Kick start your career even before campus placements
By Devashish Chakravarty
Are you graduating this year or the next and planning to start a career? Most of your classmates will make a common blunder— they will focus on the final exams and wait for campus placements. If that doesn’t work out, they will wait to graduate before looking for a job. Do yourself a favour and apply off campus.
Campus isn’t enough
Applying off-campus to companies not only opens up a plethora of diverse opportunities but also makes you self-reliant. As you compete with a wider pool of applicants, you are preparing for future job changes in the real world. Because you apply off-campus, you generate interesting alternatives, get free interview practice and enhance your knowledge and confidence levels.
First, get your resume and certificates ready. Next, list your favourite companies to target even if they are scheduled to meet you later on campus. Check out their websites, follow them on social media and check their updates for potential opportunities. Upload your resume in their careers section as well as on job portals. Update your LinkedIn status to looking for a job. Finally, find like-minded friends and together, stay on the lookout for placement drives and job fairs.
Get that PPO
Internships strengthen your resume. Apart from campus-driven internships, look for off-campus opportunities. Where you have multiple options to choose from, ask the employer how many interns have they converted and hired full-time last year. You are likely to learn more in such an organisation and even get a PPO (pre-placement offer).
Branded is better
When debating between the cool five person startup and a big company, choose the big brand for your first job unless you have entrepreneurial ambitions. Large companies have structured processes to help you learn basic professional and corporate navigation skills. Also, a big brand on your resume works wonders for the future.
Beyond 3 cities
Though a large segment of the fresher jobs will be concentrated in and around Mumbai, Bengaluru and NCR, there are tons of jobs in other cities that are less advertised. They are great opportunities to explore because the competition is lesser amd you can rise higher faster. Find these opportunities via online research online and friends studying in campuses in those cities.
Start writing professional blogs as a student and find your voice online. Do you feel strongly about a sector or a company where business or customer experience can be better? Research thoroughly, write about it on your profiles, tweet it and mark the intended recipients. Invest in a few well researched ideas and quality output rather than in volume. You will increase your chances of getting noticed and being invited for an interview.
When you have worked with people during your internship or connected with someone reasonably well during an event, stay connected with them. Keep them updated about your progress, activities, graduation, your interest in what they are doing and the kind of opportunities you are seeking. This is the beginning of your professional network.
Are you unsure about your dreams and aspirations in life? Lack of clarity early in your career can be a strength if it leaves you open to new and different kinds of learning experiences in your initial years. Make this the time to discover what work you enjoy and what you are good at. Here again off-campus opportunities offer you the breadth of choice that you need to discover your needs and your future career goals.
Where’s the party?
Don’t miss out on the fun part of your life while on your first job. Meet up with friends, continue with nightouts, plan last moment trips and display all the craziness that is expected from you. Prioritising yourself with your work helps maintain a balance and keeps it real.