So you think you’re a G. You finally got that well-earned degree and you’re ready to utilize it and enter the workforce! But starting out can be a bit of a struggle regardless of your chosen field of study. It seems like these days every employer wants candidates with experience, but you need to get employed to get that experience. It seems like a bit of a catch-22, but there’s hope. Below you will find 10 job tips to help you get find the career of your dreams, or at least get you in the path.
1. Write Your Own Resume
When you start searching the web for guidance on writing your resume, you might find a lot of options that will lead you to putting your experience and information and so forth into a resume generator of sorts. Don’t do it! You can just write your resume in a simple Word doc. Personally, I think it’s much easier than using a resume generator. What’s more, it shows employers that you have a high capacity for professionally creativity as well as an ability to use Word, assuming you do it correctly. To this end, you can find instructions for making your own resume online (myfuture.com is one example). There are also books that address the matter, such as Technical Communications by Mike Markel (which not coincidentally also goes over the rest of the employment package making process).
2. Write a Cover Letter
This is an important first job tip for getting any career that requires an over a four-year degree: write a cover letter. A cover letter is your opportunity to introduce yourself to your employers, as well as covering any further reasons why you’re the best candidate for the job or anything else you want your employers to know that you didn’t cover in your resume. Moreover, it shows your employers that you have the drive and want the job enough to take the time to write a cover letter, which is always an attractive feature in job candidates.
3. Provide Recommendations as Soon as Possible
Especially with that job you really want to land, don’t just include “recommendations available upon request” at the bottom of your resume. Provide your employer with recommendations from past employers and professors as soon as you are able to, including it with your resume and cover letter if possible. It shows your employer that you’re dedicated and willing to put in the effort and leg work of getting bonafide recommendations for the position – and obviously the sooner an employer thinks this of you during the hiring process, the better.
4. Get Every Single Job Finder App You Can Get Your Hands-On
There’s some good first jobs tips for you. Seriously get every single one – Glassdoor, JobFinder, SimplyJobs, Snagajob, Indeed Jobs, and especially LinkedIn (and there’s still more)! It may not exactly be convenient, but sadly you aren’t going to every available job opening on one single job finder application. Oh and one more thing in regards to that: be organized about this. If you’re applying and switching between a thousand different job finder apps, the emails and notifications are going to start getting out of control. For all the job openings that interest you, favorite them in the app, favorite any correlating email exchanges with or about them, and keep the jobs you apply for written down somewhere. I recommend you keep a list with the company name, company description, offered or desired position, date applied, job finder app used, and whether or not there was any follow-up on your application.
5. Get a LinkedIn Account
I know I already mentioned LinkedIn in other first job tips. However, I feel like it’s so important that it needs its own separate category. LinkedIn might look like Facebook for businessy businesspeople who are busy with business. It is. That’s why you need one for the job hunt if you don’t already. Fill it out completely, use an extra professional selfie as your profile pic, and there you go. Not only does your LinkedIn account allow you to view professional posts from companies that you might want to work for or just that your interested in, but it also gives you the chance to show potential employers your abilities and professional interests. Furthermore, it lets you apply to jobs posted on the app automatically, once you’ve created a resume or uploaded one.
Like I said, employers want experienced candidates. If you want that dream job, there’s a good chance you won’t get it right out the gate – you’re going to need to work for it. You can work for companies within the same profession as your dream job to accumulate the required experience (as an employee or an intern), or work at your chosen company as an intern in hopes they will consider you afterward for employment. Who knows, maybe you’ll get lucky. It can’t hurt to try. But still, be open to the option of interning, which can be paid as well (though whether it is or not, you’ll probably need another job on top of that because it probably won’t be paying much).
7. Get In There!
Okay, so you got a follow up on your job application. Congratulations! But you aren’t at the end of the road yet; new-hire processing can take a long time on the best of days. During this process, you might wonder if you should follow up or if you’re maybe being too pushy. Maybe they haven’t gotten back to your last email or maybe they said they’d get back to you by Friday and it’s now Monday afternoon. You need to get in there. Get a little pushy. There are other candidates and if you don’t get your foot through the door and show employers you want the job, then someone else who did will. Furthermore, everyone is human, even the hiring manager of your dream job. Sometimes they just need a reminder or a follow-up. New employees aren’t always a company’s number one priority.
8. Make a Strong Online Presence For Yourself
It’s really important to have a strong online presence for yourself. Of all my first job tips, this one is among the most important (surprisingly)! When your resume is selected, looking at your social media pages is often the first thing employers are going to do. If you have no online presence, you aren’t going to get the job. Same goes for if all your social media pages are too inappropriate (different companies have different standards, but to be safe let’s maybe ixnay on the lewd photos and socially unacceptable memes). If you don’t already (though I’m assuming most of you do), get online and create social media pages for yourself across all the different platforms: namely LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter. It gives employers the chance to see you at your most unprofessional – your personal interests, your off-duty appearance, your sense of humor, and etcetera. If they can’t see this quick glance into who you are as a person, they will not even consider moving you to the next step. I mean for all they know you could be a complete lunatic or a neo-Nazi or something.
9. Don’t Give Up
This is a big one as far as first jobs tips go: don’t give up. I know all too well how disheartening it can be to not get the job you want. Just don’t give up! Don’t let it get to you and don’t take it personally. Maybe you need to start out small to get the required experience – an internship or a similar job at a different company. You might even find you like it better and end up staying there. Just don’t give up – that perfect opportunity is out there waiting for you. All you need to do is put yourself out there and take it when it presents itself!
10. BE PREPARED
The last but not least important of these first jobs tips: be prepared! Eventually, you’re going to get to that fateful point: the interview (cue dramatic music). When it comes to this part, it is undisputed that fortune favors the prepared. Have an interview outfit ready. Practice job interview questions (you can find numerous online). Print off resumes, cover letters, and even your recommendations. Bring a notebook and a pencil for notes. Read every single inch of their email instructing you on their interview process. Also, research! Know who you’re talking to. Know the company you’re applying for. They are absolutely going to be wanting to know about your personal interest in the company (and thus your motivation for working with them).