Apply yourself: Job-hunting tips for fresh graduates

by Jon Carlos Rodriguez,

Posted at Mar 12 2014 02:57 PM | Updated as of Mar 13 2014 05:35 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Graduation season is well underway and a new batch of fresh graduates is expected to join the job market.

To prepare for job hunting, Philippines marketing director Yolanda Buyco advised jobseekers to first know their natural talents and abilities.

“It’s not just about finding a job, first contemplate on you, what are your strengths and weaknesses? If you know your strength, maghahanap ka ng trabaho na hinahanap ‘yung particular skill na ‘yun,” she told

Once you have identified strengths, Buyco said it is important to choose the right career path before applying.

She noted that not all companies are suitable to your field of interest, and it may affect your efficiency in the long run.

The right career path should also coincide with right workplace conditions, which means it suits your personality, lifestyle and schedule.

With the companies lined up, Buyco said jobseekers should then beef up their resumé to captivate potential employers.

“You only have 10 seconds to make your pitch, and that pitch is your resumé. Don’t beat around the bush, show them what you’ve got because you only have 10 seconds,” she said.

Buyco noted that because fresh graduates have no experience in the workforce, companies will be looking at internships, grades and extra-curricular activities.

A study conducted by showed that companies value internships (79%) the most, followed by grades (58%), and extra-curricular activities (45%).

“Kung nag-internship siya and it wasn’t required, it shows initiative. It shows passion for work and there is not much need for training because you already know the basics of office work,” said Buyco.

She added that during interviews, companies also tend to press on background, as well as functional and behavioral skills.

A study revealed that communication skills are the most important functional skill a fresh graduate should have, followed by trainability and technical know-how.

A jobseeking fresh graduate should also exhibit willingness to learn, initiative, and honesty and integrity.

Buyco said another study showed that most employees are having difficulty finding candidates who can speak in straight English, and good at critical thinking.

“Companies don’t need robots. They need people who will contribute ideas and this requires them to do critical thinking,” she said.

Other employee concerns include the lack of loyalty to the company; lack of professionalism; and high salary expectations. said that in the past 6 months, there were about 103,000 job openings that require fresh graduates nationwide.

“There are a lot of jobs for fresh graduates, all they have to do is be smart enough on how to research for these jobs and how to apply for these jobs,” said Buyco.

The top hiring industry for fresh graduates remains to be the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry, which includes call centers and firms that offer IT-enabled services.

In the 469 companies that surveyed, only 17% said they did not hire a fresh graduate candidate from March 2013 to March this year.