When you’re seeking a job for the first time, the job world can be overwhelming. No one seems to want you because you’re young and inexperienced, and despite going to school to get a job, no one really told you how to get one.
By first-time job seekers, we’re not necessarily talking about people who have not had a job at all. Maybe you’ve had a few jobs in fast food/retail as a way to get some income going, and now that you’re out of school, you’re ready to get the job you wanted all along. Of course, this article can be helpful to complete newcomers as well.
Here are some tips for anyone new to the job market.
Comb Over Your Social Media
We’ve all said stuff on our social media that potential employers may not like. That photo of you drinking may be harmless, but your employer may not want people thinking they hire partiers. Your comments about politics can alienate. And if you think recruiters don’t comb over your social media, think again.
About 93 percent look over your social media. Ouch. Go through your profiles and change their privacy settings, or delete anything that your boss may not like. You can also create social media accounts for business only, while tucking away your personal account.
When you’re young, you may want a job that is away from your local area. You want a new life, a change of pace, fresh faces, the list goes on. The internet has allowed people to search for jobs all over the world and doesn’t limit you to your local community.
Sometimes, on the big aggregators like Monster and Indeed, there is too much competition to standout. Applying through the local job boards and industry-specific job sites have less traffic and will give you a better shot of standing out.
Network, Network, Network
If you’ve been reading these posts about finding jobs, you may have heard the term ‘networking’ being thrown around a few times.
Networking is basically just connecting with people who share the same professional field as you. Some people are born with connections, and others have to earn them. Often, these connections can help you get an interview or at least be aware of what’s going on in your field and where.
Your professors are a good example of people you should network with. Making a LinkedIn profile and developing relationships with people involved in the field you’re interested in is a good place to start.
Freelancing has become all the rage recently, and for a good reason. Everyone has technology that can allow them to work from anywhere, and getting a freelance gig tends to be much easier than working for a company. It’s still frowned upon and seen as something that’s not a “real job,” but it’s a great way to build experience, get connections, and build a work ethic. And if you’re committed, it can be more than a side job. You could possibly make a good living doing it. Give it a shot.
There are plenty of freelance sites out there that you can try out, and many deal with specific fields, making it easier. Despite what you may have heard, freelancing is not something to overlook, and it may be the future of working.
Don’t Be Too Intimidated by the Job Description Requirements
A common complaint from recent college graduates are descriptions that expect too much. You know the ones. An entry level job that says you need five years’ experience, a master’s degree, and being able to juggle? Many potential employees who have a great work ethic may not apply to these jobs because they don’t fit the requirements. But you may be missing out on a good job that you can get.
The thing is that employers get too enthusiastic when writing a job description. Have you ever had or saw a dating profile that had a list of unrealistic expectations for the perfect lover? Same principle. Employers have a dream candidate, and they write about them, but as the name implies, they’re just a dream. Apply for the job anyway, because odds are, the person who meets those requirements does not exist.
Focus on Soft Skills
Don’t have any good experience? Think about your soft skills. These are traits that aren’t specific job skills, but are important to the workplace. Being honest, having a work ethic, friendliness, good humor, wanting to make the company succeed… if you have any of these traits, write them down. Soft skills may be the key to getting your dream job, so don’t forget to include them.
Finding a job when you’re new is never easy, but by knowing what to do, you’re guaranteed to get the job you want. Keep applying, use these tips, and you will land the job you want.