So you’re looking for your first job. How exciting! Whether you’ve been searching for a few months or are just getting started with the process, this is a great opportunity to figure out exactly what you’re looking for in terms of the company and the role in which you’ll begin your career. Here are some tips to help you look for– and land – your first full-time gig.
- Stay positive. Looking for a job, especially for the first time can take a toll on your emotions. Not only is the process overwhelming at times, but rejection letters, negative feedback and rough interviews can all contribute to low self-esteem. Take time to celebrate small wins and remember, you’re learning as you go here, so be grateful for the lessons that present themselves along the way. This attitude will help you keep going, plus you’ll have better chances of getting hired. People are naturally drawn to positive people, and want to be around them, especially in the workplace where we send the majority of our time.
- Keep your resume up to date. Sure, this may sound like a no-brainer. But you would be surprised at how often outdated resumes or cover letters that haven’t been tailored for the job at hand are submitted. Be sure to add new skills, interests and experiences and familiarize yourself with what hiring managers are looking for. As you view job listings, save those that sound interesting and align with your updated resume. Rake allows you to easily save jobs from any job board or career site with a single click, making the process incredibly simple.
- Build your network. Networking is a drain for many people, but often some great opportunities can result from putting some effort into it. Don’t view it as a necessary evil, or a way to get ahead. When you meet people at a career fair or networking event, think of them as long term relationships that can serve as resources throughout your career. You never know what sort of jobs will come up along the way. Reaching out to your existing network is a great place to start when you’re looking for your first job. Some of your contacts may not know your status or whether or not you’re ready to start working, so be sure to update them without overtly asking for too much. Another great benefit of building your network is the possibility of finding a mentor. This is someone who will be very helpful throughout the rest of your working life and beyond, so be sure to keep an open mind and read our tips for identifying someone.
- Keep Learning. Just like a positive mindset, a growth mindset can be very valuable in your job search. Since it’s your first job, your new team will understand there will be a learning curve, but what’s important is to be willing and ready to learn. Not only will you want to convey this in an interview, but be sure to actually continue learning. Read books that are helpful and relevant to your desired industry. Take courses or develop skills that would contribute to your success and help you standout. A potential employer will value your desire to continue learning no matter what role you are hired for, plus this type of mindset will help you grow as a person.
This is a trying, but exciting process. In many ways you have a blank canvas to work with and many potential career paths to head down. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, check out our comprehensive checklist for navigating your job search and be sure to download the Rake app to keep track of all the moving parts. Most of all, stay persistent. Finding the perfect fit may take time, and keep moving forward. You got this!