Couple of weeks back Kuntal and I were invited as panelists to Nirma University. It was an informal discussion with fresh graduates on how to create a CV, apply to companies and give interview to maximise their chances of landing a job.
All panelists before us emphasised on soft skills, self-motivation, process oriented people, dynamic personality, etc.
I loved four important points which Kuntal spoke about.
- Be honest in your interview; If you don’t know the answer, say no, don’t bluff.
- Never send your CV to more than one company in one email. Sending it to 100 companies at once is spamming. We delete such emails in nanoseconds.
- Research about the company before applying. Send a personalised email with cover letter. Explain why do you want to work with that company.
- Instead of working on multiple projects during your graduation, work up a single project from start to finish. Launching something to the market from an idea is the most important thing you can do in college.
One important point from my end.
Learn to write. Good writers are in demand everywhere. So focus on your writing skills.
Not convinced? Read this chapter from Getting Real (Actually read the entire book)
We had an interesting Q&A session after the panel discussion.
One Chemical Engineering student asked, after getting a job most of the time we have to deal with people who speak only in Gujarati [our native language] then why speaking in English is so crucial during the interview?
Well, you may not be required to speak in English in your day to day life but just observe who climbs the corporate ladder faster – a person with better command over English. So simply learn it.
Another student asked about the importance of having hobbies and skills other than what is required for the job.
As per me, they are much more valuable than you think. If you are a good ping-pong player, it shows you have achieved something on your own and that will definitely reflect in your job.
Do academic scores matter?
Yes they do. You don’t have to top the class every time, but having good grades do help in the interview. However, for most companies it is not the only measure to select a candidate. If your scores are not good, be prepared to show something else in which you are good at.
In the end, don’t worry too much about applying and getting a job. Pick up a project and give your best shot at it. Jobs will come looking for you.