Tips for Landing That First Entry-Level Job

finding job after college

Are you done with restaurant gigs? Want to do some work experimentation with a part-time job in the field you’re pursuing? Or maybe you’re about to graduate and want to line-up gigs for summer? Wherever you are in your life, it is never too early and it is never too late to start researching and prepping your application and interview skills for that entry-level job. These are, in fact, skills that you should constantly be aware of and improving. That’s because, for the next couple of decades, there will always be other places you want to go with your career. So keeping job researching, application building, and interviewing skills fresh and up-to-date will always play in your favor. 

Of course, of all the jobs you’ll interview, undoubtedly entry-level ones will feel like the hardest. This is because you likely feel that you have no relevant experience. Or that there might be too much competition for the job. True or not, you can still land jobs that you may technically be underqualified for if you approach it correctly. Get started honing these skills with these key tips on landing that first entry-level job:

Tips for Landing That First Entry-Level Job

Create, Maintain, and Submit a Personal Blog With Your Application

You don’t have to be pursuing a job in the creative field to have a portfolio. There are unique industry news, new developments, and skills for every industry and niche area you might be studying. This is what your blog should be about. It doesn’t have to be visually fancy or be optimized for search engine results, it simply has to be relevant and showcase your passion for the industry. 

The best way to approach this is to set aside an hour or two every week to make an update. Note that this doesn’t mean you have to write long blog posts. Your updates may just be links to industry videos with a quick comment on your thoughts or photographs showing you completing related fieldwork. Simple stuff and yet, within just a couple of months, you will have a robust blog that shows your passion and interest. When you apply for an entry-level job in your field, include a link in the application as well as your resume and cover letter. In this way, even if your resume is short, employers are apt to be excited about the creativity and passion you show by maintaining such a platform. 

Tailor Your Cover Letter and LinkedIn Profile

A blog doesn’t necessarily need to be word optimized, but you should certainly do so with your cover letter and resume. A good practice is to research and find job listings similar to the one you are applying for. Print them out and compare with a highlighter the similar phrases each one has. Phrases like “exceptional soft skills ”, “fluent in Python”, and “attention to detail” are key phrases that you should never ignore.

Once you have at least five key phrases relevant to your desired entry-level job description, the next step is to plug them in. Take that same messaging and use it to create a more appealing cover letter, resume, and LinkedIn profile. If there are things you haven’t quite mastered yet, such as Python, then get on it! While you shouldn’t entirely fake it ‘till you make it, you certainly can fudge some of your proficiencies so long as you keep working on it. Using these techniques is an excellent way to make your resume stand out even if you don’t have the long list of formal qualifications a specific company is looking for. 

Practice Your Presentation

First impressions are everything, is another common phrase for job hunting. However, there have been shifts and many managers and hiring recruiters undergo training and education in recognizing first impression biases and looking past that to hire the best, most qualified candidates. So if you aren’t a great interviewee, you shouldn’t fret so long as you have a solid resume and cover letter. 

Now, that said, practicing how you present yourself and your ideas is still one of the best work and life skills you can hone. So many people lose out on opportunities because they lack presentation confidence. Asking for promotions, for an attractive person’s number, for a home loan all require a balance of confidence and presentation preparation. If you don’t feel comfortable presenting things, then college is the best place to start getting comfortable. 

Consider enrolling in a college speech and communication course where you’ll specifically learn how to prepare for and give speeches and presentations. Before your next interview, ask a friend to act as a hiring manager and give them a list of common questions. Videotape this fake interview so you can go back over and see how well you did. 

Take Advantage of Junction Amenities

In need of a printer or space to complete the above tips? Then don’t forget about the Business Center & Conference Room available to you as a resident. And if you’re looking to become a resident, contact our team today for a walk-through. 

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