Do you need some tips on looking for your first full-time job? It can be quite daunting entering the world of work when until now you've only had a part-time job or babysitting experience. You may wonder how you're supposed to get a job when employers all seem to want experience, or who is going to give you a chance in a difficult job market. But it's not all bad news; it is possible to secure a decent job straight from high school or college. Here are some tips on looking for your first full-time job …
1. Start Early
The first of my tips on looking for your first full-time job is to begin your job search early. Don't wait until you have finished your studies. If you start before, then you will have an advantage over others who wait, and you won't be competing with thousands of other young jobseekers all looking for their first job.
2. Use Contacts
Make good use of any contacts you may have, especially in fields that interest you. Many jobs are obtained through contacts, and some are never even advertised on the open market. Talk to everyone and tell them that you're looking for a job; they may know of something or be able to put you in touch with potential employers. A personal recommendation can count for a lot.
3. Show Your Skills
Even if you have little or no work experience, you will still have useful transferable skills. Work is not the only way to acquire knowledge and experience. Did you work as a babysitter or in a summer camp? Did you run a club at school or college? Identify all the skills you have and list them on your resume.
4. Make Connections
If you don't have any connections, then make some. Do you have a particular type of job in mind? Get to know people in that industry; volunteer your time, join organisations, and use any opportunity you can to make contacts. The more people you know, the greater the chance of finding a job opening - and you will be more than just a name on an anonymous résumé
5. Join LinkedIn
You might think that the business networking site LinkedIn is for people who already have plenty to put on their resume. But it's also a useful tool for anyone looking for their first job. Even just listing your name and education means that you are establishing a presence on the site - and you never know who might look at your entry.
6. Show Initiative
Even if you have contacts, it's unlikely that a job will just fall into your lap, so you should show initiative and make as much effort as possible to seek a job. Ask around, leave your resume with employers, and contact them to see if they have any suitable vacancies. And always follow up on any interview or contact with an employer; they may be impressed with someone who has initiative and drive.
Finally, don't neglect your résumé. Make sure that it is well laid out, informative, and has no errors in it (get someone to check it). It's useful to carry copies around with you so that you can leave a copy with potential employers.
In spite of the gloomy articles in the press about the prospects of school leavers and recent graduates, some do still find a good full-time position. Good luck with your own search! How did you find your job?