A red pen lying on a CV

Finding a job for the first time can be a real challenge. A little guidance and help can lead you straight to the goal without wasting much time.

Finding your first job is a thrilling experience and an adventure in itself. Coming out of university, wit a degree in his hand and high spirits, getting his first job seems an uphill task. Though the process is often tiresome and lengthy, it can be managed by following certain tips and rules of the game. From my personal experience, here is a guideline of what to do. 

Make a self-assessment

In the very beginning, sit calmly and make an honest analysis of yourself, listing your strengths, weaknesses, favourite positions, skills, etc. This will enable you to evaluate your worth and chances.

Write your CV

A CV is a window to your personality and provides a clear insight to employers about your potential. So you need to spend time and effort to utilise your CV effectively. Tips include:

  1. Make it attractive. Use appropriate fonts, headings and sub headings.
  2. Do not miss any minor details about your academic career.
  3. Highlight your strengths.
  4. List all extracurricular activities you had along with achievements and roles of responsibility.
  5. Display your academic record in a logical, chronological sequence incorporating results.
  6. List your skills with special emphasis on digital literacy and communication skills.
  7. Mention all certificates of excellence you obtained for academic as well as non-academic performance.
  8. Mention your contact details e.g. phone number and email address.
  9. Your CV should clearly state why hiring you can benefit your prospective employer.
  10. Take help in preparing an attractive and an impressive CV from the various websites available.
  11. Always revise and edit your CV for spelling mistakes and omissions.

Search actively

Job openings and offers are available in trade magazines and newspapers. Sunday additions of newspapers are especially full of job advertisements often classified under the title “Career”. While going through these advertisements always note the most suitable in a diary with all details. i.e. deadline for the application, salary offered, qualifications required, how to apply, and contact details of the employer.

Another very useful medium for job searching is the internet. 

Use agencies

In the era of the internet, various agency services are available on the net (many are free). These websites provide myriad of job openings, both domestic and overseas, on almost a daily basis. If you register with them they will provide you with new job alerts as well.

Prepare your profile on LinkedIn

LinkedIn has proved to be a very useful platform for getting a job. Forbes has reported that 97% of recruiters use LinkedIn as part of their recruitment process. It will be highly beneficial for you to make a good and impressive profile on this platform. There are many chances that some hiring companies are looking for your talent.

Use your uni career service

Your careers service is easy to approach but one study reveals that only 29% of students contact it. They can provide help in CV preparation and drafting an impressive covering letter, and can help you contact people employed in your field of interest to gain practical help.

Send applications

Send application within the timeframe given. If you are posting this through postal service, make sure reaches its destination within the specified time limit.

If you are sending a job application via email or posting it directly on employer’s web site, never forget to attach your CV. A cover letter in both the cases must accompany your application stating your background, areas of interest and why you are interested in that particular job.

Preparing for tests

Many companies conduct online tests to check your communication and other skills. Many tests include the evaluation of your analytical skills as well. You must always be fully prepared for these tests and again the internet can be a great help. Many websites and Youtube videos are available, with tips and guidelines. You can prepare through these sites and videos by keeping a stop watch with you and completing tests within given time line. While taking an online test follow these tips: 

  • Don’t panic
  • Arrange to keep yourself connected to the internet.
  • Always take care of the time limits mentioned on the instructions part of page.

Appearing in interviews

In almost all the cases, the hiring process requires prospective employees to appear for interview before a panel. Follow the below noted tips for a good interview.

  • Go to bed early the night before.
  • Arrive on time
  • Get properly dressed. Making a first impression with the hiring staff is essential.
  • Enter the interview room in a confident manner.
  • Sit on your chair in a composed manner and good posture.
  • Make eye contact with panel members when replying their questions.
  • Keep smiling. 
  • Use polite language and say thank you at the end.
  • Research the company beforehand and obtain knowledge about their products, services, profitability, sales etc. This will familiarise you with your likely employers.
  • Remember the importance of body language. Try not to be nervous but candid and concise.

Don’t be afraid of rejection. Be consistent:

In the present job market, the numbers of job openings are decreasing and, due to fierce competition, the chances of rejection are plentiful. Don't be depressed by rejection, instead prepare yourself for it. Apply consistently for all jobs that you like the look of. Remember, by keeping the momentum going the chances of success increases, in part because of experience received and the ability to learn from earlier mistakes. Good luck!