Five Ways to Find A Job

Make sure you don’t miss the employers who are actively recruiting – but be aware too that plenty of available jobs are also not advertised.
Isaac Hee
Publisher, gradsingapore
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On-campus

Step 1: Find yourself a career advisor at your careers service, and speak to them about your passion and aspirations!

Step 2: Visit their dedicated websites, job boards, and information centres for local information and advice. Don’t forget useful publications and corporate pamphlets as well!

Step 3: Find out about scheduled company presentations that are happening on campus. 

In print

Step 1: Try the newspaper! You might just be surprised at the gems that you could find, especially in terms of local employers.

Step 2: Look into locally-published trade magazines too. Featured companies and employers might be hiring. 

Online

Step 1: Register with a few online job portals (make sure they’re reputable), and look through their database of listings!

Step 2: Got a specific company you want to work for? Check their websites, recruitment pages, Facebook, and Twitter!

Step 3: Visit specialised “rate & review” sites where current employees can anonymously “review” or “rate” their employers (e.g. LinkedIn).

Recruitment consultants

Step 1: If you’re interested in a particular company, sector, or role, check if they use the services of recruitment consultants. If they do, consider engaging these consultants as they can advise you on your career prospects and match you to a position. (Fees are charged to the employers using the consultant’s services, not you!)

Step 2: Meet up with the consultant to discuss your career goals, and be specific! Find out also what they will do on your behalf if you engage them.

Step 3: Make use of their industry knowledge to help you prepare for your future interviews and assessments! 

Careers fairs

Step 1: Find out about the various career fairs that are available to you – university-specific careers fairs held on-campus, as well as public career fairs – and note them into your planner (usually in the first semester of the academic year)!

Step 2: Take note of who is coming and research the ones you’re interested in so that you’ll be able to ask them intelligent questions on the day.

Step 3: Come in smart casual attire and network! Speak to recruiters, and don’t forget to get their name and position! Make sure to pinpoint specific details about your discussions too because…

Step 4: You’ll need to follow up with the recruiter. Send them an email to thank them for their time, and jostle their memory by mentioning a point unique to your prior conversation. Include another résumé and restate your interest in the company. 

 ...and how to track down hidden jobs

In the current economic climate, an increasing number of jobs are never actually advertised, so it is vital to be proactive in your job search! Here are some of the most effective ways of finding those hidden jobs.

Networking

Many graduates find opportunities through contacts they have made themselves, such as friends, relatives, tutors, lecturers, past students, or people they have met through their leisure interests, voluntary work, casual part-time jobs, or work placements.

Developing an industry network list is also important: talk to people working in your chosen career area. They will be able to advise you on the best ways to get into the profession.

Speculative applications

A speculative application involves writing in/contacting to prospective employers to inquire about job openings, even if they don't seem to be advertising any.

You will need to identify companies you are interested in, research their business thoroughly, and make direct contact with them, highlighting your suitability and interest in working for them. By making contact before you send in your letter and CV, you can tailor them to the employer’s needs.

Work experience

As well as improving your CV, work experience placements can turn into graduate job offers. Having observed the quality of your work, an employer can hire you with confidence.

This is a particularly good strategy for areas of work such as media, the arts, and the not-for-profit sector that don’t usually advertise graduate jobs.

Other strategies

  • Find a mentor: Develop a relationship with someone who can give you advice and support on your job search.
  • Voluntary work: This can help your chances of breaking into your chosen career. For example, graduates wanting to work in the pet-care industry can start by volunteering at the local SPCA, or other animal welfare associations.
  • A "foot in the door": Take a temporary job in the sector that interests you, for example, a media graduate who starts as an administrative assistant at a radio station.
  • Join professional bodies and organisations: Attending appropriate events will help you meet people in your chosen field.
  • Meet alumni: Alumni working in sectors you want to join will be able to give you advice, and point you towards more help and support.
  • Use social networks: Find out who you should write to in the companies you're interested in. LinkedIn is the best for promoting a professional image.
  • Word of mouth: The oldest method in the book! Tell everyone that you're looking for work – the more people that are looking on your behalf, the better.