[Getting Hired] Chapter 2: How to Land a Job For Fresh Graduates During This Economic Winter

Rahmat Wibowo
5 min readAug 18, 2023

The majority of Fresh Graduates this year are unemployed, even my collegemate from a tech background, who has more than a 3.9/4.0 GPA is still open to work. This is a time of hardship for fresh graduates. Before I deep dive into my tips for those, who still seeking a job. I want to share with you the problems that we Fresh Graduates are facing in 2023.

  1. Learning Loss and Lacking Skills

The fresh graduates from 2023 spend most of their time studying from home during covid. As for me, I only study in my major offline for 1 semester in 2019 and then spent 2.5 years online and only doing offline study during my final year, which is only doing the final thesis. I’m fortunate enough since my major related to IT didn’t need much practical hands-on with a lot of tools, not like almost all engineering majors.

But still, we are lacking a lot of skills. We lack social skills, how can you train your public speaking skills if never truly speaks to a massive amount of people? How can you have good communication skills if never talk to people?

2. GPA is no Longer Relevant

One of the issues is GPA is no longer relevant. Many students feel like this when Covid started and the Learn from Home started. The students were happy because their GPAs skyrocketed, but regretted since they only have GPAs not skills. This is why GPA is no longer relevant the GPA of the covid generation was higher than the GPA before the covid period and the standard becomes irrelevant.

3. Economic Stagnation

Now, we experienced learning loss, lacking skills, and GPA is no longer relevant. When we are about to graduate the job market is not suited to accept us fresh graduates because of economic stagnation. Our global economy is not growing exponentially like when the pandemic start each year a new company always blooms because money is cheap before. Post-pandemic with the rising rate of interest. Money is not cheap anymore and startups was falling from the cliff.

4. Company Only Wants Senior Hire

I have talked to one of the VP of fintech in Indonesia, I asked him if there is a job application for fresh graduates in his company. He said that the company is going through a strict budget policy. Human is one of the most expensive resources. To maximalize the ROI ( Return of Investment), they can’t hire fresh graduates since they are lacking a resource to train them, and fresh graduates often going through some trainee that makes them low in ROI.

Pre Interview Phase

After we are talking about the root cause and the problems that us the fresh grads have. I want to share some tips for those who seeking jobs before gets called for interview.

  1. Improve Your CV

I already posted an article about how to maximalize the power of your CV. The link is here. Please make use of it and show your potential using your own cv.

2. Get Yourself Certified

As I mentioned before, the company can’t measure us clearly anymore. GPA standards are different for each university even in the university it is different for each batch. To compensate for our lacking experience as fresh grads try to get yourself certified. If you pursue a cloud career like me, get the AWS Cloud Practitioner Certification. If you are more into security get the CompTIA Security+ Certification. Just google it with this keyword “Best certification to land a job with xxxxxx roles”, study, and try to pass the exam.

I talked to one of my clients they said that they want to hire someone with a minimum of 2 years of experience, but they do accept fresh graduates with AWS Certification.

3. Look for a Mentor

This is one of my sources of motivation to look for a mentor on LinkedIn. You don’t have to be close to someone or meet someone at an event and asked him directly on the spot to make a bond. As I mentioned in the post before, you need to put your personal traits with your own writing. I can see you have ambition and things. Make your writing engaging, so In my mind you have potential and you are a hard-working person, if I help you I feel like helping some seeds with full potential grows not wasting my time.

4. Broaden Your Network

Connect to everyone, be someone who can be easygoing. Many companies tend to hire a person through a referral system. WHY?? you may think that’s nepotism but try to think from the company perspective. Why should they hire some strangers, with who they never work with before? Isn’t it going to be safe to hire someone we already know and have a good track record?

5. Be Greedy and Keep Trying

I always say you need to have a strong mentality to fail. Fail big, Keep trying. Send applicants to hundreds of companies, and ask for their feedback if you are rejected. Watch motivational videos to gain motivation. This is some of the inspiring talks that I watch when I get down.

Interview Phase

After we talk about the pre-interview phase, I want to talk about the interview phase. The success criteria of an interview and how the interview can improve yourself even though you are failing.

  1. Shows and Express Your Emotion When Doing Interview

You are talking to people, not a robot, the purpose of an interview is to engage them and prove to them that you are capable, and gain their trust. You can’t gain their trust if you didn’t show any emotion. The interview will be boring and not convincing.

2. Talk to the Interviewer Make an Interview More Engaging with a Discussion

Even when you are doing a coding interview, you are expected to solve the problem. But, in the real world, you are not doing your task alone. You can discuss this with the interviewer so that you can show them your teamwork skills. Show them that you can work on a team, and show them your communication skills.

3. Maximalize The Time of The Interview

One of my success criteria when doing an interview is are the interview hits the max limit of time. if yes it means I can engage them to conversation until the end of the time and they must be convinced and feels safe with me.

4. Ask for Their Feedback After The Interview

Even though you are failing the interview, ask the interviewer for feedback. So that you can know what you are lacking, gain their advice, and apply it to the next one. Connect to the interviewer and ask for their LinkedIn. In this way, you can broaden your network and learn from your mistakes.

I think that’s all that comes to my mind, for those of you who send an unpaid Resume Review that didn’t meet my standard. If you have some suggestions to make this article better, feel free to comment 🫡🫡🫡

Change Log:

19 Aug 2023 — Initial release

Author:

Rahmat Wibowo

Associate Solutions Architect @AWS
rahmat.wibowo21@gmail.com | linkedin.com/in/rahmatwi

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