It’s your attitude, not lack of experience, jobseekers told

Fresh graduates can “moan” all they want about the lack of jobs that don’t require any prior working experience, but it’s their attitude that needs work, says a senior executive with Jobstreet.


According to JobStreet country manager Chook Yuh Yng, there are plenty of jobs catering specifically for those who are just starting out, if only the graduates are willing to change their attitude.

“While fresh graduates can moan about how prospective employers are asking for experience and all that, it’s more to do with jobseekers’ ability to be a better candidate for the job they’re applying.

“And (for this) we need to look at the attitude.

“With unrealistic expectations, it becomes more difficult for a graduate to get employed for a job that offers a lower salary than what he or she is expecting,” Chook told FMT.

She highlighted the results of an employers survey conducted by JobStreet last year, where 68% of the respondents said fresh graduates were asking too high a salary for first jobs.

It disclosed that 60% of fresh graduates expected a salary of RM3,500 for their first job while 30% wanted to be paid as high as RM6,500 in order to live comfortably.

JobStreet regional communications head Simon Si agreed with Chook, saying it showed there is a gap between what companies were willing to pay and what the candidates wanted to be paid.

“There are jobs out there. Even on JobStreet, we can see around 15% of the jobs are actually catering for fresh graduates.

“So opportunities are there and you can’t say every job requires experience.

“The fact that some of them actually get to the interview level, shows that the prospective interviewers already know they are fresh graduates,” Chook said.

According to her, some jobseekers fail to realise there were many factors that could have contributed to their unsuccessful attempt at securing employment.

“During an interview, employers often look at more than what’s on your resume. They also look at your ability to communicate, your attitude, the soft skills you possess, and your ability to contribute to the company.

“Yes, having a degree is an added advantage, but there are other aspects that are also as important,” Chook said, adding that jobseekers’ unrealistic expectations and poor command of English are two reasons for not getting a job.

P Kumanan, a business development manager at recruitment agency Manpower Group, also called for fresh graduates to set a realistic expectation when entering the workforce.

He said if the jobseekers graduated from institutions with “small names”, then they should be looking for smaller firms to kick off their career.

“Where you come from, your education background, or the institutions that give you the qualification are important factors in getting your first job.

“So if you went to a lesser known or small university, then you should probably look for a job at a smaller company, not the big ones, the giants.”