A recession is never a good time to be graduating, but those with IT qualifications can boost their chances by following 10 steps as recommended by Infosys, a massive recruiter of IT graduates.
Indian IT supplier Infosys gets over one million graduate job applications every year and offers 25,000 of these a job, so it knows how graduates can stand out from the crowd.
Infosys offers 10 tips to IT graduates looking for work:
1. Never forget that academics count.
Infosys says it is vital to promote academic qualifications. "A project you have completed in your final year of university could be the perfect example of how you have tackled a difficult situation or used your knowledge to complete an assignment."
2. Get some practice
Infosys says graduates should practice interviews and networking. There are many ways to do this. "For example, visit the career services team at your university and attend the various recruitment workshops they offer. Treat every meeting with a potential employer as an interview and practice mock psychometric tests on the web before you do the real thing."
3. Push yourself out of your comfort zone
With the extra pressure in the job market you will need to put in more effort now, says Infosys. "Companies that are recruiting need their graduates to be of a high quality and able to deliver return on investment in their organisation quickly."
4. Present your flexibility and adaptability
Infosys and other IT recruiters want graduates to be flexible, adaptable and possess strong logical skills. "For any graduate job, it is important for you to demonstrate the potential of being able to thrive in a changing environment - the willingness to consider options you may not have initially thought of and your ability to face challenges and changing dynamics. This is especially true in the world of IT, where technology rapidly changes and new programs must be quickly grasped and mastered."
5. Stand out in a crowd
Graduates should enrich their CVand gain real-life experiences outside formal education, such as travel, hobbies, groups or volunteering. "Consider how you are using your spare time and make sure you are involved in skill-boosting activities beyond your academic work. This will add a personal touch to your CV and will make you stronger, more rounded and better equipped to compete in the global business environment."
6. Focus on non-academic experience
As well as academic qualifications, recruiters also need an indication of how you will adapt, assimilate and progress in the workplace. "Non-academic experience is the best way to demonstrate your suitability and commitment to the role."
7. Be creative with the application of your strengths
It is more important than ever to recognise the skills you have to offer and understand how they can be applied in the workplace. "Think of what your ideal job could look like and then proceed to identify what it involves, the skills it takes and why you want to do it. Remember that the skills and knowledge you have attained may be applied effectively and successfully elsewhere."
8. Add a personal touch
You should meet recruiters face-to-face to add a personal touch. "Make sure you are aware of the dates when potential employers will be visiting your university for events and graduate fairs. Such events will give you the opportunity to network and meet with the same people who could be interviewing and assessing you later."
9. It is never too early
Get started on your application process in advance to make sure that you do not risk missing any of the graduate programme deadlines. "You will be surprised by how quickly they creep up." Also be clear from the outset about what you want to do so you do not spread yourself too thin.
10. Don't panic
A calm attitude will take you a long way in your applications. "Make sure you retain a logical approach while making decisions regarding companies to apply to. In this current climate there are more applicants for every job, but don't panic by applying for every job you see - the right job is out there for you."