Looking to land your real first “real” job? Read on to discover some tips that will help you to do just that!
• Figure out exactly what type of career you want. To help determine this, you should find out what interests you and/or what you are passionate about. To help you to decipher exactly where your interests may lie, you should contact your school’s career counseling. Most schools offer free career counseling – and as such, you should definitely take advantage of this opportunity. Career counselors can also offer you specific recommendations based on your interests, educational background and your personal values.
• Ensure that your online presence is “squeaky” clean. For instance, you should definitely ensure that photos of you on social networking websites are respectable ones. After all, nothing can deter a potential employer than immature photos of you and your friends “out on the town”. If there are photos of you on social networking sites that have been posted by friends, you can always message these friends and ask them to please remove these questionable photos. Along similar lines, you should definitely make sure that your privacy settings on social networking websites are set in such a manner that only your friends have access to these photos.
• Prepare your cover letter, resume, and other materials. Ensure that your cover letter and resume are up-to-date and ready to “wow” potential employers. Your cover letter and resume should highlight your achievements – whether these achievements are scholastic, work, or volunteer related. You may also find it helpful to print up business cards so that you can hand out to recruiters and other contacts.
• Prepare for your job search. As you may have already know, looking for a job is a full-time job in itself. To begin your search, you should try searching some of the well known job search engines for jobs in your field of study. As these jobs are well advertised, you can be assured that quite a few people will apply for these positions. Thus, do not be discouraged if you do hear back from a potential employer right away.
• Network, network, network… While you search for a job, it is also important to network with people so that you can also tap into the hidden job market - or the unadvertised job pool. Thus, you should make it known to all of your acquaintances that you are looking for a job in your chosen field. To expand your network of contacts, you can also volunteer, join a career related organization, and/or get in touch with some of your professors. It is also important to make use of any contacts that you have on Facebook and any other social networking sites. Why? Well, these people may know of an opening and/or they may know someone who can help expand your career related social network.
• Get ready for those all important job interviews. Prepare your answers to some of the most common questions that are asked of job candidates during interviews. Also, take the time to learn about starting salaries in your chosen field of study.
A Dose of Reality
Now, you should also realize that you may not be able to get your dream position away. As such, you should keep an eye out for all entry level positions in your chosen career field. While these types of jobs may be far from your idea of an ideal career position, these jobs can also be a stepping stone to “bigger and better things”. All in all then, while looking for your first full-time job may seem difficult at times, it is important to keep trying and realize that it does take some time to build an appropriate level of experience.
Larisa Redins is a full time writer and editor with degrees in both Arts and Biological Science. She writes about career issues and other topics for a variety of international websites, magazines, and businesses.