Placement Dreams Enroute Off-Campus
Placement is one thing that is there in the minds of the students throughout their college life. Many a time, students join a college based on the placement statistics of the institution. NIT Rourkela is well-known for performing well in this field, with students landing recruitments in various sectors with handsome packages. The Training and Placement cell and the Placement Committee work each year tirelessly to ensure that on-campus recruitments are better than before.
However, one must keep in mind that on-campus placements are not the only way to ensure that one has a job after graduation. Off-campus job opportunities are something that one must not be ignorant of and must prepare themselves to grab this opportunity when it presents itself. NIT Rourkela is a reputed college, and one should not miss out on using its brand value in seeking opportunities. Anshuman Maharana, an off-campus recruit at Intel, states,
Use your brand of NIT Rourkela as often as possible because that will differentiate you from many other job seekers. Many good firms will seek you out by searching NIT/IIT on these apps.
Having this slight edge that the brand of NIT Rourkela gives and not using it would be wasting it. Team Monday Morning brings this article focusing on the various means of landing an off-campus placement offer, with comments from a few of the graduates we caught up with who have landed an off-campus placement.
Online Job Portals
Naukri.com is an Indian job portal operating in India and the Middle East.
How to apply?
You can search for jobs that have been posted by companies and recruiters on Naukri based on key skills, job title/designation, or company names. You can also filter the location, minimum work experience, and minimum salary expected before searching. If you get hundreds of jobs, you can narrow down your search by using additional filters. If you do not want to apply for a job right away, you can save the job and apply it later. If it shows "No Results Found" for your search result, broaden the search by reducing your filters and criteria while also checking for spelling mistakes in your query.
Applying for jobs on Naukri is simple, to apply for jobs:
Register on Naukri to create a Naukri profile.
Fill details in your Naukri profile. These details will be shown to the recruiter when you apply for a job. Based on these details, the recruiter may shortlist you for an interview.
Search for jobs. Click on a job posting to which you would like to apply.
Click the Apply button to apply to the job with your Naukri profile.
If the recruiter needs some extra information before accepting your application, a questionnaire will be displayed. Fill this questionnaire for your application to be successful.
If you see Apply on the Company Website button, you cannot apply for this job with your Naukri profile. You will be taken to the company's career page, where you may be asked to fill out an application online.
Anshuman Maharana advised the following while speaking about sites like naukri.com,
Make a Naukri.com profile or other third-party apps and keep it updated with the job roles you’re interested in. It is seen that if you edit a simple dot(.) or comma(,) each day, your profile appears on the feeds of hiring managers again and again.
LinkedIn is an American business and employment-oriented online service (a subsidiary of Microsoft) that operates via websites and mobile apps. It is mainly used for professional networking, including employers posting jobs and job seekers posting their CVs.
LinkedIn allows members (both workers and employers) to create profiles and "connections" to each other in an online social network, representing real-world professional relationships. Members can invite anyone (whether an existing member or not) to become a "connection."
- Create an account on LinkedIn: Create an account on LinkedIn and complete your profile. Make sure to add a photo of yourself (a professional one, preferably) to create an excellent first impression in the minds of those viewing your account.
- Write a good profile summary: A good, concise profile is a must for those looking for jobs. LinkedIn has a word limit for this section, so one must be very clear about what to write and what not to. It is always better to use short, tight sentences, writing in the first person, and using keywords wherever necessary. After you are done writing the summary, proofread it again to avoid any typing mistakes.
- Keep your LinkedIn profile up to date: The more complete your LinkedIn profile is, the better your chances to be found and contacted. Use your LinkedIn profile like a resume and provide prospective employers with detailed information on your skills and experience. Complete profiles get about 40 times more opportunities than incomplete ones.
- Build your network: Most people new to LinkedIn have a misconception that the more the number of connections one has, the better it is. However, this isn't always the case. Having the right connections is more crucial than having more number of connections. Connections that are relevant to your interest, that can potentially lead you to a job opportunity, or can provide valuable advice are the most important to have.
- Use your network to your advantage: A study says that 70% of jobs are found through networking. Get in touch with your connections and ask if they can refer you for a job profile in their company or if they know someone who could do the same for you.
- Searching Company Profiles: Exploring company profiles on LinkedIn is an excellent way to find more information on companies in which you have an interest. You'll be able to see if the company has any job openings if any of your connection is working there, recent hires for different job profiles, etc.
- Last but not least, target alumni: The most significant advantage that the tag of NIT Rourkela has up its sleeve is the rich alumni base who are working in the best companies across the globe. Make sure to get in touch with them and ask for opportunities or referrals in their organisations.
Swastik Mishra, working at KPMG, said,
Linkedin is the best platform to secure off-campus opportunities. One should start being active on it from their pre-final year. You should use LinkedIn to connect with relevant people and not just blindly apply for different profiles in the job section. Some of the types of people one should look to connect with over LinkedIn are alumni(especially the ones who are working in companies you want to get placed in), talent acquisition managers of different companies, placement cell members from different colleges and senior-level employees at different firms.
Anshuman Maharana speaking about LinkedIn warned and said,
Linkedin Job pages like 'The Job Man', 'The referral room' etc are a trap that every job aspirant walks into at some point in life. Many of my friends who lost their job due to COVID and applied on these pages’ never ever got a reply. These pages use your like and comment to boost their own posts and page following.
Hence it can be found from these statements that if judiciously used, LinkedIn is as good as any other recruiting platform.
Employee Referral Program
Employee Referral Program is an internal selection process of a company where employees can refer people they think would be good hires. This selection process gives a massive head start to the referred candidates in a scenario where the number of job openings to the number of applicants is very low. Companies tend to skip the preliminary tests for referrals and start with the primary interview process.
This is how the process works:
-Reach out to a person working in the company you want to apply to for a referral.
-The referrer then shares your profile with the recruiter.
-The recruiter then gets in touch with you if your profile matches the job requirements.
Hence having good contacts working for top companies is of utmost importance.
Rohan Acharya, who secured an off-campus placement at Synopsys, said,
I consider the Employee Referral Program to be more effective than the routine process of applying for a job because it gives more chances of getting a chance to prove yourself via the hiring process. Based on my experiences there are many good people out there who are ready to give a referral if they consider you capable enough.
Hackathon is a coding challenge where the coding enthusiasts from various parts of the country come together to build a project from scratch. The teams are given a task to solve, and they have to put their knowledge into the application to create a project like an Android application or product to solve the task at hand. Hackathons generally last for a day or two. Registration for most hackathons is free of charge to ensure maximum participation.
Many companies organize national level hackathons, and the best submissions are shortlisted for interviews. The use of hackathons in recruitment has increased drastically in the past few years because of their potential to offer redefined possibilities to age-old HR problems. While engaging with the issues, teams must conduct research, develop projects, and create innovative methods to test and market them. With each participant assuming one aspect of the job, the entire team represents an organization as a whole. Recruiters can thus judge the candidates based on a variety of criteria, including how well they work in a group, their ability to work in a high-pressure environment, and how well and creatively they can employ their skills.
Some of the famous hackathons organized across the country are:
Smart India Hackathon by MHRD( sih.gov.in)
Hack In The North by IIIT Allahabad( hackinthenorth.com )
Code Space By VIT ( csivit.com)
Angel Global Series Hackathon sponsored by IBM ( angelhack.com )
hackCBS ( hackcbs.tech )
InOut ( hackinout.co/ )
The other advantages of attending a hackathon are building a reliable network of coders, refining one's thought process and skillset, etc.
One must be very active on platforms like Devpost- devpost.com/ (for international hackathons), Devfolio- devfolio.co/ (for India based hackathons), Hackerrank and HackerEarth to get notified about significant hackathons.
Off-Campus Placements And Training And Placement Cell
We caught up with Abyakta Patra, a former Placement Coordinator, to get his views on what Training and Placement cell does about off-campus placements.
Our priority was to convert every off-campus opportunity to an on-campus opportunity. However, we put in a lot of effort to circulate information on every possible off-campus drive or hackathons, etc., that came to our attention.
He stated that meetings were conducted every month or so to discuss off-campus opportunities. These meetings were not official and compulsory because there were chances of fraud on third-party websites.
On the reason why some students opt for off-campus placements, he added that one of the reasons is our institute's placement policy, which bars one from sitting for any other company if he/she has already gotten a job offer from a dream company. The policy is designed to ensure that every participating student gets placed. Hence if someone isn't satisfied with their offer and wants to work for an even better company, they choose an off-campus placement. This also happens when a particular company that a student is looking for does not visit the campus for recruitment. Also, off-campus placements become a viable option when a student knows an alumnus working for the company of choice who can refer him/her to the company's HR.
Satyajit Mahapatra, also a former Placement Coordinator who got an off-campus placement at Tredence, was more interested in the analytics and consultancy sector. Since he didn't get such a job on campus, he went for an off-campus placement. He added,
I was in the placement committee, and from my experience, I would suggest that if someone is interested in applying for an off-campus job, he/she should apply for the companies that are not visiting NIT Rourkela.
Points To Be Noted
When comparing the on-campus recruitment with off-campus, the latter process is slightly more challenging. Students have to compete with a larger pool from around India and prove themselves again outside the college. Also, the off-campus process takes longer to complete, and one has to have patience and not give up even if the results are not declared for about a month. Another major difference is the lack of proper connection between the candidate and the HR responsible for filling the position. There is also no incentive for them to reach back with the results of the OT/Interview as compared to on-campus, where there is the Placement Committee to coordinate and push them. So many times, significant pestering through the alumni is required. This helps to push one's application.
Due to these reasons, it is always safer to secure an on-campus placement. However, if one misses that or chooses not to go for on-campus placements, they should take measures to land an off-campus placement. Being active on sites like LinkedIn, Naukri, etc. and being vigilant for openings and meeting the deadlines has to be the need of the hour. Also, checking out the notifications for the same on the company's website or LinkedIn is critical. Moreover, students who are willing for any specific stream have to get their skill set sharpened, figure out what sector they want to go in and be clear about the company's requirements. Also, try to make contact with placed people, HR or staffing members, try to talk to them and know about their experiences, so you get a brief idea of how they landed in their current position. Staying connected with the institute seniors as well as juniors also matters.
Each of the off-campus recruits we contacted opined that while the recruitment process off-campus differed in some ways, the base aspects of preparation remain the same. Whether it is the on-campus placement or off-campus placement, profile-based preparation is what is required. One might have a lot of knowledge but should know and understand the profile one is applying for and what the recruiters expect. This will help a lot in narrowing down the preparation time and the topics one is preparing.
Summing It Up
Off-campus placements are a golden opportunity to secure a job in a company that is not visiting the campus or in case you are not satisfied with the job profile offered. The one opinion highlighted by every off-campus recruit we contacted was that there is no shortage of opportunities. One needs to stay aware of the various means and be active on as many platforms as possible to avail them. Identifying the field of interest and a focused approach to secure a job in that field is the key to grabbing an off-campus placement. Rohan Acharya, summing everything up and highlighting the priorities, says,
Landing an on-campus or off-campus job is not your final destination. Do what you are passionate about and makes you happy. Explore all the options exhaustively, and then only you can decide in which direction you want to move in.
Team Monday Morning wishes you all the best to secure the job you are passionate about, be it through on-campus placements or off-campus opportunities.