There you are, newly graduated and with a degree in your pocket. You may feel overwhelmed by the sea of job opportunities available to you. While you have undoubtedly worked hard to earn your degree, you may now be wondering how to put your academic knowledge into practice and find a job that is the right fit for you. Figuring out how to navigate the recruitment process and determine which companies are a good match can feel like a daunting task.
Fortunately, there are some practical tips that can help. Julie Plusquin, Talent Partner at ML6, has a wealth of experience working with students and young graduates and can offer valuable insights. By learning how to effectively approach the recruitment process, you can increase your chances of landing a job that will set you up for success.
Let's break it down into more practical steps :
First things first
Start your job search broadly and gradually narrow it down to find the perfect fit. Don't be too critical and be open to talking to as many companies and connections as possible to gain a better understanding of all the opportunities out there.
Don't be intimidated by long and detailed job postings. Take the time to read and understand the job requirements, and create a story about what the role really entails.
It can also help to make a list of aspects that are important to you in a job and company. This will help you narrow down your search and make more informed decisions.
If you're looking to make an impact, grow, and learn quickly, consider working in a start-up or scale-up environment
Do you really want to start at a particular company, but there aren't any vacancies that match right away? Then just apply spontaneously. Personally, I love talking spontaneously to people and seeing where they could possibly fit within our company (now or in the future).
Keep it simple, but significant
Limit yourself to what is relevant in your resume and try to be original. Interested in starting as a Data Engineer within a company? Then your student experience as a cleaner may be less relevant to mention. When screening a resume, the focus is often on your education, location, languages and relevant work experience. Next to this, dare to be original and apply in a different way. For example, consider including a short video introducing yourself or formatting a colourful template if you are applying for a more creative job. There are a lot of tools that could help you out.
Getting to know each other
Congratulations on securing a first interview! To make the most of it, preparation is crucial. Start by researching the company you're applying to and take note of any questions you have about the work environment, colleagues, and job itself. Don't be afraid to ask questions during the interview as it shows interest and helps ensure the interview is not one-sided. Additionally, anticipate questions you may be asked by thinking about past experiences, such as working on a project or being part of a team. It's also important to test your digital tools beforehand, as many first interviews are conducted online.
A practical test, say what?
Many companies challenge their candidates’ skills. But what is the best way to approach this? It’s important to know that there are different types of tests. Some companies use reasoning tests, IQ tests, personality tests,... For these tests, it is best to respond spontaneously and not to prepare. In any case, allow enough time and a separate room to focus on these tests.
We at ML6 rather use challenges that present a particular case study to show you what kind of work you get to do in that role and for us to see how you would approach it. First of all, to give you a little taste of what the job might entail and the challenges you may face. On the other hand, this allows us to assess which skills you already have and where you could possibly grow. For our engineering profiles, we provide coding challenges and paper presentations that will test both problem-solving skills, but also the ability to interpret technical information and convey it to an audience in a consultative manner. For our sales profiles, we will focus more on solution-oriented sales skills. What can you do to prepare for this? Definitely read the assignment carefully several times to make sure you understand everything. Our challenges are generalistically formatted to ensure that you can bring your own interpretation. Do you still have questions afterwards? Don't hesitate to ask them. It can certainly help to bring your presentation in a different way than the usual slides, or to practise it with an audience a few times up front. After your presentation, you will be asked some additional questions. Don’t let this scare you and see it as an extra challenge and opportunity to grow. Feel free to indicate if you do not yet know the answers to certain questions. Nobody can be an expert from the very beginning, right?
Feedback is the breakfast for champions
Learning during an application period is crucial. And this should happen both ways. It is scientifically proven that people who regularly ask for feedback or input on the tasks they are working on are considered more competent. Daring to be vulnerable is a strength. Feel free to ask additional questions about things that are still unclear to you and dare to ask for feedback about your communication method, presentation, fit with the culture and so on. But also the other way around. Give feedback to the person and company you applied for as well. Did you find it a pleasant procedure? Could certain things have been better? Let us know. We're both guaranteed to learn from it!
What are you waiting for ? Launch your career at ML6 via https://jobs.ml6.eu/