16 Useful tips for graduates to engage with potential employers

Finding your first job after graduating at university or college can be tough. Most graduates are not fortunate enough to already start working in their fields while they are studying which makes it even harder and trickier to find a job, because they don’t have experience in their respective fields. Most fresh graduates spend countless hours browsing the internet for jobs in their fields and networking with potential employers.

Networking

Networking your way into a job can be a very rewarding experience, but you have to exercise etiquette and a level of professionalism. If you’re a graduate in the process of doing this and don’t know what you’re doing wrong, you are in luck, today I’m giving you useful tips to engage with potential employers:

1. Don’t assume anything. I don’t think I need to remind you what the definition of “assumptions” are.

2. Don’t make opinions without foundation. Make sure that you know your facts before forming opinions. Remember: Google is your friend.

3. Think carefully about your career goals and what sort of role and employer you hope to have in the future.

4. Don’t underestimate yourself. Remember that the word “impossible” still has the “possible” phrase in it, so the sky is the limit.

5. Seek to meet new people, make contacts / friends. Think about what you can offer other people rather than what they can offer you. You can do this via Facebook, but Twitter is more useful when it comes to networking and finding “friends” in the industry that you’re trying to break into.

6. Give a good impression – be knowledgeable, thorough, enthusiastic and helpful and keep it as professional as possible.

7. Don’t directly ask for a job or expect something when you are building a relationship with your potential employer.

8. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, but try not bombard your contacts. Avoid sending them too much mail, phoning them constantly or asking them too much.

9. If you’re having a meeting with a potential employer, be prepared. Do research to understand the potential employer’s needs, market and products so you’ll be ready to answer questions that they may ask you.

10. Don’t be afraid to approach people and introduce yourself and show respect. Doing this makes you stand out and you never know what valuable things may come from it in the future. This shows potential contacts / employers that you mean business and are not just a bloke meeting them for free coffee or snacks.

11. Don’t say anything negative about your previous roles or your education. Bashing the institution where you obtained knowledge or company where you may have been employed will not impress your potential boss.

12. Don’t pass up any opportunities to become even better at what you do.

13. Don’t promise something that you can’t deliver. Know your limits. Remember that failing to deliver something that you promised will not impress a potential employer.

14. Be both punctual and flexible. Be on time for meetings, but also willing to re-schedule if a potential contact can’t make it on time.

15. Be polite, friendly and relaxed when you’re networking. Let employers see some aspects of your personality. Show them that you have a human side as well.

16. It’s great to explore opportunities and broaden one’s horizons, so don’t be put off if you are not sure exactly what you want to do going forward. Remember that everyone’s career path differs and that all of us would be robots if that weren’t true.

Well, there you have it, useful tips for graduates to engage with potential employers. I trust that you’ll find these tips useful as you’re networking your way into your first (or next) job. If you have anything to add to this list, feel free to comment on this post. Feedback is appreciated and welcome.

Spread the word about these useful tips by sharing this article with your friends on Facebook and Twitter. Remember: Sharing is Caring. You could be the reason that someone networks their way into a job.

Alternatively, get 34 crucial tips for your next job interviewfind out which 2 safeguards you should follow for online job hunting, get insight into finding a job at every stage of your life or find out how to impress employers in 5 easy steps.

Just a reminder that you can upload your CVbrowse for jobs and apply for them on Job Mail.

If you have any queries about the registration process or experiencing technical issues with our website, feel free to e-mail our Webmaster via jobmaster@jobmail.co.za.

Watch this space for more updates for job seekers on the Job Mail Blog.

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Henno Kruger

Digital Marketing Channel Co-ordinator / Blogger at Job Mail

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