Flood of Fresh Graduates
Feb 2018. For my startup IKnowItMOM, I opened up an internship role for engineering graduates in a fresher site. Within a day I got few hundred applications.I had originally set the deadline for one full month. I abruptly cut it short. It was difficult going through each of the resumes and calling them. I could not go through all the profiles. Finally hired just one.
I also keep getting fresher resumes seeking jobs. I am sure many others do too. While everyone wants to help, most experienced professionals are clueless on how to help. They will say, “Ok. I will forward it to our HR”. Then nothing happens. Everyone knows nothing much will happen too.
Most of the experienced people working in corporate have no clue on ‘how to help freshers’.
The predicament of fresh graduates
If you are a fresh graduate without a job in hand, it is quite tough. It is more tough if you are from not from a popular college. I have seen many brilliant graduates struggling.
Till you gain experience , you will not be hired. But how will you gain experience if you don’t get a job!
How to get out of this deadlock? This post will definitely help you.
Career Start Choices for Fresh Graduates
There are several internship sites. They exclusively have only the internship roles. They might pay some token money (if at all they pay). Do not crib about lower pay. Those startups invest their time and will hand you a certificate and reference which will be lot more valuable. If the candidate continues for few months to one year, there is a bright chance of you getting full-time job in the start-up itself. If start-up becomes successful, you can soon move to very high paying role. Also startups have great learning experience because you will get to do high value work. You will also get greater exposure.
For those in India,
There are few more too.
For those in the USA,
Internships get posted and within very short time they get responses. So one has to be vigilant and quick. Some of them also provide paid options to ‘feature’ their profiles to stand out from the rest. As a recruiter, when I looked, the ‘featured’ resumes caught my eye.
It is a fact that fresh graduates may not be entirely job ready. The skills need to be augmented. No one can be blamed about this because the university can not keep revising syllabus every few months. But these days, the skill needs keep rapidly changing.
Specific skills needed to start work today, can not be taught as part of college curriculum.
There is a lot of demand for AI / ML, automation, DevOps etc. Identify the skills that are in demand and also fit your background and strengths.
Go for self study or online courses in Udemy. These are quite affordable and job-oriented. Without this there are too many tutorials on youtube and blogs. But the time and energy of searching is too high compared to the courses in Udemy. And you get a community of other students.
Online courses are found in coursera too. But this is more of university courses. You get to add a university name. This gives brand credibility of top universities around the world. If you got practical skill from Udemy, you could strengthen it by a coursera course certificate.
I will write about specific course recommendation soon.
These will strengthen your resume and also help to respond to internship requests.
Getting brand value for your skills
You may have got skills by self learning. But how to certify it? If you say you had work experience in XYZ domain and company, it is easy. You would get the brand. But how about freshers?
Here come some companies for rescue.
Taking up their coding challenge would be a great step towards good career.
As a fresher, you should open LinkedIn account. LinkedIn has millions of professional worldwide. You will get to see the professional updates from all kinds of professionals.
Put your professional picture, not a cat, or family or avengers. It is important.
Also you could see discussion groups on too many different subjects and interests. You could follow some companies. You could search people from specific companies and connect.
Some companies also post jobs. In my opinion, most of these fake jobs and are meant only to boost the respective company PR. Do not rely on it.
Start connecting with people. Keep browsing various forums. You will get useful information on industry expectations. It will also help to identify your area of interest for further courses, target industries etc. This might help
Learn a skill. Then write your own how-to technical articles and tutorials on linkedin profile. Do not hesitate because there are already many such articles. May be someone will like your style of writing. The version of software, hardware or tools you used might be more relevant for some. If nothing, you will get noticed on LinkedIn for right reasons.
GitHub and BitBucket: Create Professional-grade Project
Get a github or Bitbucket account. Start a project. Think of a problem in your surrounding and try conceptualizing a project. It is difficult. If you need advice, use my discussion forum. Make sure that you do the project in a skill that is in demand. Few students could come together and work on a project – just like a startup.
I have a forum with project ideas. Click here to go to forum. You could also seek help of any experienced professionals. They can not get you a job in their companies. But they can guide on the projects. Of course, you could add to your resume. For proof, you would have the public link of your GitHub project.
For any implementation issues, go to stackoverflow.
Run it with full process. Many resources are available on how to run agile process, how to management source code and versions with GitHub and BitBucket. No matter what, it will help to develop skills. You can put it in the resume, show the code online.
Use MidManager.com Forum
I have created a forum to provide some ideas and help. Click here for the forum. Whenever I can, I will keep helping. I request other experienced professionals are also to pitch in and help fresh graduates.
Paid classroom courses in training institutes
Classroom training is lot more effective than online, though very expensive. However watch out the fine print of 100% placement assistance vs. 100% job guarantee. No one can provide full guarantee. However, the institutes have affiliations with organizations. The HR department trusts some of the institutes and their screening process. They use it as another channel apart from campus interviews. Most companies can not manage the operations of calling for freshers in open market and manage the crowd. Seeking controlled set of candidates through these institutes is lot easier.
Cold Calling Startups
Startups usually struggle with lack of too many things – including lack of people. But the difficulty is in paying you attention and money. But they would have great product ideas. Also they would have a formal organization registered.
For taking fresher, they would have at least two concerns.
- Taking their time to review your work and quality
- Paying you and giving space.
But if you actually meet and ask for their low priority projects, then there is a chance. Also you could seek a weekly review remotely. These days with MS Skype, Google hangout and Team Viewer, you could possibly convince about working remotely.
Since the work they would give you is not time critical, they won’t be at risk. At the same time, for you it could be good experience in hot skills.
You could get the list of startups from govt sites. Then go through websites, apply there, with cover letter in your own words. If you got their phone number, call and meet, it could help.
Offer to work for free. Give min duration commitment.
If it works, it could break your biggest deadlock of getting formal experience.
Disclaimer: Please note – in spite of all these ideas, it is finally in your hands and may be beyond. Take full responsibility to use the ideas and use your own discretion.