Your resume is error-free, your cover letter is personalized, and you know exactly what to wear for your interview; now you feel ready to go out and conquer the world – or more realistically, you just want to get a ‘real job’.
While this is a stressful time and managing expectations can be complicated, we have a few tips and facts you should keep in mind when looking for your first job.
1. Your First Job May Not Be Easy
Most of the people who love their jobs saw their passion grow as they got more skilled and generally better at their job. So if you are looking for your first job, it’s probably not going to be very glamorous, but don’t worry – as time goes by and you feel more comfortable in your role, opportunities will come and you will end up really enjoying what you do. Be patient.
2. Focus on Short Application Processes
Don’t waste time and energy applying for companies with lengthy selection processes – go the easy way. Once you’ve secured a job, maybe consider applying for those then, as there won’t be an urgency and desperation as you find yourself in a more comfortable situation.
3. Ask for Advice
Don’t be a know-it-all – by showing some vulnerability you will find building relationships a lot easier. Ask someone you truly admire as a professional for advice, and don’t be afraid of telling them you value their opinion; show them respect and they will most likely be happy to mentor you.
4. Apply Consistently
Apply for jobs on Mondays. Maximise your chances of being selected and called in for an interview by applying on Mondays – 30 per cent of applications received on the first day of the week proceed to the next level.
5. Learn to Listen
Learn body language and listen carefully. Active listening and the ability to read and understand body language cues are very important skills. Read between the lines and solve issues and misunderstandings early so they don’t become problems down the road.