest, aptitudes, personality and the skills you easily learned and enjoy using, on the other hand. For example, in marketing the most common entry jobs are market research and sales. From either of these two entry jobs, your work experience can very well set you off on a marketing career.
To do a successful job hunt, here are my suggestions for you to remove your anxiety and maximize your chance to get the right job:
- Develop a network – A network consists of people you know who can furnish you the information you need or refer you to people who can give you the desired information. Initially, your network consists of your professors in your major subject, your parents, uncles and aunts and their friends who can refer you further to their friends and relatives who can give you information on
- Entry level jobs in your chosen career
- What these jobs require
- Where to apply for these jobs i.e., what companies you can apply to and in what industry
Information about the industry is important for you to know the working conditions e.g., working hours, reward system, physical environment, location, etc., which are important for job satisfaction. Perhaps your dislike to work in a call center is based on information about working conditions.
- Make a list of these entry-level jobs that you gathered from your network, in what companies and industries can these be found. Scan the advertised job positions that will use the technical skills of your major subject.
- Advertise yourself. Tell people in your network that you are seeking the job positions you have identified. There may be no job vacancies now but there might be vacancies later as people are moved laterally, resign or are retired.
- Look for companies that offer these entry-level jobs. List down these companies and what industries. Sources of information: (1) your network, (2) advertised job vacancies in newspapers, (3) the Public Employment Service Office (PESO) in your city government or municipality, (4) job fairs usually held in shopping malls, (5) the internet such as Jobstreet and the PESO’s Phil-job.net. You register in the latter when you log on to it and you get a list of vacancies; in what companies in the region, city or municipality have these vacancies and whom to contact. (6) alumni office of your school, etc. Both your ears and your eyes must be tuned in to information like these.
- Make your 1-page Resumé. Prepare a good and attractive Resumé.
There are tips on how to make a Resumé on-line or borrow a book where you can see a format to copy. A brief Resumé has the following parts.
- Your picture in the upper right hand corner
- At the middle of the page your full name, address and contact number(s)
- Career objective. This should state your goal for the next five years specifying the position and function and why. Ex.: In five years I see myself as a sales supervisor in a consumer company, leading a sales team that contributes to the revenue and profitability of our company.
- Key achievements in school. List down the organizations of which you were a member, your position in each, and what contributions you made
- Key competencies. List down your skills which you learned from formal classes, laboratory, workshops, apprenticeship, on-the-job training, volunteer work, or summer jobs. Include your computer and communication skills. Examples: conducting interviews house-to-house, collating and organizing data, summarizing and making reports; speaking to a group with self-confidence; working well with people; etc.
- Work experience. List down your apprenticeships, or on-the-job training, summer jobs, etc. Cite the company, duration, tasks performed and skills learned.
Since you are applying for entry-level positions, there is no need to vary or to tweak the data in your Resumé to fit a certain company or industry you are applying to.
Make sure that your Resumé is pleasing to the eye. Invest on good 81/2” x 11” paper with your 2×2 picture. A good Resumé will not get you a job but it will open the door for an interview.
Have copies of your Resumé to give out to those who ask for it. Write down the names and contact numbers of those to whom you have given your Resumé and do a follow-up on each of them every week or two. Do this during their break time and respectfully without intruding into their work or rest.
- Prepare yourself for a successful interview. In fact, when you visit a PESO or go to a job fair, be prepared with your Resumé and for the possibility of being interviewed. Prepare your answers to frequently-asked-questions (FAQs) such as:
- “Tell me about yourself”
- “What are your strengths “
- “What are your weaknesses”
- “Why should we hire you.”
You can look up the internet or books that contain tips to give you an idea on how to answer these and other questions likely to be asked. My workbook, Career Planning Workbook 5th Edition, sold at National Bookstores, contains a chapter on preparing a Resumé and another chapter, for an interview.
Role play with a friend or sibling how you answer this FAQs so that you will gain the skill and self-confidence to answer them when asked.
Wearing a business attire when you go to a PESO or to a job fair is suggested. A good rule of thumb for a business attire is this: for males: slacks, leather shoes with socks, short barong or short-sleeved shirt tucked inside your pants. Females: slacks, blouse with sleeves and medium heeled shoes. No-no to denims, jeans and rubber shoes.
- Take note of other requirements to get the job you want. In a study done by the People Management Association of the Philippines (PMAP) years ago, recruitment managers cited three factors that led to the failure of college graduates to get entry level positions they applied for. These are: (1) lack of, or inadequate, basic entry technical skills; (2) poor impact (i.e., lack of self-confidence as shown in over-all bearing and poise, personality and appearance) and (3) poor communication skills (i.e., difficulty in expressing one’s self in conversational English.
With this in mind, you can boost your employability by practicing and refining your (1) communication skills by speaking and writing in grammatically correct English, reading with comprehension, listening and understanding what the other person is saying, etc; and (2) computer skills such as Microsoft office (MSWord, Excel, Powerpoint, Publisher, etc.) Becoming proficient on these skills is your competitive advantage.
Doing all these will considerably remove or at least minimize your fear of not getting the right job. The unemployment picture in our country does not really look that grim what with our economy perking up. The published vacancies on line and in print are just the tip of the iceberg. There are many more job vacancies to be filled by qualified applicants. Be optimistic that you will get the right job. Keep faith in God.
God bless you.
Josie O. Santamaria