When you’re looking for an entry-level job, finding a position within your career field is never easy. It can be tough to find the right opportunity without having a lot of experience. However, there are certain approaches you can take that will increase your likelihood of finding a job. In this blog, we’ll break down a few ways you can proactively increase your chances, as well as a few tactics you can use during your search.
Reframe Your Past Experiences
First, you have to realize that it is going to be an uphill battle. Landing your first career track job is difficult, but everyone who has been successful has started somewhere! Since you don’t have a lot of experience in your field, you’re going to have to stand out in a different way. If you’ve held jobs in the past, that gives you an advantage, even if they’re not specific to your industry. That gives you the opportunity to translate those jobs. Right now, your resume is likely full of jobs that don’t easily line up with what you want to do. However, that’s not to say that those experiences won’t be valuable. When you start to look for that first job in your career, you want to figure out how your past jobs will help you in that new one.
Soft skills, for instance, are present in every job and make you an inherently better worker. Understanding how to manage your time, interact with customers, and work under pressure will be valuable in any role. When you look at your past jobs, try to figure out which soft skills were learned in each position. You should also look at those past jobs through the lens of your career. Think about what you learned that will be relevant. For example, if you want to be an accountant, and have worked as a cashier, you learned a basic understanding of cash flows. Try to find that crossover between your career and your past jobs. That way, when you talk about them in interviews, you can better describe how they make you qualified for the role.
Know Where to Look
If you want to be successful in your search, you should first figure out where to look. There are plenty of different roles out there, but you should make sure you’re applying to the right ones. Search within your profession to understand typical career paths. You should know the job titles of entry-level positions in your field so you can target them. That way when you begin searching and applying, you can narrow your focus and apply for positions you have a fighting chance at getting.
It’s also important for you not to rule anything out. You may want to consider an internship, whether it’s paid or unpaid. Landing an internship position is a great way to gathering experience in your chosen field. While it may not pay incredibly well, it will give you invaluable experience in your chosen career. Also, it’s possible that the company you are interning may be interested in hiring you full time following the end of your employment. This certainly doesn’t always happen, but being an enthusiastic and hard-working employee will increase those chances. So if you are afforded any internship or volunteer opportunities don’t just brush them off. They may just be your ticket to the career you want!
Work Person to Person
Throughout your whole career, your network will be one of the most valuable tools you possess especially at the start. Hiring managers are always skeptical of hiring candidates without experience because they haven’t yet proven themselves. However, they’re much more likely to give you a shot if you are referred to them. If your name is referred, it indicates that they believe you would do well in the role. So getting recommended is a huge help if you can make it happen. So when you are starting out, try to see if you know anyone at a company you’re interested in.
Finally, it’s important for you to be yourself. For most entry-level positions, level of experience, and background will be similar between candidates. So what is really going to set you apart is your personality and attitude. If you’re not excited about the position, they’re definitely not going to hire you! Do your research, and get energized for every role you apply for. Let that personality shine through in any cover letters you may write, or interviews you may go on. That will help you stand out, and it may even be the deciding factor that leads to you landing the job.
Unfortunately, there’s no perfect system when it comes to landing your first job in your career. However, there are a few tactics you can utilize to increase your chances, as we’ve mentioned. Pair those tactics with confidence and excitement, and you should find yourself on the path to success!