Freshers largely depend on their colleges’ placement cells to get employment but campus recruitment is not the only way to get the elusive first job. With the Indian economy growing at a fast clip (8.5 per cent annually), there are a large number of opportunities for freshers if they know where to look.
The first thing that a graduate should do is to join the mailing lists for entry-level jobs. Chetana-jobs (www.chetanasforum.com) is one of the most popular groups offering details on fresher openings. The site also gives tips on clearing interviews and preparing resumes. Other sites of a similar nature are www.freshershome.com and www.afterbtech.com.
Naukri has also brought focus to fresher hiring through www.firstnaukri.com. Apart from entry-level openings, it also offers internships with top companies and sample assessment tests. “The IT/ITeS, BFSI and automobile sectors as well as law firms are recruiting actively through the portal. So, there are a lot of choices for first-time jobseekers,” says Deepali Singh, business head, FirstNaukri. Siliconindia.com also offers similar services but is not comprehensive.
Newspapers are a treasure trove of appointment news if one has the
patience. Freshers should keep scanning the classifieds section on a regular basis to find hidden gems. I found my first (and most fulfilling) job this way, after more than six months of graduation. Locality newspapers and the Free Ads and Ad Mag weeklies also offer a number of part-time and full-time job opportunities.
Government jobs have become attractive again after the 6th Pay Commission recommendations. The Employment News weekly (www.employmentnews.gov.in) is a one-stop shop for exam notifications and jobs advertisements for a large number of government and PSU jobs.
The college alumni network is a rich source of jobs and tips on finding them. Many of the alumni may even be willing to recruit bright youngsters from the alma mater for their own entrepreneurial ventures. Students should take the initiative to set up a formal alumni association at their college in case it does not have one already.
Internships are a great way to connect with companies and explore job opportunities. AIESEC (www.aiesec.org) is the world’s largest student driven organisation and arranges internships at an international level as well. Other online resources for internships in India are www.hellointern.com, www.indianinternship.com and www.india-interns.com.
Placement aggregators bring together final-year students from colleges in a particular geography and conduct job fairs with leading companies. Kochi-based Shreds Kerala (www.shredskerala.org) assists leading companies to recruit freshers from colleges across Kerala. Abraham Consultancy Services (www.abrahamconsultants.com) is associated with a number of engineering and management colleges in the Northeast.
A job well begun is half done, and the same is the case with a job search through off-campus means.
(The writer has worked as a campus recruiter with large IT companies)
Plug your skill gaps
After years of a sheltered upbringing in school, a person joins college and suddenly
enters the big bad world of competition at a whole new level. It is important for
students to adapt quickly to this change and make the best of opportunities
that campus life offers to jump-start their career.
“Students should introspect and identify their strengths and weaknesses. They
can plug some of the gaps through structured training programmes and
employability certifications,” states Madan Padaki, co-founder and CEO of Merittrac,
a skill assessment company. “The key skills gaps that we have identified for the
services industry — IT/ITeS, retail, banking, financial services, are communication skills, analytical thinking and problem solving ability, learning ability and workplace attitude
like discipline, teamwork and sticking to commitments.”
A number of skill development schools like Talent Sprint (www.talentsprint.com) and Laqsh (www.laqsh.com) offer specialised courses to prepare students for a career in the services industry. They also offer job assistance. “One must communicate effectively and look professional when going for interviews. But at the same time one must also have a solid foundation in technology to be successful. To be successful at your first job one needs all these skills,” elaborates Santanu Paul, CEO and MD of Talent Sprint. “Some people fit better in a small, entrepreneurial company while others might do better in a large company with well-defined processes. You need to figure out what works best for you”.