If you’ve worked hard on your studies, achieved good grades, you might feel you’ve been building yourself up enough to be able to get an industry job. It can be harder than you expect to even get an interview, let alone the actual job.
There are lots of components to a successful job application, your studies, resume and cover letter are parts of this, but they aren’t all that’s needed.
Can you really apply your skills?
In a world where everyone has studied something, what makes you stand out? The ways you can apply your skills in real world situations is what should come to mind.
Your study will have helped you, but the textbook is not something you’ll ever use on site when you’re solving a customer’s problem. The only reason someone might interview or hire you, is because you can solve the customer’s problem.
Theory and Practice
You studied to learn theories and gain knowledge. Hopefully your teachers did a good job teaching you things in clear and practical ways in class. The limitation of the classroom is that it’s not the real world, and it never can be.
- What you are learning in your studies is theory and skills.
- In a job you must apply your skills and knowledge.
The blank point above is the gap between the theory you learned and the skills you need to apply on the job. It’s what many employers see when they look at resumes and cover letters, and if they do, you won’t hear from them.
Filling this gap will make you stand out and after that, you can be sure employers will be in contact with you.
What can you do?
Ask yourself what you will need to do to actually apply the skills you’ve studied. For instance, if you’ve studied business, you might be end up working in an office environment. Maybe here you’ll need to understand a quality control issue that’s leading to customer returns of a product. How well would you be able to understand production issues that are impacting customer experience?
The biggest criticism businesses have of graduates is that they aren’t practical enough, or at all. It must be clear that you have a practical understanding of your industry area. If not, getting an interview or the job is unlikely.
One of the most effective ways to address this is to get out there and meet industry leaders and professionals whose job it is to solve these real world problems for their customer. You can learn directly from them how they got good at what they do.
While industry leaders and professionals don’t hide away, it can be hard to find the right ones. The right industry leaders are those who have the time and interest to share some useful tips with you.
Two effective ways you can meet industry professionals and leaders are:
Industry events will have professionals from one or more industry area. If you’re able to introduce yourself effectively, this can be a good way to make connections with experienced professionals who can help you get a practical understanding of your desired career area.
Professional learning programs
Some organisations run specially developed professional learning programs which are designed to help you become employed in industry. Hoodic runs one of these programs. These programs are designed to help you understand how to make professional connections quickly and effectively. We will get you started with some professional connections which are directly related to your career objectives.
Get out there
There is so much you can do to improve your professional chances of interviews and job opportunities. You just have to take the first step.