Is Your First Job Hardest to Get?

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Some people say that your first job is the hardest to get. But this does not sound right to me. If you think the first job is the hardest to get, you are probably looking for the wrong jobs.

Your first job is not the hardest to get. It’s an entry-level job that doesn’t even require any prior experience. The purpose of your first job is to put some skills and credibility under your belt. Once you gain experience, it is much easier to find a better job later on as you develop your skills and employment history.

We’ve got some tips that will help you get your first job.

Reach Out to the Business First

Why is high competition a problem? When looking for your first job, competition can be more of a concern now than later in your career. That is because you have not yet had a job where you can prove your worth. So chances are, if there is any competition, you are not going to win the position.

So, for your first job, applying for an advertised position on the internet is not the best option. Internet advertised jobs generally put you up against more competition. So that strategy does not put you in a position of advantage. Managers at the labour hiring agency, or business will get dozens of applications. So even if you are superb, skills-wise, and have put in a ton of effort making a great resume, chances are that your resume will get lost in the tons of other resumes. This is because the managers have got a lot on their plate, and once they’ve found a few good ones, they just pick the one that seems the best.

So the question is, how do you stand out from the crowd? By finding the contact information of people who can potentially be your boss and contact them ahead of time. The power of a drop in is real. If they are thinking of hiring, and you walk in the door, you have a much better chance of getting hired. It is just so convenient, it saves them time, advertising costs, and they know you are ready to start right away!

How do you do that? It’s pretty simple. For most entry level jobs there is an office or shop front where you can just walk in. Get well dressed, and take your resume with you. Ask to speak to the manager on duty and make sure you have prepared some great reasons why you would love to work with them.

Since almost no one is using this approach, it’ll give you an advantage over almost everyone. So go ahead, do your research and have a good time in making a great first impression. And always remember, don’t be disheartened. Not everyone is looking for employees. You make have to ‘kiss a few frogs’ before you get an offer.

Create a Targeted Cover Letter

Nothing is more impressive than a prospective employee who puts the effort in to make a great cover letter. If you are just relying on your resume, you are not showing that you are happy to make that extra effort in personalising your application.

Make sure you address the cover letter to the company that you are dropping in to. Explain why you are specifically interested in THEIR JOB. This is where you should include information about why their company interests you. It only needs to be a couple of paragraphs, but can go a long way in landing you a job.

Create a Great Resume

Your prospective employer knows nothing about you. All they have to judge you by, is the way you present yourself on your resume. The problem is, many people do not spend enough time making sure their resume is up to scratch. Spelling mistakes, grammatical errors and formatting issues create a negative impression no matter how great a worker you are.

Your resume need to tell the employer how you will benefit THEM. Don’t tell them you like to spend time on the weekend with your kids, your employer does not care. You need to tell them why you are good and the evidence for it. So many resumes we see say, “I have great <INSERT SKILLS>.” This just creates an eye-roll from your prospective employer…. sure you do, says who?

If you want to say you have great communication skills the best thing to do is to include an example of a situation where you had to communicate effectively to achieve a result. Similarly, if you want to say you are organised, give some examples of your organisation and how it has benefited you or someone else.

This is how you can raise your resume, above people with potentially more experience than you.  This is where most candidates don’t really shine. If you can explain to an employer how you will help them, then your resume will connect better and they will be more likely to take the chance on you.

Sharpen your interview skills

If you don’t nail the interview, but your competition does, you’re done. Basically for an entry level job, the employer is checking whether you are the right type of person to suit their company. The employer is just another a human being. If you’re able to make a great face-to-face impression, they’ll have no choice but to favour you subconsciously.

Similar to when you wrote your resume, keep your examples factual and evidence based. Brush up your storytelling skills and use anecdotal evidence. This stuff helps a lot with making a great impression. Also, do your homework and become familiar with the company’s values. Add them to your stories and you’ll create an even better impression.

Try a Labour Hire Agency

Another way to ‘get your foot into the door’ and get some solid experience is to sign up with a labour hire agency like us here at Canberra Labour Hire. A labour hire agency has a team of employees that go out and do temporary work for a range of employers. This means that instead of being in a single position, only learning one set of skills, you actually get to rotate around jobs, trying different things. It really gives you an advantage over other people in the field, as you will obtain a wider range of experiences compared to people in more standard jobs of a similar nature.

So Really, Is Your First Job Hardest to Get?

Landing your first job can be hard, but no it should not be the hardest job to get. As you progress up through your career you will be applying for higher level jobs. These jobs will be harder to get, as the competition will be fierce, and you really need to have a solid set of skills behind you.

For your first job, make sure you go for an entry level job. Something that interests you, but is not too hard to get into. Some fields to consider are:

  • general labouring in construction
  • office administration
  • waiter / waitress
  • retail clerk

Choose the right type of job, and approach it correctly, you should have your new job in no time!

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