4 Important Steps TO DO When Building Business Right After Graduation

There are many young generations who own small businesses today. In fact, CGK reported that 30 percent of millennials have already started their own small business and 49 percent others have plans to start a business within 3 years. 

Businesses owned by young generation, however, are likely to not stay longer than businesses built by middle-aged individuals. The most common reasons why younger generations often fail is due to a lack of confidence. According to Financial Times report, millennials do suffer from a lack of confidence, thus, making it no easy for building a business. This also explains why overcoming fear of failure tops the list of young-generation-founder-to-be. 

Other reasons for the failures are, said Jason Albanese, young generations often have no financial resources or don’t know how to get the funding. 42 percent of them cited that lack of money as the primary obstacle to starting their own startup. Lack of experience is also top of the list that contributes to business failure in young generations. 

See also: 3 Valuable Things TO DO When You are Unemployed That Can Make Your Life Better

If you are among those young individuals who are keen to start a business right after graduation but facing above hurdles, make sure to read these useful tips.   

Step #1 Know what business you are building 

There are various types of entrepreneurship and business. The most common types of business are as follows: 

  • service – it focuses on providing services to customers than giving tangible products.  
  • merchandising – it is a buy and sell business. For example, you buy products at wholesale price then sell them as is at retail price. 
  • manufacturing - a business that focuses on turning raw materials to final products, then you sell them. 
  • hybrid - business like restaurants and hospitality fall into this category. 

Meanwhile, there are 9 common types of entrepreneurship, including: 

  • big business entrepreneur aims to make profitable and new revenue every day. 
  • social entrepreneur with the ultimate goal to improve the environment and to make the world a better place to stay. 
  • buyable business entrepreneur aims to create products or something new with the aim to sell the business to a bigger tech company. 
  • scalable startup entrepreneur is also called tech startups as your goal is to establish a company that obtains financing from inventors.  
  • SME entrepreneur is the idea of gaining revenue by gathering potential people to join the startup. 
  • joint entrepreneur is when you own a profit from private and government businesses.
  • private entrepreneur is an individual who sets up a business enterprise alone. 
  • state entrepreneur means building a business in government of the public sector for public welfare. 
  • lifestyle entrepreneur is hobbyists who work on their real passion and generate money from in. 

Each type focus on different things. You might able to pursue all of them but the rate of failure is higher as you might not be able to focus on scaling one business. Therefore, it is advisable to focus on one type first, then, make is scalable and profitable. When you have succeeded in one business, you can consider running other businesses. But always remember that the more you own a business, the riskier it is for you. 

Step #2 Launching your business 

After you know your true business niche, it is time for you to go get some funding. Before that, you should launch your business to prove and showcase to investors that your business is promising. In launching your business you should have due diligence and strong motivation. Often times, entrepreneurs are associated with lonely feeling because they should leave everything behind to pursue their career. While this can be true, you can have some tricks to make the loneliness fun, such as making a documentary video, gathering with like-minded people, and getting in touch with nature. 

Launching your business also need plan and ideas to make the business works, thus, create your plan based on the business niche you are building. Recruit a friend or family to help you if you need to. You might also need to use your current finance to back-up your business before getting in touch with investors. Join a competition to know the market value about your business. Once you are able to showcase how valuable your business is, you can start presenting it to investors to get a fund to scale your business. 

Step #3 Focus on clients 

Project Manager advised that customer development is more than essential to your business plan – without loyal customers, your business might no longer run. So, of course, after you get the step 1 and 2 done, make sure to focus on your clients, especially in your early business. The manual to successful customer developments are, as follows: 

  • There are no facts inside the building, so go outside – speak to real people and prospective customers. 
  • Pair customer development with agile development 
  • Failure is an integral part of the search 
  • Make continuous iterations and pivots 
  • No business plan survives first contact with customers, so use a business model canvas to ease your job
  • Design experiments and test to validate your hypothesis 
  • Agree on market type, it changes everything. 
  • Startup metrics differ from those in existing companies 
  • Ensure fast decision-making, cycle time, speed and tempo. Customer’s today demand more speed and transparency. 
  • Preserve all cash until needed, then spend
  • Communicate and share learning 
  • Customer development success begins with buy-in
  • Have passion, it is all about passion. 

Step #4 Don’t forget your network 

Last but not least, you should always remember what you learn and implement what you are learning. No knowledge can go into waste. You can also target all those friends you have back in college to be your first customer. All the connection you have is valuable in your approach to success. 

Read also: Blogging Checklist: Things You Need to Know for Creating a Successful Business Blog

How to Discuss a Gap Year in an Interview  

Some graduates who are not ready to start their career journey often choose to take a year off for various reasons such as to do volunteer work, to travel, to self-reflect, or to discover one’s interests. While taking a gap year is beneficial for self-growth, some people might think that having such gap will not look great on CVs and make it hard for them to be employed.

What about you? Are you interested in taking a gap year? If yes, let’s learn employers’ actual response when knowing a “gap-hole” in a candidate’s CV. 

According to Basecamp article, taking a gap year will not make you look bad in recruiter’s eyes. Why? Because what really counts is what you did during that year off. Albeit some employers might not pick candidates that have “year-hole” in their CV, some others really appreciate you for giving yourself time to discover what really matters for you. Likewise, the tight talent gap in the future will also make employers think that a gap year is not really a problem at all. 

See also: How to Get Your Resume Passed by the Robots & Into Recruiter Hands

One thing that you should note is to tell relevant reasons for taking a gap year that will help you land the job. Here’s how you could discuss the gap year in your resume with a prospective employer.    

Tell only the relevant activities 

An interviewer does not really care what you do in a gap year, whether you have just visited the Taj Mahal or the Great Wall. An interviewer does care, however, whether your gap year has helped you stay relevant in your job application or not. What does it mean? It means before telling your holiday story to the interviewer, sort out some that are relevant to your job application. In a year, you must have done more than just travelling. For example, you can share what you have learnt from reading books about finance, teaching English, or coding for your personal web. 

There is at least one meaningful relevant thing you do in the year around that can make you stand out even after one year off. 

Tell your reasons 

Recruiters might be wondering why you choose taking year gap instead of taking certain training or extended courses. You might have many reasons why you do so. But among those many reasons, recruiters expect you to say something beneficial that help you with your career choice. That said, relevant reasons such are gaining skills as an individual, achieving language fluency by travelling, increasing job satisfaction, or creating better life balance and wellbeing might be appreciated more. 

Emphasise yourself as an awe-inspiring individual

At the end of the question, emphasise an astounding event that helps shape yourself as an individual and why that event is helpful in your job. To do this, you need to be able to explain in your job interview what a gap year really is, what you did, and how it benefits the employer. Do tell what skills and characteristics you developed that translate to the job and to you being a superior employee. 

Be confident 

This is the one trait you should have when giving an explanation. But keep in mind to not be over-confident with your answer. Overconfidence can make you give exaggerated answers, leading recruiter to question your credibility. 

Read also: Ask These Questions to Yourself BEFORE Joining the Workforce 

Phrases to not say at work

Workplace should never tolerate racism, harassment, or any negative behaviour traits, be it in physical or oral form because the consequences will not only affect employees’ morale but also the company’s image. However, this principle might not be easier said than done when the very place you want to scream over tough project and difficult teammates is in the office. It is not easy to always control emotions in a work setting when we are too tired or too happy.

To prevent you from saying pointless and even harsh things, you need to avoid these unethical phrases when at work, during a meeting, or conversation with colleagues. 

“This is boring” 

It is exhausting to sit for a long hour during meetings, especially in a meeting that “seems” like a waste of time. When you’re stuck in such a situation, never complain or say things like “this is boring” – either loudly or quietly to colleagues. Don’t also murmur those words by yourself. If you do that, your boss might think that you are unable to stay committed and focus on certain things. 

Instead of saying phrases similar to “this is boring”, you can talk to your manager the next day or after the meeting about how you feel. Tell him that while the meeting is necessary, it took too long that it ended up interrupting everyone from working. If your boss is a good leader, he will listen to your feedback and do something about it. 

See also: Backstabber at Work: The Signs and What Should You Do About It

“I was doing this and that and … during my weekend” 

Sharing is caring but this does not apply when your boss or HR ask you the question “what did you do on the weekends or holidays?”. Revealing too much about what you did on your personal time could be a boomerang in the future. Even if you do productive things, revealing too much to your employers and coworkers might not be good for your work-life balance. Therefore, you can say one or two things about your personal matter but don’t go into details. To make it more polite, you need to thank your boss or HR for asking about your weekend. 

“It is not my fault” 

Having a job means you are ready for every responsibility that awaits you. Although certain task might not be under your liability, sometimes you are required to take responsibility for it. When your boss comes asking you about a project, never say “it is not my job to take”. Or, when your manager asks you to revise something that is not under your job desc, don’t say “it is not my fault so I won’t do it”. This indicates that you are blaming other people and are hostile or defensive. This can be bad for your personal image.

Instead of saying such things and making yourself look childish and irresponsible, you can tell your boss that you can help take a look at the project and revise it. Yet, when your plate is full already, you can ask your boss for an extended time to do the most important thing first. Alternatively, you can discuss the project with the person who did it but of course, acknowledge your manager first about it. 

“Thanks, hon”

This line is a little bit of a grey line. Calling someone with “baby or honey” will make it look offensive and even sexist. Especially in a workplace where people of diversity work together, these words might be interpreted differently. Remember, how you speak and communicate can change the workplace and work relationship flow. So, be careful with how you call your teammates and bosses. 

“Are you sure you can do this with your condition right now? 

When you ask the question to a coworker after medical treatment, it might sound caring. Yet, never throw the question to employees with disabilities or ill-body. This could mean you are underestimating them. Don’t say phrases that indicate racism or harassment such as “because you are black/Asian/white/having slanted eyes, you have no friends here”, or “You cannot do that with that body” as well. 

Read also: How to Tell: Are You in the Wrong Career, or Just Lazy?

question to ask yourself

Nearly every recruiter (99.4 percent) will be recruiting on campus, according to Nace survey. From the job outlook, recruiters are open to hiring graduates or experienced employees. They also focus on hiring both full-time and intern. 

Are you ready for the workforce, then? 

Well, no one feels 100 percent ready for what’s coming next, especially when it is something new. After years of studying in college, it is time for you to put your knowledge into practice and step into the working world either becoming a full-time, intern or self-employed worker. The problem is, facing a new environment with endless possibilities can make the job search unnerving, maybe even overwhelming. 

When such feeling happens, you should keep one thing in perspective in order to follow the light: know thyself. In search of jobs, you must understand what you truly desire so you don’t have to deal with a job you actually hate. Just like an old saying, “Do what you love and you will never have to work a day in your life”

In preparing yourself to commence a career journey, ask these vital questions to yourself first. Think about the answers sincerely and most importantly, follow your gut feelings. 

Quest #1  Do you have a plan? 

Be it weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly planning, do you have it? If no, make one now. The plan is your first leap to a successful career and life as having a plan helps lead you to something that you hope for a.k.a your goals. For example, if you expect to land a job in the same year of graduation, then you need to include resume crafting as well as skill development in your plan. If your goal is to be fit all day, your plan can include a healthy diet and exercise. Whatever it is, planning is a good way to help you focus and stay out of procrastination. 

Yet, don’t rely on those plans too much. Life always offers a fun way of teaching us a lesson, therefore, be flexible with your plan. 

Quest #2  Where do you want to work? 

This could be included in your plan but more specific. When applying for your first job, there is a lot of things you should consider. For example, do you prefer to work with actual coworkers or alone in your comfort? Do you want a traditional work hour or manage your own schedule? In terms of office environment, do you want to work in an open office or a cubicle setting? 

All the considerations can determine how you want to live your life as when you are working, most of your time will be spent there. Picture your ideal workplace or employer. When you are done, write down the things that are most important to help you bring the job search into focus. 

Quest #3  How is your online presence? 

Undeniably, technology has helped a recruiter to be more cautious about the candidates they choose. Today, nearly every recruiter (60 percent) won’t only look at your physical resume, but also your online presence such as in social media. That said, your social media can determine whether you will be accepted in the company you wish to work for or not. 

So, is your social media clean from negative posts? How about your comments and shared media? You can start fixing your social media feeds from today, search for the work culture of your dream employers and start posting something that aligns with their work culture. This will likely boost the chance of getting a job offer. 

Quest #4  Does your targeted employer match with your personal values? 

Core values are the fundamental beliefs of a person or organisation. Core values dictate behaviour and can help an individual understand the difference between right and wrong. In an organisation, core values help companies determine if they are on the right path and achieving their goals by creating an unwavering guide. Core values also determine how companies do what they do to achieve success. 

When your core values and your targeted company’s core values align, harmony can easily be created. When harmony exists, engagement and productivity tend to rise. On the contrary, when core values clash, you will be an unhappy and disgruntled employee. Needless to say, you might not be the prospective candidate that the recruiter looks for. 

Hopefully, those questions guide you to get the right and a perfect job you always dream of. Good luck!

Read also: 3 Valuable Things TO DO When You are Unemployed That Can Make Your Life Better

How to Build Successful Remote Career 

Many individuals, maybe including you, would agree that an option to work remote is a big yes when it comes to achieving better work-life balance. When you have good time management, building a remote career would give a huge advantage as you can travel to places you love without having to ask permission from supervisors. Working remote also ensures satisfaction in life because you can say goodbye to boring office routine and everyday cubicle office view. 

Unfortunately, working remote is not all sunshine and rainbows. There are times when working remotely would make you feel excluded from the team. You get less face-to-face time with coworkers, are unable to get an after-work connection with the in-house team, or are unable to meet the C-Suite directly to discuss important things. 

See also: Think Twice: Are You Ready to be a Remote Worker?

That being said, a remote career can be both fun and challenging. Yet, if you are keen to build a career as a remote worker, here are four tips you can take. Afterall, doing what you love can turn difficulty into an opportunity. Good luck! 

Success remote career starts with a remote-first company 

Remote-first company is an industry that allows and supports its employees to work remotely – meaning that an employer is a determiner in your successful remote career. A study from HBR showed that it is easy for remote workers to feel left out if they don’t work for a company that has taken measures to build trust and connection between their on-site and remote employees. Therefore, as a first step, choose employers that best support remote workers. Appen and Lionbridge rank first and second in the top 100 best companies with remote jobs in 2019 as per FlexJobs survey

Stay connected with the in-house team 

Time gap often becomes a great barrier for remote employees, especially when they live in different time zones. When it is noon in your place, it can be early morning or night in the headquarter company. Hence, real-time communication might be hard to achieve. Yet, it should not be your reason to give up. 

For that reason, you need to have effective verbal and written communication skills. This skill can help you gain trust and transparency. Writing, in this case, is the utmost importance because an in-house team often cannot be contacted face-to-face or on-call due to time gap or a different schedule. That said, it is essential to be a great writer when walking a remote career path. 

Use the time challenges for a solution 

Albeit the time zone is a huge challenge, if you can use it wisely, it can be an opportunity to show your skills. You can use the different time creatively to solve problems when everyone is asleep and you are the only one awake. 

Constantly improve yourself 

Another thing to successfully working remotely is to use the advantage of working away from the cubicle office to stay up to date with a different point of view that can shape your creativity in both personal and professional perspective. As you are out of the office routine, you can always have more time to expand your knowledge. You have the power and flexibility to do your best deep work, invest in your career growth, and build meaningful professional relationships with people and professionals around you. 

Read also: Difference between Remote Work and Telecommuting

A Beginner’s Guide to Investing for College Students

College students typically love spending their allowance on watching movies, hanging out in cafes, travelling, and other entertaining activities. But if you are a student who does not belong to such spender type and love saving money, congratulations! You have come to the right reading.

Why start investing

If you ever wonder, “Why should I start investing my money at a young age? I still want to live my youth life.” The answer is pretty simple: investing can help you live your life at the fullest while saving for the future.

Let’s say you receive a US$1500 yearly allowance from your parents or you earn more than US$1000 from working part-time during the summer.

Now you choose, if you spend all the money on drinks or foods, you can have fine dining all year long. But if you can spare some money and invest them, by the time you graduate – assuming you do nothing with the initial investment, your money could double to around US$15,000 or so.

See also: 11 Important Life Lessons for New Graduates

Investing, however, never comes at no cost. There are risks and bitter chances that you might lose your money, especially when you have a little knowledge of where and how to invest as a starter. Therefore, read the following article to not get lost in your investment strategy.

How to invest money

Remember, investing money is a big decision. To get started, you must find a broker who is willing to deal with investing small amounts of money. Online media is a good and fastest place to find a broker. After you find a broker, pay attention to the commissions associated with your preferred investments. NerdWallet suggested to pay close attention to these options.

  • Individual stocks which require you to pay a per-trade commission of $4 to $7. But some brokerages also offer per-share pricing.
  • Options trades which incur the stock trade commission plus a per-contract fee. Yet, there are brokers who charge only a commission or only a contract fee.
  • Mutual funds carry internal fees called expense ratios. You can either take it or leave it by selecting a broker that offers no-transaction-fee mutual funds.
  • ETFs are like a stock and are purchased for a share price.
  • Bonds which might charge you a fee to purchase individual bonds with a minimum and maximum charge. But you can purchase bond mutual funds and ETFs at no charge by using no-transaction-fee mutual funds and commission-free ETFs.

In addition, you should be “sceptical” regarding each information you receive. Why? Because according to Andre Hallam, the author of Millionaire Teacher, only by being sceptical of nearly everything people tell you when they are giving financial advice, you will be educated enough to make a good investment decision. You should not listen to a salesperson or financial advisor who refutes or supports certain advice as well. Find an academic study, something truly impartial, Hallam wrote.

Where to invest

After understanding what investment is, it is time to find a good place to invest your money. For starters, Hallam advised that you can invest in assets that appreciate over time because currencies (except cryptocurrency) don’t rise in value. When you trade currency, there is another person on the other end of that trade that will love to see you fall.

On the contrary, investing in assets will give less risk. For instance, you and your friend traded a stock market tracking fund for as long as stay in college. Both of you will benefit from the rising value of the stock market plus dividends. Moreover, the overall stock and bond markets increase in value over time just like real estate prices.

Hence, if you want to buy an asset and begin today, here are a few recommendations where to open an account.

  1. M1 Finance

The platform allows you to invest in stocks and ETFs for free. You can also build a portfolio and invest in your portfolio for free.

  1. Robinhood

Robinhood gives the option to invest in stocks or trade option. It might be hard to use than M1 but their platform is also free. You should be informed that Robinhood does not allow fractional share investing which means without a pile of money, it will be hard for you to register to the app. However, this is one of the awesome apps out there.

  1. Fidelity

Fidelity offers some free investing options, including no minimum IRAs and commission-free ETFs. They charge commissions and have minimums for other products and services.

  1. Ally

Ally is a stockbroker that offer commission-free commission trading. They have high-quality ETFs from market leaders that might complement your portfolio and help diversify your investing strategy.

A piece of advice

Now that you know where to invest and the type of investment, it should be noted that this short information is just as a guide, the rest is that you should be more knowledgeable by surrounding yourself with those who know about investment, the real person in the area.

Here are things to consider when contacting a broker. First, because you are a college student, you might not have a million to start, therefore, find a broker who accepts a small amount of cash, for example, $50 dollar. Then, you can increase your overall capital by investing more money on a regular basis. Second, remember that your personality and available funds are two determining factors for any risk happened in future. 

Read also: Saving Money Hack: 3 Tactics You Need to Adopt Now

Smart “Rate-Setting” Tips for Freelancers

Note: Rate-setting is how you rate yourself in a freelance platform to make yourself stand out among other freelancers.

Why doing a freelance job?

There is no doubt that being a freelance can give you the privilege of working at your most convenient time in your most favourite place. More than that, freelance job allows you to set your own standard income and get paid immediately after completing the tasks. The key to this matter, however, is that you should set your salary expectation based on your skills and familiarity with the tasks you enrol.

See also: How to Balance Your College and Work-life When You are a Freelancer

Getting clients as a freelancer

One of the biggest obstacles of being a newbie in the gig era is to get your first client. Getting a client as a new freelancer is not easy and a frustrating situation. First, you don’t have enough testimonials to showcase your skill credibility. Second, many companies are not willing to take a chance on someone who is still green, who is very fresh to join the freelancing world. They would rather find someone who is proven to be successful before.

Smart-rating to get your first client

Thankfully, you can shoo away the headache of getting the first client as a green freelancer by boosting your rating. Laura Pennington Briggs in her book quoted that rate-setting is important for freelancers to stand above the crowd and let hirers know their position.

To set rating that can differentiate you from others but still under your control is by thinking about your overall experience and knowledge of the business market, especially the area in which you are expert in. Generally, said Laura, factors that will influence your rates are as follows:

  • Your experience in the field or the writing world
  • The technical expertise or amount of research required for the project
  • The estimated time to complete the project
  • Whether other aspects of your time, like conducting interviews, will be part of the project
  • The length of the project

Most experienced writers’ charges will depend entirely on their preference, the industry, and the client’s willingness to accept that rate. Most freelancers start their career online with hourly rates and few charges per page.

Hourly rate, nevertheless, is tricky in the freelancing world because freelancer might work longer on the project. Thus, clients are often hesitant about hiring someone who appears too slow even if the time involved is perfectly reasonable. Yet, finishing the project too fast will also get penalised. This means that an hourly rate is a good starting point for creating an estimate, but it is not something most professionals rely on over the long run.

When you have your baseline price, you have a number to begin working with. Each project will be different, and you might also wish to reward clients who are hiring you for multiple projects or who are putting you on retainer.

Another important point is, according to Laura in her book, to consider your goal with your freelance business. If it is simply for a side hustle and additional income, the hourly rate might not be as important to you as someone who is attempting to replace their full-time job.

You should also remember that not every hour you will be working is a billable one. You might spend a lot of time marketing to clients as well as time doing administrative tasks such as submitting invoices. Likewise, you probably won’t work every week of the year since you will need to take some sick time and vacation days. Therefore, adjust your rate accordingly.

Read also: A to D Tips to be a Productive Freelancer

Top 10+ Keywords to Create an Eye-catching CV

Curriculum vitae, which also means “the course of your life” in Latin, is the first impression employers would know from you before meeting you in person. It goes without saying that an attractive CV could boost your chances of landing the position you desire. Therefore, it is worth to spend time and effort to design and enhance your professional presentation through a well-crafted CV.

See also: Top 10 User-Friendly Job Search Apps Every Jobseeker Should Possess

In creating a CV, however, you cannot use poorly-arranged phrases or words as this will make it difficult to sell yourself. Remember, employers will judge you the way you express yourself through written words so you should tailor your specifications to the job you are applying and include skills, qualifications, and experience which are most suited to the job. You should also write an accurate and concise CV – don’t use too much space, 2 to 3 pages of CV should be enough. More importantly, you should use a powerful and positive language. Therefore, you should highlight your skills, expertise, and value with the right keywords to grab better attention of your prospective employer. Here goes the keyword list.

For describing personal attributes

personal attribute use

For describing job-related experiences  

job related use

Note: All the keywords must be followed by proofs to convince employers better. For instance, instead of saying “I was awarded to be an excellent digital marketer”, you should say “I managed to get 250 percent revenue in one year, thusly I was awarded to be an excellent digital marketer.”

Combination keywords (adverb)

additional

How to use those keywords

As you already pocket some keywords to create a CV, you need to know how to use them in order to create an eye-catching one. Here is a piece of simple advice for you.

Instead of writing in bullet point such as,

  • Completed IT project within 1 week
  • Enhanced IT system

you should write creatively and in a more interesting way by exploring a bit about your expertise. For example:

“I developed a new IT system and managed to complete it in a short time. The system now ….” Or you can say “I effectively managed to complete a new IT system only within 2 weeks it which the system is now operating across businesses.”

Takeaways

You should keep in mind that the way you express yourself in a piece of good-created CV matters. Thusly, be as informative and positive as you can, enhance the reader’s (employer) understanding of how valuable you can be within an organisation. Last but not least, as what Thoreau said: “go confidently in the direction of your dreams” – so be confident with whatever you are pursuing now and put this confidence on the CV. 

Read also: Do’s and Dont’s for Creating Catchy Resume

STAR Principle to Overcome Interview Anxiety

Scenario: After waiting for quite a long time, finally you manage to get an invitation for a job interview. While you might be excited about the opportunity, you need to start preparing everything and learn well about the company’s profile. Everything seems well until the D-day. During the interview, suddenly anxiety hits you out of nowhere. In front of hiring managers, you freeze and forget everything you have prepared.

What is interview anxiety and how does it feel?

Interview anxiety is a natural and common feeling of uneasiness before or during a job interview. Being conscious that someone will scrutinise your appearance, behaviour, and words, you might start losing control of what you want to say and do. Consequently, what you intend to convey might not match with what is delivered. A survey by Harris Interactive found that 92 percent of respondents surveyed are stressed by at least one thing about a job interview, with having the jitters count as the biggest fear.

See also: It’s Face Time: How to Prepare for a Video Job Interview?

John Swartz, regional director of career services at Everest College, commented that interview anxiety is common at some stage. Job interview, he added, can be a high-pressure and make-or-break event when searching for a job. Thusly, it is a natural occurrence amongst job seekers.

While you might have prepared the best, when anxiety kicks in, the well-crafted words you have memorised suddenly become nonsense and you talk way too much, more than necessary information that can ruin your interview. According to a study by Julie McCarthy, applicant anxiety has serious implication as it might bias predictive validity of job interviews and result in a poor selection of less promising candidates. Having and showing your anxiety during a job interview will give you a low score which in turn, lower your chances of being hired.

Unfortunately, job interview anxiety will add a huge barrier between you and success.

Fortunately, you are not alone in this. 

So, how to mitigate the problem?

One of the most effective ways is by pretending that you are in a casual conversation while maintaining your professionalism. You can also lower the risk by being super prepared about the interview with the STAR principles. STAR principle is commonly used by an employer to prepare a better interview session. However, not just the employer, you can also reap the advantage of the STAR principle by following these tips.

S for situation

In this step, try to think about what the interview might be. You can look for videos to learn this or try to dig some information about the interview from the company’s web. Then, picture what kind of interview you will have, whether it is one on one or group. The better picture you have in mind, the lower interview anxiety you will experience.

Note: Do practice for a various situation of a job interview so that you will not be shocked by changes that might occur.

T for task

Be prepared for questions that require problem-solving. Most recruiters would ask something like “what will you do when you are faced with a tight deadline?” On this type of questions, think of a task that is similar to the problem. Then, explain to the interviewer with an example of a task and solution. You probably have encountered the same problem before. You can refer to it as an example.  

Note: Commonly, employers will refer to your resume or CV. Thusly, you should prepare with practising problem-solving question that is aligned with your resume or CV.

A for action

Employers want their candidates to be proactive and ready to take challenges. In this phase, you can take more action by explaining detailed information about what you did to achieve your goal and what actions need to be done to do so, and of course, align your explanation with company’s vision and mission. So, prepare yourself to explain that you have a good initiative to take businesses to the next level.  

R for recollected

The last strategy is by practising recollected strategy – stay calm. Anxiety kicks in because your mind, consciously or unconsciously, is too busy thinking “what if scenarios”. For instance, what if I fail, what if I ruin this interview that I’ve been waiting for, what if everything did not go as planned, or what if I forget what I practice. That being said, you might have doubt in yourself that you are capable of doing the interview.

One thing to mitigate this is by naming and reframing your self-doubt. As explained by Melody Wilding, you can name your doubt with “I have too much anxiety story” to help you realise that it is just a thought pattern and not an evil force. Hence, you can build a positive response to it.

Next, reframing your story with a plan. For example, if I ruin my answer, I will calm myself by breathing deeply. And while maintaining my calmness, I will talk slowly about the possible scenario that happens in my head. Or probably, I will joke a little bit to calm myself down.

Read also: Should You Go to an Interview for a Job You Don’t Want?

How to Build Good Online Presence for Fresh Graduates

Social platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn are no-longer strangers for people nowadays. From elementary students to older people, almost everyone is on social media these days. Social media is also proven to be beneficial in job search, as you can use it for various purposes such as collaborating, networking, sharing, and gaining knowledge necessary for jobseekers. Not to mention, it is not uncommon for employers today to optimise social media presence as a method to enhance their recruitment process.

In terms of recruitment and employee engagement, social media plays an important role. Kristin Kane Ford, director of social media at Kane Partners, suggested that social media allows firms to identify candidates that are perhaps passively looking, engaging with leaders in industry, as well as to deliver information to prospective employees about their company’s opportunities, benefit, and culture. “Social media allows a prospective employer to get to know you beyond just words on resume. It has a potential to identify you as someone engaged in your industry, or contributions to the conversations taking place in the industry,” added Ford. Moreover, Resume Help added that “social media has helped individuals to enhance recruitment process once and for all.

Therefore, it is important, especially for fresh graduate to build up solid social media presence. Not only it can tell how much contributions or active you are in your field of expertise, social media also shows recruiters your professionalism. Hence, if you want to open your chance of getting employed better, apply these tips to help you get noticed online:

First Tip – Be human

First and foremost, social media has become one of many media to help you build your own personal brand. That being said, even the slightest mistake you made in social media will likely shatter your reputation one and for all. Moreover, you cannot be a faceless individual with zero personality. Because in the modern age of transparency, people want to get to know you on a more personal level. Therefore, posting about your interest and personal life can provide a nice peek into who you are. It can demonstrate a variety of interest for potential recruiters.

Second Tip – Set smart goal

It is true that social media is a platform to share thoughts and ideas. However, you can make your social media presence more attractive by setting a smart goal such as developing yourself through it or sharing useful contents. You can follow leaders or experts that catch your attention and see what difference you can gain from your social media. Recruiters will love it as they see a talented candidate who is up-to-date and thrived to grow.

Third Tip – Audit yourself

Most recruiters will Google their candidates before hiring. So, it is better to be ahead of them. Google yourself and see what web shows you about you. If you find something unpleasant, you should be able to eliminate it before applying a job. Moreover, ask yourself “is this enough to show how talented I am to recruiter?” If your answer is a no, then find solution and rearrange or recreate your social media presence. Most importantly, make your presence and name as clean as possible.  

Fourth Tip – Be active

Once you’ve built your social media presence, it tells you your personal brand name. So, to make it more engaging, you should stay active and keep it to the latest information. Post interesting articles of your own and share good content.

Read also: 4 Necessary Mindset a Graduate Should Have for Future Career