Tips to find a great JOB for Returning International Students
So you have just graduated and are preparing to return home and find a job. Here are some tips to help you hit the ground running and give yourself the best chances of landing a great role.
Doing graduate school straight away is probably not going to help.
If you have just completed an undergraduate degree and did not work while you were studying then jumping straight into a graduate program is probably not going to drastically increase your chances of finding a job. This is even more true if you are thinking to do an MBA immediately after finishing your undergrad degree. Employers want experience and if not they want employees who can work at a low rate until they get some practical experience and can prove their value. There are some exceptions like if your goal is to be an academic or a very specialised technician, engineer, scientist where grad school may be expected early on in your career. You will find after you have a year or two of experience in the workforce your options increase dramatically.
Figure out where you want to start but don’t be too picky
The expectation on what jobs are like to their day to day reality can be quite wide in many fresh graduates minds. Getting into your ideal company / industry might also be difficult so while it is great to know where you want to be in 3 - 5 - 10 years the available route there might not be a simple straight line. For example if you want to work for a property developer, it may be easier to work for a bank or a property consulting firm to gain experience in the basics of deal finance or property management and sales then getting straight in with a prestige developer. Apply the following year with 12 months hands on and related experience and will dramatically increase your chances.
Don’t think of your first job as your career
One job leads to the next job so be flexible enough that if something comes up outside your dream job that it might still be the best option you have. A great example here is who are you going to report too, it is better to have a great manager to learn from outside the industry you really want then to work in that industry you prefer with a terrible boss.
Grow your Network
“Your network = Your net-worth” was an expression repeated to me at business school from my professors. And it does hold a lot of truth. Everyone knows that a good introduction or a job opportunity with someone you have already meet has a much higher chance of getting you the job then a applying through a cold channel. Join a networking event, get out of the house and make new connections, this is what make IAJN such a great resource. In over 20 countries across Asia you can connect with other international students, graduates and experienced alumni with a professional network you can then become part of.
Take Action over your job search
Be active, get out there and remember it is most likely to be a marathon not a sprint. Plan for at least a 2-3 month job search to get that key first job after graduation. It is rare that a job will come knocking so you will need to be active in looking and this will include networking, lot’s of research to find people in companies to email and getting use to using social media for work and not just keeping up with friends. Start early and keep daily and weekly activity levels high, the early bird catches the work opportunity and the worm.