Dear Fresh Graduate,
Don’t let anybody make you feel you’re not good enough.
Earlier this year, an amazing friend of mine discovered an exciting opportunity and immediately said to me, “I want to apply for this.”
We worked together to polish her CV, put together a cover letter, help her prepare for the required presentation, and come up with a set of strong responses to frequently asked interview questions.
As she progressed through the recruitment process, she met other intellectually outstanding young professionals and was challenged to give her best; which she did.
Fortunately for her, she got to the final (5th) stage and eventually got the Job. Good news? Yes!
3 months into her job, she met one of the last 5 candidates of the final recruitment process and from their conversation; she discovered he had lost a great part of his confidence as a result of being dropped at the final stage (that was his conclusion since he did not hear from them again).
He said; “I don’t think I’m good enough, and I have refrained from applying for another job since then because I don’t like being rejected (paraphrased)”.
You might say to yourself, “he’s not serious” or “he lacks willpower”. Well, I won’t conclude there if I were you. Our workplace system in this part of the World is Pro-Employer (you don’t need to agree). Many Organisations show little or no commitment or care towards candidates during the recruitment process. They take their time and efforts for granted, and some even disengage them without giving any form of feedback. This is quite discouraging for young graduates without much mental strength or tenacity.
I wrote this post not to point fingers at our Organisations but to support and give a new perspective to fresh graduates and young professionals actively and passively job-hunting.
This challenge of feeling inadequate after being rejected during a recruitment process is a common one. Whether you’re a new graduate, you’re switching fields, or you’re reaching high for that next step up the ladder, it is easy to think that you’re less valuable, less worthy, or flat-out unqualified for the job you want. Sometimes, you might be right. But other times you’re actually incorrect.
Here are some reasons why I think you might be wrong about having “nothing to offer” your dream company (or your dream client, dream mentor, dream anything, really).
1. You Have Passion
“Your passion is your qualification. It’s your leading qualification”
– Danielle LaPorte.
If you’re genuinely, enthusiastically passionate about your chosen field, a particular company, or a specific job, that passion you possess for it is a highly valuable (and rare) characteristic.
Passion ensures that you’ll work harder than everyone else. Passion ensures that you will burn the midnight oil, when necessary, to master new skills and get the job done right. Passion means that you’ll be able to ignite your co-workers and inspire them to bring their best ideas to work, too.
If a potential employer sees true passion in you, that’s worth more than gold. Show it off in your cover letter by writing about what attracted you to the company—and what excites you so much about its mission.
2. You Have Fresh Ideas
You’ll be surprised by how many “successful companies” are actually wasting tons of time, money, and other resources because they’re stuck in the “old ways” of doing things. Old routines, Old systems, and even old policies that doesn’t make sense anymore!
As an “inexperienced” newcomer, you might discover something that could (obviously!) be improved on quite easily, or you might say something that 100 other employees have become blind to or never bothered to mention. Simply by bringing a fresh pair of eyes to the table, you’re bringing real value.
The fastest way to prove this to a hiring manager is to substitute your cover letter for a pain letter. It proves you understand the company, get where it’s going, and already have a plan on how to make sure it reaches its destination.
3. You Can Adapt Quickly
With the current influx of new technology, social media, cultural diversity, multigenerational work place, new demands, and wrangling new tasks. Study has shown that millennials are the most adaptable generation in the workplace with adaptability practically wired into our DNA.
The best way to demonstrate this is by making sure that you’re up-to-date on all the latest and greatest skills needed in your industry—and in addition to that, they’re clearly stated on your resume.
4. You Have Real Skills
Contrary to what you might think, you do have real, solid, marketable skills.
That fashion blog you’ve been tinkering with since high school? It’s given you strong writing and communication skills, and probably insights into personal branding, too. And that summer job you had as Intern or Assistant to a Public Figure? You now have the ability to speak confidently to a senior executive, stay organised, manage priorities and get tasks done (These are rare skills).
I’ve used all the skills I learned as an Assistant to the Senior Partner of a consulting firm through my career thus far. Even though it was a summer job, today I use the entire skill set I developed then to get my work done, help clients and colleagues, support friends and also share some of them as experiences.
Take a stroll back through your passion projects, volunteer gigs, paid jobs, and studies, and consider every experience in terms of the real-world skills you gained, not just what your “official job title” happened to be. Then transfer all those skills to your resume.
For all of these reasons, and so many more, you’ve got a lot to offer your dream company. Yes, even if you are comparatively “young” or “inexperienced” in your field. Age, hard-won wisdom, and the “seasoning” that comes with lived experience are wonderful.
But “experience” isn’t everything. You’ve got plenty to offer right here, right now. So reach high and go after the position you want. Maybe you’ll get it. Maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll be considered for a different job later down the line. Maybe you’ll be offered something better than you even expected! No matter what the outcome may be, never tell yourself, for a moment, that you’re “not valuable” or have “nothing to offer.”
Wish you the best in your future endeavours.
This was originally posted by Samuel Akinlotan https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/dear-fresh-graduate-dont-let-anybody-make-you-feel-youre-akinlotan