Whether you are just out of school or you are starting a new career path, finding that first job can be tough. Employers say they want someone with relevant experience but of course, that’s the one thing you lack. However, a great job is out there for you if you know how to approach your search. Use these tips to stand out in an entry-level job when you’re just starting out.
Apply For Jobs You Are Qualified For
Employers know that entry-level applicants won’t always come to the table with experience, so be sure the jobs you are applying for are truly entry-level. Landing your first job is hard enough. Don’t complicate it by applying for jobs that you aren’t qualified for.
Leverage the Experience You Do Have
You might not have worked for five years in your field, but if you had any type of previous work experience, showcase it. Whether it was work-study, a part-time job, an internship or even volunteer work, highlight the transferable skills you have built through those experiences. Transferable skills can include things like computer skills, interpersonal skills, customer service, teamwork, problem-solving, etc.
Write A Killer Cover Letter
Many applicants make the mistake of not including a cover letter or if they do send a cover letter, they send a form letter. However, writing a killer cover letter can only help you catch a hiring manager’s attention. Use this space to highlight your strengths and address any potential objections the hiring manager might have. Remember to focus on the value you bring to the employer. Make it about the reasons why they need you, not the reasons why you need the job.
Leverage Temporary Assignments
People tend to think there is only one path to a full-time job. However, when you’re just starting out, it pays to keep an open mind. Competition is fierce and employers can receive hundreds of applications for a single entry-level position.
One way to get your foot in the door, gain valuable real-world experience and start making connections while you earn a paycheck is to take on temporary assignments. Employers are always looking for short-term help to manage large projects, meet critical deadlines or deal with seasonal demand. Temporary assignments help you build your resume and they also expose you to different work environments and jobs, which can help you determine what you really want from your career.
And often, employers will actually extend full-time offers to great temporary workers who make valuable contributions.