Getting your first job isn’t easy. As a new job seeker, you probably have little, if any, experience, but that’s exactly what most employers are looking for. So you’re probably wondering ‘how do I get my first job?’
Start by networking
For most people, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Many young people get their first job through family or close friends of the family. If that’s not possible, use social network platforms such as LinkedIn for networking and job hunting. Once you’ve signed up and created a profile, you can start connecting with companies you’d like to work for and people who you think may be helpful when it comes to getting a new job. If you already have friends at work on LinkedIn, it’s a good idea to connect with them first as jobs may come up where they’re currently working and they might be able to refer you. But remember the way in which you approach people through LinkedIn can have a huge impact on how successful you become, so be sure to make contact wisely.
Your first CV
Your next step as a job seeker will be to get your CV together. Even if you don’t have any work history, any experience in a community or voluntary role will help when job hunting. Of course, this is also where you highlight any relevant qualifications and skills. Don’t forget to customise your CV based on the needs of each role you apply to. Of course, no work experience can also mean no references. If this is the case, ask a tutor at your college to be a reference for you.
Hiring managers spend an average of six seconds looking at your CV, so it can pay to put the time into getting it right. Do some research on how to create the best possible CV for your needs. There are plenty of resources on the Internet to help. It’s worth taking the time to research the best keywords for jobs you’re applying to as these may be picked up by Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS).
Once your CV is completed, you can begin applying for jobs. Start by uploading your CV to job sites such as Zoek for jobs in the UK. There are many other tools on the Zoek job site that can help you with job hunting, such as setting up email alerts to let you know when suitable vacancies arise. A quick search on Google should help you discover other apps that can help you with your job search too.
Tackling an interview
Of course, applying for a new job is just the beginning. The real work happens at interview. Once you’re offered an interview, make sure that you prepare well in advance. Learn everything you can about the job and the company so you can answer questions quickly and knowingly.
In every interview, you’ll be asked a number of standard questions, so you should rehearse your responses to these in advance. Again, there are online resources out there that can help with the do’s and don’ts, what to say and what not to say at an interview.
If you’re not successful, don’t let it get you down. Getting your first job normally involves a lot of trial, error, and effort. Learn from each application process and interview, and eventually, you will land that all-important first job.
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