Selecting Your 1st Career as Fresh Graduates

I write this as requested by one of my friend from Student x CEO, hope it helps!

One of the biggest challenge after you graduate from college is selecting your 1st career. It’s great that nowadays we have more career options compare to 5-10 years ago, however, it’s also what make us harder to decide.

Here are my tips to help you selecting the 1st career:

1. Know Your Career Goals

Where do you see yourself in your career in the long term? Everyone have their own career goals: to be a president director, BUMN leader, digital marketing expert, social business owner, etc.

If you have goals, it will be easier for you to decide where to start your career. For example, if your goals is to be a digital marketing expert, then it’s good for you to start a career in marketing related area.

What if you are not sure with your career goals yet? No problem, you can start a career in an area that you loved or you’re good at. First few years of your career is a great time for exploration. You will find -or even change- your career goals as you explore.

2. Know Your Work Aspirations

What kind of work that you prefer? Everyone might have different work aspirations. It can be good pay & benefits, fast career track, flexible working hours, international mobility, dynamic culture, etc.

Companies are also unique with different characteristics. For example, in general, FMCG companies have a fast career track, oil & gas companies have a great pay & benefits, startup companies have a flexible & dynamic culture, etc.

To continue from the 1st tips, if your goals is to be digital marketing expert and you want to work in a company with dynamic culture, then you can consider to start your career in marketing related area in a startup company.

3. Know Your Profile

Everyone is unique with their own profile. As fresh graduates, the profile can be related to education level, GPA, major, internship experience, language skill, design skill, etc.

Different companies and positions have different requirements. For example, top consultant firms only recruit candidates with GPA higher than 3.25. Multinational companies only recruit candidates with good English skill. Manufacturing position only recruit candidates from engineering background.

Ensure that you apply to companies or positions which match with your profile. Your profile can be improved if you work at it. Keep on improving!

4. Research & Apply

There are a lot of information sources for jobseeker: company website, career fair, friends, and career website (Linkedin/Kalibrr/Jobstreet/etc) among any others. Use them to search detailed information about companies: the culture, people development, benefit, etc. You also need to search detailed information about your targeted position: the requirement, responsibility, work location, etc.

After you find the right company & position which match your goals, aspiration, and profile; it’s time to apply for the job. Avoid being perfectionist, you cannot find companies which 100% match with you. It is also okay for fresh graduates to apply to more than one company at the same time, as long as it is targeted. Do not randomly apply to any companies.


Hope above tips can help you to select your 1st career. Note that this is not the end of your job seeking process. After you apply, you will compete with the other applicants. In most top companies, 1 entry level position can be applied by more than 1,000 applicants.

For tips on how increase your chance to be recruited, follow the next episodes. Good luck!


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