There’re countless challenges anyone looking for their first job would encounter. Most of us believe they’re unique and sometimes very difficult or even impossible to overcome. Therefore, let me assure you, that’s not the case.
Everyone that’s ever gotten a job has faced each challenge that you’ll witness. Though times are changing rapidly and hiring processes evolve accordingly, the basics of all job searches remain the same.
Therefore, let’s start by looking at some of the biggest challenges of looking for the first job.
Challenges of Looking for First Job
Broadly speaking, there’re five major challenges of looking for that first job. I believe you should overcome all of these during the job search effort itself. This can help you create a wonderful dream career.
- Aptitude for a Job
- Drafting the Right Document
- Selecting the Job
- Applying for First Job
- Interview Challenges
If we look closely, these appear as major challenges when looking for the first job. These challenges are nothing more than guides to making a dream career that appears frightening.
Hence, let’s examine ways and means to overcome them.
Overcoming Challenges of First Job
Overcoming these challenges isn’t something that’s going to occur miraculously. Instead, you’ll have to exert some extra efforts to be successful.
Aptitude for a Job
The greatest challenge you’ll ever face in a lifetime is to know whether you possess the aptitude for that first job. Remember, the first job is your gateway to a lifetime career. You may change careers but the first job will continue to remain on your Curriculum Vitae and Resume. If you choose the first job that suits your aptitude, there’re superb chances that you’ll have a wonderful career.
To know your aptitude for any specific first job, find out whether it truly meets all your needs. Meaning, are you cut out for that job profile and would you be willing to do somewhat the same work in the same field for all your working life? To do so, find out what’re your likes and dislikes, hobbies and passions.
Once you’ve taken inventory of your likes, dislikes, skills, strengths, weaknesses, hobbies and passions, there’re better chances of knowing what your first job should be.
The next step is to read job profiles that are available on Jobstore.com, Monster.com, Indeed.com, Glassdoor.com and other websites. This gives a clear idea of whether or not a specific job meets your long term requirements for the career.
Drafting the Right Document
Once you’ve studied job roles and know the nature of work you’re happy to perform, the next step is to draft the right documents. These include a superb cover letter as well as a killer CV and Resume.
Bear in mind that your cover letter, CV or resume speak volumes about you. Therefore, write to create a wonderful first impression. Usually, employers send an interview call only when your cover letter, as well as Resume or CV, is attractive enough. These documents have to convey the message loud and clear that you’re the right candidate for the job.
Read the job advert carefully. Some employers call for your CV while others ask for a Resume. There’s a vast difference between a CV and a Resume. Hence, prepare a CV and a Resume separately, according to internationally acceptable styles.
Most first-time job seekers fail because they send a standard cover letter, CV or Resume to the employer. The trick here is to customise your cover letter according to the job description.
Mention the reasons why you’re interested in that specific job with that employer. Write your CV and Resume to highlight your aptitude for the job. This includes your educational qualifications, hobbies, passions and extracurricular activities. Your first job cannot contain any work experience but you can mention internships and traineeships if any.
Selecting the Job
Now we come to one of the toughest challenges of looking for that first job: selection. As fresher in any field or with general educational qualifications and no specialisations, it can prove a fairly difficult choice. You may believe that one job suits your financial needs while the other matches your personality. Another job might seem easy while yet another could sound like something of your interest.
Hence the question arises: how to select the right first job.
Understandably, there can be no easy answers. However, follow these simple guidelines. The best thing to do is look for jobs where you firmly believe your skills and education would prove handy. And once you zero down on such a job, do some online research to find prospects in that career. This is very important because some jobs don’t offer much career growth.
Therefore, be extremely careful in selecting your first job. The right first job can open doors to a successful career and a happy life.
Applying for the First Job
Here comes yet another tougher part: applying for the first job. That’s because you won’t have any experience that matters nor any skills that can make any difference to any employer. In such a situation, the best thing to do is to take inventory of what you can offer. The first is your educational qualifications. The second is your desire to make a career in a chosen field and third, your interests and hobbies.
Showcase your achievements at school or college to impress the reader. Point out clearly how your educational qualifications are useful for the job you’re applying. Highlight some of your true personality traits such as team play, problem solver, willingness to travel and others, which would qualify you for the job. This usually helps you overcome the biggest challenge of lack of experience while looking for your first job.
And finally, the challenges you’ll face at an interview while looking for your first job. This is a very simple challenge if you use some of these tweaks and tips I’m providing now.
The first thing you need to remember is that you’re at the interview because the employer also finds you suitable for the job, based upon your cover letter and CV or Resume. That’s the very reason they shortlisted you and sent the interview call.
Next comes, facing one or more interviewer. Generally, most interviewers are themselves in the dark about what to ask a candidate. You can leverage this to your fullest benefit. The best way to do so is by telling the truth about yourself, education, family and career objectives.
You’re there to further impress an interviewer who was already impressed by your application. A bit of humour, truthfulness and openness does the trick.
Use all these tips to overcome the biggest challenges of looking for your first job. Enjoy the experience because it’s never going to repeat itself. The more confident you appear, the higher the chances of bagging that dream job. One of the things to avoid at interviews is constant smiling since it makes you look sheepish. Secondly, speak in a manner that shows you’re genuinely interested in working for that employer and launching career in that specific field. Never hesitate to ask for a realistic pay package to avoid underselling yourself and regretting later. And use these tips for success.
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