Job-hunter’s guide


REVIEW BY KAREN CHAPMAN

GRADUAN, Careers and  

Employment for  

Malaysian Fresh Graduates 2003 

Publisher: BIZ Connexion  

Price: RM24.90 

 

 

NOW that you have that piece of paper in your hand after sweating it out for three or four years at university, it is time to look for a job. While you may be rejoicing, thinking that you no longer have to worry about assignments and grades and burning the midnight oil, you are now at the next phase of your life, which is to seek suitable employment. After all that hard work, you don't want to settle for any old job that comes along, but something that is challenging and fulfilling. 

While it's common for jobseekers to rely on newspaper ads, friends and relatives for word on employment opportunities, there is such a thing as a published directory on jobs and vacancies. 

Turn to the latest edition of Graduan, an annual publication on careers and employment for Malaysian graduates, and you'll find that someone has already done the legwork for you. 

Published by BIZ Connexion Sdn Bhd, this book not only focuses on careers, it also helps graduates with resumes and job interviews. 

Formerly known as Aspirasi Graduan, the book is divided into four sections – Special Features, Career Opportunities and Industries, Career Matters, and Directory (Occupation Index and Employers' Profile). 

The section on Special Features gives an overview on careers and employment, globalisation and what it means to fresh graduates, an alternative list of top 10 companies, sales and marketing, and overcoming the shortage of professionals. Some of the advice you get is quite obvious, such as changing your expectations if you cannot find a job you like or postponing your entry into the job market by pursuing further education. 

The article on the alternative list of top 10 companies advises graduates to look beyond the companies listed on the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange's main or second board. 

The sales and marketing article gives an interesting insight into how to differentiate between the two, along with advice from those in the business. 

The section on Career Opportunities and Industries is divided into 18 categories – advertising, architecture, broadcasting and media, electrical and electronic, engineering, education, finance and investment, IT (software and Internet), hotels, law, manufacturing, petroleum and gas, professional associations, property and construction, retail, research and development, telecommunications and transport. 

This section includes interviews with company personnel who hire fresh graduates. For advertising, graduates are advised to obtain a copy of the Malaysian Advertisers Directory, while interviews with two firms shed light on architecture. 

The part on law features a legal firm whose human resource manager speaks on opportunities for fresh graduates, pupils, career development for lawyers and even opportunities for non-law graduates, while the part on petroleum and gas looks at Petronas) and Shell Malaysia. 

The third section of Graduan is devoted to Career Matters. There are articles in both English and Bahasa Malaysia on various issues, such as how to get your first job, the pros and cons of traditional and online recruitment, the first impression, selling yourself through your resume, the interview, the habits of highly effective people, the first few weeks on the job and even loan repayment. 

Graduan gives sound advice on how to make your resume and cover letter stand out. It states that most employers decide within 10 to 30 seconds whether to spend any more time reading a resume, so do make a good impression. 

There's even a feedback page where readers are invited to give their comments on the book, and express themselves clearly with “no spelling mistakes or poor grammar and to not say nice things just because you might win''. The winner gets RM500. 

The final section is the Directory which carries an Occupation Index and Employers' Profile. Graduates are first asked to choose an occupation from more than 370 listed in the book. They then scrutinise the list of companies or employers listed for that occupation, choose the ones they would like to approach, and find out more about them in Employers' Profile. 

Under architecture, the book lists four companies as potential employers while finance lists 40 firms. If you choose to work in finance and list Malayan Banking as a potential employer, you'll find its contact details, who it employs, number of employees, work locations and required qualifications. 

There is also an essay competition, open to final year undergraduates. The title of the essay is, Where I Plan to be in 10 Years' Time. The winner gets a Graduan scholarship stipend of RM2,000. 

On the whole, the book is easy to use and understand, and graduates will find it useful. It serves as a comprehensive introduction to the job market, complementing other resources graduates can turn to. 

About 30,000 copies have also been distributed to the career offices of leading universities and colleges in Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, Britain and the United States. The book is sold at major bookstores. For updates, visit the website: www.graduan.com.my

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