in an article about finding a job, someone signing some papers
It may not be easy, but you can do it. (Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay)

How To Prepare Yourself for Your Entry-Level Job Search

It’s tough out there, especially if you don’t have any prior experience in your chosen career. Here are some tips.

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in an article about finding a job, someone signing some papers

It’s tough out there, especially if you don’t have any prior experience in your chosen career. Here are some tips.

When you graduate from college and have all of the documents required to succeed in your chosen profession, the next step is to create an online resume that stands out. There are numerous factors that you must consider to land your desired job.

But is it really that simple?

For starters, most businesses looking to fill open positions prefer experienced candidates. A well-educated individual with hands-on experience in the industry is always prioritized. So, how do you succeed as a first-time applicant?

Here’s how to do it:

Do your research

You must always do research in order to find jobs that match your experience and expertise. Some positions don’t require experience while some others do. You don’t want to spend too much time applying for jobs that aren’t entry-level, because chances are, you won’t get the job. If the description of the position mentions experience as a requirement, move on. Don’t waste your time.

You should also do research on a company you are applying to. You don’t want to go into a job interview knowing nothing about the company, as they will most likely reject you right away. You want to show that you did research and are interested in what the company does.

You can also research the best resume structures for the field you are applying to, read tips on securing jobs, acquire knowledge on negotiations and so much more. Whatever useful knowledge you can gain through research, do it.

Create an impeccable resume

These days, with so much competition in the market, it is not enough to simply fill out a simple resume. Today, there are thousands, if not millions, of online resume templates. There are different templates to fit different industries — some are more serious and professional, while some might be more creative and fun. You must think about what fits the job you are applying for. For example, if you are applying for a job in design, you might want to choose something more creative and interesting. But if you are applying for an accounting position, you should stick with the classic templates.

If you want to go one step further and really stand out, it’s recommended that you create an online resume website. Most of your competitors will likely have a PDF or paper resume, so having an online resume will surely set you apart from them and make your application stand out. You will also be eliminating the wasteful use of paper, which is an added bonus!

Be open to taking internships

One other thing you need to do is be ready to do internships with the companies you select. An internship, paid or not, is a great place to gain experience. You will gain valuable professional experience in your field, which will make it so much easier to get a job afterward.

Be open to volunteer work

Volunteer programs are also helpful if you are starting in the industry. Even though you may not get a salary initially, the experience gained is far more valuable. And the referrals you may get from the volunteering firm may help you secure a job at your dream company. Volunteering is also great to have on your resume and says a lot about you as a person.

Even if you do not secure a job, keep learning

Let’s be honest, securing a job right out of college is hard, and not everyone is that lucky. So should you keep sitting there doing nothing for years just looking for a job?

No!

What you should do is keep mastering your skills in your industry. Take online classes, participate in workshops, build your network and do anything you can to gain more knowledge. What this does is make you more valuable. And if you include this in your resume, a job searcher will be impressed that you did not just sit and wait but became better at what you do.

Be willing to diversify

People always dream of securing their dream jobs, but, to be perfectly candid, the majority never get to do so.  As an entry-level job seeker, you should not be closed off to other jobs.

Sometimes, it is easier to get a job that you don’t want as much, but that job could lead to other jobs within the company. For example, customer service and account manager jobs are often easier to land as a beginner, but that can be a great way to get into a great company. After some time, once you prove your value, you might be able to get a different job within that company, or even at another.

Also, as you search and send your resume to potential employers, look into what you can start on your own. Perhaps create a tech company or a delivery service with a group of friends. A dream job does not have to be working for someone else; it can also be self-employment, where you get to be your own boss.

Bottom line

It may be tough starting out, but the best part is that you are taking the initiative. Every race has a beginning, and this is yours, so do all you can to keep running and gain as much experience, exposure and knowledge while you are at it. Even so, after you have secured a job, never settle; always aim higher because there is always something better out there.

Regardless, remember to research, create a good CV, take internships, participate in volunteering, keep learning, diversify and keep growing.

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