Many recent graduates are still searching for that first job to kick-start their career path. Unfortunately for us, this is happening while our country in the process of recovering from one of the worst economies to get a job in. But that shouldn’t stop anyone from finding his or her perfect starter job! For those of us still searching, I have learned a few things and come up with some tips that might help others as well:
1. Delve into your passions.
This is a perfect time to recollect and possibly rethink career paths. Think about what is really important to you and figure out what your passions are, if you don’t know already (see #6). Simply deciding where to go is the first step to actually getting there.
2. Keep your options open.
Remember, it’s your first job. You don’t have to commit to it ‘til retirement do you part. Don’t get hung up on one specific job. There may even be some jobs you didn’t think of that you might love even more!
3. Don’t over-exaggerate your resume.
Sure, it’s good to have experience, but anything from before college will most likely not count towards the job you’re trying to get now. Focus on the main points – internships, job experience, any degree(s) you have, etc. Your resume shouldn’t be longer than a page when you’re applying for your first big girl/boy job.
4. Be your best self in interviews.
This may be obvious, but really…be yourself. The purpose of an interview is to see how well you fit with the job/company you’re applying to. If you lie, not only are you breaking the law, but you’re also hurting your future self. Who wants to work at a job that doesn’t fit their personality or interests? Ask questions, be prepared, and be yourself.
5. Don’t take it personally when you don’t get hired.
It will happen, and when it does, it’s not an insult at all! Most people don’t realize how many job applications and interviews you may have to go through to get that one job. It’s totally normal not to get the first job you apply for, but if you do – great!
6. Keep any job you have until you get another one.
It’s always good to have a backup and some way of supporting yourself while you’re searching for that first job. You may not have to keep it up until your first day of work at your new job, but try to keep it as long as you can. And don’t burn any bridges (even though with some jobs it may seem like a good idea when you’re ready to quit).
7. Or don’t!
While you’re on your job hunt, maybe take some time off to travel and figure out what you really want to do! Opportunities to travel and volunteer are great for figuring out what you want out of life and can help bring other career options into focus.
*Random fact: This extended time off is sometimes called a “gap year”, and is very popular for graduates in many countries.
8. Have fun with your search!
It’s so easy to get stressed out when you’re on the hunt for a job, but remember, you are at a point in your life where you have the freedom of choice. Apply and live where you want. If you have fun with your search, it makes it more of an adventure and less of a chore.