Advice and Best Practice for IT Graduates Looking to Enter the Job Market

August 24, 2020
By: Cristine Jean Maturan

 

Congratulations, graduates! Hearing the sound that you are graduating sparks vigor and excitement. A chapter ends and you are about to start anew. You look forward to what the world has to offer you. 
Unfortunately, your actions toward achieving these desires are being limited to the current health situation that everyone is facing right now. The COVID-19 pandemic brought us many unexpected events that unfortunately affected not only the health sector but also the economic aspects. 


However, this setup brings opportunities to explore the digital world and seek employment in the online workforce, all at the tip of your fingers. As IT graduates to deal with the new normal, Silicon Valley Associates Recruitment offers you the following advice and best practices to enter the job market.


1. Prepare Yourself

Finding a job can be a job in itself. Amidst the pandemic, competition for jobs further intensifies and you have to stand out among others. That is why preparation is a crucial part to successfully enter the job market. To prepare oneself, start off early. You can research trends in the job market, the available jobs in your area of expertise, or other alternative fields that might match your qualifications and goals. You can also explore salary trends to specific jobs in order to set your expectations.


2. Choose your Desired Career Path

After your initial research, this would be the time for you to choose your desired career path or desired position to apply. Setting career goals is also crucial to your success. Silicon Valley Associates Recruitment recommends some Tips in Setting Career Goals for 2020. 
The critical part here is to know what you want. Once you narrow down your target positions, research people who are already in that kind of job. Look over their profiles and skills to match them to yours. You can do this through sites like LinkedIn or other professional networking tools.


3. Choose the Right Tools

The best way to be prepared is by knowing the tools you have to utilize after pointing out your desired career path. For instance, as an IT graduate, you can invest in a laptop or desktop if you are into remote work. With the growth of globalization and the kind of business environment we have right now, remote works are considered as the most viable employment setup. Many IT professionals are utilizing technology itself to venture on their career growth and connect with international clients.


4. Build a Strong Mindset and be Proactive

It is essential to be proactive as you explore opportunities in the job market instead of being reactive all the time. Learn to accept rejection as they are part of the journey to success. Do not be easily discouraged and take rejections as an opportunity to grow and become better. You can make mistakes then learn from them. Everything is new to you, so you can take a risk to capture opportunities. The real-world is like a jungle. Many will prey on you, but the toughest will survive.


5. Create a Target List of Employers you would like to work with

Conduct company research or a wish-list type of research. Find the key players in your industry. Research the companies you want to work for. You can research their locations, size, and salary offers. Also, find out the company’s nature, organizational culture, or the mission and vision statements. Then match them with your personal values and principles for comparison and compatibility check.
While it is motivating to work with a financially-compensated job, the things that satisfy us the most are moments incomparable to monetary values – like friendship, shared values, and an organization that recognized your efforts and support your growth.


6. Tailor your Resume and Cover Letter

Customize your CV and cover letter based on the positions you are applying for. Do not submit the same content into various job applications because there is no one-that-fits-all content format in job applications. Silicon Valley Associates Recruitment Consultant Victor Chen, who has more than ten years of experience in the recruitment field, asserted that tailoring your CV is crucial for getting the hiring managers or recruiter’s attention. This means you have to match the required and preferred skills and qualifications of the job positions you are applying for. 

No need to worry with that, Silicon Valley Associates Recruitment can help you with IT resume formats tailored to your needs and desired position in the industry. (post link for the ebook if possible). Here’s how to Make Your Application Stand Out from the Crowd.


7. Stay Organized

Since you are involved in intensive research and self-exploration, taking notes and being organized is crucial. Keep tracks on your research. Document your achievements over the years, including academic and volunteer works. People coming from the same educational field may have the same academic background and experiences. Other than grades, the volunteer works and other experiences that hone your skills would help you stand out from your batch, creating room for competitive advantage since not everyone might have experienced the same as yours.


8. Network Yourself

Expound your professional and personal networks because even long-term professionals do. As you are just beginning to build your career, getting a head start to the job market is by building a strong network. This can be an academic connection, someone in your desired field, or even business entities you could rely on. Utilize social media like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Quora to engage in discussions and trends in your chosen industry. In other words, perceive people as opportunities themselves.

Another food for thought advice is building your personal brand. Silicon Valley Associates Recruitment helps you learn how to Build Your Online Presence and Personal Brand.


9. Reach out to Specialist Recruiters

Good specialist recruiters can save you time on much of the above, having been in the market for years they have the contacts, relationships to open doors that may be harder for someone starting out. They also have the knowledge and experience to tell you about the market, who may be hiring, who is good to work for and who perhaps isn’t, and what would be realistic and unrealistic for you. They can help you in targeting the right niche for your interests, or skills and competencies, especially if you are just starting in the field. 


However, the best of the best Specialist Recruitment Agencies hire Recruiters with a background in the field they work. For example, Web Development Recruiters formerly used to work as Web Developers in a previous life. This means that rather than relying on keywords to make the matches, they can ask the right questions to you (and the hiring managers), truly understand your skills or the job requirements, and consequently make the best matches. 


Also, elite specialist recruiters are truly niche, and would not work on anything out of their scope, even in quiet times- i.e. the specialized Web Developer Recruiter will not say yes to working on Sales or Accounting roles.


Silicon Valley Associates Recruitment utilizes the above points to make us truly stand out from the crowd. Most Recruiters, especially the well-known big-name competitors, hire any graduate or professional with good sales skills and trains them to listen and search for keywords. We are specialists permanently by trade, not temporarily depending on what's hot in the market. W have a combined +30 years of recruitment experience in our team, with a breadth of accumulated contacts, experience, and well-known brand name locally and internationally.


10. Be Prepared for Interviews

Of course, interviews are expected if you persistently work hard to make your application stand out. Interviews can be in various manner- phone, online/video, or face-to-face. Due to the global pandemic and the growth of globalization, clients or employers who need IT services utilize video interviews for convenience no matter where they are.
Most of these clients or employers utilize Zoom and Skype for setting up an interview. Here are some tips and best practices for successful video interviewing.


11. Be Ready to Work

During all of the process, you should have already adapted and learned about your field. After all the preparations, you need to be physically and mentally ready to work. Some tips on how to successfully work from home post-COVID 19 include setting up a comfortable workstation, taking the experience as though you are in the office, and using productivity apps for support.


12. Starting a New Job with Work-Life Balance

As you land to your new job, it is important to be confident but humble. Remember, you still have much more to learn. Seek assistance and mentors to explore your chosen field. Be trainable and coachable at the same time. Look beyond your degree. Explore other things and capitalize on learning new skills to keep growing!
With all of these recommendations and best practices, a vital part to avoid stress at the workplace is to have a Work-Life Balance. Work hard, but also learn to take a rest and take some time for yourself. Eat right, have fun, spend more time with your loved ones, and earn more opportunities with a motivated and healthy mindset.

 

 

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Silicon Valley Associates is ideally positioned to support the continual demand from tech companies and IT Departments looking to hire in Hong Kong, Asia, and Worldwide. Please let us know if you would further advise on the above topic or your hiring needs

 

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