Finding your First Job
By Srabon Nath
So you’re fresh out of college (or high school) and your biggest worry is how to land your
first job. It seems almost impossible since many places don’t take anyone without experience.
This is where your connections and your resume come in.
First things first, you have to make sure you apply to any and all possible jobs. You have
a very slim chance of getting hired anywhere since, again, you don’t have any experience. So
magnify your chances as much as possible by applying persistently. However, it’s also good to
remember to lower your expectations. Apply to your dream jobs, but chances are that you are
going to get rejected. Just because an interview went bad doesn’t mean you should stop trying.
So make sure to apply to places with not-as-great incomes and workplaces. In the beginning,
you might need to settle for less. You might need to use these jobs with less pay or long hours
as a starting point for your career.
Your first job is much easier to get if you were productive during college and used
different opportunities. But also keep in mind to not be discouraged because you didn’t go to a top college. Just because you didn’t go to Harvard or Princeton doesn’t mean you aren’t going to get a job. In fact, employers care more about what you are capable of than what school you went to. And how do you show that you’re capable? The answer is your resume. Your resume shows what you did and what you can do for the employer. Make sure to get feedback on your resume from different mentors or friends. Resumes are meant to be concise but also powerful in the sense that it clearly shows your achievements. List all your internships, programs, and experiences that are relevant to the place you are hiring.
Something else that makes your job search easier is if you have a large network. In fact,
most people get their first job through connections. Your network is what enables you to hear
about new opportunities, have people to vouch for your qualities, and basically share any
information that is relevant to your career. Most networks form in college when you are
surrounded by people who have the same major as you and are pursuing very similar goals. So,
make sure to communicate and keep in touch with these people because you never know when
an opportunity comes up.
Finally, even though it’s important to apply to jobs like there is no tomorrow, this also
means that you have to commit to getting every single job you apply for. What I mean by this is
although you might be applying to 10 jobs in one week, treat each application process as if it’s
the only job you’re applying for. Customize your resume accordingly to each place according to
what your employer would want. Go to your interview prepared and make sure to know
everything about the company before you walk in for the interview. Showing your interest is also
important and this is done by asking questions during the interview and also following up in an
email later on. The bottom line is that quality is more important than quantity. You have a much
higher chance of securing a job if you apply to only 5 but you take each application seriously
rather than if you apply to 20 and don’t really commit to your application.