Things to Prepare Before Applying Jobs for Fresh Graduates

Since the pandemic visited Indonesia and decided to stay for a while here, many businesses were affected. People were laid off, businesses were closing, suddenly road was empty, it hit us hard.

It was the first time for graduates to experience online graduation. And those fresh graduates are challenged even harder than any of us. Seeking for their first job can be very frustrating during this time. I remember I got my first full time job back then, after around 1-2 months of searching. Lately I’ve been interviewing candidates for marketing intern role and I found a lot of fresh graduates and even some experienced people who are impacted by this pandemic. Many of those fresh graduates have spent over 6 months seeking for a full time job.

Through this blog, I hope to be able to share what I’ve learned from interviewing these candidates and incorporate it with my past experiences applying for jobs. You might find a lot of articles telling you the do’s and don’t’s, and here I’m sharing the lessons I personally learned. I’d like to divide it into 4 important things:

  1. Build and demonstrate an enthusiasm to the job you apply. This means, you should have a desire to look for more information about the role, the job, the market, and the industry. This is the basic homework you have to do. It’s like you want to have abs but you don’t want to exercise, hence you’ll just stay the same or even worse.
  2. Understand your qualifications and have a good reason why you want to apply the job you’re applying to. Especially during this time, it is less likely you will get a call for a role that is far from your qualifications, so why wasting your time looking at them?
  3. Have the right CV. You need to know what kind of industry or company you are facing. If it is a multinational or startup company, they are likely to have more open-minded people. This means photo, home address, hobbies are not necessary. Some people think it’s good to put all the tech related skills like Photoshop, Corel, PowerPoint, etc. If you studied finance and you apply for a role in finance field, and your CV says you can use Photoshop while your CV doesn’t look like a designer’s CV, an interviewer would think this kid likes to bluff and it’s not a good attitude you want to show on your CV. Nowadays, it’s easy for you to get many different designs of CV, but honestly if you are not a designer, you really don’t have to put all color, shapes, uncommon fonts all together. As long as it is clear, simple, and concise. Remember to send the PDF version, not Microsoft Word or any other editable document. But it can be a whole different story when you apply to a more conventional company.
  4. Prepare and practice for an interview. It is not too much to talk to yourself in front of a mirror. If you don’t have a lot of experiences like organization work or internship, you may explain how you work in a team, how you like doing something that can represent your work attitude. If you have an online interview, make sure you have good internet connection, microphone, quiet environment and a clear camera. Even though you are a fresh graduate, you may ask questions. This shows that you’re taking this seriously and also you don’t want to have a bad experience at your first job, right? So you can ask questions like:
    – How do you like working at this company?
    – How would you describe the working culture here?
    – What have you learned from working at this company?
    – What is your expectation from the role I’m applying for?
    You will see how you can surprise them with those questions, as many people don’t expect those questions from a fresh graduate :p

That’s it. I hope these can give you a better idea what to prepare. Good luck!


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