Finding work is the biggest challenge facing fresh graduates in Uganda. Every year over 400,000 graduates flood the job market and only 150,000 are likely to be absorbed.
Two things are the main focus of the opening statement. First, the unemployment rates in the country are high. Second, fresh graduates can still find some job opportunities – though not as high profile as it was the case in the past.
Here are four ways one can stand out as a fresh graduate!
- MAKE NO MISTAKES
This is the most obvious -hence most ignored. Fresh graduates make unimaginable mistakes – from devising the CV to the interviews. Some of the mistakes are careless – like wrong contact information and spellings.
When aiming at catching the recruiter’s eye, a graduate should constantly think of themselves no less than detectives – every slight detail counts!
The most indisputable way of avoiding these mistakes is asking friends (or even yourself) to perform thorough cross checks. Having a flawless formatting and spelling is a minimum requirement, since the recruiter receives on average 500-800 applicants. A job advertised in the newspapers can receive up to 3000 applicants.
There’s a truism, “you can’t get experience because you don’t have a job… and you can’t get a job because you don’t have experience.” But hey, have you thought of volunteering? Volunteering is one of the swiftest means for fresh graduates to gain working experience. Possessing this experience can put you miles ahead of the struggle.
A large number of Ugandan fresh graduates haven’t really bought this view – they term it “Working For Free”. One important tip that will help to make the most of the time as a volunteer is devising a check list.
In Uganda, there’s a bountiful of volunteering opportunities for fresh graduates by several organizations. For example AISSECC, Restless Development, Plan International among others.
- COVER LETTER
Evelyn Salvador, the author of Step-by-Step Cover Letters, reveals “Skip the cover letter, and you miss out on an opportunity to sell yourself.”
It is super important that graduates realize a cover letter is the first opportunity to introduce themselves to the recruiter. Recruiters have superabundant applications to scrutinize. The only way they can make their work easy is by looking out for mistakes.
- PREPARE A PRESENTATION FOR YOUR INTERVIEW – “FIRST 90 DAYS AT WORK”
This isn’t a prevalent tactic among Ugandan fresh graduates yet it’s an ultimate game changer.
It’s so unique that Julian Schulz – the Country Manager of Everjobs Uganda – thinks many recruiters will get hooked to your pitch once employed. He believes that if graduates ever want to beat the competition, they must be more innovative and ditch the common words used by other applicants.
This gives a great introduction during the first phase of the job interview and shows your expertise in the given field.
Are you a fresh graduate looking to really stand out and match the competition? Then make no mistakes. Volunteer with an organization. Write a killer cover letter and lastly, prepare a presentation for your interview about your first 90 days at work.Good luck!