Getting your foot in the door is easier with these tips
Getting your first job in your career field can be difficult. It seems that every job ad requires you to have years of experience that you just don’t have yet. But don’t lose hope. If you take a strategic approach to your job search, you can increase your chances of getting that interview. Try these tips to up your game.
Keep your resume short
A one-page resume is long enough for people seeking entry-level positions. Employers want to see a short, concise resume where all the key information is at the top. See resume-writing tips for more advice on crafting a strong resume.
Use a skills-based resume
When you don’t have years of experience on your resume, one way of making your resume stronger is to create a skills-based resume. In this type of resume, you list your key job skills near the top of the resume. This shows the employer the strengths you can offer to their organization even if you don’t have the work experience yet. See a sample of a skills-based resume.
Use keywords in your resume and cover letter
When you are applying for a job online, be sure to read the job description carefully and use many of the same phrases and keywords that you see in the job description. This may help if a resume scanning system is scanning resumes for candidates with those certain skills and traits. Find out more about keywords and scanner-friendly resumes.
Create a strong LinkedIn profile
If a hiring manager is considering calling you for an interview, odds are the first thing they will do is look you up on LinkedIn. So before you send out resumes, make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date, accurate, and complete. A bad LinkedIn profile with only a few entries and no photograph could send your resume back to the trash heap. Learn how to create a strong LinkedIn profile.
Pay attention to all requirements
When you are submitting your resume and cover letter, look carefully at the requirements. Some job postings are very specific as to what you need to submit, such as referrals or samples of your work. Make sure you follow the instructions carefully.
Work on your job networking
You have probably heard it a million times. Networking is a better way to find a job than applying for jobs online. It’s true! When you are new to a career field, it may be hard to establish your career network, but even new graduates can get started somewhere. Talk to your instructors, your mentors, and your fellow classmates who have found jobs. Talk to friends and neighbors and tell them you are looking for a job. If you keep in touch with the people who helped you get started, you can follow each other’s careers and support one another for many years to come. Learn more about career networking.
Get involved in your community
Being involved in your local community is another way of networking. Think about your interests and what you would enjoy. Join an adult sports league. Find a sewing class. Volunteer at a local charity. These activities will not get you a job, but they will help expand your network. You never know who might know someone that can get you started in the right direction.
Keep your social media in check
Don’t let an embarrassing social media post cost you a possible job opportunity. Clean up your social media pages and be careful of what you post.
Depending on your career field, there may be temping opportunities that can put you inside the doors of a potential employer. Talk with staffing agencies in your area, and see what kinds of jobs they staff.
Use your Career Services department
If you’ve attended college or a career training school, there is probably a Career Development department that can help you. Don’t be afraid to make an appointment and ask for assistance. That’s why they are there! They may be able to help you improve your job search strategy. They may even be able to direct you towards possible job leads.
Don’t give up!
The last tip is the most important. Don’t give up on finding a job! It may take a while, or you may have to accept a job that is not your first choice, but whatever the case, don’t give up. Take one step at a time, and keep pushing for that job!
The Harris School of Business specializes in job training and career focused training for adults. Our campuses are located in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and Connecticut. Learn more about our medical assistant, dental assistant, and medical billing and coding programs.