If you’re new to the working world with no experience, no references, and are driven by the sole purpose of getting any job that comes your way, job hunting is gonna be tough. I haven’t updated my blog for the past few weeks because I’ve been busily working on my resume, writing cover letters, and applying for jobs. The whole process took a lot longer and was more difficult than I had anticipated (and is ongoing, since I still haven’t been hired) [Update, I’ve been hired] . So, here are some things I’ve learned from the past few weeks that I thought I’d share for any first-student-job-hunters. Here are three things you’ll need to have to get a job:
1.Resume Write a good resume. It will take time, and it will take a lot of mental effort to conger up with the right magic words that will sell you to an employer. Don’t fret. There are many valuable resources online to aid you. One great resources for general resume, cover letter, and job interview tips is ResumeBear.com. This blog has all sorts of advice and words of wisdom that will be very helpful to anyone looking for employment, be they experienced or not. Don’t forget to get your resume critiqued. Ask a family member or someone you know who holds a managerial position to review your resume. You can also ask a teacher or counselor. If you’re in a post-secondary institution that offers co-op, ask a few friends you know that are in a co-op program to take a look at your resume. Every post-secondary institution has some sort of student career centre, where the staff specialize in helping students build job-hunting skills. Look up your school’s career centre and sign up for a workshop on how to build resumes. A good resume will bring you that much closer to getting a job. No typo’s. (those silly little mistakes that are more from you forgetting to put a space between words or hitting “s” instead of “a” on your keyboard)
2.Cover Letter (optional, depending on circumstance) A cover letter is a summary you give employers of why you of all people should get the job. Cover letters are where you will stand out, and are often the first thing an employer at when they’re sifting through piles of resumes. How to write a cover letter depends on your job. All in all, a cover letter should give reasons why you feel you’re best suited for the job, with some reasons/examples to back you up. Don’t go repeating your resume. Depending on the nature of your application, say if you’re applying for a job your aunt is hooking up with, or if you apply to a job at a career fair, you may not have the opportunity or need to write a cover letter. The key is to say what your resume cannot. Here’s some resume cover letter tips you can follow to help you.
3.Interview Skills So once you manage to
bull earn your way to an interview, you’re going to have to answer questions and prove to your potential boss that you are worth their time and money. My best advice would be to go on YouTube.com and search “interview tips.” There are all sorts of good videos there. Here’s one I particularly liked that describes how to answer the “Tell me about yourself” interview question, which can be pretty overwhelming if you’re not prepared. Practice, practice, practice, and when you think you’ve had enough, practice. I don’t mean in front of your mirror; no, you need to practice your answers to your family, your roommates, your friends and your teachers. This isn’t to say they’ll know any better than you about what your interviewer is looking for, but repeated practice will give you confidence. That, my lovely reader, is the an important key to passing an interview.
My experiences, and the advice I pass on to you. If there is anything I want you to talk home from this post, it is that getting a job (first time or not) won’t be easy. Like the saying goes, “getting a job is a full-time job.”
One of the things I learned from my job hunting is that it takes a lot of time and effort. Do not assume you will get a call for an interview. Do not assume your resume is so good you’ll get the first job you apply to. You won’t. Chances are, you won’t get the second, or the third, or the fourth. But keep trying. As you apply for more job positions, you will gain experience and learn from your mistakes. Use that new experience to continually tweak your resume and cover letters.
A particular experience I’d like to share ends with the moral be aware of who you are sending your resume to. Check out your employer before you send them your resume, particularly if you’re applying online. Remember, your resume contains your full name, address, and phone number. This is important information that shouldn’t be thrown at every job ad you see.
If you’re feeling discouraged during your job search, make sure you tell everyone (family, friends, etc.) that you’re looking for a job. Chances are they’ll be able to give you some advice, maybe even a recommendation if they’re already employed. Good luck!