Ready to join the workforce—but having trouble finding and landing that first job?
Job hunting is hard work—at times it can feel impossible. So what do you do when you don’t have any experience to put on your resume? Get started with these three tips:
1. Stop wasting time sending your resume to every job posting you see.
The fact is, without a past job or jobs to highlight, your resume is among those most likely to get glossed over and tossed out. That doesn’t mean you should throw your hands up in the air and declare your job search a failure—it just means you should concentrate your efforts on activities that are more likely to bring results. (Wondering what those are? See Tips 2 and 3, below.) That’s not to say you should immediately cease and desist from all resume-sending. Notice the tip says “Stop wasting time sending your resume” and not “Stop sending your resume”? It’s the time-wasting part you want to avoid. If you’re focused only on sending your resume, you’re not going to get the results you want. Once you’ve invested time and attention to Tips 2 and 3, below, go ahead and use any spare time you might have to send your resume to as many job postings as you like.
2. Network, network, network.
This activity is where you should focus your efforts. Why? Because even if your resume might not convey your true potential to an employer, you no doubt know plenty of people who do understand your potential. And they, in turn, probably know plenty of people who would value a connection to a potential employee, or colleague, or a new acquaintance with similar career interests. So pick up the phone (a personal conversation with someone is always the best way to network), log onto social media (because there’s nothing wrong with spreading your job search interest far and wide, once you’ve had those personal conversations), and talk to everyone you know. Not sure how to network? Find networking tips on CareerOneStop.
3. Do your research.
Networking—talking to people about your career and job interests—is by far the most important activity in job searching. But of course you can’t expect other people to do all the work. You can learn a ton online that will help your job search. You can connect with professional associations, find typical salaries and wages, locate local businesses, get job search tips, and learn how to polish your resume.
If it’s your first job or your 10th job networking is essential.