Attaining a tertiary degree is a challenging achievement and one you should certainly be proud of. What they don’t tell you is that with each achievement the challenges you face become more complex, difficult or a mixture of the two. The next step for many is to loom for employment and graduate trainee programs in particular. They vary in approach but in many cases graduate trainee programs act as an introduction to the industry and help people cross over from academia to the workforce. In the best of cases, they allow graduates to experience different parts of the business to acquaint themself with the practical elements of the industry. Finding jobs in Zimbabwe is no walk in the park and that applies to graduate trainee jobs too. So where do you find graduate trainee jobs?
Good old newspapers are still a good place to start. Large organisations tend to advertise their graduate trainee programs in newspapers so this is a great starting point. Newspapers, print or digital, come at a cost and the cost of keeping up may be difficult for many if not most. That said national newspapers provide a good option to keep an eye out for graduate trainee jobs. Some organisations may take out full or half-page adverts for their graduate trainee programs. Sometimes you may have to look in the classifieds jobs section to find them. And that brings us to the 2nd source.
Classifieds are a fully-fledged part of the internet in Zimbabwe. WE have everything from general classified websites to classified websites that are specifically about jobs. If you have constant access to email then signing up for alerts in your chosen area is a wise thing to do. This is much the same as looking at newspaper classifieds as the adverts are open calls that state the requirements. Unlike most other level jobs, graduate trainee jobs tend to have reasonable requirements so one should apply to as many as possible.
Recruitment websites offer a slightly different approach but may give you better results than the general classifieds and newspaper adverts we’ve looked at so far. On recruitment websites, the recruiter advertises for the employer and provides suitable candidates. This means that the recruiter will sift through applications. This is great if you’re a shining star but not so much if you blend in somewhere in the middle. That said recruitment websites have the advantage of hosting profiles which makes applying easy. In a world where employers can proudly ask for only hand-delivered hard copy CVs in the middle of a global pandemic, this is something to appreciate.
The world over it is noted that the majority of job openings are filled before a job opening becomes public. So the majority of jobs are filled through people connecting other people they know to the jobs. This is called networking and it’s something that you can use to find graduate jobs. However, it is not that simple. What I mean is knowing people in organisations that are far removed from you is difficult and them knowing you well enough to recommend a program to you or even recommend you to a program isn’t a walk in the park. Social media platforms such as Twitter and LinkedIn have certainly made things easier on that front. Networking isn’t just like it looks in the movies. Networking within your university faculty and your place of attachment count too. Remember, it’s not who you know but who knows you that matters.
We should all have a basic knowledge of headhunting, a practice through which organisations target job candidates directly by tracking them. So reverse headhunting would be candidates targeting organisations’ graduate trainee programs. This isn’t as hard as it initially seems though results will vary. Graduate trainee programs are advertised annually and this works best when thought of in advance rather than after graduation. Looking at adverts will inform you of what is required by a trainee program and your goal is to target that or reverse engineer if you like. This is incredibly effective when done right. Mix it with a little bit of networking and the results can be quite amazing.
As always when I recommend a few methods to achieve something you’re better off doing all of them than trying to specialise in one of them.