With increased competition and little to no work experience, fresh graduates today are struggling to find a decent job. And while most of them firmly believe that their lack of experience is what is jeopardizing their job search, results from our research disagree with that assumption. The truth is, employers in the Middle East are increasingly tapping into the graduate talent pool, and the proof is Bayt.com, where thousands of entry-level jobs are advertised on the website on any given day. So if your experience (or lack thereof) isn’t what standing between you and your dream job, then what is?
Below are the 10 most common mistakes fresh graduates make during their job search that should be avoided at all costs if you want to land the job of your dreams:
1. Wanting to Start From the Top
Actually, your journey to the top could well start with a paid internship. In a previous blog post, our content writer, Menaka, talked about her experience as an intern at Bayt.com and how she used this opportunity to convert her internship into a full-time job. Students usually expect a starting point that is very high in their career; little do they know that their first job is a place where they could learn a great deal of many things, be super busy, and meet a lot of people in the industry or with the professional background of their choice.
2. Forgetting About Networking
Your network of family, friends and colleagues is a valuable resource for your job search. Networking may sound intimidating, but it can be very useful. Take this quiz and see if you’re a networking pro! If you’re uncomfortable asking for favors or embarrassed about your employment situation, don’t be – everyone knows what it’s like to be unemployed and looking for a job. In fact, members of your networks will most likely sympathize with your situation.
3. Not Having a Customized CV
Your CV shouldn’t just include your education, internships and part-time jobs. Use your CV to make a strong statement about yourself, your career goals, and what you can bring to the company. In short, look at your CV as a marketing tool. Here are some tips to create the perfect modern CV.
4. Appearing Unprofessional
Because most often than not there’s no second chance to make a first impression, sometimes it takes no more than 30 seconds for a person to form an opinion of you. First impressions are vital to the success of your job search. When you’ve only got a short time to sell yourself, you need to effectively communicate your professionalism both verbally and non-verbally. Here are some do’s and don’ts from the Bayt.com experts to help you make a good first impression.
5. Caring Too Much About the Salary
Everybody wants to earn as much as possible in a job, but sometimes fresh graduates set high salary expectations and get really disappointed when given their first job offer. What we suggest is using online resources, such as the Bayt.com Salary Search tool, to get an idea of what they’re really worth in the job market before accepting or rejecting a job offer for an entry-level job.
6. Lacking an Online Presence
Being search-engine friendly is the first step to getting yourself noticed by employers. Try Googling your name and see what results come up. Are they all nice and positive? It’s important to amp up your online presence. Are you an expert in your field? Start a blog. Do you have knowledge and expertise worth showing to employers? Get a Bayt.com Public Profile. A Bayt.com Public Profile is like an online business card, it shows your contact details and everything you’re good at, while being extremely search-engine friendly. While you’re creating your own Bayt.com Public Profile, have a look at these five worst things that you could do to your online profile.
7. Not Having a Mentor
Asking for help when you need it may be the biggest service you ever did your career and you may be shocked to discover just how many super successful professionals have had serious mentors in their careers, in many cases even multiple mentors whom they have sought and asked for mentorship. Choose a mentor wisely for their personal rapport with you as well as their industry skills and coaching skills, as well as networks and know-how. Be prepared to be a gracious and grateful mentee.
8. Being Unfamiliar With the Job Market
We strongly recommend that you learn about the job market and industry that you are working in. Look for what employers are looking for. You will find some interesting insights in the Bayt.com Hiring Practices in the MENA survey, June 2015. In short, make yourself an option for demand and enjoy an amazing first job!
9. Lacking the Skills Employers Are Looking for
Before you choose a skill or experience, keep this in mind: What skills are supplied more than they are demanded? Those are the ones you might want to stay away from. Rather, you ought to look for the skills that are demanded much more than they are supplied. For this, you would want to check our recent survey, the Bayt.com Middle East Job Index survey, February 2015, or Bayt.com’s very own Career Map – a great tool to see what skills employers are looking for. Actually, here are 10 secret skills employers in the Middle East are looking for in candidates these days.
10. Not Knowing Yourself
One of the oldest rules in the book is to know yourself. You may want to write down what you love to do or ask people who know you about your strengths and weaknesses. This point is very important before you start searching for the ideal job. While some professionals have a very clear sense of purpose and knowledge of where their passions and interests lie, others may still be soul searching. This is the time to really ask yourself what your life objectives are, what motivates you and makes you happy, and what you imagine yourself doing for the foreseeable future that would fulfill you, excite you and agree with your values and life priorities.