The fun-filled (and studious!) days of college are over, but sadly you didn’t get a campus placement. It might seem like the end of the world at times, but don’t lose yourself to depression, there are still many ways to turn this rock in your path into a stepping stone for your future.
It’s natural to introspect, to wonder what went wrong during the campus placement process. While it is helpful to identify factors which may have led to the miss at the placement office, it’s more important to know that the past is the past and use your experience to improve your next shot at a career. Undoubtedly, college placements have a certain allure, taking you directly from student to working professional, but college placements are not the only way to reach your goal.
Here are 8 ways to get on track if you miss out at your college campus placements:
1. Off-Campus Placements
Maybe studying more isn’t your cup of tea and you’d much rather start working. Not to worry, even if you missed out on campus placements, you can still secure a similar job, just the process will be a bit more complicated. While campus placements involve companies reaching out to you, to attempt an off-campus placement you will need to do your research and approach companies.
Getting your ‘foot in the door’ might take a bit of effort, but hard work and a bit of luck will surely get you a job. Make full use of online resources and friendly professors to create an impressive resume and possible references.
Establish your presence on professional networks such as LinkedIn and submit your resume on job search sites such as Naukri.com, iimjobs and Monster.com. Research on your target companies and reach out to them by contacting people working there on LinkedIn who can provide you with an introduction or other tips. You can also check the official websites of your target companies and contact their HR departments or apply against displayed vacancies.
Based on the industry and your desired role, it may take time, but your persistence will pay off. Remember to be realistic in your aspirations and adaptable when opportunities come your way.
If you are willing to put in the time, applying for internships is an excellent opportunity, especially for creative careers. By joining an internship programme, you will get a chance to see what the job entails, before committing to the role full-time. An internship will help you understand your own capability and interest in the work involved and how you should proceed further, whether it is directly working, changing roles or fields or undertaking further studies.
Also, branded companies are often more willing to take on interns than offer direct jobs, and once you settle in and work hard during your internship, a job offer will most likely follow. Many internship programmes even come with pre-placement offers.
Identify your top desired companies and reach out to their HR departments/concerned department heads to apply for internships. You can also sign up on specified internship recruiting websites such as Internshala, Hello Intern, LetsIntern, etc. to access available internships and apply for them.
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Another option to gain experience and expertise while building a portfolio is to opt for freelancing. With modern technology and so many fields going digital, there are many industries that outsource certain work to independent freelancers, such as content writing, web designing, graphics, software programming, digital marketing and many more. As a freelancer, you can set your pace and take your time to research before you take on any project.
Identify your skills and what services you can offer as a freelancer, and set up profiles accordingly on top freelance websites like Upwork, iFreelance, Fiverr, PeoplePerHour, Freelancer and Craigslist. Slowly and steadily you will have an entire portfolio of work that you have done, which you can show at any job interview or during admissions for further studies.
Recommended Read: 7 Promising Career Options to Satisfy the Creative Streak in You
Today’s age is the start-up age; ranging from restaurants to travel, commute and furniture, there is a start-up for everything. Careers are evolving with the times and starting a business is no longer the major project it once was. If you have a viable idea and the passion to execute it, take a risk and set up your own start-up. Admittedly, there is risk involved, but there are ways to minimize the dangers.
The path of entrepreneurship is a challenging one, so make sure that you have the conviction and patience to pursue it. Conduct thorough research of the prospective market, competitors, scope of the field and of the strength of your pitch. Start small and take advice, and once you start getting success, be smart to expand. You can begin your startup from the comfort of your home and expand once you start earning money.
Hire friends in initial stages to help your business take off. Taking an initial loan may be necessary. Take the aid of government programs for start-ups, as they offer several benefits including tax exemptions and patent protection.
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5. Recruitment Agencies/Tests
A recruitment agency or test serves as an intermediate between you and a company. Recruitment agencies have sprouted up for all industries and they tie-up with companies to identify their needs and accordingly find suitable candidates.
Since recruitment agencies are often the go-to choice for companies conducting hiring, registering yourself with one can help you seal the deal for a job. The recruitment agency will interview you, conduct any aptitude test required and keep your profile ready for any suitable job opening. Popular recruitment agencies are GlobalHunt, Alliance Recruitment Agency, and Placement India.
Enrolling with a recruitment agency is a lengthy process as they conduct their own background checks. If you want a speedier option, attempting popular recruitment tests can also be beneficial.
Standardized recruitment tests such as AMCAT for the IT industry or eSkill for other fields are widely acknowledged by hiring companies and serve as a confirmation and certification for your skills. The results from the test can be shared during the hiring process with your desired company and may give you a boost in securing the job.
6. Government Jobs
Government jobs are held in high prestige and are a popular choice for students these days. If you have not been able to secure a private sector job, another avenue to explore is governmental jobs. There are government jobs to suit nearly all educational backgrounds and interests.
If you have a background in economics you can try the Indian Economic Service or as an engineer you can try Indian Engineering Service. A general graduation can open fields of Civil Services, State Civil Services and more. With a background in science, you can apply for roles as scientific officers or research officers.
To secure a government job, check the recruitment process with the relevant hiring authority. For central government jobs, recruitment announcements are given on the UPSC website and for state government jobs the announcements are made on the state government website.
The recruitment process may be lengthy, but once you secure the job, there is more job security in government jobs in comparison to the private sector.
Recommended Read: How to Prepare for UPSC Civil Services: A Beginner’s Guide
7. MOOCs or Certificate Courses
Often college studies are not enough to make you industry-ready, and the gap is more apparent if you happen to miss out on campus recruitments. With the additional time you have available, you can enhance your skills with free online courses such as MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) or short-term certification courses on technical skills.
Gaining extra knowledge will help you when you are ready to join the job market or even launch your own company. Popular MOOCs include Advanced Training Algorithms, Investment Strategy, Risk Management, and Corporate Finance while popular short term courses are Digital Marketing, Data Visualization, Business Analytics, Web Designing, SEO, Java, and Python.
Recommended Read: Are Online Certification Courses (MOOCs) Worthwhile?
8. Further Studies
College years teach a lot, but sometimes a simple graduation degree may not feel enough. In that case, it might be a good idea to consider further studies.
Choose your next education course based on your overall career objectives. For example, if you are interested in management, an MBA degree is probably your best choice or if you want to go into research a Master’s in the same subject will be more suitable.
Recommended Read: 8 Reasons Why You Should Pursue A Master’s Degree
Whatever may be the reason why you couldn’t secure a college placement, whether it was stress, lack of preparedness, too much competition or an unknown reason, don’t worry about it. There are still plenty of ways to move on with your career path.
However, it’s important to consider if you are on the correct career path for your interests and skills. If you are not sure then career counselling may help you in this crucial time. By taking career counselling, you can get advice from experts on the best way to move forward and which career is best for you.
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