Time and again job seekers write to us seeking to know why they are not getting jobs, even those at entry level. Most of them usually are fresh graduates or they just have not been lucky to find jobs since they graduated, despite their good grades. You’ll find job seekers with first class honors but no experience to their name. They can’t even secure an internship. Just what is the problem?
According to an April survey by Corporate Staffing Services that sought to identify what employers look for in fresh graduates when hiring, education qualifications did not make the top of the list. Instead, leadership experience was most favored as a deciding quality among the 208 employers in Kenya who took the survey. (At 64%)
Translation; employers will prefer to hire fresh graduates with demonstrable experience over one with no experience at all.
Survey: What Fresh Graduates Should Possess To Beat Unemployment
While 53% of the employers said they agree to consider educational attainment necessary when hiring, 60% of them would prefer candidates with volunteer experience. So, if you are a fresh graduate seeking employment, think about what experience you have to show for. If you do not have any, then it is time to find that experience.
And when doing so, to beat other qualified and experienced candidates like you for the position, the survey lists these 5 deciding factors aside from the already attained Diploma or Degree.
1. Experience in your area of specialization
Among the employers in Kenya who responded to the survey, 61.6% would use experience gained in the candidate’s area of specialization as a deciding factor over other suitably qualified candidates. Translation; an accounting professional with experience in sales will lose the job to an accounting professional with experience in accounts.
2. Experience in leadership
Have you exercised any leadership in your life? Maybe you were a student leader or class representative. 40.7% of employers surveyed will hire fresh graduates who have played a part in a leadership position over that one with only the education qualifications.
3. Affordability in the current job
34.5% of employers in Kenya will hire candidates on the basis of their remuneration package. How much are you quoting to employers when applying for jobs?
Most employers want to hire people who know what they want and who are affordable.
4. Experience in the industry
If you are applying for a job in the Manufacturing industry, then a fresh graduate who have had experience in this industry will be at a better advantage. Even internship or attachment experience will count. So, if you want to work in advertising, look for opportunities in that sector and so on.
The survey found that 31.6% of employers in Kenya are interested in candidates with industry experience.
As fresh graduates looking to find opportunities in Kenya, your education will not be enough to stand out. Just because you have a first class honors degree or the Diploma required does not mean you will be picked automatically for the job, you need to have experience. Volunteering and interning is a good start.
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