The moment you will step outside your university to find your first job, you will encounter a whole new outlook of the world, where grades and CGPA are seldom noticed. I went to my first job interview with my resume that mentioned my CGPA of 3.8. I was hoping that this would be enough to get me to the job, but to my surprise it was not the case. The only time when the recruiter looked at my CV was when he wanted to check my date of birth so to confirm that I’m not underage. Though, I am not denying the importance of resumes, CVs, and cover letters, but when you are at the interview table, it is you who speak for yourself and not your resume.
Over the past decade, I have seen a number of toppers to face more difficulty in finding their first job than their other classmates, who were less competent in terms of grades and course knowledge. Even seven of my classmates, whom CGPA was below 2.5, got their first jobs in relevant fields two months before me. So, what makes it intricate for the toppers to get their first job, or what extra skills the average students possess, which makes them preferable for workplace environments? Here are some answers that can help both toppers and other students augment the probability of getting their first job easily.
1. High Expectations
As an engineering student, I invested a great lot of money in my degree, certification courses, and in learning other software programs, which I was told are needed in all engineering jobs, which though was not true. So, during my job pursuit, I kept thinking about the money I have spent for my education, and was looking for a job that could pay me off in months or at least a year. Considering the current global recession, it is hard to find a job that is relevant to your field, pays good salary, and hires fresh candidates. Unfortunately, I overlooked this reality, and in search of a high paying job, I wasted my first three months after graduation, declining three low salary offers, and another seven months doing a job that pays me just above average salary, but was not related to my field. So, even after nine months of my engineering graduation, I had zero work experience.
This is the mistake that most of the toppers and high-grade students make, expecting too much from the very first job with little or no experience in the bag. This compels the recruiter to hire someone with low expectations, and many average students fit nicely into this description.
2. No internship Experience
A personal observation is that a number of top students spend their semester breaks learning new software programs, reading more marketing books, or assisting their teachers in their work. Though these are good activities, they cannot surpass the importance of company internships. Reading Porter’s five forces and personally seeing and dealing with market competition is altogether a different thing.
Internships act as a gateway to your professional career, where you spend some time with professionals, who do not like sharing things with their subordinates, but they can share it with you as you do not pose a position threat to them. So, average students with internship experiences are often preferred over toppers with no internship experience.
3. Weak Bonding Network
When I was busy solving my math problems, a number of my classmates were visiting different companies, making contacts, asking for career suggestions from industry professionals, and spending time with teachers who have come from various industries. This way, they always had a better know-how of the industry and career opportunities than me. My job search was limited to online job databases while many other students even knew companies, which do not post any job ad, but start their hiring process every August.
So, it is important for students to not only look for a job after the degree is completed, but also during the phase of the degree in order to save the crucial time after the degree is completed. Furthermore, the job search should not be limited to online job databases, but students should try to visit companies, just like they would do after their degree.
Author Bio: Fourges William is an executive education trainer and consultant, providing coursework writing service to undergraduate and Master level students. His forte is in addressing career opportunities to students, helping them take wise decision with their career path selection.
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