Ways Graduates Can Better Prepare Themselves Before Entering the Workforce

Liveatpc.com interviews Brian Lum, Marketing Head of WOBB, an employment company, to shed light on the issue of unemployment among the youth and how they can better prepare themselves before entering the workforce.

Lack of Personal Branding

Personal branding in short is a way a person presents themselves to create a positive perception. Lack of personal branding showcased by the graduates today is considered as key factor as to why graduates fail to ace their first job interview. The inability to sell and convince recruiters during their first assessment is the reason graduates are being denied any jobs.

“Think of yourself as a professional product. Even if a product is good but you have no idea how to sell them, the product does not sell,” shares Brian.

Most recruiters are willing to give candidates the opportunities to prove themselves however it is up to the candidates to fully utilise the doors that are opened for them. To tackle this, graduates or the youth need to start building their personal branding skills in college. Good candidates without branding and communication skills are wasted potential by employers.

Value and ethics

With the mounting number of graduates, strong evaluation focuses on value and the ethics of candidates when it comes to employment.

“During the recruitment process, the second criteria apart from the hard skills to qualify them for the job, we evaluate them based on their value and ethics,” Brian comments. Recruiters evaluate graduates based on easily they adapt to the working culture, or whether their values align with the company’s. This is when the culture interviews come in.

Skill mismatch

However, the employer does not stop evaluating even after candidates are accepted. Once the screening process is done and assuming the employer now has a good quality candidate, then further assessments are made on their capabilities to deliver. There is a likelihood to encounter unmatched skills.

“Mismatch of skills are likely to happen when candidates are going in the opposite direction. Meaning, they might be in a job position which is against their best skill sets or what they are trained for,” says Brian.

Nonetheless, it all boils down to whether the candidates are willing to learn and adjust to qualify them for the position. Or they can consider taking a step back. In a way, they must be willing to add new value to redirect them into the role.

While the system is here educating the youth, it is safe to say some existing syllabuses are irrelevant from today’s contemporary world. Earlier exposure to working environment is a good way to encourage students to heavily participate in the actual environment so they can handle their expectations and have a taste of what working is like. In this regard, industry players and educators should work hand in hand in providing students to tap into working life such as provide a constant apprenticeship program. Internship alone will not be sufficient to propel graduates, this solution is critical to prepare them to become more successful candidates.

To tackle unemployment, it is instrumental that graduates are well prepared to allow them to jumpstart their career journey smoothly. Another common dilemma facing graduates is to opt for either small, or big corporations.

“The idea is not to jump onto a bandwagon and make decisions based on peer pressure. In other words, graduates must identify their reasons for joining taking into consideration which side they can effectively contribute,” Brian shares.

The question worth asking is, do you want to learn from a well-established company or want to be the one who becomes the pioneer to jumpstart and carve the path in small corporation.

Upon getting both answers, it will help to build a better thought process. The primary goal is to be as effective an employee can possible be and to continue evolving professionally.

“At the end of the day, doing something is better than being idle while waiting for the dream job fto fall onto our lap. Graduates should embrace the uncertainty and be open to trying various equally relevant fields,” he adds.

Constant Upskilling

Realising the importance of constant upskilling, two inevitable skills graduates need to acquire are digitalisation and have a grasp of marketing principles as well as its application to leverage each organisation.

The reason being is, digitally savvy candidates are more promising in comparison to the digital illiterate ones. As for marketing, employees are seen to be the product of each organisation. Employee these days holds shared responsibility to market their organisation and entice the public.

Having said that, we have a long-standing commitment to change and alleviate the youth from worrying unemployment issues. Innovative solutions must not come from the recruiter alone, but one needs to adopt the mentality of job creators rather than mere job seekers.

Lum also advises graduates to demonstrate strong performances and remain relevant through constant learning.

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