For the first time, we now have clear statistics of unemployment amongst youth, including those who have just recently graduated. By now, you are ever ready to be a full-fledged adult and earn your first paycheck. What may seem like a normal and easy thing to do – apply-interview-offer-accept-work-salary-repeat; can be quite a shock when you don’t get what you want.

In recent years, Malaysian fresh graduates have faced issues of unemployment, and it has become a known fact. As years go by, the number of unemployed youths has risen. It gets much harder for an individual to apply for a job if he or she remains unemployed for a certain period of time.

As stated by the Department of Statistics Malaysia, the unemployment rates amongst fresh graduates have increased from 30% in 2013 to 34% in 2016.

• National unemployment was 3.5% out of 14 million Malaysians in the labour market

But even with those statistics, you still have to break it down to those with higher education and those without. In 2015, there are 405,000 youths with higher education, and 15.3% were unemployed. So, 15.3% is 343,035 individuals that couldn’t get a job. These are individuals who are supposed to be qualified.

Here are 3 factors that contribute to unemployment amongst fresh graduates:


Fresh Graduates Remain Unemployed

After a long day’s work, all you want to do is chill out. That is usually the same case for fresh graduates. You feel as though it’s been a long journey and you deserve some overdue “R&R”.

Though this is totally understandable, we’d advise against taking too long of a break as it affects how attractive you are on paper. Your potential boss is looking for someone who is driven, proactive, creative, a risk taker and someone who is adaptable to change.

So, the best thing you could do for yourself in the long run is to at least do something part-time, volunteer or even an internship before getting something permanent. Doing something productive during your spare time will not only benefit you but gain you some brownie points in the long run.


Fresh Graduates Remain Unemployed

One day you were going through a list of job ads and you found something that you liked. But the thing is you didn’t apply immediately because you thought you still had time. Before you know it, the position is closed because they’ve already hired someone else and now you’re bummed out. Now you just want to curl up in bed and watch your whole life flashing right before your eyes. Okay, that was a tad bit too dramatic. But it’s true, you should grab the opportunity the moment you see it!

According to POPSUGAR as stated by CNNMoney, a job posting generally stays open for about 45 days before they take it down. You can, however, see if they mentioned when the job is posted and you can estimate how much time you have left to apply for the vacancy. According to Workopolis, 98% of applicants are eliminated at the first stage, leaving only 2% that do make it for the interview. Thus, bear in mind to apply as soon as possible in order to secure your dream job!


Fresh Graduates Remain Unemployed

Having superstar grades and being on the dean’s list isn’t enough to land you a job. It definitely helps, but it’s far from the only thing employer’s value in a candidate. Employers also want to see whether or not you’re a team player, can multitask while being productive, can create solutions for internal problems and a risk taker.

We know that calling Gen Y jobseekers entitled is overused and not fair. By doing so we would literally be labelling 71 million people under 1 umbrella. But think about it – do you know at least a few people who don’t apply for jobs or quit their jobs under 6 months simply because they felt they deserved better? I’m betting that your answer is yes.

The attitude of believing that you are the best candidate for the job without having the skills and experiences for the position is a little unrealistic considering how many people there are fighting for that one position. On top of that, expecting a high starting salary is a good way to push employers to pick someone who’s willing to accept market rate and have a good intention of learning. Getting a high paying job takes time because we have to work our way up the ladder. It’s not easy but time, patience and hard work will pay off eventually.

If you aren’t sure what starting salary to fairly ask for, here are a few examples of different industries at entry level according to Vulcan Post.

For the financial industry, entry level pays between RM1,800 – RM2,600. If you’re a communications major, your starting salary would be RM1,800 – RM2,800. For those in Admin or HR, your starting pay would also be around RM1,700 – RM2,300.

So, when you do go for your interview do not be surprised when they mention the salary. It pretty much sends the wrong message to a potential employer. Be grateful for what is offered to you, because in the long run, you may just be promoted.


I hope that this article will help you approach job hunting in a realistic, deliberate manner. So, if you’re one of those that recently graduated, have no fear, WOBB is here! 54,318 job seekers have signed up, and we have fresh graduates job waiting to be filled. Start applying today!



Posted by Alia Saiful

Pocket - sized. Seriously. Selectively extroverted. A food junkie. If you think retail therapy ain't a real thing, holla at me!