It’s that time of year again – exam results are upon us and it’s time to consider all the options. Whilst further study might be on the horizon for many, for others finding employment will be the number one priority. It’s never a particularly easy task but if you’ve never worked before, it can appear even more daunting. However that need not be the case. These basic tips for finding your first job should hopefully help.
Prepare your CV
Many employers will expect you to apply for a job by submitting your CV, irrespective of how limited your experience is. It’s vital therefore that you create a first CV which fully highlights your skills and achievements. These may be academic attainments or skills acquired through extra curricular activities or hobbies. Also, always make sure that you tailor your CV to match the job you are applying for. If the job advertisement highlights particular skills as being essential, make sure that your CV adequately shows how you have those skills.
All experience matters
Even if you have not undertaken paid employment previously, chances are you may still have had very relevant experience which you should highlight when applying for your first job. It might be a work experience placement organised by your school or college, a day or two spent work shadowing or perhaps some voluntary or charity work that you’ve undertaken. Whichever applies, do make sure that you fully outline the type of experience that you’ve had, the duties you undertook and the dates when this took place. If you fail to highlight this experience on a CV or application form, you are in turn failing to highlight your employability to a prospective employer.
Use your connections
Make sure that when you begin your job search in earnest that you let people know. That includes friends, family members, neighbours and connections on your social networks. You may find out about job opportunities that you would not otherwise know about, they may put a word in with an employer on your behalf or they could simply keep their ear to the ground and keep you posted on suitable jobs. Connections always matter in life and when it comes to getting a job that is particularly true.
Let’s face it – when it comes to a first job, it’s pretty unlikely that it will be a dream one. Your aim is most probably to earn some money and also to get some practical experience. It’s therefore important not to be dismissive about jobs in certain sectors and to consider all opportunities which come your way. The service sector tends to be the most popular area for many first jobs – retail, catering and hospitality etc. Even if these sectors are not where you see your career being on a long term basis, the transferable skills and experience that you will gain from working in these areas will often be extremely valuable throughout your career.
Best of luck to all you first time jobseekers. We hope these basic tips help you on your way!