A word of advice for new graduates

Did you actually know that graduating from a university or college is a momentous transition that is cherished by everyone, especially the graduates?

the day after graduation is the first day of what you used to call your “future”. This is the first step towards your career and we know a lot of graduates are now stuck as to where can they get jobs and how, since the job market is not showing any mercy on them. If you have not figured out what you want to do after university, do not panic as chances are a lot of your peers have not either. To help you to decide your next move, take a look at some of your post-graduation options.

Did you actually know that graduating from a university or college is a momentous transition that is cherished by everyone, especially the graduates? Yes, it is good to graduate and it’s a joyous and memorable moment that one would not like to miss.

Recently, a lot of students graduated from various academic institutions and now that they have a basic university qualification — what are they supposed to do with it, how are they supposed to hunt the few jobs available, how are they going to survive after college life?

Getting your first job will be a bit tricky given the circumstances: (a) you will be competing with almost every student graduating at every college in the country, (b) you don’t have any work experience aside from your life experience, and (c) everything will be new to you.

You need to think positive

Attitude when compared to a skillset is timeless. Without the right attitude it will be difficult to get that job you are looking for. Positivity will be the first ingredient you need as a graduate trainee.

As a graduate what you need is to tell yourself that applying is not equal to getting the job, and a positive experience in the interview is not yet the first chapter of your work life. You will experience a lot of rejection.

In fact, you must understand your actual chances of being accepted. To cite one example, in applying, if you have a 5% chance of getting hired in a certain prestigious company, it does not mean that you have a 25% chance of getting a job because you submitted your application to five different companies.

Set high goals and keep your expectations low

If you want to become a manager but know that you still don’t meet the criteria for a managerial position, start as a staff member and work your way up the ladder. Start with what is feasible and just make sure that your have to have humble beginnings by acquiring experience as a fresher. This actually means that you don’t have to apply for managerial posts when you are still a fresher, apply for jobs that suit you. New graduates are not likely to land a job easily since they lack the required experience. Companies open small positions for fresh graduates, but most often employ those who already have the edge in experience in the actual field, or those possessing the necessary skills for the position.

Find your passion, a mentor and increase your connections

Having something in common is always a great conversation starter and this is just as true in your professional life as in your social life. Once you have formed connections based on shared interests with others across your company and industry, they can become an invaluable source of support and guidance for you in your future career.

It’s also good and key to reconnect with people from your personal and professional networks (eg from work placements, part-time jobs, volunteering and so on) to see how they are and let them know that you are currently looking for work.

Reach out to new contacts and organisations on networking platforms — from social media to LinkedIn. This way, you are in a good position to find out about new opportunities faster. LinkedIn is easy to use and can have an enormous impact on your knowledge, network and job search. It enables you to raise your profile and connect you with people with similar career interests.


Volunteering gives you a chance to gain many of the same skills as through formal work experience, while giving something back to an organisation or community that could benefit from your skills. Volunteering roles could encompass anything, from helping an organisation to do whatever it wants you to do for free.

This helps a lot because you will be gaining experience in the field that you will have chosen. During your voluntary phase, learn everything, and remember every moment is an opportunity to learn from everyone around you, no matter their title.

Moreso you should also pay attention when things go well; pay extra attention when they don’t and watch how people react.

Craft your resume and continue searching.

Contrary to popular belief and practice, writing your resume should not be done the night before submission. It takes time. An excellent resume is one that has undergone a lot of revision and is prepared with utmost care. Learn how to properly write your resume. Understand the difference between hard skills and soft skills.

Design and format it properly so that it does not look rushed. If you want to go the extra mile, you can have other people look at your resume and point out areas you need to revise or add.

After crafting your resume start searching and continue searching. Job hunting will be very tedious, especially when you have just started doing it after your graduation and you find yourself short of funds. Check out wanted ads, and job postings online. Check out if your dream company is hiring, but don’t forget to look for other companies as well. Find out their minimum skill requirements and work experience they seek from applicants, and compare them to your existing credentials. A lot of people do cut and paste when crafting resumes which is not recommended.

Lastly let it be known to you that, the first few months of your professional life will be challenging. You will encounter a lot of rejection, and that is natural. You have to understand that in applying, you are competing with hundreds, if not thousands of people who have the same or even better credentials than you have. But do not be discouraged if you don’t land a job in your dream company. Take every rejection as a stepping stone in learning, and don’t take them personally. When you get your first job, try to stay for at least a year or more  to avoid job hopping as you are still getting experience.

  • Emmanuel Zvada is a human capital consultant/international recruitment expert and author: For comments inbox or call +263771467441.

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