• Chantal Porter

How to Find a Job in Jamaica after Graduation

Updated: Aug 28, 2019

Finding a job in today's economy is quite difficult. There are tons of graduates every year from High schools, Colleges, and Universities across the island and only a few openings in established companies and startups. Graduation, especially from a tertiary institution signifies the ending of an era and the start of a new one. Graduands anticipate exiting the walls of their institutions into a world filled with opportunities. They look forward to their independence, and they expect healthy financial rewards.

The majority of graduates, however, struggle to find jobs in Jamaica even with a first degree. For the most part, those who do become gainfully employed are unhappy with their jobs. They find themselves in the BPO centers strategically placed across the island, and the wages they receive are at times sub-standard. As a graduate, I also faced similar struggles. I did many interviews, but for a long while, only the call centers accepted me. The companies that I wanted to work with required someone with at least 2 years of experience. With that being said, let us look at some of the factors that can hinder you from getting the job of your dreams.

Factors that can hinder you from getting a job

Lack of experience

This is one of the biggest obstacles that you will encounter while trying to find a job, as a recent graduate. Look at it this way, you need experience, to get experience. It is unfortunate, but most companies do not want to be the first to take a chance on you, they prefer an experienced candidate.

Lack of funding

Many graduates who find jobs struggle to find the cash to travel back and forth from work. Most employment opportunities in Jamaica are in the cities. Therefore, graduates living in rural communities and other areas struggle to find the hefty bus and taxi fares. In some cases, they are even forced to abandon these jobs.


Your location can either increase or decrease the likelihood that you will find a job. Sadly, you are at times less likely to find a job you love while living in rural and other low-income communities. Furthermore, you may also be overqualified for the jobs that are nearby.

Working Hours

The job market is very competitive, so employers are looking for persons who are willing to go the extra mile. If you are available for work any day during the week, during any shift, you already have the edge over your peers.


The inability to freely travel across the island and also outside of Jamaica can also be a deterrent for employers. Companies involved in sales often require there, employees, to own a reliable source of transportation.


The salary you request can either work for you or against you. If you overstate or understate what the employer believes the role is worth it sends a negative signal.

How to find a Job- A proven strategy

Leverage the 80/20 rule

80 % of the companies you apply to will not shortlist you for the job. To combat this, you must play the numbers game to maximize the remaining 20%. Send out job applications daily to increase your chances of landing an interview.

Work on your interview skills

Employers are attracted to confident candidates, so do not be afraid to ask questions during the interview. It showcases your ability to think critically, and it signals to the employer that you are interested in the company.

Research the company

Find out the type of services or products they offer and how the company got started. It will help you to engage the employers in a more meaningful discussion during the interview.

Add value during the interview

Freely give tips on how you would improve different aspects of the business during the interview. It stimulates reciprocity, so your potential employers will feel that they owe you the opportunity to prove yourself.

Negotiating skills

Learn to negotiate as this will serve you well in the world of work. Show your interviewer why you are the best candidate for the role and negotiate your terms of employment.

Do not limit yourself to a specific geographical area

You need to be open to the idea of moving to meet your job. If you are from Montego Bay, for example, it is not wise to limit yourself to jobs in Montego Bay.

The aforementioned strategy helped me to secure a job a few months after university. If you are dedicated to the task of finding a job, you can create a similar process to help you with your job search. Also if you are struggling to cope with your new found independence, I'm sure that you will find this article helpful.

If you are interested in learning about the local jobs hiring now you

can always visit the following job boards:

  • I Need a Job Jamaica

  • Jobsmart

  • Caribbean Jobs Online

  • Jobs In Jamaica

  • Jamaica Jobs Online

  • Jamaica Gleaner Online

  • Splash Jamaica

"All progress takes place outside the comfort zone."- Michael John Boba

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